This post lists some of our favorite FREE technology resources available on the web, that non-profits can leverage. These resources are – Free for non-profits, Easy to use and available over the internet.
The Internet has changed the world. More people now spend more time online than ever before. Non-profits need to reach out to an ever-increasing online audience using the internet and for this they need great tools.
1. Organization Email and Collaboration: Google Apps
Google Apps for non-profits allows organizations to retain their existing domain names (for example dutiee.com) and at the same time, use Google Mail for work, Talk, Calendar and Docs for collaboration, along with other Google resources.
This means you no longer need to pay for email hosting, or ‘maintenance’ or ‘upgrade’ charges. You don’t have to use personal Gmail and Yahoo accounts for work, AND you can have email addresses under your own domain name when communicating with customers and donors.
Sign up here Google Apps for Non-Profits.
2. Email marketing: VerticalResponse
Lets face it, these days the easiest most cost effective way to reach out to a wide audience of potential donors, is via email marketing. VerticalResponse is an online service provider for email marketing and list management. Their straight-forward, affordable pricing allows businesses with even the smallest of budgets to launch sophisticated direct email marketing campaigns quickly and easily.
If you are in the US, and are registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit VerticalResponse provides full access to all their email direct marketing features for free. Nonprofits can send up to 10,000 emails per month without charge. If you are outside the US, but have access to a Salesforce.org technology donation, you are also eligible for signing up to the program.
Sign up here to the VerticalResponse Nonprofit Program:
3. Donation management: DonorTools.com
Donortools is an online donor management software for charities and nonprofit organizations. This product allows easy access to donor records from any computer with an internet connection. You can record donations, look up donor history and compile reports from home or on the field. You can also let donors sign in, view their donation history and make donations online.
Donortools is available for free for 1 Active project, and 1 fund raising campaign and licensed thereafter.
Sign up here DonorTools:
4. Web hosting: WordPress.com
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at web hosting. This is almost always the trickiest decision that every small to medium sized non-profits needs to make. Questions crop up such as: ‘Should we pay for a website? Or sign up for one of those free website offerings? Or hire a designer, a developer and a content creator to do it all for us?’
Here is our recommendation. Start free! Sign up for a free account on WordPress.com and you can instantly get access to your own site such as dutiee.wordpress.com
WordPress is easy to use and well documented. You need to choose a theme to begin with, customize some basic settings, add your content using built-in post editors and you are ready to start publishing your website within 30 minutes!
5. Q&A: Quora
Finally, our favorite nonprofit and social tech resource, is a Q&A website called Quora. This is one site that we have been spending a lot of time on lately. Quora describe themselves as “a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it.”
The great thing about Quora is that you can post a question, and follow topics of interest, and answer questions. Many founders of social enterprises and technology businesses use Quora regularly, and this is an easy way to reach out to them, ask specific targeted questions that may help you solve problems.
Sign up for Quora