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: Mailchimp
Although Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and social media in general are all the rage these days most online campaigns begin with an email. Greenpeace IMO, has one of the best online campaign management strategies in the social enterprise / activism space and they regularly use email communications to great effect. Email is compelling because while social media has ‘virality’, email newsletters with a call to action have greater ‘stickiness’. I tend to scan and forget my twitter feed once a day but an email in my inbox tends to sit there calling out to me to act upon it.
We have used several email newsletter services over the years at Dutiee and the one that really stood out in terms of ease of use, analytical reporting and funkiness has been Mailchimp. And they’ve got great support too! Sign up for Mailchimp for Non-profits to receive a 15% non-profit discount.
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