One of the best things about being part of a national network like YNPN is the opportunity to share resources and learn from our fellow chapters in other cities. This past summer at the YNPN National Leaders Conference in Minneapolis-St. Paul, our board members Molly, Ashley, and Renee learned about Podio, an awesome new project management tool that other YNPN chapters have used to streamline their operations.
Citrix Podio is the new way for teams to communicate, organize, track, and get work done in one place, and we are thrilled to announce that Podio has become an official sponsor of YNPN Atlanta! With Podio, project management will be easier than ever for the YNPN Atlanta Board of Directors and committee volunteers, with increased collaboration on projects and integration with tools like Google Calendar, Dropbox, Facebook, LinkedIn, and much more!
Podio is a great tool for volunteer driven organizations who need a way to organize communications in the cloud. Interested in having Podio sponsor your organization? Visit their sponsorship application online!
Excited to hear how YNPN Atlanta leaders are working to make our chapter better every day? Consider joining our team with one of our current volunteer opportunities!
This month we’re featuring tools for group-fundraising and link tracking.
As always, our featured tools will cover a broad range of uses - from managing social media campaigns to collecting online donations. Many were not developed exclusively for nonprofits, but all will be selected based on their usefulness, ease of use, and cost (most, if not all will have a free version...).
Crowdtilt – Fundraise with group-funding campaigns
Overview: Crowdtilt is a group-funding tool that can be used to raise money for a specific objective. Crowdtilt’s platform lets supporters contribute money, however, the funds are only released if the campaign reaches its fundraising goal. This model particularly useful for nonprofits because it reduces the risk for fundraisers AND potential funders. The platform also streamlines the process of organizing/promoting fundraising campaigns as well as the donation processing.
Cost: Crowdtilt receives a 2.5% processing fee for successful nonprofit campaignsPotential Uses: One-time fundraisers (e.g., an emergency relief fund, scholarship), small capital projects, investments in new equipment, events/ticket-sales
bitly – Easily save, share, and TRACK links
Overview: bitly is a web-tool used for shortening, sharing, and best of all - tracking links. Users can save links (“bitmarks”) through a variety of ways including the bit.ly website, mobile devices, and browser bookmarklets/extensions (ex. Chrome extension). While there are many saving/shortening tools available (e.g., Delicious, Tinyurl), bitly has additional link tracking features. Once a bitmark is created, users can easily view real-time analytics (example), regardless of whose content it is or where the content is shared (e.g., email, social media, website). Whether it’s your organization’s annual report or a YouTube video that a supporter created, you can promote and track your content without digging through analytics reports from multiple sources.Cost: bitly is free
Potential Uses: Links used in social media marketing, email campaigns, and even on your organization’s website
- Jeffrey Ader, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member
This month we’re featuring tools for creating online wish lists and interactive data visualizations.
As always, our featured tools will cover a broad range of uses - from managing social media campaigns to collecting online donations. Many were not developed exclusively for nonprofits, but all will be selected based on their usefulness, ease of use, and cost (most, if not all will have a free version).
GiFTgive – FUNDRAISE WITH ONLINE WISH LISTS
Overview: GiFTgive lets organizations make custom online wish lists (through Amazon.com) which can then be shared with donors. Unlike a traditional gift registry, the feature-rich platform allows organizations to customize the look and feel of the wish list page as well as the donor thank you message. The platform also lets donors make partial donations towards more expensive items. The obvious benefits for donors are the opportunities to make non-cash contributions and to see the direct impact of contributions. For nonprofits, using GiFTgive can be an easy way to solicit contributions for goods/equipment that may not be a budget priority or that are not costly enough to require a dedicated fundraising campaign.Cost: Pricing plans range from a 4.9% transaction fee to a fixed $49 monthly or $495 annual fee
Potential Uses: Holiday season wish lists, office relocation/renovation wish lists, program equipment wish lists
TABLEAU PUBLIC – EASILY CREATE DATA VISUALIZATIONS
Overview: Tableau Public is a free application for creating interactive data visualizations that can be shared and embedded online. Unlike many data visualization tools, it requires no programming or graphic design skills. Users can import data from Excel/Access and then use a simple drag and drop process to create and customize interactive charts. Charts (or groups of charts in a dashboard format) can be shared online and embedded in webpages. Tableau Public is a particularly powerful tool for nonprofits given its ease of use and ability to visually communicate complex data sets. Not only can a nonprofits leverage data collected from its services/programs, but it can also take advantage of publicly available data sets (examples using government/public data).
Cost: Pricing plans include a free application as well as personal and professional versions that range up to $1,999Potential Uses: Issue advocacy/education, program metrics/evaluation, financial transparency
- Jeffrey Ader, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member
This month we’re featuring tools for developing Facebook pages and performance tracking. As always, our featured tools will cover a broad range of uses - from managing social media campaigns to collecting online donations. Many were not developed exclusively for nonprofits, but all are selected based on their usefulness, ease of use and cost (most, if not all, will have a free version...).
ShortStack – Add functionality to Facebook page tabs
Overview: ShortStack is a tool for creating custom Facebook apps on fan pages. The tool makes the design/development process significantly easier using templates and widgets, many of which integrate directly with a wide variety of other web services (e.g., YouTube, Twitter, MailChimp, FourSquare). Many nonprofits are using Facebook pages as their primary website because of the ease of updating/managing, as well as the high traffic levels. ShortStack lets nonprofits take full advantage of this web presence to engage fans, advocates, volunteers and donors. While most of the service is fairly intuitive, it will likely still require some development experience to create/customize each Facebook application. Even if your organization lacks these skills, it is still good to know of this tool as projects can be easily sourced to any web developer. ShortStack also has a tremendous amount of support resources, including videos that will walk you through every step (e.g., Create a Refer-A-Friend app). The best way to understand the potential of this tool is to check out the Example page and/or simply sign up for a free account to get first-hand experience using it.Cost: Basic plan (allowing up to 2,000 Facebook fans) is free, and advanced plans begin at $30 per month.
Potential Uses: Facebook contests, sweepstakes, e-mail sign up, online voting, online “friendraisers”
IRUNURUN – Help individuals and organizations achieve real goals
Overview: IRUNURUN is a performance tracking app (web and iPhone) designed to help individuals/organizations achieve their goals through simple effective actions. It’s a VERY cool tool with MANY applications, including several very interesting uses in the nonprofit sector. It is essential that an organization’s goals or mission be broken down into simple actions that an individual can do. The IRUNURUN app lets users define these weekly actions, assign weights and frequencies, and then easily update his or her progress along the way. Individuals can then track their weekly score (out of 100 points) on a simple dashboard as well as follow the progress of other individuals. When an organization asks for support, they want people to do something very specific. That action might be to call a politician, e-mail friends or family, eat one more serving of vegetables every day, or share an announcement on Facebook. Organizations must equip supporters with tools (like IRUNURUN) to empower them to actually make a difference.
Cost: Basic (though fairly robust) plan is free, and advanced plans start at $4.99 per month.
Potential Uses: Supporter/staff challenges, advocacy weeks/months, grassroots mobilization- Jeffrey Ader, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member
Published February 21, 2013This month we’re featuring tools for project/task management and mobile communication.
As always, our featured tools will cover a broad range of uses - from managing social media campaigns to collecting online donations. Many were not developed exclusively for nonprofits, but all are selected based on their usefulness, ease of use and cost (most, if not all, will have a free version...).
Asana – Improve the way teams communicate and collaborate.
Overview: Staff members’ e-mail inboxes and weekly status meetings are not the only places where project management should occur. Asana is a web application designed to organize tasks and then assign them to projects and people. Nonprofits often think of “capacity building” in terms of expanding or scaling, rather than greater project management efficiency. Not only can this free up critical staff bandwidth, but it also helps institutionalize all of the plans, processes and tasks. Asana addresses the problem that many nonprofits have with being unable to deconstruct projects or new initiatives into manageable tasks. While I am a big fan of many other project management tools (e.g., Basecamp, Trello), Asana seems to be the most intuitive option, and it does not include any distracting bells and whistles.
Cost: Asana is free for up to 30 users, after which plans start at $100 per month.
Potential Uses: Project management, staff training, intern management, process documentation.
Gather – Communicate via text message with your MailChimp subscribers.
Overview: Gather is a simple tool for communicating with your MailChimp subscribers via text message at an event. Once you create a simple web/mobile form, individuals can sign up and choose to be added to your MailChimp contact list if they are not already. Subscribers' numbers cannot be seen by the account administrator and are deleted after the event ends. And don’t worry – MailChimp provides the administrator with a phone number to use so your personal one is kept private. Once individuals have subscribed, you can communicate both with the entire group and with individual contacts. There are plenty of tools available for organizations to communicate with attendees before and after an event (e.g., Eventbrite, SurveyMonkey). Few, however, make it easy to communicate via text message during an event (let alone sync with your MailChimp account!).
Cost: $8.99 for 175 messages, $18.99 for 500 messages, and 2,000 for $48.99.
Potential Uses: Important announcements (e.g., venue change, race delay), volunteer management, fun interactive events (e.g., scavenger hunts, Improv Everywhere’s MP3 Experiments)
- Jeffrey Ader, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member
Present.me - Share online presentations with video content
Overview: Present.me is an online communication tool that lets you pair video/audio content alongside your presentation. Many different types of documents can be uploaded to create a Present.me, including Power Points, PDFs and Word documents. Once a document is uploaded, the user records (webcam required) the presentation and can easily trim/re-record segments. Once finalized, it can be downloaded, shared online and embedded in other webpages. Cost: The basic plan is free. Advanced plans that include unlimited presentations and privacy options range up to $49 per month. Potential Uses: Board presentations, volunteer orientation, staff training.
Double the Donation - Increase corporate matching gifts and volunteer grants
Overview: Double the Donation is an online service that makes capitalizing on corporate matching gift programs much more convenient for organizations. Many in the nonprofit sector, even those in development, fail to realize how many potential donors work at companies that offer matching gift programs. Additionally, many employees at these companies are either unaware of their company’s matching program or cannot easily access the pertinent information and forms to participate. Double the Donation aims to address both challenges by providing organizations with customizable web pages that feature its searchable matching program database which it actively manages and updates. Cost: Pricing begins at $240 per year and increases based on the organization’s number of donors/volunteers. Potential Uses: Set up a matching gift landing page for your site and highlight participating companies' specific cities.
Mobile Roadie - Create and manage your own mobile apps
Overview: Mobile Roadie makes it easy to establish a mobile presence without any knowledge of web design or development (i.e., no coding is required!). Organizations that may not have the resources or expertise to create a mobile site or app now have a powerful tool to do so. Users can create custom mobile sites as well as iPhone/Droid/iPad apps using Mobile Roadie’s expansive suite of style options (icon sets included!) and features including push notifications, user badges, pop-up videos and e-commerce, among many others. Mobile Roadie’s platform can also be integrated with other online sources where your content may already exist, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Eventbrite, Flickr and Foursquare. Once your app is complete, Mobile Roadie will also help guide you through app submission process. Cost: Pricing is based on platform: mobile site is free, iPhone app is $99 per month, and iPad app is $299 per month. Potential Uses: Permanent mobile presence (San Diego Zoo case study), targeted advocacy/marketing/fundraising campaigns, self-guided tours, conferences and events (Midem case study).
Litmus - Test your HTML e-mails live in virtually every e-mail client
Overview: Litmus is an online tool that lets you test your e-mail campaigns in 30+ e-mail clients and devices. Many nonprofits rely heavily on HTML e-mail campaigns for fundraising, volunteer engagement and newsletters. Litmus ensures that the recipients of your e-mails view them exactly how you intended. Major e-mail marketing services (e.g, MailChimp, Constant Contact, ExacTarget) have come a long way in terms of ensuring end-user e-mail client compatibility, though Litmus does a much more thorough job. If you are unsure whether this tool would be useful for your HTML e-mails, just test it out for free on the Litmus website. The monthly cost may seem steep, but you may only need it for several months, and when you consider the implications of a successful (or unsuccessful) marketing campaign, it may be a steal for your nonprofit! Cost: Basic plan begins at $49/month and increases with features up to $299/per month. Potential Uses: One-time use to test HTML templates or ongoing testing for e-mail marketing campaigns.
Chartbeat - Real time web and marketing analytics
Overview: Chartbeat provides you with real-time dashboards for your key website and social media analytics. The best way to understand Chartbeat is simply to spend a few minutes exploring the demo dashboards. Using Chartbeat can save any nonprofit, especially those without a dedicated social media manager, a tremendous amount of time tracking and analyzing data from multiple online channels. Unfortunately many nonprofits spend too little or too much time gathering website and social media data. Chartbeat helps shift the focus from gathering your data to actually using it to drive tangible decisions. Cost: Base plan is $9.95/month and includes 5 websites and 2 administrator accounts. Potential Uses: Actively monitor and analyze website/social media metrics, screenshots for report deliverables.
SupporterWall - Raise money and showcase your supporters
Overview: SupporterWall is an online crowdfunding tool that lets you showcase donors in an interactive grid. There are many fundraising and crowdfunding tools available, though few let you showcase donors in anything beyond a simple list. SupporterWall lets you customize the number, size and funding level of each square as well as the image (e.g., a logo, ribbon) before launching your campaign. The interactive wall can be easily shared via social media as well as embedded in web pages. Cost: You can either choose an upfront $49 fee or a 6% fee on all funds raised. Potential Uses: Grassroots fundraising for specific projects where visibility is a high priority.
- Jeffrey Ader, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member
Animoto - Create stunning videos from your photos, video clips, and music
CrowdSPRING - Crowdsource your logo and graphic design
VolunteerSpot - Easily manage volunteer scheduling