5 (mostly free) Technology Tools Your NonProfit Needs Today

There are technologies which help us grow, which distract us from our goals, and which help us track our progress toward reaching our goals. Here are 5 tech tools that can help you stay focused and reach your organization’s goals.

Google Analytics

You don’t get website traffic, donors, advocates, clients, or volunteers just because you have a website.Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides information about your website traffic, including how your webs visitors found your site and what pages they are visiting.

This video is a great place to start learning. If you don’t already have Google Analytics set up on your website, follow the steps from Google. If you, or you staff don’t have the necessary skill set, PNP Staffing Group provides temp or project based staff support that can help you get Google Analytics setup.

Google Drive

No, I don’t own stock in Google, but I do put a lot of stock in their ever-developing tools! While not every Google product is a “must”, there are some that one simply cannot live without. Google Drive is one.

Like Google Analytics, Drive is another free product that helps you work more efficiently. It is a cloud-based service allowing users to store, share, and edit files. The ability to access documents, graphics, spreadsheets, and presentations from any device is the most immediately obvious benefit. You’ll love the way you can easily share files with team members who can edit, comment, save, and share the files. If you’re working on an appeal letter, save it to Drive and invite team members to get involved in the creation of the organization’s story. Listen to this recent podcast about using Google Drive.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite helps you manage your social media channels. You can schedule and track tweets, retweets, customize a live conference stream, follow a particular hashtag and more. The key benefit is the ability to schedule tweets and posts in advance, create routine shout-outs to your partners, and never forget #FollowFriday again. This Mashable post provides steps to get your started and on your way to being more productive.

Canva

Social media success is about engagement and great visuals engage! Canva is an online graphics tool that’s easy to use and helps you look like a pro. Canva provides templates to create images for Facebook posts, presentations, posters, flyers, and everything in-between. It’s free with premium options for advanced benefits.

A tool like Canva helps you create emotionally inspiring images that are shareable. Sharable images in social media will increase engagement, thus advancing your organization’s awareness. For example, this tweet features ASPCA’s Pet of the Week, Rex. You can practically imagine him wagging his tail and jumping up to great you at the door! With 159 Retweets and 159 Likes, this post not only seeks to help Rex find a new home but to get more people to connect emotionally with ASPCA and its cause.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn isn’t only a place to house your professional profile. It serves as a valuable tool to help nonprofit organizations find donors, board members, potential partners and advocates. StreetWise is a nonprofit organization in Chicago that serves the homeless and underserved populations with job training, placement and social services. Earlier this year, they used LinkedIn to run a grassroots campaign to add board members. Within a month, some high powered, very dedicated individuals were engaged with the organization.

Listen as “LinkedIn Evangelist” Maria Semple explains how to best leverage LinkedIn tools. For more ideas on how to move beyond the profile on LinkedIn, read Does LinkedIn Have a Role in NonProfit Fundraising by Howard Fox.

Amy DeVita is a publisher, entrepreneur, mother, wife, social media enthusiast and fan and avid supporter of the nonprofit/ for-impact sector. She has written for Top Nonprofits and Third Sector Today; she has been quoted on pieces about social media and social impact on The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She was named to the Leading Women Entrepreneurs in NJ Monthly and she is a member of Social Media for Nonprofits’ Leadership Council. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, yoga, hiking, traveling, and playing Scrabble. Amy lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two dogs. In 1984 she earned the “Most Improved Average” honor on her bowling league.

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