Nonprofits have inefficient processes like any other operation, but typically less time to get to the bottom of them. The majority of a nonprofit’s focus is on their mission, and their resources are better used towards the end goal rather than resolving internal issues.
The groundwork to make an effective nonprofit is somewhat straightforward, but making it more efficient requires some minor tweaking. Luckily there are a variety of free or low cost software programs available to help you organize projects, store data in the cloud and much more.
Here are several software programs and applications to make your nonprofit more efficient:
Collaborate on Tasks & Projects
Asana skips the hassle of email strings by hosting all tasks and conversations in one place. After creating a task and assigning colleagues to the assignment, documents and comments can be easily accessed by the team and viewed by everyone. Instant notifications let you know when there’s been an update.
Google for Nonprofits
Offers organizations access to highly discounted or free products. These tools can help find new donors and volunteers, work efficiently, and get supporters to take action. Their tools for word processing and spreadsheets even allow for multiple people to be working in the same document at the same time, thus avoiding the nightmare of version control.
This free software allows you to create little cards of projects and tasks and categorize them as Ideas, To-Do, Doing and Done. Users can easily click and drag the card into new categories and add information such as due dates, checklists, attachments, comments and more. Trello is great for ongoing team projects.
Similar to Asana, Basecamp is a project management system that shares updates in real time. The Daily Progress timeline allows you to track your project’s progress; To-Do lists keep your projects on time, and everything submitted is signed and date stamped. 97% of customers that use it recommend Basecamp.
Share/Edit Documents via the Cloud
Dropbox is an online storage company that provides a home for your documents, video and files. Everything you upload is accessible from your computer, smartphone, tablet and the Dropbox website from any location. There are over 200 million active users and the new update Dropbox 3.0 was recently released.
Upload your photos, videos, documents and other files and access them from anywhere. Google Drive also allows you to create docs, sheets, and slides. Start off with 15GB of storage, and as with most Google software, Google Drive is free of charge.
A smartphone app that allows users to easily record, edit, and share videos in just a few taps. The design is slick, the functionality is cutting-edge, and the reviewers are raving. It’s a useful tool for mobile social networkers.
Quickly Capture Feedback
Online forms are a great way to get feedback about your operation. Wufoo not only helps you design the online form, they will also build the backend, database and scripts necessary to collect and support the data. You can also integrate payments, receive instant notifications, and brand the form to your organization.
Qualaroo helps you collect customer feedback fast and easy. The forms are simple to set up and allow you to design and target instantly. All results and comments are recorded for you to review later. The collected data will help you make decisions on what works for your nonprofit and what needs to change.
Coordinate Calendars without the Hassle
To avoid rescheduling a meeting or event, Doodle sends an invite out to your list and asks them when they are able to meet. Doodle then coordinates the information between all of your calendars, whether it’s Outlook, Google, Yahoo, or iCal. You can also schedule appointments with BookeMe or MeetMe.
Google Apps Calendar
Calendar, another free application provided by Google, helps you organize your month and send reminders to your phone and inbox. You can easily share your calendar with teammates and create a website event calendar for appointments. Files and documents can also be attached to share.
The 21st century has introduced a wide variety of useful software and there seems to be an announcement of new applications every month. Technology has been kind to the reach and overall mission of nonprofits and you can dramatically improve your organizational tactics within days. Everyone knows the old adage: “Work Smarter – Not Harder.” Start working smarter today with these online tools.
To be continued…
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay (http://www.bluepay.com), offering non-profit credit card processing solutions. The brings more than 15 years of experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management, and marketing to the company and also serves on its Board of Directors.