Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Summary of Free Tools For Nonprofits

On Monday I attended a discussion on Free Tools For Nonprofits, which was an event of the Internet Advocacy Roundtable. There were four speakers and a question/answers part afterwards. Each speaker mentioned different tools.

Speaker #1 - Jake of Idealist

Google Analytics was the first tool mentioned. Through Google Analytics you can find out who is coming to your site, how many people are coming, and what they are doing. Map overlap is an interesting feature where you can find out the location of your website visitors.

Beth's Screencast of Google Analytics is a great resource.

Google Calendar is useful to use if your organization has offices in different locations (or in one location) to schedule meetings.

YouTube- Broadcast Your Cause - Have a page with your videos and a donate button

Speaker # 2- Annie of Center for American Progress

Google Maps and other mapping tools make it easy to make simple maps. You don't need to know Flash or have technology skills to create a map. It takes a few hours to create a map.

Examples: State of the Minimum Wage, Education Report Card

Timelines are a good tool to add to websites. The Center of American Progress added a timeline and it was the most popular feature on the site.

Tool to create timelines - xtimeline

Another type of tool is one to create charts and graphs. One tool that allows you to do this is called amCharts.

Speaker #3 - Barry of AARP

AARP used online videos for a campaign and embedded it on the AARP site and the site for the campaign.

AARP also used Facebook for a campaign and targeted college students, which was a different demographic then they were used to. They created group for this campaign and had 1200 people.

They learned that Facebook has a rule that once you reach 1000 members in a group you can't communicate with the members. One thing you can do is to create subgroups and link the groups pages to the main group.

Another tool mentioned was iConcur, which is a facebook application for petitions.

AARP will soon be launching a web 2.0 community.

Speaker #4 - Jeff of Google

Through Google Grants you can increase awareness about your organization.

Google Maps

Google Earth

iGoogle Gadgets

Google Applications - Google Docs, Calendar, GMail, GoogleTalk

Google Documents is an easy was to share updated versions of documents without sending documents back and forth by e-mail. You can edit press releases and presentations.

Questions/Answers and Other Free Tools Shared

Where to learn about free tools:

Free Tools:

What I learned

There are many free tools out there that nonprofits can use to help their mission besides social networking, blogs, sharing videos, sharing bookmarks, and sharing photos. It was very interesting to learn about the free tools to make graphs, charts, and timelines. These tools help with content on websites to make the content more interesting for visitors. Using graphs, charts, timelines, photos, videos, and maps, allow website visitors to visualize the information.

1 comment:

Ameet said...

Hi Emily! wonderful blog! Google analytics screencast was sooo useful!
Ours is a nonprofit, NGO Post. This is website, using the web2.0 & social network approach for bringing NGO's, volunteer groups and individuals together to facilitate social action through information exchange and collaboration.

Pleas do review Ngopost, spread a word about Ngopost, and share other stories/articles related to the social sector there! Thanks!