We've written before about the challenges nonprofits face trying to accomplish all the things they want with a tight budget, small staff, and limited resources. Clients ask us all the time for specific tools that can help them put their best foot forward online without blowing the budget.
So we put together a list of options to check out if you want to take things to the next level and compete with organizations that are double, or even triple your size. Have other suggestions for tools that have worked for you? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet at us @creativesci.
Social Media ManagementSo many networks, so little time! That's the refrain from many small nonprofits trying to do their part on social media while managing hundreds of other tasks. When you don't have a full-time employee dedicated to managing your social accounts, it can easily become disorganized and an afterthought as it's bounced from person to person in your organization.
Try these tools to keep the load lighter and for a streamlined social media strategy:
- Hootsuite: Their dashboard allows you to manage multiple accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. Schedule posts, set up endless lists and search terms, and even assign posts to team members to respond to.
- Bit.ly: This link shortener has been around for a while, but it's a classic, easy-to-use tool for posting on Twitter, and it has some great customization options.
Check these tools out for email assistance:
- MailChimp: Start with their free package and move up as you grow your community. Integrate it with tons of apps, and connect it to your ecommerce.
- Constant Contact: Set up personalized, auto-emails for birthdays or special groups and track them in real time.
Graphics & MediaMore than ever, beautiful photos, eye-catching graphics, and compelling videos are the king of content. Add a couple of free or inexpensive media editing tools to your roster and invest in free tutorials to learn the basics. No need to be National Geographic, but you should learn the best practices (try a free trial on Lynda.com) of producing quality, online media.
Two must-have tools for graphics and media:
- Pixlr: Skip Photoshop and use this free web app to touch up photos, crop to size, and make simple graphics.
- FlickrCommons: Flickr remains a great resource for public-use photos. Check out the Commons and sort through photos based on permissions. Tons of nonprofits post photos here.
Project Management & CommunicationEven a small team needs to stay organized, and when you're all juggling multiple roles and responsibilities, that's where project management tools come in handy. Keeping track of deadlines, milestones, tasks, and assets is much easier using these tools rather than combing through emails and internal folders.
These two tools solve just that:
- Trello: This free dashboard arranges projects and tasks into "cards" that you can organize, assign, and update with all the minute details, from outreach lists and major campaigns, to events and content development.
- Slack: You may have read 700 articles by now about how Slack has replaced email for hundreds of companies, and there's good reason for it. This chat-based app may not become your sole method of communication, but it's great for cutting down on long email threads, organizing topics (work & play), and quickly reviewing assets or copy.