Nonprofit technology common problems and some possible solutions


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As a part of the NPower Northwest Tech Assessment Cohort Program, our AmeriCorps VISTA team found 8 common problems present in many small budget nonprofits. At our final meeting we presented some possible low-cost or free solutions.

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Nonprofit technology common problems and some possible solutions

  1. 1. Technology Assessment Cohort Final Meeting June 25 2012 HandsOn Tech Seattle NPower NW
  2. 2. 5:30pm Introduction and Welcome5:45pm 8 Common Problems and Solutions6:10pm Strategy Maps6:25pm Discussion ● What are the next steps for your nonprofit? ● What feedback do you have for this project? ● What worked? What didnt work?6:40pm Celebrate with Food!
  3. 3. 8Common Problems &Common Solutions Just for you!
  4. 4. Social media woes● No clear social media strategy● Too many social media channels● Different content can be found on different platforms● Create an editorial calendar● Use the hub and spoke model
  5. 5. Paper forms...● Organization still uses paper forms● Data entry is time consuming● Paper forms might not ever get digitized● Cant spot trends or perform analysis● Google Forms!● Can be embedded on website or emailed out● Use cases: event registration, volunteer intake, etc.
  6. 6. No database?● Data is in multiple places, or nowhere● Emailing Microsoft Excel documents around● Critical data may not be backed up or secure● No resources for a big database● Google Spreadsheets!● Wont replace an actual relational database, but a great starting point● Can share it and edit the same data at the same time.● Secure
  7. 7. Remembering passwords...● Passwords are hard to remember● Passwords are weak● Passwords have to be shared● Word / Excel documents are not a good place● Password lockers!● KeePass, LastPass, 1Password
  8. 8. Updating the website● Difficult to update ○ Add/Remove staff ○ Events/News● Archive past events, resources, or posts● Allow multiple people to post or update● WordPress rocks!● Add Pages for static content● Add Posts for everything else● Create user accounts for staff / authors
  9. 9. Is your data safe? Is it accessible?● Emailing files to self● Not sure about back-ups● Cant access files from home● Multiple versions of the same file● Google Drive or Dropbox!● One pretty darn safe place● Files are version-controlled● Share them and access them from anywhere!
  10. 10. Web hosting!● Who hosts your website?● How much does it cost?● How easy is it to install / set up Google Apps or WordPress?● We really, really like Dreamhost● Its free for nonprofits
  11. 11. Staff / users lack training● Who has time to learn new things?● Where are the resources?● Come to our brown bags!● 12 (noon) to 1pm on Wednesdays● Upcoming brown bags: ○ 7/11 Google Analytics ○ 7/18 Search Engine Optimization ○ 7/28 Social Media Intermediate ○ 8/1 Facebook 101● Check out our Knowledge Center too