Al treilea sector
Data: 11.04.2013

Low-budget IT solutions

Appropriate online tools can help your organization promote the cause it is fighting for in a better, clearer and nicer way. This doesn’t cost you a fortune!   

Mădălina Oprișan, online editor AlTreileaSector.ro

Over 90% of internet users go online at least once a day and access social media channels. If you want your organization to be in the same place with everyone else, here are some online solutions that will ease your work.

25 online applications for the third sector

Ease.ly si Visua.ly – free tools for creating inforgraphics

Asana si Toggl – applications for efficient teamwork

Bursabinelui.roDonatie.ro or Crestemidei.ro – fundraising tools

Cloud computing

Efficiency and teamwork

Want to communicate real time with your team? Make it a habit to upload documents online and share them. No, you don’t need an expensive server for this. Google Drive can help, because it allows you to have the same calendar with your colleagues, to edit documents together and to keep your archives online, offering up to 5 GB for this. For more online storage, you can use the SkyDrive from Microsoft (7GB) and for less, use Dropbox (2GB)

When sharing tasks and team projects, Asana is a free application that makes it easy for you and keeps you up to date with the evolution of all the projects you work for. If you are curious to know how much time you spend on Facebook (61% of U.S. users have taken at least a break) and how much you actually work, Toggl measure the time and tells you at the end how much time you spent for each project.

solutii IT

When you write a report, a text or a presentation and you want to do it in silence, use OmmWriter – the application that makes your computer quiet while working on important documents.

Small budgets for events? Online tools save you!

Want to do a webinar or a low-budget training for all your colleagues who are not in the same city? Use Justin.tvAnymeeting sau Google Plus HangOut for your online meetings.

If you want to make a session with your colleagues when working on certain documents or if you want to ask for opinions on reports and presentations, use LiveMinutes – a service that helps you create documents while chatting live with people.

Hassle-Free Information

If you already have a database with the ones you want to keep up to date with what is happening in your organization, use MailChimp, a free system by which you can create and send newsletters. In addition, those interested in the work of your organization can also subscribe to your Facebook page.

You have Romanian solutions as well: Conectoo is an application that helps you send up to 3000 free messages per month.

Who, what and when is talking about your organization?

If you want to be the first to know what is written online about your organization, you use Zelist Monitor or MediaIQ – online monitoring services that offer special packages for NGOs.

You can also try LiveFeedBack – an application created by a Romanian, free for NGOs, through which you can see in real time what people think about you. You can even use LiveFeedBack as a contact form.

In order to be aware of what is happening or what is most searched on Google, you can use Google Trends and Consumer Barometer.

Infographics are fashionable

If you want to create infographics, activity reports or to present information in a comprehensible and attractive form, you can use some free tools.

Using Visual.ly you can create your own infographics by adding some data or customizing templates. Easel.ly is an even easier system: just customize with your information some of the many graphics already created.

Several tools that can create infographics are available here – http://www.seomoz.org/blog/10-tools-for-creating-infographics-visualizations

Safe and simple fundraising

In Romania there are already several online platforms that can help provide financial support for your cause. Bursabinelui.ro,Donatie.ro or Crestemidei.ro are just some of them. GoFundmeFundRaise.com and Razoo are three international plaforme can also be at hand.

Solutions for the future? Online Storage

If nongovernmental organizations currently rely on older hardware technology and very affordable communication solutions (email, Skype, intranet), in the future more and more NGOs will move online their IT infrastructure. An international study conducted by TechSoup Global in 88 countries shows that 53% of respondents plan to move much of the IT activities online. 90% say they use at least one solution for archiving, storing and working online, such as “cloud computing“, it is shown in the study.

How you use online technology to convey your organization’s message in a clear and understandable manner, depends only on your curiosity and openness to cutting-edge IT solutions. Tools exist and they are accessible to anyone who is interested in bringing online activities the “next level”.

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