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Posted by tzuche on 17/01/2012 - 11:04 Categories: Development, Social Media, Social Media and Community, Website Management

One of the largest web shifts over the last few years has been the increasing move to a real social web. From the ubiquitous Facebook "Like" button to Google’s new +1, it’s never been easier to share what you’ve found exploring. But sometimes clicking the share button just isn’t enough.

For the social web to come alive and really spark change, users need to be given other actions to take beyond standard sharing. We’re constantly exploring new and improved ways to mobilize communities; here are three sites that ask users to do more than simply hit share, but instead to take an action and to be part of something real.

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There is little argument that email and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are fast becoming mandatory tools for supporter outreach. These communication channels provide nonprofit organizations with an immediate and effective way to solicit, cultivate, and engage donor support.

From a pure fundraising standpoint, email and social media channels are only effective when the recipient is able to respond immediately to a CTA (call to action). At best, your CTA message is going to be read once, so if that message is compelling enough to cause the recipients to donate, then they must be able to do so immediately.

So what can you do?

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Posted by tzuche on 17/01/2012 - 10:53 Categories: Social Media, Social Media and Community

In an ever-changing world of social media and web collaboration, tools for user interaction and engagement are becoming increasingly prevalent. Many non-profits have embraced features such as forums, blogs, user profiles, and photo/video sharing as a means to extend their reach.

Your organization may have implemented any number of social tools in the past, or may be considering doing so in the future, but with these decisions often come concerns about how to best address your audience’s diverse needs. These needs may relate to accessibility and the user-friendliness of your site for those with auditory, visual, cognitive or mobility impairments.

This blog post is not meant to explain the nuances of accessibility, nor will it explore all of the dimensions of building a social site, but it will discuss key considerations when working to make your online presence social while remaining accessible to all users.

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Posted by tzuche on 11/01/2012 - 16:19 Categories: Manage Workstations, Office Software, Software

Is your public library or nonprofit ready for a move to Office 2010? Will any of the new features benefit your organization? Will an upgrade to Office 2010 impact compatibility with older versions of Office or other productivity suites? In this article, we’ll briefly outline the new features in Office 2010. Next, we’ll discuss the package’s touted collaboration features and discuss how they might change your organization’s workflow. Finally, we’ll look at compatibility issues with older versions of Office.

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Posted by tzuche on 11/01/2012 - 15:39 Categories: Servers and Networks, Software

Microsoft SharePoint offers organizations a collection of tools for managing and prioritizing tasks and information through a single server. Often described as a content management system and a collaboration suite, SharePoint could also be called an integrated knowledge-management platform. It includes features to help organizations more seamlessly collaborate online, manage processes, search for data, manage and share documents, host sites, access stored information, and even create and manage wikis and blogs.

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Posted by tzuche on 11/01/2012 - 15:10 Categories: Software

Imagine only being able to run one software program at a time on your computer. What if, in order to check your email, you had to turn off your office application? What if you had to close your PDF reader in order to use the Internet?

While we take for granted that we can use more than one software application at a time, we seldom consider running more than one operating system at once. Virtualization software — programs that allow you to run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single computer — allows you to do just that. Using virtualization software, you can run multiple operating systems on one physical machine.

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Posted by tzuche on 11/01/2012 - 15:03 Categories: Organize and Manage Data, Research and Business Analytics, Software

 

Ever wonder how well received your annual dinner event is? Looking to evaluate a new program? Need to collect data for a big research project? Surveys can be a huge help in understanding what your constituents think and how successful your programs are.

And good tools can be a big part of that. Online survey tools can be a very cost-effective way for delivering surveys and collecting and analyzing results through one central system. While they’re not going to be the right fit for every research need (for instance, a paper survey is likely to get a much-higher response rate at an in-person event, and provide more accurate data among populations that are not as comfortable with computers), online surveys are great for gathering informal data quickly and easily.

There are a number of these tools available. How do they compare? Idealware spoke to three nonprofit staff members with extensive survey experience, consulted postings on a number of nonprofit listservs, and scoured reports and article on the topic. Below, we walk through the online survey tools that have worked for others, and might work for you as well.

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Posted by tzuche on 11/01/2012 - 14:59 Categories: Go Green, Software

 

As high-speed Internet connections become more commonplace, software companies are forgoing traditional boxed packages and instead offering their products for download over the web. Although free programs and trial versions of commercial applications have long been available online, many software vendors are now selling full versions of their programs as downloads. Many of TechSoup's donor partners' products can also be requested via electronic download.

Obtaining software via electronic software distribution (ESD) is often a more convenient option than purchasing packaged software, but it's also a more environmentally friendly approach that cuts down on the amount of cardboard boxes, CDs, and plastic wrap that eventually ends up in landfills.

If you're new to downloading software, you might have a few questions. So before you fire up your browser and get down to business, acquaint yourself with some of the basic concepts surrounding downloading software.

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Posted by tzuche on 11/01/2012 - 14:33 Categories: Manage Workstations, Software

Software is an unavoidable part of any nonprofit's budget. Even if your software is free or donated, implementing the software and training your staff to use it mean time and money. In this article, we'll talk about a few donation programs and discount resellers as well as a few software companies that donate products directly to nonprofits. Knowing what discounts and donations might be available to your organization, you can make a more informed decision about what software to invest time and money in.

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Posted by tzuche on 11/01/2012 - 14:27 Categories: Manage Donors and Constituents, Organize and Manage Data, Software

Is tax season a time of time of stress, chaos, and panic or a relatively trouble-free period? Can you access the information you need in your accounting software, create reports, and track restricted funds, or does just logging on make you worry about crashing your computer?

The accounting software you use will make or break this time of year for you and can mean the difference between a painful tax season and an easy one. If you’re struggling to create reports, track expenses and complete the necessary tasks, it may be time for a new system. Maybe we can’t prepare your taxes for you, but we can suggest a few tools to help.