TechSoup@PND

Through an arrangement with TechSoup, PND is pleased to offer a series of articles about the effective use of technology by nonprofits.

A Few Good Mapping and GIS Tools

Eric Leland  |  July 22, 2008

Imagine that you want to show your constituents where they can buy fair-trade coffee, or represent to decision-makers the lack of doctors in a particular region of town. Perhaps you want to communicate the disparities of housing levels and heath indicators across different counties, or show the impact of polluted rivers on the surrounding environment. These things are hard to effectively convey in writing, but a map can be worth a thousand words....

Is Your Nonprofit a Hummer?

Jim Lynch, Willow Cook  |  July 1, 2008

While no one would ever refer to their computer, printer, or other office equipment as gas guzzlers, the truth is that a lot of the technologies we use every day consume large amounts of power. And while we may only see an outlet on the wall and a bill at the end of the month, by using energy inefficiently at our offices, many of us are operating as though we are driving around in a giant SUV....

Is Your Organization Prepared for a Disaster?

Rohish Lal  |  June 10, 2008

While your organization may not be able to control or prevent catastrophes, drafting an organized and detailed disaster plan can help minimize the loss of valuable data or equipment. In turn, your nonprofit can recover from an emergency more quickly and begin helping your constituents get through the crisis....

10 Steps to Being Found on Search Engines

Laura S. Quinn  |  May 21, 2008

You don't have complete control over where and how your Web site shows up in search engines, but you have more power than you might think. The process of site tweaking and outreach that's used to enhance your search engine placement is called search engine optimization (or SEO for short). While SEO is often described in ways that make it seem like a mystical art form, in fact none of the key steps are particularly hard to understand. They are often, however, time consuming, and most require at least the ability to update your site's text, if not basic HTML skills.

How Nonprofits Can Get the Most out of Flickr

Beth Kanter  |  May 2, 2008

Flickr is a popular online photo-sharing community that allows anyone to share and organize their digital photos with friends, family, colleagues, and the rest of the world. While many people use Flickr recreationally, it can also be a powerful tool for organizations, including nonprofits.

The True Costs of Free and Low-Cost Software

Michelle Murrain  |  April 10, 2008

Acquiring software for very little money — or even getting it for free! — can feel great. Everybody loves a bargain. But as in other aspects of life, you often get what you pay for. How do you figure out whether that bargain is really a bargain? This article will help....

Vistas of Equal Access

Jennifer Anthony  |  March 20, 2008

AmeriCorps, known for its volunteer work, including building affordable housing, tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth, and teaching computer skills, is now providing at-risk and low-income communities with information and communication technologies.

Determining Your Social Network Needs

Beth Kanter  |  February 26, 2008

We'll discuss what it means to maintain a presence on one or more online social networks, and help you evaluate what sort of presence makes sense for your organization. We'll also show you a few tips for selecting the tools that can give you the most return on your investment and ensure a successful online presence for years to come.

A Few Good Tools: Low-Cost Constituent Databases

Laura Quinn  |  January 31, 2008

Many small organizations are looking for an inexpensive way to manage constituent data. They want to consolidate information into a central place so they can find people, understand what contact they've had with them, run mailing and email lists, and keep on top of who is doing what.

A Beginner's Guide to Facebook

Soha El-Borno  |  January 9, 2008

Facebook is not just for individuals looking to keep in touch with friends; it's a very effective networking tool for nonprofits to create awareness and connect with their community, and here's a guide to getting the most out of your organization's listing.

Shared Wisdom: Recruiting and Managing Volunteers

Brian Satterfield  |  December 5, 2007

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector; without them, most budget-conscious, understaffed organizations would lack the resources to do their work. Whether your nonprofit is looking for new volunteers or just needs a more efficient way to manage and contact your current ones, technology can play an important role. Of course, the last thing you want to do is waste valuable time and money implementing a system that doesn't produce the desired results.

A Few Good Event-Registration Tools

Laura S. Quinn  |  October 10, 2007

To understand more about the types of software that might be useful in accepting online registrations for paid events, we asked eleven nonprofit technology professionals what tools have worked well for them. We then combined their thoughts to come up with a set of solid tools that might also work for you....

Online Fundraising Tactics: What Works?

Eve Fox, Karen Matheson  |  September 12, 2007

When it comes to online fundraising, there is no "one size fits all" magic formula to inspire list members to give. However, some tactics do work better than others. In an attempt to find out which strategies work best and when, we reviewed more than 180 fundraising appeals sent out over the course of the 2006 calendar year by nine prominent national nonprofit organizations (see Study Participants for a full list). We explored everything from "double your money" matching gift opportunities to deadline-driven campaigns to goal-oriented asks....

Reduce Tech-Support Requests with Cheat Sheets

Joanne Connelly  |  August 2, 2007

If you're like many nonprofit technology staffers, your time is at a premium, leaving you precious few minutes to provide colleagues with one-on-one support or to answer the same software questions again and again. Nevertheless, the help requests and questions are likely to keep coming, and it's your job to address them....

Ask TechSoup: Open-Source Tools for Fundraising?

TechSoup Editorial Staff  |  July 5, 2007

In this installment of Ask TechSoup, CompuMentor's John Lorance — Associate Director of TechCommon's Community Engagement program — asks the TechSoup community for feedback regarding open-source fundraising programs. We've taken some tips generated by his original thread in TechSoup's open-source software forum and combined them with a few pieces of John's own advice to help give nonprofits a quick overview of the available options....

Four Web Accessibility Myths — Busted

Amit Asaravala  |  June 6, 2007

There's no doubt that following best practices for Web accessibility is an important step in ensuring that your organization's Web site is open to all visitors, regardless of disability. But keeping tabs on what those best practices are can be difficult, especially when Web technologies are changing so rapidly....

Choosing Project Management Software

Don Cameron  |  March 15, 2007

Ask the executive director of a nonprofit what projects the organization is working on, and you'd best get comfortable — you're in for a long conversation. Most NPOs have multiple project running at any particular time. Managing all the associated tasks, resources, and schedules can be tricky. That's where project management software can help....