TechSoup@PND

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

Donor-Management Software Comparison

TechSoup Editorial Staff October 8, 2009

With so many donor-management software packages out there, it can be difficult to keep track of the tools offered by each. To help you stay organized, TechSoup has created a comparison chart, which lays out side-by-side the key features of thirteen popular donor-management systems.

Comparing Open Source Content Management Systems

Laura S. Quinn, Michelle Murrain, Maggie Starvish September 9, 2009

A Web presence is critical for almost every nonprofit, but creating a Web site can be daunting. It can take a lot of time, money, and technical expertise?things that are often in short supply. An open source Content Management System (CMS) can help.

Nonprofit Technology and Total Cost of Ownership

MaintainIT Project March 24, 2009

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a concept that frames technology as having costs and benefits that are not always reflected in the price tag. This article will help you determine the ins and outs of measuring hidden costs and values of adopting new technologies at your organization....

Upgrading Your Computer Components

Kevin Lo January 21, 2009

Upgrading your computer's RAM, hard drive, network card, or other hardware can be a cost-effective way to improve the technology available to your organization and increase productivity when your budget is tight. Here are some guidelines for deciding when to upgrade.

When To Use Consultants: Effectively Staffing Your Organization

Kevin Lo December 19, 2008

Technical volunteers can be a source of substantial help for nonprofits. Before you hire a consultant, it might be fruitful to consider if all or part of the project could be accomplished by a volunteer. Can you limit the scope of work to one or more definable, short-term projects? The Volunteers section has articles that will help you figure out what's best for you. Another reason to bring in a volunteer may simply be that you have no budget for a consultant. However, in many cases, nonprofits give up before they have explored their funding options.

Technology Triage for Your Nonprofit

Kevin Lo November 18, 2008

Kevin Lo, a technology analyst for TechSoup, advises nonprofits on how to be flexible and innovative with technology resources, and identify which fixes and replacements are needed most....

Use Online Surveys to Get the Feedback You Need

Yann Toledano October 22, 2008

What do your constituents think about your programs and services? What kinds of activities are your donors likely to fund? Should your organization initiate a new program? Rather than resort to using telepathic powers or mind reading, an online survey is a powerful research tool that can deliver the feedback you need. Paper-based surveys are often too costly and time-consuming to administer, but online surveys make it easy for any organization to get feedback on the cheap....

Networks 101: An Introduction to Server Applications

Tom Jelen, Russ King September 12, 2008

Computer networks can range from a simple peer-to-peer network to a more complex client-server network. While a complicated network can generally perform more advanced functions, it requires more involved planning, particularly in regard to the server applications used. The following is just a brief introduction to the most common types of server applications....

Tips for Buying Refurbished Computers

Chris Peters August 19, 2008

While nonprofits may hold on to hardware equipment until the last bit of life has been squeezed out of it, many corporations abandon working computers in good condition after just three or four years of use. While this equipment may be outdated for the bleeding-edge needs of a large enterprise, that doesn't mean that it doesn't have years of life that it can offer your organization — especially when its components have been examined and updated by a professional refurbisher....

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.