Posted in Tips & Resources on 8:54 am
Here’s our not completely comprehensive (but pretty darn close) list of free and super low cost tools to help your non profit communicate better.
Enjoy and please be sure and add your favorite free tools in the comments. You might win a prize.
WordPress – Let’s start with the mother of all free things! You can create so much more than a blog with WordPress. Thanks to the ton of free, or low cost, templates (called themes) you can create a really nice website in a matter of minutes. The fun doesn’t stop there! Check out all the f tools and widgets you can add to your WordPress site, from contact forms, to calendars, and spam stoppers. WordPress themselves just introduced a great suite of widgets, called JetPack, and they plan to add more.
Google Analytics – Google has a whole suite of free services for the world, and some that are only free for nonprofits. Analytics is a must have for your website. Use it to track who came to your site, how they got there, and what they looked at. It can be as easy or as complex as you need. Thanks to Nancy Schwartz for recommending this tool.
TweetMeMe – Make it easy for people to share your awesome posts with the TweetMeMe button. Try it out now by clicking ‘ReTweet’ above.
Disqus – Disqus (pronounced ‘discuss’) is a really nice blog commenting interface. It threads comments and alerts you to new ones. We really hope it doesn’t get drowned out by the new Facebook Comments, which kind of freaks us out.
Feedburner – Quickly and easily burn and manage an RSS feed for your website or blog.
Skitch – Need easy screenshots? Want to add notes or drawings to them? Skitch, a Mac only program, makes this easy and has killer sound effects.
iMovie & Garage Band – These aren’t technically free, but if you are a Mac owner they came with your computer. Both of them are seriously easy to use and will make you a movie and podcast producing pro.
Wylio.com – Need great pics for your blog posts? Turn to Wylio where you’ll find Creative Commons licensed photos to bring life to your posts. Wylio instantly adds attribution to the pics, giving credit where credit is due.
Picnik – Sometimes you just need to re-size or touch up a photo and you don’t want to crank up Photoshop to do it. Enter Picnik.com. Upload your photo to this site and you can edit, share and print.
Jing - Want to describe to your co-workers how to do something on the web or in an application? Use Jing to film a screencast and then share it.
Zipcast – Real time video presentations with slides. For free! Brought to you by the folks at Slideshare, Zipcast let’s you upload your slides and then present them, with or without video, instantly. The free version only allows audio via the web and includes ads.
Prezi – Get your audience engaged and wow them a little with this super fun alternative to Power Point. Free version available.
Hootsuite & Tweetdeck – These two applications have emerged as the leaders for managing your social media streams. With them you can schedule updates and get a one screen view of your timeline & saved searches. Hootsuite has paid options, which allow for group management and more accounts, but you can get a ton of use out of it for free.
Twitterwall – Display the tweets from a hashtag at conferences or presentations. Just enter your search term or hashtag, add an image if you like, and poof! Your tweets appear.
Tabsite – Create a custom landing page or tab for your Facebook Page. In all honesty, I am still trying to decide which company does this best at the most affordable price. Tabsite is getting some strong endorsements from people I trust.
Evernote – We have the biggest crush on Evernote. This handy app lives on your computer, phone and the web. Use it to organize your notes, which can be anything from web pages, to audio, photos or text. All these notes are magically and instantly synced between your devices. Use it for capturing blogging ideas on the go, cataloging reference material, keeping a to do list and for organizing trips. It is highly flexible. Want more ideas on how to use Evernote? Let me Google that for you.
Dropbox – Share big or small files without resorting to email. Dropbox works well for sharing when you have multiple docs you want to share. It can also be used to back up files on your computer, giving you free cloud storage.
IdeaEncore – Get more productive by not reinventing the wheel. IdeaEncore is a trove of nonprofit resources, some free, some low cost. You can find anything from fundraising how to guides to marketing plans.
Now it’s your turn.
Add your favorite free (or super low cost) resource in the comments. After we get 5 comments and suggestions we’ll randomly select one commenter for a prize.