5 Ways to Leverage Technology to Boost Community Impact
Power your nonprofit organization to do more GOOD by leveraging the technology and digital assets right at your fingertips! From online volunteer calendars and coordination tech tools to digital activism and online awareness, the technology to boost your community impact is but a click away. Start with these 5 tech strategies
1. Organize volunteers online: Use free online volunteer scheduling tools with automated reminders to recruit and engage more volunteers and donors for your organization or cause. Software Advice, a company that researches volunteer management systems, recently released a report revealing several key (and surprising) findings about how nonprofits across the country are engaging and organizing volunteers.
For example, when asked what was the top requested functionality by nonprofit organizers in management software, the SoftwareAdvice.com Volunteer Management Report found tracking volunteer hours and volunteer activity, as well as streamlining communication as the three largest draws.
Why then are 63% (according to the survey) still using paper signup sheets and tedious spreadsheets to organize volunteers? Not to mention "reply-all" emails! It can be hard to make the leap into the digital world and the assumption often is that centralized software is expensive - trying free online tools with intuitive scheduling features, automated reminders, eCalendar syncing and hours tracking is a great place to start. Try it out now
3. Encourage digital activism: Remember the "Ice Bucket Challenge" that had millions of people around the world seeing videos in their facebook and twitter feeds, bringing awareness to the battle against ALS? Digital activism like this optimizes on the viral nature of social media, bringing causes and organizations to light through creative, eye-catching online campaigns. While your nonprofit might not need to reach the world just yet, you can lead the fight for your cause in your own community with an online campaign the encourages followers and community members to take one single action to spread the word - whether it's taking and sharing a video, posting a photo hold a sign, sharing a campaign hashtag, or simply donating and spreading the word.
4. Boost your online presence: Can your website easily be found online? How about your facebook or twitter communities? Your nonprofit's digital footprint is a great benchmark for measuring how and where your organization can grow their online presence. Easy, powerful ways to start using social media to broaden your nonprofit's online reach include:
Connect with 'like' organizations in your community
Send regular e-correspondence to volunteers, donors & followers
Still trying to grow your social followers and online visitors? Make sure to post your website, facebook address and twitter handle on all marketing and event materials - from eNewsletters to signs, flyers, brochures, you name it!
5. Make donating online easy: Shopping online and checking out with a click seems so commonplace these days - one would think donating online is always just as easy, but that's simply not the case. A Nielsen Norman Group study revealed 25% of nonprofit respondents failed to even have a "Donate Now" call to action button on their own homepage.** Being as clear and straightforward with the ask for a donation is an absolute must in the digital age for nonprofits that are going to steadily raise money and grow their community impact. The NNG study also revealed that the clear calls to action like "Donate" and "Donate Now" outperformed similar counterparts include the word "Contribute" as far as respondents reported being willing to click.
In order to maximize your nonprofit's reach, recruit more hands-on support and loyal donors, and ultimately boost community impact, leveraging technology is absolutely necessary in the digital age - get online today!