Nonprofit Tools & Technology - February

Published February 21, 2013

This month we’re featuring tools for project/task management and mobile communication.
As always, our featured tools will cover a broad range of uses - from managing social media campaigns to collecting online donations. Many were not developed exclusively for nonprofits, but all are selected based on their usefulness, ease of use and cost (most, if not all, will have a free version...).
Asana – Improve the way teams communicate and collaborate.
Overview: Staff members’ e-mail inboxes and weekly status meetings are not the only places where project management should occur. Asana is a web application designed to organize tasks and then assign them to projects and people. Nonprofits often think of “capacity building” in terms of expanding or scaling, rather than greater project management efficiency. Not only can this free up critical staff bandwidth, but it also helps institutionalize all of the plans, processes and tasks. Asana addresses the problem that many nonprofits have with being unable to deconstruct projects or new initiatives into manageable tasks. While I am a big fan of many other project management tools (e.g., Basecamp, Trello), Asana seems to be the most intuitive option, and it does not include any distracting bells and whistles.
Cost: Asana is free for up to 30 users, after which plans start at $100 per month.
Potential Uses: Project management, staff training, intern management, process documentation.
Gather – Communicate via text message with your MailChimp subscribers.
Overview: Gather is a simple tool for communicating with your MailChimp subscribers via text message at an event. Once you create a simple web/mobile form, individuals can sign up and choose to be added to your MailChimp contact list if they are not already. Subscribers' numbers cannot be seen by the account administrator and are deleted after the event ends. And don’t worry – MailChimp provides the administrator with a phone number to use so your personal one is kept private. Once individuals have subscribed, you can communicate both with the entire group and with individual contacts. There are plenty of tools available for organizations to communicate with attendees before and after an event (e.g., Eventbrite, SurveyMonkey). Few, however, make it easy to communicate via text message during an event (let alone sync with your MailChimp account!).
Cost: $8.99 for 175 messages, $18.99 for 500 messages, and 2,000 for $48.99.
Potential Uses: Important announcements (e.g., venue change, race delay), volunteer management, fun interactive events (e.g., scavenger hunts, Improv Everywhere’s MP3 Experiments)
- Jeffrey Ader, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member