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Are You a Non-profit or NGO?
We like to work with non-profits, community and government organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Here are a few for which we've created websites:
Also click here for a case study of the Tug Pegasus Preservation Project redesign.
As we've worked on non-profit sites, we've collected a list of technology resources available for non-profits. Here are the results of that research.
Get Information on Non-profit Technology
A good overall technical resource is TechSoup--The Technology Place for Non-profits.
For software information, see IdealWare: Candid reviews and information about nonprofit software.
The Nonprofit Risk Management Center has training webinars on managing technology risk, as well as on controlling risk in fundraising, volunteer management, hiring, and other areas.
Google Earth Outreach lets non-profits tell their stories using geography as well as photos and text. For help using Google Earth and Google Maps for your non-profit, see Tutorials.
Send Email Newsletters to Members and Donors
One of the best known email marketing, surveys, and member communication organizations: Constant Contact.
Free 30-day trial of software that can be used to sign up prospects and customers who are interested in your emails and newsletters: Aweber.com.
A shopping cart plus email system, with a wide variety of payment, order tracking, and shipping options as well as membership management: 1ShoppingCart.com.
Look for Grants
If you're on a tight budget but need professional help, consider grants or other outside sources of money. The Foundation Center has physical locations around the U.S. where you can search for grants. You can also buy a subscription to their online directory. Try the search terms "Consulting services," "Publication," and "Technical assistance" in the "Types of support" field.
Buy Software Cheaply
There are software resellers that offer extremely low prices to educational institutions, teachers and students, and non-profits. Try:
Many of the large software and hardware firms offer software and/or refurbished computers at deep discounts to educational institutions and non-profits. These discounts usually aren't advertised at the top level of their websites, so expect to dig for the information.
Collect Dues on Your Site
If your budget is helped along by membership dues or other steady forms of cashflow, consider using an online membership package. There are companies that can provide your organization with hosting; blogs and discussion groups; event calendars; page designs (from basic to fancy); secure acceptance and tracking of dues and donations; password protection for member-only areas; and public and private membership directories.
Rates run from $750 to $2,000 a year for 100 to 300+ members (approximately $7.50 to $20 a year per member).
A few of these companies are:
These sites need you to tell them what you want on your forms and what you want your site to look like. Once the site is set up, they train someone on your staff to keep it up to date.
If you need help picking a package or setting up your site, we'd be happy to give you a quote.
Collect Cash Donations on Your Site
If membership isn't as important to your organization as donations, look into donation-management services. According to Online Donations: Sorting Out the Chaos, the four criteria for selecting an online donation service are:
- Costs—both upfront and ongoing. Do you have to pay a setup fee plus transaction fees, for example?
- Method of donation transfer. Does your donation go directly into your bank account or through a third-party non-profit first?
- Access to and privacy of donation data. What kinds of reports do you get and how often? Can you check donations in near real-time online?
- Integration with your Web site. Does the donation page follow your site’s style or its own style?
A few donation-management services are
See Bidding for Good (online auctions) at http://www.cmarket.com/ as a way to raise money based on donations from members or celebrities.
Salesforce.com donates access to its prize-winning online customer-relationship management (CRM) software to non-profits. "Salesforce is currently used by over 2700 nonprofits around the world to manage a wide range of organizational needs including managing constituent relationships, fund raising campaigns, volunteer opportunities, program delivery, and much more, says their website.
For more information and to apply, go to Salesforce for Non-profits.
If you need help setting up a donation site, call us--we're glad to help. Ask us for a quote that you can take to your board.
Other Ways to Collect and Manage Money
You can also pick up individual pieces of the package. For example, you can work with credit-card companies directly or go through PayPal. You can set up your own online store or work with CafePress to sell branded t-shirts, coffee cups, and other fundraising souvenirs.
Work with Credit-Card Companies Directly
This option may require you to set up three accounts, one for each of the major credit-card companies.
Create a PayPal Account
See https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_wp-standard-overview-outside for information about setting up a PayPal account. The cost is 2% to 3% plus 30¢ USD per transaction (in 2007). See https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_wp-standard-pricing.
Add Your Organization to Donation Sites
The iGive network has contracts with various online retailers to collect a donation from each purchase you make through the iGive website. You can put your organization into iGive simply by adding it as a member. Then you can create links to the iGive site from your site. For more information, see http://www.igive.com/html/ourcauses.cfm and http://www.igive.com/html/causeresources.cfm (you may need to create a login). Also see http://www.igive.com/causetoolbox/.
GoodSearch.com is a search engine that donates 50 percent of its advertising revenue to the charities and schools designated by its users, and GoodShop.com is a portal to shopping sites. GoodShop.com donates 3 percent or more of each purchase made through the site to designated charities. Both were founded by netrepreneurs Ken Ramberg, founder of JOBTRAK (now a division of Monster.com), and JJ Ramberg, an MSNBC anchor and the former director of marketing at Cooking.com. To apply to add your organization to the site, go to http://www.goodsearch.com/AddCharity.aspx.
Sell Souvenirs and T-shirts
Use CafePress to sell souvenirs (bibelots, tschotskes) with your logo on them. They do the printing, payment collection, and fulfillment (i.e., they mail out the package for you). There's no upfront cost to you.
You don't have a logo? Let us design one for you. Call us for prices.
Get Free Stuff
Many localities and local branches of national organizations such as Goodwill Industries have reuse and recycling centers. Companies donate building materials, office equipment, furniture, appliances, and so on, and your organization can get them for free (you may have to pick them up yourself, though).
In the five boroughs of New York City, for example, art organizations or organizations doing art with their clients can get donated materials through Materials for the Arts, http://www.mfta.org/. See also art materials resource center (Long Island): http://www.materialresourcecenter.org/ and the education resource center http://www.justgive.org/index.html.
For a list of state recycling centers, see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's State-Specific Exchange page. Or search for "recycling reuse donations" and "schools," "non-profits," and similar terms.
Get Professional Help for Free
Gerry Weinberg points out in his touchstone book, The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving & Getting Advice Successfully, that you can pay a consultant in more than one way (p.186). So please call us. Perhaps we can do a trade or you can offer us some publicity through your organization. If you have a simple problem, maybe we can help you out over the phone.
But also check out these foundations. They may be able to send technical people for free to your organization to create a website or just get your computers working better:
Many large firms encourage their employees to volunteer. Search the websites of large corporations in your area for "volunteering" and if you find something, call the program's director to see if their employees might be able to help you.
For a self-assessment, see the University of Wisconsin Non-profit Management Education Center's nine-part Nonprofit Organizational Assessment Tool.