Sunday, May 15, 2011

Interestingly Useful Resources for Nonprofits

Last month I read a blog post by Heather Mansfield entitled 22 Fun, Useful, and Totally Random Resources for Nonprofits. Even as a person working in technology I find it a challenge sometimes to keep up with all that is new so her title caught my eye. The whole blog is worth a read when you have the time. For now I am sharing some of Heathers thoughts on a few of them and adding in one of my own.

5. BrainyQuote - Heathers’ comments: “A directory of quotes by famous people, this websites list thousands of inspirational quotes useful for Tweeting and Facebook Status Updates. A good quote is certain to garner your nonprofit Retweets and thumbs up on Facebook any day of the week.”

I am including this in my list because I like how random thoughts can sometime help us become creative in solving problems that are completely unrelated. For the few seconds it takes first think in the morning or going into a lunch break it a great way to stimulate new thoughts.

13. Internet Archive Wayback Machine - Heathers’ comments: “This resource is always good for a laugh. Simply plug in your nonprofit’s website URL and you can see cached versions of your site going back to 1996. Love it!”

For fundraisers it is also a good way to look at what organizations a potential sponsor has funded in the past and perhaps why. It’s also a good reminded for us all that what goes online, potentially STAYS online.

16. Square - Heathers’ comments: Part-smartphone app, part-hardware device, Square enables the processing of credit card payments on your smartphone. Great for farmers’ market vendors, silent auctions, and fundraisers on the go!

Although there might not be much use for this in the world of managing volunteers (and only available currently in the USA) I have included it here as an example of one of the vast number of ways that cloud* based technology is going to change our lives. Does your nonprofit and your volunteer management strategic plan include moving to the cloud? If not you will likely spend more on technology than you need to and get less back from it. (*data and software stored on servers on the internet rather than on our desktop or company servers)

19. Twitter Mosaic - Heathers’ comments: “A website that allows you to create an image with a mosaic of your Twitter Followers’ avatars. Useful for web campaigns, Twitter Mosaic also provides the ability to create t-shirts that include your nonprofit’s Twitter name and your mosaic of Followers.”

Aside from a cool way to show your sense of community I have included it on my list as yet another reminder to us all about how many creative ways there are to share data.

22. Worldometers - Heather’s comments: “A website that provides world statistics updated in real-time in categories ranging from world population to stats about energy and water consumption.”

This one really fits under the random and fun headers in the blog title and should only be visited when you have a few minutes to be amazed and process some highly thought provoking information.

My addition - Our Shared Resources – It doesn’t have the broad reach that Heather’s pick have but it’s great for those in the volunteer sector. This is a free service where those who work in the field of volunteer management can add useful resources and others in the field will be able to access them. It currently has almost 900 registered users (you don’t need to register to access materials) from over 30 countries and more than 300 resources.