HipChat Free for Nonprofits, Small Groups

Lori Halley 05 March 2010 3 comments

Hipchat is a new all-in-one chat application that’s specifically designed for group collaboration — free for nonprofits and for very small groups.

A desktop client that runs on Adobe Air, HipChat is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is similar to Yammer (but without the need for a company email address) and Campfire (but not web-based), so if neither of those are quite a perfect fit for your organization, you might want to check it out.

  • Chat rooms - Use rooms for departments, teams, or projects. Make them open for anyone to join, or private for only people invited.
  • File sharing - Share files in seconds for instant feedback. You control who can see them. Access files any time from the HipChat client or on the web.
  • Searchable chat history – HipChat automatically saves your conversations and files. Never forget who said what, and when. Search and acccess history anywhere you have internet.
  • Notifications – You won’t miss miss a thing thanks to HipChat’s sounds and toaster pop-ups. You can even get someone’s attention by typing “@name”.
  • Instant image preview – Share an image file and you’ll get a live preview. Perfect for creative or design teams. Hour long design sessions are a thing of the past.
 

HipChat just launched officially in late January 2010, after several months in beta testing with early adopters, and it’s good to see that the development team has already been making improvements to the applicaton based on user feedback.  It still lacks support for SMS notifications and mobile access, however, but you decide — that may not be a dealbreaker for you, depending on how your organization tends to communicate internally.

As noted, HipChat is free for nonprofits (contact HipChat for more information). There’s also a free plan for tiny groups (up to 4 members, 25 MB of file storage) that could be handy for collaborating on short-term projects, or to replace some of your face-to-face committee meetings!

For others, month-to-month pricing plans start at (Basic) $9/month for 12 members, 500 MB file storage, and 30 days of saved chat history, then go up from there for larger orgs. There’s no contract or long-term commitment, and the 30-day free trial should give you a good chance to kick the tires.

Have you tried HipChat, or another group chat application, to collaborate with others in your organization? Love to hear your comments!

 

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 05 March 2010 at 3:29 PM

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Comments

  • Blake Raab said:

    Friday, 05 March 2010 at 9:59 AM

    This is great..thanks for sharing!  I have contacted them about getting this for our organization.  It should be great for collaborating with the board members.  What's that I read about file storage?  I'm just not sure I get why/how you would be storing files with this app.

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Friday, 05 March 2010 at 10:16 AM

    File storage is for sharing files and images you want to chat about, Blake - it's a bit like a lightweight collaboration tool. And you can access those files later, from the web, if you're working on a computer that doesn't have the HipChat client installed. Look at about the 4-minute mark in the intro video for an overview.

  • Blake Raab said:

    Friday, 05 March 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Got it.  Looks like a very useful tool.

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