9 Super Productivity Tools for Nonprofits

Terry Ibele 28 May 2018 0 comments
Productivity Tools for Nonprofits

Alyssa Smith* had no idea what she was getting into when she landed her first role as the Admin Coordinator at a small association in Chicago.

While her duties seemed clear-cut in the job description, she quickly realized what a mess everything was on the inside. On top of managing the general administrative work, she was also expected to help plan events, manage members, and promote the organization online.

Although she loved the staff and members of the association, in her words, “The juice wasn’t worth the squeeze.” After working one too many late nights, she was ready to quit — that was until she met the Sarah*, the admin of a similar-sized association at a conference.

It turned out that Sarah shared a similar workload to Alyssa, but didn’t share the same stress levels, and she rarely stayed late. It wasn’t that this other admin was a harder or smarter worker. 

Her secret? 

She used a number of free and inexpensive productivity tools to automate much of her work — things like scheduling social media posts, managing board tasks, updating member profiles, and more — saving hours every week.

Alyssa went back to the office with Sarah’s list of tools. Not surprisingly, by the end of the week, she was able to relieve a lot of the stress that came with trying to juggle multiple hats, while saved hours of manually processing tasks herself.

If you find yourself struggling to keep up with everything you have to coordinate in your work, I encourage you to browse this list of productivity tools (some of which Alyssa now swears by) to see which ones might help you out. Every tool in the list has a free basic version or trial. Even if a tool can save you just one hour a week, it may be worth exploring.

I’ve sorted the list alphabetically and included the pricing and highlights of each tool to help you decide which are best for you.

*names changed for privacy

 

9 Super Productivity Tools for Nonprofits

 

1) Board Director

  • Great for: Board management
  • Use it to: Communicate, collaborate, and share documents with board members all in one place
  • Cost: Free 21-day trial, plans starting at $299/month

Board Directory Productivity Tools

Do you struggle with important emails from board members getting lost in your inbox? Does your board often miss notes from you for the same reason?

If you run into issues communicating with your nonprofit board members, Board Director could be a good solution for you.

Board Director is a portal that allows nonprofit workers and board members to share information, collect documents, collaborate, and schedule board meetings all in one place. No more digging through your inbox to find that important meeting date!

As you can see from the screenshot, you get a snapshot of all the board’s activities. You can also post your nonprofit’s latest updates to keep the board well informed, and save documents (think governance docs and financial statements) in one spot for easy access.

 

2) Capitalize My Title

  • Great for: Quickly creating proper titles, or formatting large amounts of text.
  • Use it to: Instantly Title Case, Sentence Case, UPPER CASE, etc. any sentence.
  • Cost: Free

Capitalize My Title Productivity Tools

Do you know the rules to capitalizing words in a title?

I don’t.

That’s why I use Capitalize My Title all the time. It instantly formats any sentence I’ve written as a proper title. You can also use it to format any sentence into:

Sentence case

UPPER CASE

lower case

First Letter Capitalization

It’s simple to use. Just copy and paste your text into its text-area and choose which type of capitalization you’d like. That’s it.

 

3) Dropbox

  • Great for: team collaboration
  • Use it to: Send, receive, and store large files
  • Cost: Get 2 GB of space free with a basic account; upgrade to Plus for 1 TB for $12.99/month

Dropbox Productivity Tools

Do you work with a lot of large files at your nonprofit? Do you struggle with sending big images or PDFs via email, or even use a flashdrive to move files from one computer to another?

Dropbox is a free file storage solution that helps you access files from anywhere with ease. Not only can you pull up videos, documents, and other files from any device (all you need is an Internet connection), but you can also send large files with ease.

Simply upload your file to your Dropbox account, and email a link to your recipient. No more waiting for files to upload to a server, or getting flustered with large files that take up valuable space in your inbox.

 

4) Focus Booster

  • Great for: Getting rid of distractions
  • Use it to: Enhance your concentration
  • Cost: Free starter plan; premium plans start at $2.99/month

Focus Booster Productivity Tools

Do you have too many tasks on your to-do list? Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start?

That’s where Focus Booster can potentially help. This app can help inundated workers kick procrastination to the curb with a digital timer. Based on the Pomodoro Technique, the app breaks tasks and your workday into shorter work intervals (traditionally around 25 minutes) with short breaks in between.

Working in sprints with frequent mental breaks can help increase concentration and keep you mentally refreshed — which ultimately makes you more productive.

 

5) Grammarly

  • Great for: Checking spelling and grammar mistakes as you type
  • Use it to: Communicate with your contacts and coworkers worry-free
  • Cost: Free, with premium features.

Grammarly Productivity Tools

Have you ever pressed send on an important email, only to feel your heart to skip a beat when you noticed that glaring spelling mistake?

Whether you’re writing an email, creating copy for marketing materials, or drafting social media posts, Grammarly can help you make a great impression by automatically catching and correcting any mistakes.

Grammarly highlights your mistakes as you type (in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, emails, Facebook posts, etc.) and suggests corrections.

You can also upgrade your account to unlock more features, which will check  your sentence structure, writing style, and more.

 

6) Hootsuite

  • Great for: Social media scheduling
  • Use it to: Save time managing your organization’s social channels.
  • Cost: Free basic version, Pro version starts at $19/month (50% off for nonprofits).

Hootsuite Productivity Tools

Alyssa struggled to promote her organization’s activities on social media while keeping up with everything else in the office — so much so, that she often forgot to post at all.

With Hootsuite, all she had to do was set aside an afternoon to schedule all the organization’s updates for the next month and beyond. It ended up saving her hours each week, plus the headache of having to log into each account and post every day.

Hootsuite is a tool that allows anyone in your office to schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+.

You can also easily create analytics reports showing off basic metrics to see how well your social posts are resonating with your followers (track things like the number of readers who click your links, how many people like or retweet you, etc.).

 

7) LastPass

  • Great for: if you keep forgetting all your passwords
  • Use it to: Manage all your passwords in one place
  • Cost: Free entry-level version, premium plans starting at $2/month

LastPass Productivity Tools

Where do you keep track of all your passwords? Do you keep them all in a Word document saved somewhere? Or maybe written on a piece of paper?

If you’re looking for a secure way to keep all your passwords in one place, LastPass could be a viable alternative to writing them all down (which is a security risk).

Here’s how it works: Just install the Google Chrome extension. Create one master password (they recommend a long passphrase that’s easy to remember). Then click “Sites” in the toolbar and manually add sites that require passwords. LastPass will save the passwords for these sites as you log in, so that all you’ll need to remember in the future is your master password.

From there, you’ll only need to log into LastPass to access all those password-protected sites.

 

8) Trello

  • Great for: Project management when multiple tasks and people are involved
  • Use it to: Keep track of all your tasks and track their progress
  • Cost: Free entry-level version, Gold version starts at $5/month. Contact for special nonprofit pricing.

Productivity Tools for Nonprofits Trello

Trello is a simple project management tools that gives busy nonprofit workers an easy way to visualize their team’s tasks. You create a card for each task, add any notes, assign it to the right team member, and set a deadline, then place the card in the appropriate column. Many people set up “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done” statuses in different columns. Organizing tasks is really simple — just drag and drop each card as it goes from in-progress to complete.

 

9) Wild Apricot

  • Great for: Managing and communicating with members
  • Use it to: Register new members, accept online payments, communicate with members, set up events, etc.
  • Cost: Free basic version. Upgraded accounts start at $25/month.

Productivity Tools for Nonprofits

If you’re any type of organization that manages members (club, nonprofit, association, etc.), you probably find it difficult to keep track of who’s paid, or who’s been to which event, not to mention duplicated, erroneous, and out-of-date contact entries.

Wild Apricot’s all-in-one membership management software can be a huge time-saver. It’s comprised of a drag and drop website builder, emailing system, contact database, and event platform. The best part is that everything can be done online, so you can scrap manual data entry forever.

Wild Apricot also has a free, 30-day trial for anyone wishing to test out the system. You can access the trial simply by clicking here.


And there you have it: nine of the best productivity tools and team collaboration tools for nonprofits. Hopefully, you’ll find these tools useful at your own.

We wish you all the best with better managing your time!

 

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Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Posted by Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Published Monday, 28 May 2018 at 4:16 PM

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