As a non-profit organization, you have a lot of information to share about your mission, events, financial reports, donations, volunteers, etc. Not only do you have a large volume of information to share, but you have to share it with a variety of different stakeholder groups. Luckily, the internet gives you a plethora of resources, even though sometimes it can seem a bit overwhelming. Today, we’re going to investigate a few options you have when it comes to sharing information with a group of people (some are even FREE).
Create you own website. Seems straightforward, right? Well, in theory it is. But it can be difficult if you do not have a background in website creation or cannot dedicate the time it takes to update the site. If you don’t have your own independent website now or are looking to revamp your site, then I suggest checking out wordpress.org. WordPress is a free Content Management System that allows users to create dynamic sites on their servers. It is fairly user-friendly for those of you who might be a little apprehensive about diving in.
Facebook Groups. Regardless of whether or not you’re operating a website for your agency, chances are that you are familiar with Facebook. If your organization doesn’t have a page, then I suggest you create one because it is an easy way to promote your mission. Facebook also allows users to create “groups” (which is different from your agency’s “page”). You can create separate groups (even with restricted access) for board members, volunteers, and donors. This will enable you to share information that might only be appropriate or applicable to that specific group. One thing to keep in mind is that Facebook is known for having a few privacy concerns and people might not be comfortable with combining their personal and professional lives on Facebook.
Email Lists. Sometimes simple is best. These days everyone is familiar with email and use it to receive information on a daily basis. Your agency probably already has a large email list, but is it being maintained? Are email addresses cleaned out if they are no longer active? If you are looking for a newsletter manager check out MailChimp or Webber. Both are effective applications that can help you manage your email subscription lists.
AllPlayers.com. What is so cool about AllPlayers.com that I’ve given them their own section in today’s blog post? Well, AllPlayers.com allows users to create a website focused on sharing information with groups of people in a simple manner, and it is all FREE. Don’t let the name AllPlayers fool you into thinking this is a service for sports teams only. There are plenty of resources on this site for non-profits to use. By using AllPlayers.com to create a site for your organization, you can update your volunteer calendar, accept donations, post announcements, and more.
Another thing I like about AllPlayers is that they allow everyone involved in the organization to register for your website. This makes keeping records up-to-date easy and simple. As a COPPA compliant organization, AllPlayers takes privacy seriously, and all of the data uploaded to AllPlayers.com can be exported.
Finally, I think the most valuable feature of AllPlayers.com is the support that you receive. You don’t need to be a “techie” to set up your site because the whole site is based on drag-and-drop technology, which makes it very easy for users to configure. This can save your agency money that otherwise would be spent on IT costs. Furthermore, AllPlayers offers free training and is even willing to set-up your site (for a small fee, of course). Your AllPlayers site can be a separate entity from your organization’s website, or it can become your stand alone website. Here are some examples of how some Boys & Girls Clubs are using AllPlayers:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove
Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington
Boys & Girls Clubs of Oxnard & Port Huneme
AllPlayers has also put together a brief presentation on how Boys & Girls Clubs can use AllPlayers.com. I invite all of you to take a look and see how you might be able to use this service. You can download the file by clicking here.
These are just a few options you have when it comes to sharing information with people already involved with your organization, but I’m sure they aren’t the only ones. What systems are you currently using? What do you like about it? What challenges do you face when it comes to sharing information? Let’s talk about it in the comment section. Please scroll down and post your thoughts!