10 Great Tech Tools Charities Should be Using

Gabe Cooper

An unfortunate trend we’ve spotted among some nonprofits with which we work is the tendency to be locked into using a very limited set of tools provided by one or two vendors. While these tools are helpful in their own right, this narrow form of dependency means these organizations are unable to operate on a daily basis with the speed and efficiency of agile businesses.

Your organization should have at least one person in house who makes it a point to stay on the cutting edge of tech tools. But to get you started, here are 10 best-in-class nonprofit marketing tools we love that we think you should be using too.

  • MailChimp. A clean, simple, and easy to use solution for all your email marketing needs. If you listened to the Serial podcast, you know all about this one already — you know, that “7 million businesses around the world use MailChimp to send emails, newsletters, and deliver high-fives.”
  • Zendesk. There’s no excuse for poor customer service, especially with cloud-based tools like Zendesk just a click or two away. Zendesk enables nonprofits to provide customer support for their products and premiums. It can also support nonprofit programs, events, or volunteer networks.
  • SquareSpace. Need a great looking landing page fast? Not every web launch warrants six months of development and full integration with your CRM. If you’re working with tight time and cost constraints, Squarespace may be the tool for you.
  • iDonate. The place to turn for robust and easy to implement web donation forms. iDonate has giver-centric UX designed to increase giving. You can embed it in your site just like a YouTube video and it supports all the major payment processors. The fine folks at iDonate have also partnered with non-cash gift processors around the country and the form allows givers to donate 60 different types of non-cash gifts — from cars to stock to iPhones.
  • Optimizely. A great way to test and optimize different homepage concepts — even if you’re not a programmer.
  • Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. Measuring the performance of your website, app, and email strategy are key to an effective fundraising strategy, and Google Analytics is the benchmark for measuring and reporting on the web.
  • Google Apps. Google Google docs, mail, and drive have become the easiest and cheapest solution for cloud-based email and document management. Not only is the price right for nonprofits, Google offers some of the best cloud-based collaboration tools around.
  • Meldium. Sick of asking your colleague yet again for their iStock photo password yet? Can’t remember your Basecamp password to save your life? Meldium is a great way to securely store and share passwords across your team.
  • Box and Dropbox. Still storing everything on a server in your office? It’s time to move to the cloud! But don’t let someone sell you a proprietary document management system or content storage software. With Box or Dropbox, you have amazing solutions for storing, sharing, backing up, and organizing your team’s content.
  • Expensify. If you’re still using a 1990s expense reporting tool, Expensify is for you. It’s a cloud-based expense tool that hooks directly and securely into your credit card accounts for new expense reports. It even allows you to add receipts by taking a picture with your phone.

Give a few of these tech tools a try. We think you’ll love them — and your team will too!

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