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Episode Info: engine pages for certain key word phrases and what position on the pages your site has. You also learn if the Google crawlers are able to index your site and if your site has duplicate content issues. I wrote about this in more detail on our blog on how you can use Google search console for your content marketing. Of course a link is in the show notes. Google MyBusiness is Google service to allow you to claim or create your location on Google Maps or create a Google Plus page, which is Google’s equivalent to a Facebook page. It might not get as much engagement as a Facebook page will, but it surely has a closer connection to Google search index. Facebook pages content hardly get indexed by Google. And lastly Google Domains. It’s a fairly new service, probably about three years old and it’s the easiest and most straightforward way to register your domain. Although, I hear you saying, “I leave all this technical jumbo jumbo or Nitti Gritti kind of, well to our web developer.” And I say, “Yes, you’re right about that.” And the web developer, however, doesn’t come on board your organization until you have raised the necessary funds and for that, you have to wait for a 501c3 letter of your IRS. Unless one of your founders contributes out of their own pockets or is actually a web developer. Nevertheless, you need to be in control of your Google account. That brings us also to the next section. Using WordPress for your Start-up Website system Jim O’Reilley: Let’s talk about your website for a moment. We recommend, pretty strongly, that you start with WordPress.com and then migrate later to a self-hosted website. In order that you don’t lose any bookmarks or any SEO information, you wanna use YourDomain.Org as the title for WordPress.Com.  A personal plan at the time of this recording for your website is $2.99 a month, billed annually at $35.88. It also removes ads from your site and gives you access to live chat and email support from the happiness engineers at WordPress.Com. You can go to the free site if you must, but just consider that when you leave the WordPress.Com or any other service, you will want to take with you the Google search rankings and that is only possible when you tie the web location to your own domain name. Once again, it’s very important to set up under WordPress.com YourOrgDomain.Org. Otherwise, the hard work you’ve spent in getting ready for good Google rankings with quality content will stay with WordPress.com and you’ll need to recreate all the content, always competing with the old content on a higher authority site.  Higher authority just means it’s older, it’s been in place longer, it’s already been looked at by an audience. If you tie it to your domain name, the search ranking going goes with your content to the new space. Equally, to the physical content being migrated to the new site. There’s a wonderful article or analogy about WordPress.Org versus WordPress.Com and it’s included in our show notes of course. Listen also to our episode number two about content management systems. Getting started with your organization’s website in episode number four. Non-profit SEO Technology in the 21st Century. Open-Source Office Application: Libre Office Birgit Pauli-Haack: Which brings us to office application and of course you can all invest in Microsoft Office, but there is a free version out there, open source, called LibreOffice, which we want to introduce you to. Another viable alternative is Google G-Suite that comes with your Gmail account. Both alternatives to Microsoft Office provide you with a document writer, a spread sheet application, a PowerPoint like application, as well as drawing and charting apps. The price is unbeatable and for organization’s team members equally affordable. Libre office, just a few notes on that, is a free and open source office suite. A project of the document foundation. It was forked or came out of Open Office in 2010, which was, some of you might remember, an early version called Star Office. It is available in 110 languages and LibreOffice also supports the file formats for most major Office Suites, including of course Microsoft Office and has a variety of import and export filters. It’s available on a variety of computing platforms including Microsoft Windows, MAC operating system, MAC OS or Linux. There’s also a LibreOffice viewer for Android available. CRM Systems for Nonprofits Jim O’Reilley: Let’s now change channels on you a little bit and let’s talk about CRM. Or constituents’ relationship management, sometimes customer relationship management. Essentially CRM software is a contact list with a brain. It not only records your customer’s contact information, but it remembers the detail of your relationship in every interaction. Whether by phone or email and nowadays across other channels such as social media or even your customer help desk. Remember, it will remember only if you remember to actually enter the data. Just because you send out an email, the system will not remember why you sent it. It won’t remember what the relationship is. You do have to enter that detailed information. As a non-profit starting out most of these systems might feel like too much for the few contacts you might have, but if your founders put together all the potential strategic partners you may have, your possible donors, your possible volunteers, you may already have a couple of hundred contacts. Organizing them for all, available in the Cloud system software as a service app, will make coordination and import export into your email marketing system easier and more coherent. Birgit Pauli-Haack: Just as a side note, Jim, there are actual services and dear listeners, you need to definitely look out for those, that CRM’s allow you to send in BCC to an email address that actually inputs that email’s information right into the CRM, which is fabulous, but that’s definitely a necessary feature set. Look out for it. Jim O’Reilley: Interesting. Interesting. There’s more information available to you about CRMS’s. There’s an article by Upleaf about two powerful non-profit CRM systems. One is Salesforce, the other is CiviCRM and again we’ve got a link in the show notes and there’s a consumer’s guide to low cost, donor management systems, that’s put out by Idealware. And this brings us to everybody’s favorite topic. Email marketing. Email Marketing Service Providers Birgit Pauli-Haack: Right and we probably can put a whole new podcast out there, but the email marketing providers are necessary, because most internet service providers don’t let you allow sending out more than 50 emails at a time and the deliverability is questionable, so the email marketing provider that has a strong, free offering for anybody is actually MailChimp. You can have up to 2,000 subscribers, that’s contacts or 12,000 emails per month for free. “12,000 emails” means, you send six emails to your subscribers in a month. There are other services out there like Constant Contact and Aweber. For these services it doesn’t distinguish between start up or 501c3, it’s about the number of subscribers determining the price. Once you’re over the paying thresh hold, however, non-profit discounts might apply. That’s actually all I wanna say about email marketing for now. Social Media For Nonprofits The same is, let’s talk about social media. All social media profiles for your organization, for a business entity, are actually free. You can create a free Facebook page, a free Twitter profile, a LinkedIn page for free and profiles on the others social media networks. But once you all have your 501c3 designation so to speak, you might be eligible for a free non-profit donation service by Facebook, which is in the background managed by Network For Good and Network For Good takes a percentage of the donation amount, but you don’t have to pay any payment gateway, you don’t have to have monthly fees. This is certainly something to start out once you have your 501c3. Graphics Programs I have a couple of ideas and so another software recommendation for non-profit starting out is in puncto graphics programs. The Adobe Creative Suite that has Photoshop in it or InDesign, they’re all on a monthly license per computer, so it might not be suitable or affordable for a start up non-profit. There is a graphics program that is an open source and has been around for more than a decade, it’s called Gimp. G-I-M-P and we put in a show note, a PC Magazine article about it, but it’s a full fledged graphics program that works on your computer. You install it on your computer and helps you organize your graphics. There’s another software as a service, free, it’s called Canva. C-A-N-V-A.Com, Canva.Com and it gives you a tool to create social media graphics with the right size, with the right dimensions, with additional tools in there., but you can use it to do flyers, to do postcards, letter heads, all of those for your new organization. Accounting Software The last thing that I wanted to talk about, but I wanted to Jim ask about it, is accounting software, what do you think? Jim O’Reilley: Accounting software is a complex subject, but I truly believe there’s a simple solution. When you register your non-profit organization, you probably have a requirement for an annual audit or you have a requirement for regular financial statements. In other words, you’re going to need an accountant. To me, rather than picking up a piece of accounting software and then trying to find an accountant who uses that software is the wrong way to start the equation. I really believe that what you should do is find an accountant that you feel comfortable with, that you feel is confident, competent rather and honest and then find out what kind of software he or she likes to use and adapt to your accountant. It will no doubt save you money since the accountant is gonna charge you by the hour and if they have to convert your program to their program, it’s gonna cost you some money. That’s my suggestion about accounting software. Here are some other helpful things you might want to use. Additional Resources on Selecting Nonprofit Software TechSoup has products that are donated to non-profits from software companies or IT infrastructure and there’s a whole forum and a blog about this, which is of course in our show notes, that’ll tell you a little bit about some of these software products and hardware that’s donated to non-profits. In our show notes you’ll also find a post from Kyle Mathews, talking about the modern mid size non-profit and how they should perhaps consider stacking their technology. And there’s a field guide for 2017, recently released by Idealware and that’s also an excellent source for you to look at what types of reports are available and different types of software. Basic Principles of Software Selection But no matter the maturity of your non-profit organization, make sure you follow basic principles of software selection. Avoid what we call the shiny objects syndrome. The latest new product that looks like it’s gonna solve all your problems. Start with your needs first, then look at software. Open source software is free, but there are advantages to proprietary software and both have trade offs. When you decide on one or the other, make sure you are aware of the available migration paths of your data. Both into the new system and out of the current system. Get an understanding of what the support network is like and a general cost of ownership for updates in software, licenses and any custom development work that you may need. Birgit Pauli-Haack: There’s an old joke out there, talking about open source it’s the three freedoms that you have. Open source is free, as in free beer, open source is free as in free speech. You can publish anything with it, but it’s also free as in free kitten. It always needs a little tender love and care. This is it for now. You find all the mentioned resources with links in the show notes on NPTechProjects.Org/podcast. NPTechProjects.Org/podcast and this is episode number 19. Let us know your questions or what’s missing by sending us an email to podcast@nptechprojects.org. If you want to help us increase our audience, let your friends and colleagues know about this podcast and leave us a review on iTunes, on Stitcher and whatever app you’re using to subscribe to this show. Have a great summer. Stay cool, until the next time. Jim O’Reilley: Take care, everybody. Enjoy life, enjoy being a non-profit. Goodbye. .........
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