by: Sarah Moreland
New technology has changed the face of volunteerism and group communication. Whatever you need, there’s probably a tool—whether you want an easier way to gauge volunteers’ interests in a fundraiser or to keep your members in touch on a group forum.
Here are some examples:
Eventbrite (http://www.eventbrite.com). Want to advertise your latest service project? Eventbrite helps you create a webpage that can easily be promoted on social-media sites like Facebook or tweeted to friends, family and acquaintances. Other features include email invitations, custom contact lists and a printable check-in list with name-badge templates. You also get an advertising boost: your event shows up in several search-engine results on sites such as Google.
GroupMe (http://www.groupme.com). GroupMe creates an instant, phone-based chat forum—and it works on any phone that texts. Send a text message to your group members, and recipients can reply to you and everyone else. You can also make conference calls on your cell phone.
Salsa (http://www.salsalabs.com). Salsa helps you add professional touches to your web-based organization system. A couple examples: online fundraising, and a group email system with ready-made templates. Salsa started as a tool for nonprofits, and additional features (such as an online petition set-up) are geared toward small nonprofits and volunteer groups. The event-managing system also lets members register for events and get email reminders before your next project or social.
SignUpGenius (http://www.signupgenius.com). SignUpGenius helps create sign-up lists online. No more worries about misplaced paper sign-up sheets. Members can sign up for events, contact event hosts, choose from multiple day and time slots (if applicable), see who has RSVP’d, leave comments and even swap time slots with another member if a last-minute issue comes up – all on the same Web page. The website also allows groups to make their events private or public.