Increasingly, not for profit organisations in the social services sector and in local government are being asked to demonstrate the impact and outcomes of their services on their user groups or clients.
Finding effective ways of doing this can be a challenge, particularly for groups with limited resources.
Fortunately the innovators of the digital world have been hard at work developing platforms and technologies to deliver appropriate solutions to this sector.
Those solutions range from specific outcomes measurement tools like Ace Trace, through to fully fledged platforms that engage communities on a daily basis and deliver comprehensive analytics for reporting purposes.
Some of the options for engagement and fundraising include:
Hoop.la is a platform for creating public or private communities, complete with blog functionality, forums for community discussions, photo sharing/commenting through Clips, Event calendars, surveys and chat rooms.
Pricing starts from US$399 per month for the full range of functionality. Hoop.la also offers their forum platform UBB for those who don’t need the blogging and other social sharing functions, but just want a forum site.
Community Engagement and Consultation:
Australian based community sector organisation Bang the Table have developed Engagement HQ as a tool for community services organisations, NGOs and local government to use for “digital engagement” and consultation.
Features include forums, surveys, Q and As, community mapping, stakeholder stories and a visitor guestbook. This platform has proven effective for community education initiatives where organisations or government departments needs to raise awareness of issues like disaster preparedness and public health education.
Pricing is on request and the platform offers a demo sandbox area so organisations can see the functionality first hand.
Engagement HQ also offers a Budget Allocator platform that enables communities to engage on what they think the spending priorities should be for local councils.
A donor management and fundraising platform all in one with monthly pricing that starts from US$59 per month.
Kindful integrates with email marketing platforms like MailChimp and provides full CRM functionality to keep track of your donor database.
The platform includes the essentials of marketing automation, but with non-profit and community groups in mind, including landing pages for appeals, pledge management, crowdfunding options, social media integration and much more.
Outcomes Measurement and Reporting:
Ace Trace is a New Zealand made outcomes measurement tool designed to be user friendly and deliver relevant, accessible reporting about outcomes from training or community support. Ace Trace can be customised if required, or used largely ‘out of the box’ with your own set of questions.