Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June Roundup of Good Stuff

I'm hard at work on some fiction, so I apologize for being, ahem, a little less regular than usual.

Here's some good info or tools I think you might like to know about.

Mail Chimp's Mobile Push

An earlier post of mine discussed the fact that mobile is the future of social communications and Mail Chimp's recent e-newsletter reinforced that viewpoint.  Smartphones are outselling desktops since 2011, especially here in the U.S. So, if you haven't gotten your email lists mobile-friendly rather than just mobile-enabled, you should at least be planning to do so. And if you're using MailChimp because your (very) small not-for-profit can't afford much, you'll be glad to know the Chimp is rolling out mobile-friendly in a big way, with templates and some nice tools.

Video Tools

Getting your story told via video is another thing you might struggle with; costs, editing, etc. Gromada has some nice tools to assist you with editing and converting video files and other types of files. Change BMPs to AVI, add music, crop, and other features. The tools are not simplistic (they do require you know a little bit about what you want to accomplish), and they're not free, but the prices are reasonable and the learning curve doesn't seem too steep. 

Legislative Alerts

Unless you live with Hobbits, you probably know that you need to be aware of legislation or issues that may affect your organization or mission.But how to keep on top of the news without losing your mind is a problem. Scout, a product of the Sunlight Foundation, proposes to help you out on this. Using Scout, you can enter keywords and search for national or state legislation on them. You can also set up an alert to get an update on the issue via email or SMS. No sign-up is required.  There's a video tutorial on the page and a case-study of how "Scout helped a nonprofit deliver results on Capitol Hill."

Food For Thought

Finally, here's a thought-provoking post from Adam Huttler at the Fractured Atlas Blog. I'm partial to arts and culture nonprofits, but I think what Adam has to say here applies to any nonprofit.  I think smaller nonprofits are more in danger than the big foundations in this economy, but they also have the advantage of flexibility. If your product focus is right, then you should be able to keep moving forward.

If you've got any info on any of these you'd like to share or know of other good tools or information, please deposit a comment.

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