Coordinating with a team is a challenge on its own, more so now when you’re likely all working remotely and up to your neck with responsibilities at home and for work. Thankfully, there are a handful of free and low-cost solutions out there designed to make this easier. From enabling you to create shared calendars to as simple as more organized team chats, here are some tools worth looking into.
Need best practices too? We got you covered, click here to navigate quickly at the end of the blog for blogs & courses that can help you improve your routine!
Creating Organized Team Chats with Slack
A chat system may sound simple (and obvious enough) when it comes to remote collaboration. While some get by with personal messaging apps for their work (Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.), this approach does have its limitations (i.e. not everyone may be on that app, limited organizational features).
Slack, a messaging tool available to eligible nonprofits for free (or at a discount if you need more than 250 users), offers smarter and more organized method of approaching internal communications. Slack offers you the option to create channels that you can dedicate to specific purposes, i.e. a channel for a particular project, a particular event, a particular division in your team, and so on. This allows you to effectively create more organized communication lines, which is absolutely crucial for remote work.
Get Slack for Nonprofits here
Go Paperless with DocuSign
A key learning from local nonprofits, some have resumed in-office operations mainly due to administrative work that they were not fully digitized. A key step towards a more efficient paperless (and even contact-less) approach is exploring solutions such as DocuSign.
DocuSign provides nonprofits with the ability to send, track and sign important documents digitally. Not only is this more efficient, cost-wise and effort-wise, it also allows you to do so securely.
Eligible nonprofits may request for DocuSign Standard licenses for a one-time admin fee here, or explore discounted monthly rates for Business Pro here.
Full Microsoft or Google Cloud Suites for Nonprofits
If you’re looking for something more comprehensive, Microsoft and Google offer full cloud suites that provide nonprofits (of all sizes) all their remote work essentials – from shared calendars, team & individual cloud storage, as well as instant messaging & conferencing tools. These suites are not only very flexible as it relates to its range of functions, it is also highly adaptive to your team’s size.
Microsoft offers a range of free and discounted Microsoft 365 cloud subscriptions that include Teams for instant messaging & video calls, Outlook for web to create shared individual & team calendars, SharePoint & Onedrive for cloud storage, as well as Office web apps (and on-premise apps, for discounted subscriptions) for effective remote collaboration.
You can learn more about the range of subscriptions as well as the support services TechSoup can offer in setting up your Microsoft Cloud subscriptions here
Google, similarly, offers a range of integrated cloud apps you’re well familiar with. These include Gmail, shared calendars, Google Drive & Share Drive for sharing files, as well as your G Suite apps (Google Docs, Sheets, Slides) for remote collaboration. In addition, Google (through Google for Nonprofits) also include additional cloud features that might come in handy for your outreach needs. These include Google AdWords Credits worth USD 10,000 monthly, USD 250 monthly worth of Google Earth credits, and YouTube premium features.
You can apply for Google for Nonprofits here
Having the tools are one thing, but it is an entirely different thing to create effective routines, or even just learn how to navigate the tools itself! For a complete rundown of all the learning resources to help improve your remote coordination, see the full list of blogs and courses below:
A free online course for nonprofits that will breeze you through key operational areas you need to consider when transitioning to remote work, as well as quick guides to help you effectively use basic cloud solutions that are essential for remote work.
A recording of webinars designed to help you and your team create remote work communication plans, enabling you to not only improve how you communicate with your team at a remote work setup, but also following 'communication rhythms' that are essential for productivity