Software To Help Your Nonprofit Transition To Operating Remotely

Civic Champs has many contractors that work remotely 100% of the time, and many employees that often work from home. Luckily, this has enabled us to seamlessly adjust to the recent social distancing efforts being made in our country. We understand that for many organizations, this is not the case. Below is a list of free software that Civic Champs utilizes on a day-to-day basis to make working remotely a seamless process.

Communication

Working under the same roof keeps everyone accountable while fostering relationships. There’s no argument that the benefits of communication amongst your team are invaluable.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts is an online video conferencing tool that can serve as a  close-substitute for the meetings that would otherwise occur within your office/building. 

You can access Google Hangouts through Google Calendar. When you make a new event, it automatically comes with a hangout. All you have to do is select a time and add  your colleagues by typing their email addresses into the ‘add guests’ section of the event (see below). 

For a more personal experience, enter the ‘hangout’ through any computer with a webcam. Doing so will result in a face-to-face video chat. On the go? Find the meeting-confirmation email in your inbox, it has a number you can call from your phone that’ll enable a conference call. Don’t worry about what other parties opt for. Hangouts is cross-compatible, it doesn’t matter if someone is on a computer while others are on their phones. 

Zoom

Zoom is an alternative to Google Hangouts. Universities across the country are currently administering lectures through Zoom. Hosts can send out a link to a session and others are able to click the link and join. Each session can host up to 100 participants and it’s easy to set up, no technical skills are required. Additionally, Zoom allows members of a meeting to split up into subgroups. This may be useful for maintaining communication among your volunteers. 

Additionally, many of us share our home offices with spouses and children, this can cause the WiFi to slow down. Zoom is optimized to operate smoothly even with low bandwidth. It’s a software that can bring value to organizations of all sizes. Learn more about Zoom here

Sharing and Collaboration

As you do more of your work online, you may develop a need for more storage space and for the ability to share documents.

Google Docs

More likely than not, you’ve used or at least heard of Google docs. Google docs supply a simple, easy-to-use toolset for collaborating from different places at different times. It is also found within the G+ page of your Google account. 

After drafting a document you can send it to your coworkers with the share button in the top right corner of your screen. One nice thing about Google Docs is that it allows those receiving the document to make revision suggestions without directly changing your draft (see below). 

If you agree with your colleagues’ feedback, you are able to click a checkmark on the comment that’ll automatically apply the change. An ‘X’ will deny the suggestion, and remove the comment from the document. If you’d like to discuss further, you can leave a comment under their suggestion. As you can see, docs are highly interactive. 

Google Docs Alternatives: Microsoft Office Online, OnlyOffice

Dropbox 

Dropbox works on mobile devices, Mac and PC. It safely stores your files online and you are able to access them on any other devices you install Dropbox on. You can use up to 2Gb of storage space for free, but if you need more, you are able to upgrade to a paid subscription which allows for up to 1Tb of storage space. If you need to access files from a mobile device or safely store files in the cloud, looking into Dropbox is worthwhile. 

Check out Dropbox here!

Dropbox Alternatives: Google Drive, pCloud, OneDrive

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