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NC Tech4Good Conference Aims to Empower Nonprofit Leaders, Consultants

By David Morrison on June 2, 2016

Last week, UNCW CIE sponsored my attendance at North Carolina Tech 4 Good, hosted at The Solution Center in Durham. The conference allowed me to gain valuable experience in order to further contribute to our non-profit community through the existing mentoring program at the center. Overall, the conference focused on creating an environment where non-profits could gain experience on all things tech. There were many interesting sessions that were hosted, and the two that I enjoyed most were; 30+ Free and Low Cost Tools Every Nonprofit Should Know About with Jeanne Allen, and the Google AdWords Grants for Nonprofits with Rob Ainbinder.

Jeanne covered a wide variety of tools that are available for free or low cost to nonprofits. These tools might just be the next thing you need to assist you in maximizing your own time, money, and staffing resources in a more effective manner.

One of the most interesting tools that she presented was Buffer. For those of you that have ever used Tweet Deck, Buffer is similar except it allows you to be a part of the many different social networks that exist from one convenient location. Hootsuite, another tool for social media marketers, also got highlighted, however, some conference attendees find Buffer easier to use.

TeamViewer is also an interesting application that can allow you to share your desktop with others so that they can help you overcome obstacles and collaborate on web based projects. This can be helpful if you have someone new to your organization and they hit a road block on a project.

As with any new tool, there is no better way to test it out than to try it yourself and now it is easier than ever to do so. I know I will be bringing many of the ideas from this session back to the Port City and cannot wait to test the waters in search of the next best free application.

Rob, on the other hand, brought to life the benefits of being a part of the Google For Nonprofits program. One of his biggest points of emphasis throughout the conversation was “Don’t be afraid to experiment”. In order to draw a bigger crowd to your website, you need to learn what your audience likes most, and update your website consistently using this information. If you do not experiment, you will never learn. He also emphasized the importance of budgeting because if you are not careful, you can spend more than your bringing in. You should pay around two dollars per click. However, do not let this amount scare you; sometimes it takes money spent for you to learn from your customers.

Another important aspect of Google AdWords, is the different match options. The most effective of these being Modified Broad Match because you can specify your search using terms that relate to your needs.