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tierneysmith's blog

TechSoup Battles: The Team Project Management Challenge

Do you find that you’re wasting time when working with others - sending files back and forth, looking for buried emails that contained important information, keeping track of who’s working on what? Maybe this is happening internally, or with your board, or between branches. Since most nonprofits rely primarily on email (or paper), almost everyone has this problem. In this review, we’re going to take a look at software for team project management/collaboration that will help you out with these issues.

TechSoup Battles: Collaborating in real time with Google Docs

Imagine this: you write up a draft of a grant proposal, and save it. Your finger twitches towards your email so you can send it to your colleague Bob for review, but instead you stop yourself and share the file instead. Bob gets an automatic email notification and opens up the document...

TechSoup Battles: the Document Collaboration Challenge

Are you tired of sharing files back and forth with “track changes” and file names that just keep getting longer and longer? In the past, sending documents back and forth with edits was the main way to collaborate on a document with someone else - unless you had a document management tool like SharePoint, or could sit together in the same room.

Data analysis is for everyone! A short intro to pivot tables


There are a lot of fancy tools out there for data analysis - some of which are extremely complex, and some of which are actually fairly simple to use and set up. If you are looking to take the next baby step along the road to using your data to make better decisions, a good place to start might be to take a second look at the good old spreadsheet. Spreadsheet programs have a lot of data analysis tools built right in, and today I want to discuss a lesser-known (in my experience) but extremely powerful feature: pivot tables! 

TechSoup Battles: Simple event registration with Guestlist

When I'm planning an event, my needs are pretty typical - so for our second challenge, I decided to choose an event registration tool that was simple and easy to use. After some research and thinking about what I'm looking for, I settled on Guestlist.

TechSoup Battles: The Event Registration Challenge

Do you organize events as part of your work? Whether it be fundraisers, programming, training, conferences or volunteer appreciation parties, there’s many types of events that nonprofits and charities run. Having a good event registration tool can go a long way to keeping things organized and creating a smooth registration process for your attendees. But which tool to use? There’s so many out there that Jane and I decided to tackle this for our second challenge.

4 Key Questions to Ask when Redesigning your Nonprofit/Charity Website

The one step in redesigning your website that’s easiest to skip is also the most important: start out with a clear vision of your needs and goals for the website. And by “your needs” I really mean your visitors’ needs, since it's all about your audience after all!

TechSoup Battles: Tierney tries out MailChimp

These days, it feels like most nonprofits/charities send out email newsletters to your supporters. There’s a lot that can be said (and has been said) on why you should have a e-newsletter (or not), what things you should think about, how often you should send emails, what you should talk about, etc.

Introduction to Technology Planning for Nonprofits

This month's Toronto Net Tuesday was the first in our Technology Planning Series so it was all about introducing the idea of technology planning and sharing experiences.  If there was one big idea from the evening it was this: Technology is a tool, not a solution. Before thinking about technology you need to first understand the people who will be using the tool and their processes.

Canada’s Federal and Provincial Privacy Laws for Nonprofits & Charities

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.

At our webinar last month, All About CRM, a lot of people had questions about privacy laws: Does federal and provincial privacy legislation apply to nonprofits? What does this mean for us and how we store our data? What do we need to be aware of if our data is stored in the US? These are all great questions and I’ll admit that I didn’t know the answer - so I decided to dive in and do some research.