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6 free online collaboration tools for volunteers

Posted Sep 14 2009 9:54am
In addition to marketing and recruiting using online technologies and tools, the Web offers a suite of free tools to help you do good. I've used a bunch and have found that anything I need to do online, I can do with some simple searching. Here are a few of my favorite:
  1. VolunteerSpot | "DOING GOOD just got easier"VolunteerSpot launch in 2008 with the mission of enabling ANYONE to quickly mobilize and coordinate volunteers in their community and social network. The sign-up is REALLY simple, and the free tools help you schedule an sign up "everyday heroes making a difference"
  2. Vyew | When you can't meet in person and your conference calls are not effective, Vyew enables you to meet and present, hostwebinars or conduct team meetings. It also allows you to upload, create and collaborate on content. And you can a lso use it to educate and train constituents
  3. ZenbeShareflow | Shareflow helps you create focused conversations with the people that matter. This tools allows you to easy share and access focused conversations wherever you are (including on your iPhone ). It also allows you to share files, documents, links, and improve your email communication
  4. Google Groups | Google Groups helps you create custom pages, share files, discuss online or over email. And of course, you can use Google Docs to create online documents, presentations and evens surveys and share them with whoever you want for viewing, or for real-time collaboration
  5. VolunteerMatch | In addition to helping you find volunteers, Volunteer Match Solutions provide you tools to track hours, assist with event planning, and recognize top volunteers. While this tool is geared for the "corporate" audience, it certainly has a lot of cross functionality built in.
  6. WikiSpaces | While slightly more technical and requires more experience and time to learn then the other tools, WikieSpaces allows you to essentially create your own Wikipedia fr your event and/or cause. You can do everything from share files, create project management timelines and store and share all the information you can dream of. It even has a specific offering for nonprofits.
Before jumping to a solution, make sure to determine your needs, and then research which tool(s) will help you the most. If you are interested in finding more solutions categorized by need, check out this Mindmiester map.

A word of caution: While all of these tools are great, PLEASE don't let them replace personal relationships. Face-to-face contact is and continues to be the best way to lead people toward achieving your personal and organizational goals.
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