Are you a changemaker constantly trying to do more with less resources, struggling to create change for the social issues you care about?
As changemakers ourselves, we understand how important it is to manage our budgets and workload in order for our social initiatives to continue.
So, we asked some of the changemakers in our community: what wallet-friendly resources and tools do they use to help sustain their projects?
Read on to find out if there are suitable resources for you and your initiative!
When you first start an initiative, raising awareness of the social cause you are working with is important. This could mean you need to hone your design eye to put out material in the public eye. Here’s a resource to make that process easier!
Piktochart is a design tool you can use to churn out your social media graphics, posters, presentations, reports and more!
For changemakers who produce infographics regularly, Piktochart allows you to conveniently transform your data into graphs and more!
If you subscribe to their free plan, you will be unable to remove their watermark. However, they do have promotional prices for non-profits, so you can check those out!
Find out more about Piktochart for yourself, here!
Social Media Marketing
Beyond raising awareness for social causes, elevating your brand’s profile is also important in increasing the visibilities of your projects and/or events. Social media can be that platform for you to boost sign-ups for your events or gain the attention of investors/donors.
Here are some tools to help you be more deliberate in your social media strategy.
Trello is a versatile tool that you can use to log ideas, goals and for social media, plan your content calendar.
You can log your ideas based on categories and track your progress with each social media post by creating columns like “Post Ideas”, “Editing”, “Scheduled”, “Posted”, etc and moving cards in these columns.
To be more detailed, you can:
• add tags to each Trello card, for example based on the platform you are posting on.
• create checklists within each card
• assign your teammates to tasks
• set a due date and time
Its calendar function also allows you to see the posts you have prepared at one glance, and adjust your posts accordingly.
The free version of Trello allows you to have:
• Unlimited cards
• Unlimited members
• Up to 10 boards
• 1 Power-Up per board
• Unlimited storage (10MB/file)
• 50 automated command runs per month
• Unlimited activity log
• Assignee and due dates
Check Trello out here.
Improving your design knowledge and skills come with time. Accelerate this process with designnotes.co, a resource library with design inspirations, free illustrations, and more!
Designnotes.co provides more than just resources for social media marketing; it also provides resources for website design and email design!
Created by the community, for the community. Check it out here!
After you have gained an audience, you might start designing events. As COVID-19 continues to hinder large gatherings, learning how to spice your event up is important in differentiating your initiative and leaving a lasting impression!
Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype and GoogleMeet have been useful but the following tools allow you to add a twist to your virtual meetings and/or events!
Toasty provides templates for team meetings, team building sessions, and more. This helps to make event planning more convenient.
For experience designers, Toasty’s templates, especially for games and activities, can help with warming your audience up as well as keeping them engaged!
When you are hosting an event, you may also have to create a runsheet and refer to it periodically during the event itself.
Keeping your audience engaged is already tough, but having to manage time and toggle between different platforms on top of it makes event-organising even harder.
With Toasty, you can eliminate the need to toggle between different platforms as it allows you to pre-plan an agenda within the app itself.
This also helps you to stay on track with time more easily and focus on the content of your event.
They even have templates available for team meeting agendas, icebreaker questions, team Building exercises, which can make event planning more convenient.
Lastly, Toasty’s breakout rooms function is simple and intuitive. Participants can be directed to their breakout rooms at the same time and you can automate the grouping process based on poll results or random arrangements.
Check it out here.
Forms & Data Collection
After your event has ended, you might want to survey your audience on their experience so that you can improve your future events. Collecting their data, like email addresses, also allows you to make our outreach more targeted to people you know will be interested in your event.
However, using normal form applications may be mundane and ineffective. Here’s an immersive form application that you can use:
Typeform allows you to create forms that can be shared through a link or embedded in your website and provides form templates that helps you save time.
Most importantly, it presents one question a time to your respondent, making the survey process more intimate and engaging. Not only does this increase the completion rates of your forms and thus the quantity of responses, it improves the quality of the responses by encouraging respondents to ponder longer about each question.
Another useful feature of TypeForm is its data analysis. These data points inform us of the efficacy of our questions and if there is a need to edit them to achieve higher completion rates.
If you require a more in-depth analysis, Typeform also provides question by question data.
Apart from post-event surveys, you can also use TypeForm for a variety of purposes. At A Good Space, the working team uses TypeForm to screen job candidates.
We ask potential employees a series of questions before deciding to invite them for an interview. The immersive interface makes this process seem like a conversation, which is important in ensuring we hire the correct people who have genuine interests in the social sector.
Once someone fills in the form, TypeForm also sends us an email notification so that we need not check the account on a daily basis to see if there are responses. When we invite someone for an interview, we thus print out this email as a guide for questions.
Another use of TypeForm can be to poll your community on important decisions you want to make.
The tool itself is free up and allows you to create 3 TypeForms and collect 100 responses, every month. You can also upgrade to a paid plan based on your needs! Check it out here.
As your events increase in scale, the amount of administrative tasks you have to complete increases as well. Save time and focus on other aspects of your work by automating your administrative processes!
Zapier is a tool that you can use to automate your administrative tasks.
For example, you are using Typeform for a survey about an event you held recently and want to send an email to those who have completed the survey. This means checking your Typeform account daily to view responses and then, sending out emails to the individuals who have completed it.
Zapier eliminates this tedious process — when someone fills out the form, Zapier automatically sends an email to you about an entry and also automatically sends a follow-up email to the person who completed the survey.
This is one of the many processes Zapier helps to automate, saving you time to work on the bigger issues of your initiative!
It is compatible with many apps like Gmail, WordPress, Calendy to name a few. It also offers a wide array of workflow templates, making it easy to use.
The tool itself is free but you can upgrade to a paid plan if necessary. Click here to see if Zapier is suitable for you and your social initiative!
Freedcamp (project management)
Freedcamp is a project management tool that can help your team to meet deadlines.
It organises your team with features like a task checklist, a calendar, a password manager, etc. This eliminates scattered documents that you need to sort through regularly.
It is a free tool but you can pay for add-ons! Check it out here!
Notion.so is another team organisation tool.
Apart from simple note-taking, you can use it to track the progress of your tasks and tag your team members to alert them of a task you’ve assigned.
You can also use it to store all your documents in one central location for convenience sakes.
There are free plans but Notion.so offers a 50% off of their Team plans for registered non-profits! See for yourself if Notion.so is suitable for you.
Once your initiative secures a revenue stream, ensuring that all accounts are accurately paid and in order is important for both internal organisation and your initiative’s credibility.
Netsuite is an online financial management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
CRM is a process you can use to manage your initiative’s interactions with event participants, donors and/or people in your community. Such systems organise data from your communication outlets like your website, email, marketing materials, etc to allow you to learn more about your target audiences.
This helps with maintaining and expanding your pool of event participants, donors and/or people in the community you can reach out to.
It is free for non-profits and social enterprises due to Netsuite’s Social Impact programme. You can even have access to volunteers from Netsuite to help you with the onboarding of your accounts.
Check it out here.
Tmetric is a time tracking app that can be used to record the number of billable hours you have.
Not only can it record your billable hours, it can also help to create an invoice you can send for school or corporate engagements!
Beyond consultancy purposes, it can also help to monitor the time you take for your tasks and streamline day-off requests.
Check it out here.
We’ve shared our collective wisdom, what about yours?
A Good Space is still a growing community and we would love to hear what other tools you use that our community of changemakers could adopt too! Pass it on by leaving a comment below!
Special credit goes out to the following changemakers in our community who have been generous with their knowledge
- Louis Puah: Praxium
- Vincent Ng: A Good Space
- James Lim: Emmaus Strategies
- Lee Zhong Han: We Tell Stories
If you are curious to learn more about the A Good Space community, learn more here: bit.ly/agschangemakers!
Together, we can build upon one another to shape the future of Singapore, our home.