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20 Apps and Tools that NGOs Should Use to Increase Productivity

NOVEMBER 10, 2018.

NGOs, just like any other business, need to stay ahead of the game if they want to get donations and recognition. To help you out in this front are a whole bunch of apps and online tools, so many, in fact, that the sheer amount might overwhelm you. Don't worry though, because we have compiled a list of 20 tools that everyone from beginners to experts will love.

Social Media Tools

When you have multiple platforms to look after, it can be a real task to keep up. Here are a few tools that will make social media management a little easier.

1. Periscope:

Periscope is a live streaming app that allows you to live stream to Periscope and Twitter. This is a handy tool if you want to live stream events or outdoor location on the go. Periscope also has a desktop version but you can only see broadcasts on it.

2. Buffer:

Buffer is basically like a one-stop shop for all your social media management needs. With this tool, you can schedule posts for multiple platforms at once. It's analytics tab allows you to track the performance of all your accounts from the same place, making it easier for you to compare posts across platforms.

3. Later:

If you're looking for a scheduling tool specifically for Instagram, Later is the tool for you. This tool allows you to format and schedule posts on your desktop and manage your account via their app. Although this tool is optimal for Instagram, it also allows you to add your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. To add to that, if you have more than one account on the same platform, the paid plan allows you to manage those as well.

4. RiteTag:

Ritetag allows you to track the hashtags you use for campaigns and shows you how many people are talking about them. Not just that, it also lets you find the best hashtags to add to your posts based on the text and/or images you use.

Graphic Designing Tools

In the digital world, aesthetics are highly valued. So for your brand to grow, you need amazing graphics. Now, if you have the budget, you should go for graphic designers, but if you want more affordable options and you have even a little bit of creativity in you, you can use these tools.

1. Canva:

Canva is a popular photo editing app and for a good reason. It has easy drag-and-drop mechanics and pre-made layouts that can help anyone make professional-looking designs. It also has a mobile app that lets you design graphics on-the-go and if you have images on your phone that need editing, you can skip the hassle of uploading them on the desktop or online and simply edit them in the app. Another website similar to Canva is Picmonkey [6], although you have to sign up and take the free trial if you want to export the images you edit.

2. Pablo:

Pablo by Buffer is a site similar to Canva that is focused towards Social Media , particularly Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You get all the drag-and-drop features, preset layouts, and free images you get in Canva. Along with that you also get to insert your own logo, which is great for brand building.

3. Photoshop and GIMP:

Adobe Photoshop is a cult favorite, expert-level editing tool that allows you to edit images, design graphics, and create amazing effects... as long as you know what you're doing. But, if Adobe is too advanced for you, you can go for GIMP, which is basically a beginner-level version of Photoshop.

4. Creatives Without Borders:

Don't want to get into the hassle of designing? Hop on to Creatives Without Borders where you will find graphic designers ready to cater to your creative needs! Not just graphic designers, you can also find writers, artists, entrepreneurs, photographers, architects, strategists and developers.

Video Editing Tools

Editing videos is considerably harder than editing photos. Now, you should ideally go for professional help if and when you can afford it, there are tools that can help you in a budget.

1. VivaVideo:

VivaVideo Pro is a powerful video editor that allows you to easily trim and merge video clips and photos into video stories. Additionally, it also has features that let you play around with music, stickers, filters, and subtitles.

2. Replay:

Replay is essentially the iOS app version of VivaVideo. It enables you to edit video clips, add text, and insert music and photos from your camera roll so that you can create almost professional-looking video content ideal for social media.

3. WeVideo:

WeVideo is a lot like VivaVideo in the sense that you can edit videos, merge images to make videos, and add details like text and audio to your videos. The only extra features this has is that it is a cloud-based platform with an advanced suite of creative tools such as animation, color keying, voice over, and clip transformation.

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4. Upload’n’Roll:

Snapchat is a visual-based social media platform that is getting really big in the digital marketing sector. It is, still, a little hard to navigate in this platform as you have to jump through a few hoops to upload a video or image to your story from your phone gallery, especially if you’re a beginner. Upload’n’Roll is a tool that allows you to do just that. With this app, you can not only upload your images and videos to Snapchat, you can also apply filters, write messages, enhance images, draw, and then add to your nonprofit’s Snapchat Story.

Content Tools

Content is king in the digital marketing world. And since everyone is churning out audience-friendly content, you need to really go the extra mile to stand out. Here are a few tools that will make that mile easier to walk, or just give you the inspiration you need to walk it by yourself.

1. Brainy Quote:

Brainy Quote is a site that is basically an archive of quotes said by prominent people in all fields from authors to businessmen, complete with the proper citations. This is a valuable 'tool' when you want to post inspirational quotes on social media.

2. W3Schools:

Working with tools like WordPress and MailChimp easier if you have basic HTML knowledge. W3Schools teaches you everything from the basics to the more complex topics and shows you how to design your own website.

3. HTML.am :

While you're learning HTML, your work can't stop. So, you can use tools like HTML.am to generate and edit HTML codes that you can then copy and apply to your website, mails, or anywhere else you want.

4. Thesaurus:

Writing out blogs or social media captions that capture everyone's attention is not easy, especially if you are working with overused words or words that you need to use a lot of times in the same article. Here is where tools like Thesaurus comes in handy with their massive collections of definitions, synonyms, and antonyms come in handy.

Productivity Tools

Now that you're all set with your content tools and your editing tools, all that's left to do is to put them to use and get to work... which is definitely easier said than done. Here are a few productivity tools that will help you get your brain and body on work-mode.

1. Slack:

Whether you have a small team or a big company under you, communication is a vital cog in the functionality of your organization. Slack is a tool that allows for cross-company communication, even when someone is not at the office; this is useful for organizations that have a lot of employees that work on-site. It also allows you to make different 'channels' for different teams so you can have conversations that pertain only to that team instead of sending the message to everyone, which will, no doubt, lead to chaos.

2. Duolingo:

Now, you're probably wondering why you need a language learning application. That is because, if you are an organization looking to go international, or if you want investment from international or foreign bodies, knowing even the basics of their language(s) will help you a great deal and make functioning in those localities much easier.

3. Noisil:

As humans, we work better in some environments than others. But when you're at work, you don't have a choice but to work at your desk, which may not be a very productive environment for you and even if it is, you might want to change it up sometimes. Now, although you cant have the full VR experience at your office, you can use tools like Noisil to give you an audio experience of your favorite environments. This chrome extension has a range background noises that you can choose from and adjust the volume of to create the perfect productive environment for yourself.

4. LastPass:

When you're an organization, you have different emails for different things. Along with that you also have lots of log-ins for all the online tools you use and to remember all the passwords for all of those log-ins can be a real task. To make this easier (and safer than scribbling them down on paper), you can use a tool like LastPass that allows you to save and manage all your passwords and shopping details.

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