We examine some of the best tools available to help you and your team work remotely.
Brought out by the coronavirus public health concern, charities have pre-emptively asked staff to log on remotely. For charity leaders, the full implementation of flexible working across operations has also been a test of disaster recovery and business continuity – for some charities, transitioning to Office 365 have offered great flexibility.
Until the climate changes, charity digital leaders will need to manage their workforce remotely. Here are some tools that can help you to manage this transition and keep operations running:
Digital tools to manage projects
For charity digital leaders concerned about productivity, online project management platforms are available to ensure that deliverables remain on track. We feature some of the leading digital project management platform providers, at little to no cost:
Team communication tools
Reliable and regular communication is crucial for remote teams. Charity and corporate communication tools are available to help leaders reach their teams:
Slack: Free for charities, the secure chat service allows users to be grouped by teams. Chat boxes between staff can be used for chatting and file-sharing – they are also easy to use – files can be dragged and dropped. The chat app can also be downloaded to mobile phones, allowing staff to be contactable wherever they are.
Flowdock: For a more integrated approach, the platform offers chat and inbox functionality. Conversations are also organised by thread, making topics easy to follow. For charity digital leaders looking to improve operations and efficiencies, the platform’s basic subscription comes at no cost.
Zoom: Video and audio conferencing without downloading software can be achieved by using Zoom. For charities, Zoom is free to use and is compatible with any device – perfect for staff meetings and catch-ups.
For managers, remember, team communication tools can also be used to organise video conference calls – virtual team meetings can happen anywhere.
For charity teams on-the-go, mobile devices can empower staff and volunteers
Charity digital leaders managing both staff and volunteers, frequent touchpoints may be needed to ensure the right level of support. Devices which enable mobilisation of both staff and volunteer workforces can make both managers and supporters feel comfortable.
Efficiency tools can help staff members and volunteers take donations. Accepting digital payments can both boost engagement and empower staff. Blue Cross, the UK’s pet charity took the unusual step of allowing its four-legged, furry, ambassadors take hold of mobile payment technology. Under the #patntap hashtag, the fundraisers accepted £2 donations at events. In their usual roles, volunteers and the dogs visit schools and events to raise awareness.
Learning from Blue Cross’ experience, charity digital managers can use Square Reader, Shopify’s retail kit, or iZettle to take donations or payments. The devices work by tethering to mobile phones, where a control app is located. Volunteers and staff are able to charge the point-of-sale machine for use all day, which is small enough to take on-the-go.
Digital event management tools streamline events remotely
Charity events can be supervised from afar by charity digital leaders. Reducing travelling costs and increasing operational efficiency, digital event management tools can track ticket sales, table settings, attendance and more.
Guests can be managed by both volunteers and staff. Boomset is an event tracking management platform and payment app – it also comes with a digital payments device which allows for ad-hoc sales at the door. Charity managers not attending the event can access the dashboard for a broad overview of the event, which includes real-time reporting. Boomset’s platform can send text or emails to notify teams that guests have checked in. For events located at venues which require added security, facial recognition is also available.
Discounted software is available to charities at the Charity Digital Exchange. We will continue to update you as more subscriptions become available free to charities.