In these tough economic times, we are all looking for ways to lower costs while keeping up productivity. The trick is to do so without getting into a state of confusion over cut corners or depending on sticky notes all over the wall. One great way to keep the nonprofit office organized while not shelling out too much for the privilege is with the fabulous application & grant management system by Wizehive. For as little as $75 a month your organization can keep up with 200 applications among up to 10 reviewers & writers. Land the big grant, expand the package rate, and have up to 1000 applications to share, comment upon, and store with an unlimited staff. It is a project-management system inexpensive to use and ready to expand with your organization. But wait (as a famous CEO says every year or so), there’s just one more thing.
Actually, more than one thing. An obvious software company to start with content production and presentation is Adobe, whose Creative Suites are all available at . The software (Photoshop being probably the best known) is not for the faint-of-heart. But Photoshop in particular comes in the “Elements” version that sells for about $100, a fraction of the full-blown professional-level package.
But other software can do much of the same work for less still. “The GIMP (Graphic Image Manipulation Program)” has a hipster icon and a freeware pricetag. If we move to making logos and web images for your nonprofit, a freeware equivalent to Adobe Illustrator is . Heads up on this package, though: besides the advanced tools, Inkscape is still in pre-release/beta. If getting a website up-and-running, or updating files already coded, NVU might be your answer for a WISIWYG (‘What You See Is What You Get’) website development program.
Finally (and we mean it this time), nonprofits in Maryland have the opportunity to print their work on a free Xerox color laser printer. The offer is extended to those who send in this application form. No, really. That’s it!
Please do not be fooled by these low-cost applications. “Free” does not mean “easy,” and “easy” does not mean “quick.” Developing a pleasing and engaging website requires experience, creative play, and time. Getting photos ready for a web gallery might not be a difficulty, but taking engaged photos means study and practice. Our hope is to introduce you to low-cost alternatives for various projects for your nonprofit. But they don’t replace some professional design and communication mojo.