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Nonprofit Stories

6 Steps to Evaluate and Optimize Your Organization's Use of Digital Tools
Click Here to Download a PDF Version of This Guide Digital tools have the potential to revolutionize the operation of any organization, while at the same time befuddling even the most tech-savvy people. As the Nonprofit Adviser for the Vermont... more
How Organizations Can Use Online Tools To Collaborate
Almost all of the digital tools that we have discussed in previous articles have focused on how to reach to reach a wider audience. But it is also important to consider two-way communication methods, so that people collaborating on a project, or... more
Connected Nonprofits
This article was written by Kate Jellema, Marlboro College Graduate & Professional Studies, who facilitated a discussion at our Vermont Connected Summit on how nonprofits can keep pace with technology. The good news: 55% of people who engage... more
Vermontivate! On Line For The Real World
This article was written by Kathryn Blume, Co-Founder of "Vermontivate!" and a panelist on our morning session called "Nonprofit Problem Solvers." The big question that started the whole thing off was: How do we get Vermont as a whole community... more
6 Steps to Evaluate and Optimize Your Nonprofit's Use of Digital Tools
Digital tools have the potential to revolutionize the operation of any organization, while at the same time befuddling even the most tech-savvy people. As the Nonprofit Adviser for the Vermont Digital Economy Project, I have had the pleasure of... more
Does Your Nonprofit Need a CRM to Manage Its Contacts?
As an organization grows, sometimes using excel spreadsheets to keep track of donors, volunteers, and other contacts is not enough, and more powerful and complex tools for managing contacts become both necessary and convenient. These types of tools... more
Google Ad Grants: Free Advertising For Nonprofits
One free tool that we have discussed before that can be very helpful for a nonprofit, no matter what its size, is Google for Nonprofits. In previous articles we’ve written about how nonprofits enrolled in the program can have free email using a... more
How Nonprofits Can Use Video
By connecting compelling visuals to a story, a good video can inspire, inform, agitate, or promote an organization or cause. Just a few years ago, creating an inspiring video was out of reach for most small nonprofits, but advances in technology and... more
How Can Your Social Media Presence Help Or Hurt You In a Job Search?
Earlier this month, the Vermont Digital Economy Project organized a training for the Adult Outreach team at the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC). VSAC provides services to all adult Vermonters through the Educational Opportunity Center... more
Create Your Nonprofit Continuity Plan in 5 Simple Steps
You may have seen my previous article about Pat Corcoran, the founder of IBM’s Business Continuity & Resiliency Services Group and one of the world’s premier experts in business continuity. After completing the hands-on disaster preparedness... more
What the End of Support for Windows XP Means for an Organization
After twelve years of support and plenty of advanced notice, on April 8th of this year, Microsoft officially ended its service support for the Windows XP operating system. As a result, organizations that continue to use XP will be increasingly... more
Feeding More Vermonters Through Online Coordination
Vermont fruit and vegetable farmers produce hundreds of tons of edible, farm-fresh food, but often, not all of their production is sold. These leftover products are sometimes wasted, but through gleaning, they can be put to good use. Marcella... more
How An Online Game Helps Students Learn about Lake Champlain
Games have always been a great tool for teachers to engage students and make learning fun. For example, they have been used effectively to help students understand such diverse topics as historical events and environmental issues. I fondly remember... more
IBM Experts Help Vermont 211 Structure New Website
  Part of the matching funds for our grant was graciously donated by IBM, which, through its Impact Grants program, allows expert consultants to conduct in-depth analysis and workshops with nonprofits on a number of important topics. In the past,... more
Scheduling Posts: A Time Management Tip for Using Facebook
“There’s only so much time in a day!” That’s a common response from my nonprofit clients when I advise them that their community organization should be posting on Facebook 3 to 5 times every week. And, to be honest, many of them are ready to... more
How to Reach Your Facebook Fans
Many organizations assume that when they post something to their organization’s Facebook page, everyone who has liked the page will see it. This is not the case. Just as your Facebook friends don’t see everything you post, neither do the fans of... more
Vermont’s Cultural Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning
This Piano came from the famed Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont. It is Vermont’s oldest professional theater (est. 1935) and is a living testament to a community’s belief in the arts. On a snowy Valentine’s Day afternoon, more than a dozen... more
How One Library Is Building a Usable and Inclusive New Website
  Amy Grasmick, director of the Kimball Public Library, uses card-sorting to help create the navigation for the library’s new website. There is a term that developers refer to when building websites called usability. The basic premise involves... more
Manchester’s Education Task Force Goes Digital
Last year, VCRD completed a 6-month Community Visit in the southern Vermont town of Manchester. This process helped Manchester residents whittle 22 issues and ideas about how to focus community efforts to build a better Manchester by 2020 into... more
What An Online Presence Can Do To Help Food Shelves Reach Vermonters In Need
The Woodstock Community Food Shelf board of directors: back row, left to right: Sally Gottlieb, Joan Williamson, Norm Youknot and Laura Kent; front row: Cassie Horner, Sheila Murray and Bev Regan. Food shelves provide support for a community and... more
Nonprofits Use Mobile Credit Card App to Boost Donations
Director Georgia Brehm and Assistant Director Linda Tucker from the Black River Academy Museum use Square and a tablet to take mobile donations. As fewer people carry cash or even use check books, many nonprofits are scrambling to find new ways to... more
Nonprofits in the White River Valley Get Website Upgrades
Juli Reiderer, Park House Exectutive Director, looks at her organization's new website An empowered organization is a successful organization. For a nonprofit to be successful, it must have control over its message. For most organizations, a... more
Use Your Facebook Page to Solicit Donations and Subscriptions Online
Here at the Vermont Council on Rural Development, we are in the process of asking for donations to fund our great ongoing work, including support for programs like our Community Visits Program and our Working Landscape Initiative. As we looked at... more
Art + Kids + Critters + Contests = Social Media Success
When discussing social media with nonprofits, the number one question I am asked is: “How can I get more people to like my organization’s Facebook Page?” There are a few basic first steps, including inviting your friends, using the build audience... more
“Social Media Surgeons” Work in Woodstock
On a Tuesday night, in the upstairs rooms of the Thompson Senior Center in Woodstock, Vermont, 17 members of nonprofit organizations from Woodstock, Killington, Plymouth, Chester, and other nearby towns gathered to meet with five “social media... more
How and Why the Tech Community is Giving Back to Vermont Nonprofits
Social Media Surgeon and volunteer Alison Emerson helps John Atwood of the Bridgewater Historical Society at the Woodstock Social Media Surgery Vermont’s 2011 floods demonstrated the potential for digital tools to support community resilience and... more
The Value of a Facebook Like
In a recent post, Pat Ripley of VtSBDC laid out some of the reasons why it is important to have a Facebook presence. In addition to the ability it affords businesses of reaching more customers and nonprofits of reaching more interested people, it... more
Local Nonprofits Encouraged to Use More Online Tools to Build Stronger Organization
For Immediate Release Press Contact: Rob Fish, Nonprofit Adviser, Vermont Digital Economy Project (802) 488-5143 or rob@vtrural.org LOCAL NONPROFITS ENCOURAGED TO USE MORE ONLINE TOOLS TO BUILD STRONGER ORGANIZATIONSVermont Digital Economy Project... more
Helping to Improve the Visibility of Food Shelves in Vermont
Vermont’s strength is a direct result of the strength of the community organizations that step up in time of need, or provide ongoing assistance to members of the community in need. While these organizations are often small and cover only a few... more
Does your Nonprofit Need Social Media Surgery?
Is your organization in need of a social media makeover? Nonprofit Advisor and Social Media “Surgeon” Rob Fish discussed social media strategy with “patient” Jahnine Spaulding, Outreach Coordinator of Vermont Operation: Military Kids (VT OMK) at a... more
How a Woodstock Nonprofit Saved $1300 a Year Thanks to Digital Tools
The Ottauquechee Community Partnership (OCPVT) is a locally funded non-profit organization with a focus on connecting young people to the community, bringing community resources to schools and building positive relationships through youth-adult... more
Woodstock Area Nonprofits Join Together
At the Vermont Digital Economy Project, we know that a connected community is a resilient community. While we’ve been focusing on using digital tools to build networks within a community, it’s just as important for local nonprofits to recognize the... more
Tech Community Helps Build Three Nonprofit Websites
Can a new rural rescue squad website promote public safety? How much more effective could a jobs bank be if the task of posting jobs were cut in half? How many additional people would a food shelf serve if they had a web presence? Thanks to the... more
Success with Social Media: The Bethel Historical Society
Heidi M. Nikolaidis, of the Bethel Historical Society, received help from Rob Fish on the society's Facebook Page. Here's what she learned: A few weeks ago we first heard about the grant from the Vermont Digital Economy Project. We filled out... more
Maintaining the Past into the Future: Helping Historical Societies
Members of the Bethel Historical Society I remember as a young boy growing up and being fascinated by the local history of my home town. I wanted to understand how and why certain things came to be the way they are now. Why were there abandoned... more
Building Resilience Through Radio at Royalton Community Radio
After a week and a half of meetings with over twenty nonprofits ranging from historical societies to downtown revitalization organizations, churches, rotary clubs, human services, agriculture education, and arts and disaster preparedness groups, I... more