Community groups and organizations are the backbone of our neighborhoods. Providing a wide range of services they include charitable organizations as well as nonprofits, local sports clubs and interest-based groups. They have an essential role to play in enhancing the social well-being and the community life of our towns and cities. Almost by definition though, they tend to be cash strapped and budget conscious. Largely dependent on donations, they are always looking for cost-effective solutions. So if you are a community organization or are looking at getting together with a number of local groups, then a community portal is a very cost-effective option that will help with your organization’s administration and management. It could save you valuable dollars that instead can be spent on frontline services. Interested? Read on to find out some of the ways in which a community portal can add value to your community group.
It’s a perennial issue for community organizations: how to keep in touch with a largely remote workforce of volunteers. The community portal is one easily implemented solution. With newsfeeds and the latest updates, the community portal is a great vehicle for disseminating key messages to everyone involved in the organization. So whether it’s to advise members of the date for the annual general meeting, the latest national fundraising campaign or to tell them about new volunteers joining the team, the community portal will ensure that everyone is up to speed with the latest developments.
There’s no need to send out all staff-type emails which – if they’re read in the first place – are very hard to subsequently locate when you want to double check a vital piece of information. All news posts are held in a central location within the intranet and the intuitive menu as well as advanced search functionality makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
The outcome is improved internal communications both for paid office-based staff and the remote team of volunteers.
Nurturing a common sense of identity for a dispersed workforce is another challenge for community groups and nonprofits. And the community portal can help to address this too. Onboarding of new staff and volunteers through an online portal program is a great way to instill in new recruits the organization’s core vision and values.
What’s more, better internal communications and increased opportunities for ongoing dialogue with senior managers through blogs is an important vehicle for ensuring that staff have a voice which is listened to and acted on. In a similar vein, quizzes and surveys on the community portal are another great way to canvass staff opinions.
Promoting an inclusive working environment in ways such as these that allow staff to contribute to the organization’s direction will in turn foster a positive corporate identity.
A central community calendar on the portal operates as a single source of organizational truth when it comes to important events or key deadlines. Volunteers and staff members can be certain that the information on the calendar is the most up to date. So if a staff member wants to check the deadline for submitting an expenses claim, or a volunteer is looking for information on the fundraising dinner then the information is easily accessible with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Fundraising is the lifeblood of every community organization and a portal can assist in managing and coordinating this critical task. From storing a central database of volunteers that you can draw for collections in shopping malls, to organizing and publicizing national or local events such as sponsored walks and gala balls, the portal will soon become an indispensable tool. With its automated forms builder, streamlined business processes and easy sharing of information through the embedded Google Apps suite, the portal makes the management of your fundraising effort a much easier task.
What’s more, you can allow limited public access to your community portal in an extranet type arrangement. This is useful for building those all-important personalized relationships with potential donors and sponsors. And it has the added advantage of being a great time saver as there is less duplication of effort: common messages can be posted through one medium rather than multiple outlets.
Community Portal Cost Effectiveness
Keeping costs to a minimum is essential for cash-strapped community groups. And for a very reasonable monthly fee, a cloud-based portal offers unlimited users and unlimited data storage. Some providers such as MyHub also offer reduced fees for nonprofit organizations. As well as being a cost-effective solution, a community portal also offers cost certainty – there’s no hidden extras or unexpected charges. And that’s great news for your community group or organization.
Easy To Setup And Manage
For community groups, any technological solution should be easy to implement and manage on an ongoing basis. Resources are, after all, limited both in terms of ready cash and staff time. Cloud-based portals offer existing templates that can be adapted to suit the needs of any community group. They can be customized with your corporate branding and colors. In addition, they have the advantage of being tried and tested so you can depend on their functionality.
What’s more, setting up a community portal is a straightforward process so that even a non-technical novice can have a professional looking web portal up and running in a very short space of time. There’s no need to involve IT consultants and experts: the intuitive and familiar file explorer interface means that literally anyone can do it.
And when it comes to ongoing management, it’s equally simple and uncomplicated. It’s surprisingly easy to update or delete content, add and remove users or set up permission rules to restrict access to sensitive information.
It’s A No-brainer!
If the above hasn’t convinced you yet of the many benefits on offer with a cloud intranet style community portal, then consider this. With high availability and uptime – typically 99.99% – community portals are very dependable, probably more so than your existing systems. And factor in the very latest web security protocols, giving you total confidence in the integrity of your data, then it’s really a no-brainer.
Get in touch with the helpful team at MyHub today and take advantage of the free demo of our cloud intranet software. What have you got to lose?