Upcoming Idealware Webinar: Using Pro Bono Help for Tech Projects

This probably sounds familiar:

[Y]ou have a lot of technology needs, but not enough resources or expertise to address them. Pro bono tech volunteers can help you fill in the gaps and realize the full potential of your technology.

Whether you’re seeking pro bono help now or already have some, Idealware and the Taproot Foundation are putting on a great webinar soon that will help you get the most out of a nonprofit website project, WordPress or otherwise.

Using Pro Bono Help for Tech Projects
Tue, Jan 31, 2017

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Sign up:  “Using Pro Bono Help for Tech Projects” 

Of course, you can already find great advice for working with nonprofit website volunteers right here on Nonprofit WP! As noted in the presentation we blogged from 501 Commons, working with technology volunteers is different than using volunteers to serve food in line at a soup kitchen or welcome visitors at a signin desk.

Attending this webinar should build on the advice on this site and give you more valuable perspectives on getting the most out of free help.

Free projects are not easy! When managed poorly, volunteer and pro bono website projects often cause more problems than they’re worth, so check out this webinar and the relevant pages on this site to make sure you get the most from your next project.

A Tip for Pro Bono WordPress Projects

Whether you attend the webinar or not, here’s one tip: Ask about maintenance!

One of the biggest problems I’ve seen from donated and volunteer-made WordPress sites for nonprofits is that they’re often made quickly and then left blowing in the wind.

While pro bono websites are always delivered with the best intentions, any volunteer or pro bono donor making a WordPress website must tell you about two critical things:

  1. Keeping your site healthy once it launches
  2. What happens if something breaks or you have questions.

Even if that doesn’t involve additional free service, having a long-term outlook is crucial for a successful donated project that’s more help than headache for your organization.

Image Credit: john on Flickr

Idealware’s New WordPress Plugins Report

Idealware has established itself as one of the go-to sources for recommendations on nonprofit technology. That’s why I was excited to hear when they began researching for their guide to WordPress plugins for nonprofits.

As a member of the NTEN community, I submitted my own thoughts and recommendations for plugins to the researchers along with other consultants and nonprofit staff who use WordPress. (I was excited then to see that they chose to recommend one of my plugins Feature a Page Widget for use by nonprofits.)

Not Just Plugins

The resulting report includes good information on WordPress plugins, but also similar information to the pages for working with a consultant and before you get started. They also include a great checklist for nonprofits to complete as they prepare to make a DIY WordPress website.

I appreciate their honest take for nonprofits considering making their own WordPress sites:

But success often depends on tolerance for trial-and error, and the ability to devote the time to learning the system—which means, many nonprofits that do try to set up a WordPress site on their own will run into problems.

Hundreds of nonprofits have successfully built their own sites, but those that succeed must work broken features, weird designs, and devote considerable staff (or volunteer) time to the project.

More Nonprofit Plugin Options

On this site’s Recommended WordPress Plugins for Nonprofits page, I wanted to recommend the best one or two plugins so you don’t have to sort through the dozens of other options. If you find the recommendations on this site lacking, however, the slightly broader list of plugins for backups, events, CRM integration, security, and more in the new Idealware report will serve you well.

I highly recommend it.

Download “The Landscape of WordPress for Nonprofits: A Report on the Current Marketplace for Plugins” on Idealware.org

Image: CC BY 2.0, @emme-dk on Flickr