Archive for the ‘nfptech’ Category

Floss Manuals is a great website that lets you build manuals for a wide range of free software. You can pick and choose which software you want to know about and it will build a manual that you can download as a pdf.

There are loads of free open source tools out there that can do the same thing as software you can pay for – free software available online you can download and use without paying a license fee. So far so good, but, unlike Microsoft and other standard suppliers, it can sometimes be hard to find user-friendly information about how to use it.

It’s all very well installing a free copy of Open Office if you’re confident about learning new software skills, but it’s a lot harder for people who aren’t happy clicking about trying to make it work. And there aren’t that yet Dummies’ Guides for even the most popular open source products.

That’s why Floss Manuals is a great idea. It’s a well-designed website that let’s you select the products you want to know about and download pdfs of the manuals. Follow the link to see how it helps you get the most from OpenOffice, which is a free alternative to the suite of Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. OpenOffice manuals


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Fundraising is the lifeblood of the sector, but how can the internet help? Well, it can help you with:

  • Research that supports your fundraising
    • Where’s the money?
    • Information to support my bids
  • Raising money from donors
  • Improving your fundraising skills

I compiled the following list of sites as part of a review of useful sites for a training course I’m planning. Although a lot of it may appear to be local information I’d suggest it all has some value wherever you work:

East Sussex Bidding Bulletin
The Bidding Bulletin is updated monthly and is the most comprehensive listing of current funding sources I have found anywhere in the country, including deadlines, contact details of all live funding pots. Mainly relevant to south east of England, but worth a look for any fundraiser.

West Sussex Grant Finder
Where’s the money? Use this free service to search for current grants information. Not 100% relevant to Brighton & Hove but better than anything we have online here.

Government Statistics
Relevant facts and figures emphasise the value of your work and add weight to your application. Now you can view all sorts of Government statistics – just put in your postcode and see the census data for your neighbourhood, plus loads of other useful information to cut and paste into your funding bids.
Take donations online at bmycharity
Take donations online – you pay a commission but can easily take donations and add tax relief without having an online banking facility. You can also try www.justgiving.com for the same service.

Popular local funders
Brighton Resource Centre maintains a list of popular funders, especially aimed at small local groups. Every CVS or local support group could do this quite easily – does yours?

Professional fundraising information
This is at the professional end of the fundraising spectrum but may alert you to training courses or new ideas.

Advice about how to make a bid
Lots of useful leaflets and information to download from the Funderfinfer website about how to do fundraising – from beginner to expert level.

You can also subscribe to various email alerts to receive news updates about fundraising by email. Keep your eye open as you surf these links and let the information come to you.

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I’ve just stumbled across a wonderful example of how tools such as Powerpoint and graphs and charts can be a tool for powerful and highly effective communications. I urge you to watch it through to the end to remind you just what makes a great presentation work – and also because it’s about world poverty and raises all sorts of questions about its causes and effects.

I’m preparing notes for a workshop on presentations, which will combine a session I run on the use of powerpoint with a workshop that someone else delivers that focuses on body language and confidence-building. We’re taking the best bits from each to produce a two-day course for staff and volunteers from community and voluntary organisations in Brighton & Hove.

Whilst Powerpoint may be a staple tool of business there are many people in the voluntary sector who do not use it, and in fact are often anti-Powerpoint. This may be because they don’t have access to the tools, or often because they feel an aversion to it – having suffered too many times at the hands of a poor quality presentation made worse by awful slideshows.

The availability of cheaper laptops and projectors means it is now becoming more common for people to use them – we hire them out at SCIP and have seen a massive change in the numbers being borrowed in the past few years. Today a new laptop plus projector may cost no more than about £700 , and it’s a great tool for community work and outreach.

But, instead of being liberated by the opportunity to prepare and share information in such a flexible way there is still an underlying assumption that Powerpoint = boring, and an antipathy towards its use. Mainly this is because too many people have suffered as people use all the gadgets at their disposal without any consideration about how it helps tell their story. Rather than embrace the technology and use it as a tool it has become someting you have to apologise for.

I think this video shows how we need to look beyond the technology to see that it is the story and the storyteller that matter – but also how they can use the tools available to help you listen, learn and respond. It subtly underlines that you need to be in control of your tools – this is a master craftsman cleverly combining highly technical skills to make an incredibly powerful point.

TED | Talks | Hans Rosling: New insights on poverty and life around the world (video)

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