A look at 15 best and (almost) free mind mapping tools for nonprofits


The same principle lies at the heart of a mind map. Mind maps help us stay organized in the world of content shock, informational chaos, and short attention span. They say mind mapping makes people more creative and retentive. Why use mind maps in your nonprofit practice?

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Guest Post by Steve Waddell: Systems Mapping for Non-Profits - Part 1

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

See larger image here: Map from: Waddell, Steve. One of the tools for better understanding networks are visual diagnostics and mapping techniques. He co-authored a paper called " Visual Diagnostics and Mapping for Scaling Change " and we had an opportunity to discuss it. He agreed to write a four-part primer on a visual diagnostics, mapping, and social networking analysis primer and how nonprofits might use these tools for social change.

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Top Ten Chart Secrets from A Nonprofit Data Nerd

Beth Kanter

Enjoy this post from my of many favorite nonprofit data nerds … Top Ten Chart Secrets from A Nonprofit Data Nerd. Charts can be one of your strongest communication tools. Better charts = better communication = better understanding = better decision making. There are infinite types of charts, but you don’t have to master them all. Line charts and histograms and scatter plots, oh my! The good news: You only need a handful of go-to charts.

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Women Who Tech: Tools and Apps to Energize your Base

Amy Sample Ward

Having tools in place to help you monitor, measure, and evaluate your work in real time will help you be more successful with your campaign, better engage with the community, and make more lasting change in the long run. Community Mapping. Community Mapping helps you identify not just the various segments of your audience, but also create a clear picture of which tools/platforms are associated with those groups and which messages are best to target where.

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RESULTS: An Acronym For Nonprofit Success


Evaluate your initiatives regularly, set up feedback boxes on your website, and create regular nonprofit focus groups. Think of it like mapping a route to take. An acronym is a much beloved tool of English teachers and PowerPoint presenters all over the world.

Messages, Stories, and Conversations: Creating a Strategy for your organization and your supporters

Amy Sample Ward

On a flip chart or whiteboard (or if you are working through this by yourself, just use a piece of paper or a spread sheet on your computer) draw 4 vertical lines, creating 5 columns. You may want to turn the flip chart sideways or use separate sheets for each column. #1: You’ve just created a map of all your audiences and how you and all of them can be sharing, conversing and campaigning in an aligned way!

SXSW: Future of Social Networks

Amy Sample Ward

create maps of communication streams. Evaluate where social makes sense. where are customers or users “in&# the organization chart (at the top?). Presentation by Charlene Li at SXSW. You can see the session information here. “Social networks will be like air.&#. Yes, we’ve heard this before, but we can’t conceptualize “air.&#. The people who “own&# those relationships need to start working together to integrate the platforms.

Digital Marketing Plan For Nonprofits: The Definitive Guide (2017)

Nonprofits Source

Sometimes it’s best to take a step back and evaluate if you’re doing everything possible to get your message heard. Once you select the Channels tab it will bring up a chart showing your organic traffic: Selecting the Landing Page dimension will filter data to show individual page performance. Heat maps, Click Maps, and Session Recorders. Heat maps and click maps are helpful to show what content is most useful to visitors.

Social Media: Ask What’s the Change, Not the Return!

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

It is a flow chart that calculates business performance taking into account not only whether the company had a profit, but whether that profit was good enough relative to the assets it took to generate it. Over those 90 years, the chart has been polished, refined and so deeply embedded in business thinking that Wall Street views it as the only legitimate means of measuring business performance. Engage Media's Theory of Change.

The Outcome of Our Outcomes

Beth Kanter

Flickr Photo By Mastery of Maps. Outcomes, indicators, metrics, logic models, flow charts galore – measurement and evaluation are in season these days. The Packard Foundation, true to the nature of its brave and innovative Learning in Public experiment, generously shared with us some of the lessons it learned by opening up the measurement and evaluation effort of its Organizational Effectiveness program to…well… the public.

New on SSIR: Give Permission to Peer Influence

Amy Sample Ward

The evaluation and recognition of peer influence, something that is not only prevalent but inherent in social media, is something that help empower and sustain your communities AND increase your staff capacity. I’ve talked before about how to map your community and the messages within it. What’s so great about the chart from Forrester at the top of this post is that it shows you a great way to view segments of your database in an influential way.

Town Hall Report Back: January 2014


Our community-driven focus also means we are changing the way NTEN staff evaluations are created. Interally, we have a new organizational chart (if you can call it that! All staff will be participating in direct feedback and evaluation of each other''s work and we hope that you will contribute. We hope that this is not a burden (we will keep the evaluation process short and sweet) but instead allows every staff member to feel connected and accountable to our community.

[VIDEO] Why You Should Ditch The Way You’ve Been Doing Strategic Planning


And a lot of the research is market research, is, you know, evaluating our constituents and our stakeholders. So we actually draw our strategic plans, our impact strategies, as mind maps. They are not documents, there is no fancy graphic design, they are mind maps.

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Just How Smart Are Your Social Media Objectives?

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

A Communications Evaluation Guide by Asibey Consulting I've been exploring different ROI and communications evaluation approaches and how they might be adapted for social media strategies. To help, the Communications Network recently published a guide to help foundations and nonprofits develop plans to evaluate their communications. The guide is an excellent road map for designing and planning an evaluation of your overall communications plan.

WeAreMedia: A Larger Context For Social Media for Program Delivery - Next Nonprofit Report

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

This does not mean predicting the future (an impossible task if ever there was one) but instead means being attuned to rapid and continual shifts in the environment; continually evaluating and interpreting how organizations can best adapt; and experimenting with new responses and approaches. What I found most thought provoking were the questions we should ask about technology in charting the future.

Groundwire Engagement Benchmarking Survey: Intro and Section One


It allows you to evaluate your assumptions and related strategies and tactics, so you can shift away from what’s not working and focus on or expand what is working. It’s like traveling somewhere without a map. Smart Chart 3.0, Ever wondered exactly what it takes to be an engaging organization? Or wish someone would come into your organization, give you the once-over, and tell you in layman's terms where you're excelling and where you need work?

[VIDEO] Counting the Costs: Where Capital Campaigns Often Miss the Mark


And so before their case for support was even dry, before they mapped out their gift tables, their leadership team was. . That’s our internal evaluation of are they even ready? You know, that all flows up the org chart to me at the top.

Not all knowledge is evidence, not all good advocacy is evidence based. Disagree.

Network-Centric Advocacy

John Snow presented a map to London Epidemiological Society to advocate for the closing of the Broad Street well. His contribution was more than research and mapping. Evidence comes from direct observations, surveys, experiments and evaluations and the like. Not all good advocacy is “evidence-based ” – Evidence-based advocacy has been interpreted by some to mean advocacy that uses data, charts, includes report citations etc.

[VIDEO] How to Get a Return on Your Nonprofit Technology Investment


Like is there a video that I can watch so that I can evaluate whether I want to use it or not?” So make that map and keep it updated so when a new product comes into your environment, somebody. People love to see like the run charts or, you know, the circle getting filled in.

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Four Ways Nonprofits Can Increase Their Impact with Data


No single organization can solve poverty in a community, yet we tend to focus only on our own data when evaluating our future, current, or past work. How might your perception of your work change if you mapped your organization's service areas over low income housing geographies? The problem is, most of its storytelling power is usurped by the Excel charts that typically imprison it.

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Drawing Networks on Napkins with Peter Plastrik and Madeleine Taylor, Co-Authors of Net Gains

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Later, I found the chart in Net Gains. We also discussed the whole issue of network evaluation and the difficulty of measuring those relationships versus a specific impact. Also, the idea of faster tools like social network analysis that give us real time information and the need for someone who is embedded in the network as a real time evaluator. I tend to map my "working the clouds" work in short, time boxed bursts.

Not all knowledge is evidence, not all good advocacy is evidence based. Disagree.

Network-Centric Advocacy

John Snow presented a map to London Epidemiological Society to advocate for the closing of the Broad Street well. His contribution was more than research and mapping. Evidence comes from direct observations, surveys, experiments and evaluations and the like. Not all good advocacy is “evidence-based ” – Evidence-based advocacy has been interpreted by some to mean advocacy that uses data, charts, includes report citations etc.

Community-Driven Social Impact: Presentation, Case Studies, and Workshop

Amy Sample Ward

Think of it like this: In “Community-driven Social Impact,” the driving is up to the community; but you can act as the vehicle and event the map for those “drivers.” Well, you’ll find that much of the work that involves your community, whether it’s building up the community, working on engagement, listening, evaluation, or anything else, involves strategy that goes in a circle.

Care and Feeding of Your Website: Google Webmaster Tools

Allegiance Group

If it doesn’t, you should confirm that your site is being crawled successfully and then evaluate your content strategy and use of keywords. You won’t need to re-submit the map every time you change it, but it is worth revisiting this page to catch any problems that Google detects. It provides a high-level timeline chart, a list of specific pages and their load times, and then gives tips on how to speed up those pages. So, you have a website.

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WeAreMedia Live Workshop: Reflections

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Being able to make decisions and evaluate are more appropriate for a learning experience delivered over time such as a semester long course or at least having some time and space in between sessions. evaluate the results of your social media experiment and use the information to improve your next social media strategy experiment. On the evaluation survey, we asked people to identify their "aha magic learning moment." Finish the social media strategy map.

Networked Capacity Building: Finish Line Grantees Social Media Training

Beth Kanter

Along with Ed Walz, myself, and Liane, we spent a lot of time at the beginning mapping out program level outs and used a modified theory of change process. This prevents getting to tactical too quickly and places results in a larger context. The point was to create “SMARTer” objectives. The “E” stands for evaluator and the “R” stands for “Revaluate.”

Reflections on the Meyer Memorial Trust Workshop

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media

Then, I match this against participant feedback/evaluations. What's your strategy map? My problem now is that I don't do a lot of processing with a pen or marker/flip chart anymore -- but I was standing up there, so I jotted some notes down on my moleskin. One group mapped out a strategy for how they would present this plan and map to others on staff to involve them in the implementation of the strategy - individuals using the profiles.

Balance the Spontaneous and Strategic of Social Media: Newsjacking and Obamacare

Beth Kanter

The Glasspocket’s blog has a post from Claire Gibbons, a senior program officer in the Research & Evaluation Unit at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that illustrates or describes the change. (KD Paine and I devoted an entire chapter to this topic in our forthcoming book , Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.). In addition, Sinatra mentions that figuring out their ‘no matter what’ messages was important to mapped out in advance.