Low-cost online organizing toolsets


I'm working with a bunch of new organizations that are growing out of the collapse of ACORN. As new organizations concentrating on organizing low and moderate income families they recognize the need to utilize new media and the internet to help them organize well, but they face challenges related to skill sets and cost.

I've done a bunch of research myself, but I'm wondering about the experience and knowledge of other folks. I'm looking to help folks acquire: databases, websites, and online mobilization and campaign tools.

The ideal solution would be an off-the-shelf product in any or all categories that requires less rather than more training and less rather than more tech savvy. For example, CiviCRM, which seems like a good solution for folks, will require some access to people who are willing to help them set it up with their website hosts and then some access to people who can help them make it work. Both of these things are high hurdles for the bulk of these new organizations.

Then there's the challenge of a website that can also be used for advocacy and organizing and that talks to one's database.

I don't expect the ideal solution to exist for what people can pay, which is mostly nothing.

But any ideas and suggetions that people have would be greatly appreciated.

I'm already aware of eblast tools like Constant Contact, Verticle Response, Campaigner, and MailChimp and many of the more professional (and expensive) online advocacy solutions like WFC/Salsa Labs, NGP, Convio, etc.

Anything else would be super helpful.


Nathan HJ

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