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More Than Apps: Affordable Program Delivery Through Mobile Phones


Lindsey Bealko, Expert Trainer, Idealware

Principal & Founder Toolkit Consulting

Pat Malone: Associate Director, Immigration Advocates Network

Xander Karsten LawHelp Program Coordinator,  Pro Bono Net


What We'll Cover

  • A new, Mobile World
  • Providing Information
  • Conversations with Constituents
  • Supporting Staff in the field


A New Mobile World

  • 90% of all American Adults have a cell phone
  • 58% of American adults own smartphones
  • Common across demographics. Not huge gaps


How you can Provide Information via Mobile

  • Start with the basics: a mobile website is the core of any mobile strategy
  • If you're going to engage your viewers on a phone, they need to be able to find your site on their phone.
  • Is your website up to date? Do you have an email-marketing strategy to drive people to your website?
  • How does your website look on a phone?
  • Look at your web analytics to see how much of your traffic is coming from mobile, and see what people are doing.


Optimizing  your site for mobile

  • Plan for those who only see the top left of your site, or a full but tiny site
  •  20-80 rule,  About 20% of your content is what people are looking at 80% of the time. You mobile site should optimize that 20%.  Then, add a link to full site.
  • People are more likely to be looking at your site while distracted, and are probably looking for quick information rather than in-depth information. (think about what your users really need and want)
  • Consider responsive  design: if you're building from scratch, you can create a site that adapts itself to different devices.
  • Or create your own simple app. Apps need to be downloaded, but then are accessible offline. Tools like AppMakr, Sweb Apps, MobBase will help you create very simple apps for $100-$200. (make sure you have someone to help you maintain your app).
  • Or for simply use QR codes to make paper interactive. Direct people to a mobile version of your website.


Mobile Friendly Examples

  • Pocket Daca: info  to help individuals understand and apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  • Immigo:  information for practitioners working in the immigrant integration space
  • Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation iProBono
  • Winona County Historical Society: Created with open source software, TapTours, by non-technical staff members.
  • Circle of Six: An app that protects women: women select 6 trusted  friends. Sends preprogrammed text to those friends including map of their location. Designed for college-age women with smartphones.


Conversations with Constituents

Sending Texts from Email: not officially supported, so not 100% reliable or for large quantities. A reasonable choice for small numbers of texts.

Sending Broadcast Texts: If you've collected cell phone numbers you can text them messages-- very similar to broadcast email. Start adding cell phone numbers with an opt-in box for text message updates. 

Ask People to Subscribe: put it on all your forms, or start a texting campaign. "Text Subscribe to 2934 to stay informed about our organization" 

Text messages for 2-way conversations: set up branch logic. You can setup automated responses with a lot of branch points.

You can connect your texts to a database, so people can get automatic texts or responses.  Use texts to collect information: People can report emergencies or incidents via SMS, which are collected in a database.



-teens can text or call to talk to someone for help if considering suicide. They got 20 times as many texts sessions as phone calls.


Text Message Platforms:

Mobile Commons:  $400/month. More 2-way. (will do group subscription)

 Mobile Cause: 1000 text/mo. Starting at $69

Google Voice: 5 texts at a time, for free. 

Clickatell, Mobile Accord, Frontline SMS, Twilio


99% of texts get read. 80% in the first 3 minutes. And the click rate is 4 times higher than email.


Supporting staff in the field:

  • Allow staff to view or collect data in the field
  • Allow staff to do intake remotely
  • Collect data from constituents
  • Tablets can be compelling for surveys or quick data collection
  • Door to door canvassing


I've been doing a lot of research seeking information on  securing discounted internet for 501.c.3 nonprofit organizations, and I want to share with you some of the information I've found. Most notably is the advice from Northwest Justice Project's very own Sue Encherman, Director of Administration Management.  This August, The Northwest Justice Project's Yakima office relocated to a new building. Sue, who was working hard to ensure the transition between the offices went smoothly, contacted the Public Utilities Department (PUD) in Yakima to ask about discounted high-speed fiber optic internet.   Although the first contact Sue spoke to didn't have any idea that the PUD could help,  she  informed the contact that some of the other counties in Washington provide discounted broadband to nonprofits. Shortly thereafter, the PUD contacted Sue and let her know  that the Northwest Justice Project's Yakima office did indeed qualify for discounted broadband!


 I'm not saying "Don't take no for an answer," but be sure to do your research so you have a leg up when you contact your PUD. Here are some more tips to help you secure discounted broadband for your nonprofit:



Like I mentioned before,  your local PUD,  may not even know they are allowed to provide high speed internet to nonprofits, so do your research!  I've noticed that  a lot of PUD websites are a little bit outdated and hard to navigate, so you might have to dig. Take your time to thoroughly search, and there is a  chance that you will be able to find unintentionally hidden information on your PUD's website. It also helps to look at the Public Utilities Departments for neighboring cities.


Be a Comparative Shopper

If your PUD gives you a deal, make sure it's the best deal you can get. Know who all the internet providers in the area are, and that sometimes commercial is the way to go. If the PUD offers you a 50% discount, but charges $6,000 to install fiber, it is probably not going to be the best deal if you only have 4 people in your office.


Look for Grants

Right to internet access or right to broadband movements are growing, and a lot of them provide grants to non profits.  Look for Last Mile grants and grants specific to your state or city.  BroadbandUSA, committed to connected America's communities, is a good place to start.


What's the deal with Fiber

Fiber is up to 100 times faster than the average broadband speeds. According to the Washington Post, the average internet speed in America is 18.2Mbps. Fiber provides speeds up to 1,000mbps or 1 gigabyte/sec! 


Photo by Michael WyszomierskiCC BY-NC 2.0


I've been going through old blog posts to make sure our information is all up to date. Here are some popular posts that have been updated. I made sure all the links are working, added some more relevant information, and removed outdated information. I will continue to go through the posts and update everyone accordingling. If you ever find an outdated article or an aritcle with broken links, please let me know. You can either comment on this post or email me at

Post Title

Date Published

Date Updated

FreeTech Tools for Legal Aid



50 Tech Tips for the Poverty Law Community



Tech and Law Update- December 5, 2011



Online Scheduling Tools



50 Tech Tips -My Favorites + Recordings




Back to School with 50 Tech Tips 9/10/2014

A perennial favorite, join us as we present 50 new technology tips! From new tools to new hacks, start the school season off right with this fast-paced session.  Pulling from a broad range of presenters -- from technologists, website administrators, attorneys, to tips from the community -- the hour will fly by

Talley Wells, Disability Integration Project Director, Atlanta Legal Aid Society
Tony Lu, Citizenship Works Project Coordinator, Pro Bono Net
Kim Marshall, Content Developer and Project Manager, Arkansas Legal Services Partnership
Jessie Posilkin, Training and Implementation Specialist, Legal Services Corporation
Xander Karsten, LawHelp Program Coordinator, Pro Bono Net
Tech Tips from Kim Marshall,
Arkansas Legal Services Partnership

Spritz: If you have too much to read or want to read faster, check out Spritz. Do a quick test to find out how many words per minute you read, and start using Spritz to read faster. Spritz is incorporated by the next tip, Readsy.

Readsy: Readsy incorporates a Spritz widget and allows you to upload a file, copy text, or a URL onto the site and read the text using Spritz technology. There is also a Readsy bookmark tool which automatically copies URLs for you.

StayFocused: A productivity tool that allows you to block sites from distracting you. You can set time limits and fully customize which sites you want to block. The site helps limit how much time can spend on time-wasting websites by allowing you to set a number of minutes that you will be allowed to look at certain sites on your blocked sites list. Here is a list of suggested blocked sites!

Zotero:  A free tool which helps you collect, organize, cite, sync, and share your research. Download Zotero, and start building your research library that you can access from any computer!  Here is a short video that will help you get started.

OttoBib: Generates a citations and bibliographies with just an ISBN. Generates citations in MLA, Chicago, and a few other styles.

EasyBib: Generates citation in MLA, APA, & Chicago for your bibliography. Cite a URL, Book, Journal, database, or 50+ other types of documents with easy using this handy tool.

Duolingo: A language learning tool that understands how people learn languages. Choose from Spanish, Danish, Irish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Dutch. The site is free and can be used on a mobile device! Beginners start at Basics 1, and advanced learners take a placement test. A font selecting tool. Simply type in the word you are trying to styalize, and will use all of your fonts and show you your text as the sample. Excellent for graphic design projects!

OneLook: OneLook is a reference site that allows you to use commands to search for words and definition. Ie: search “bl????rd” which will find words that start with bl and end in rd with 4 letters between. Comes in handy when you just can’t remember the word you are looking for.  

Tip of My Tongue: Helps you find a word that you can’t remember. Has an unscrambling tool, allows you to enter partial words, and offers definitions.

Microsoft Word Alternatives: Free open source software. They have the ability to open word documents:

My Fridge Food: Generates recipes and meal ideas based on the ingredients that you have in your kitchen. Go through a quick check list and populate recipes!

More Tips: Xander Karsten (Moderator)

Coffitivity: Perfect for those who like to work in coffee shops. Coffitivity has a library of background noises including “Morning Murmur” and “University Undertones” to boost your creativity. Download the app for on the go sounds.

Email Hacks

  • Outlook: copy and paste attachments from one email to another
  • Show a second time zone
  • Gmail: schedule emails and reminders, so you can write an email when you have time, and send it the next day
10 Tips for a Website Launch by a non-techie:
 Talley Wells, Atlanta legal Aid Society, Inc.
  1. Map it out early & often
    • Where each piece fits. Organize.
    • The homepage/main sub pages
    • Think through each part
  2. Sit Checklists
    • Think through all the pieces
      • Hero shots/pictures
      • Graphics
      • Responsive design
      • Color schemes
      • Accessibility
      • Embedding videos
      • Layout
  3. Learn Enough to be dangerous
    • Understand enough about how to run the website
    • What the limitations are
    • How to embed videos
  4. Have a photo party
    • Find a photographer
    • Get great pictures
  5. Plan out accessibility from the start
  6. Target your Audience
    • What is your audience looking for?
    • Involve your audience in planning and thinking through
  7. Build Partnerships for Content & Promoting
    • Great publicity
    • Helps with SEO
  8. Accessibility Audit Before/After Launch
    • Used Interactive Accessibility to ensure ADA compliance
  9. Time Launce with and Event, Anniversary, etc
    • Kick off at an event to get the word out
    • Get people excited about your website
  10. Keep it Fresh
    • Plan/Schedule to edit and refresh it
    • Sell it!
    • Respond to audience interests/needs
    • Social media
    • Get assistance to keep the website going

More Tips: Xander Karsten (Moderator)

Moqups: Wireframe your website, create mock-ups and prototypes at

Iphone5csimulator & mobilephoneemulator: simulate your website on a mobile device to see how it will look and work.

 Tech Tips from Tony Lu,
Citizenship Works Project Coordinator, Pro Bono Net

Trello: Collaborative project management tool. Very helpful for visually organizing projects and tasks. Create boards and tasks. Easily collaborate with others. Assign tasks, leave comments, and set due dates on each task. 

Aero Snap: In Windows, drag a window to the left or right of the screen, and the window “snap” to fit half of your screen. Great for comparing two documents or webpages.

Better Snap Tool: For Mac, download this app to manage your windows. Simply drag windows to the screen corners or sides of the screen to compare side by side.

MindMeister: Collaborate with others, brainstorm, organize data, plan your vacation and develop with MindMeister a mapping tool that organizes vast amount of information in an organized and presentable way.

Coggle: Free and easy to use mind mapping software. Easily drag and drop to organize data. Create color coded maps, and easily organize data.  

Mindnode: (Mac iOS) create visual representations of your thoughts. Brianstorm and stay organized.

Mindjet: (Windows, Mac, iOS) Visualize projects and help people pinpoint what needs to be done, and who is responsible for each task. Uses: Brainstorming, Meeting Management, and Project Management.

Noisli: Background noise and color generator for work or relaxation. Listen to a coffee shop, white noice, or a light breeze. You can layer different sounds to get things just right. Rain+Thunder is a pretty good combo to try!

Simply Noise:  Another sound generator. Listen to white, pink, or brown noise. Extension packs are available. Set up a sleep timer or start oscillation to get the sound just right.

Sunrise Calendar (Web, Android, iOS) and Fantastical (Mac, iOS) are plain-language calendaring tools. Type “dinner with Brian next Thursday at 7pm” and the apps create the event without fields and dropdowns!

Google Authenticator: Two-step authentication using text message or voice call for many services including: Google apps, Facebook, Dropbox, LastPass, Bitcoin, Tumblr, and more. Install Google Authenticator and find more info at Google Support.

The Wire Cutter: A great site for gadget reviews. Very well researched product reviews on a broad range of topics.

Instapaper: Save articles, videos, recipes, and more while browsing. This app let you save & read things that you find online on any of your devices. Read anything you save on or offline across platforms.

Pocket: Another app that allows you to save information you find online. Put it in your virtual pocket and access it from any of your devices on or offline. .

Chromecast: A small $35 device that you connect to your HDTV (HDMI port). Connect it to your wifi network, and control it with your phone, laptop, or tablet. This is perfect for travelling or for casting videos from your phone. Cast Netflix, Pandora, Hulu Plus, and more Apps!

Normal: Battery Analytics: Normal is an iOS app that diagnoses and suggests actions you can take to extend your battery life. It shows you which apps on your device are hogging your battery.  Cost: 99 cents in the app store!

More Tips: Xander Karsten (Moderator)

Nonprofit Marketing A website that provides tips and training for nonprofits. They offer weekly webinars and blog posts Monday-Friday about nonprofit marketing, communications, and fundraising.

Hootsuite Syndicator: Provides you with a library of content for you social media accounts by streamlining RSS feeds. Subscribe to RSS feeds and see them in the HootSuite Dashboard. Once subscribed, sharing content from your curated library is really simple!

Tech Tips from Jessie Posilkin
Training and Implementation Specialist, Legal Services Corporation

School of Data: A free online resource which seeks to empower people and organizations by teaching the data use skills. Their goal is to enable people to work with data and to drive social change. Check out their course list, and learn the skills you need in the data age!

Tuva Labs: An online tool for students and teachers which seeks a brighter future through teaching/learning data literacy skills. Tuva labs allows teachers to choose datasets, assign activities, and evaluate work.

SQL (Structured Query Language) School: A plain-English guide to SQL data analysis. Simply create an account, and work your way through the lessons. You’ll be a data analyst before you know it!

Anne Emery Tutorials: Anne Emery’s website is full of useful information about data visualization and data analysis. Her 2-5 minute long Excel tutorials are awesome and reach out to trying to analyze research data and evaluation projects.

Clarify: a $30 program that allows you to create visual communications easily without fussing with multiple applications. Create an instruction manual, tutorial, or presentation with this easy to use program which makes it easy to create, export, and share!

Web Scraper: A free chrome extension that allows you to easily get data off of a website and into a spreadsheet without coding.

Awesome Screenshot: A free browser extension that allows you to capture screenshots. After capture, the app allows you to edit, crop, blur, annotate, and manipulate your capture. You can easily copy it to the clipboard or save the capture.

OneTab: A free browser extension that keeps you organized. Download the free extension, and click the icon to convert all of your open tabs into a list. When you need the tabs again, you can restore them all, or individual.  OneTab saves 95% of memory by reducing the number of open tabs!

HTTPS Everywhere: A web browser extension that automatically makes websites use the more secure HTTPS connection instead of HTTP.

LastPass: A secure password manager. Add passwords to your LastPass Vault, and the next time you need to login to a site, LastPass does it for you! The data is encrypted and decrypted locally to ensure that your information is safe. Use on your desktop, phone, tablet, or even a friend’s computer.  

More Tips: Xander Karsten (Moderator)

Stop Breath Think: A free guided mediation iOS app that seeks to foster compassion, kindness, and mindfulness to all people through a process called Stop, Breath, and Think. 


  OneNote 101
  Presenter: Sandy Rylander of Rylander Consulting
  September, 9 2014

OneNote is Microsoft's best new organizational and collaborative tool.  It can be used across multiple platforms (i.e. computer, phone, kindle, iPad, etc.).  If you aren't using OneNote yet, you should learn how it can be one of the most useful tools Microsoft has to offer.  This training covers the basics and beyond. You will learn how to use OneNote to organize information in both your professional and personal life

  OneNote is an amazing note taking tool that allows you to easily search all of your information. It is great for reference and collaboration.

  The OneNote Web App allows you to access all of your notes from any computer anywhere (as long as your notebooks are saved to the web)

   In OneNote, you create notebooks which function like binders. You can create tabs within your binders, and then add individual pages.

 Create a Notebook:


3 choices for storage. If you choose web, you will be able to access on your phone, tablet, web app, kindle, etc.

  • In order to save on the web you will have to create a Microsoft OneDrive account.  (easy)
  • Once you've created several notebooks you can easily edit the order of them by dragging and dropping
  • The green circle next to your notebooks indicates that is synced.
  • Right click to rename tabs within your notebooks
  • Click anywhere to create a placeholder for text on the page. It is very similar to a notebook. You can write anywhere!
  • From the home screen you can easily number items on your page
  • Create a table by typing and using the Tab key or Insert table
  • Password protect your notebooks


 Tag your notes to keep organized

  • Point to the text that you would like to add a tag to
  • On the home tab, choose a tag: i.e.: to-do, important, question, or customize a tag.
  • This allows you to organize your notes. Example, make a customized tag called "Sue" for everything you need Sue to look over.
  • Searching for Tags
  • To see all items you marked with the Sue tag), do the following:
  • On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Find Tags.
  • In the Task Summary task pane, click a tag to find the relevant note


Insert a Screen Clip

  • From the Insert Tab at the top, you can add a screen clipping or screenshot to your notebook.
  • To add a screen clipping, the page you would like to clip from must be the last thing you viewed before adding the clip!
  • Then simply drag the cross hairs to customize the screen clip.

Insert a Link

  • Link to an a website address or Link to another Notebook within OneNote

Insert an Attachment

  • When you attach a file, you get a file icon. In order for the file to be opened, the folder must be accessible

Insert File Printout

  • OneNote will try to open the program/document and "print" it onto your notebook page as a picture

Insert Audio or Video

  • Record Audio or Video
  • If you type while you record, the recording will generate chapters so you can quickly access parts of your recording later


  • Share/collaborate with others on your notebooks.
  • Save notebook on the web to share
  • Use recent edits to find changes made in the last week, day, 6 mo, etc. to see changes made on documents
  • Search by author


  • Draw with the mouse, or with a stylus
  • Use the ink to text option to change your handwritten words to text
  • OneNote can search handwritten text, and text from images!

Add content from the web

Sandy's Book on OneNote 2010 is available to you for non-commercial, non-profit use only. Copyright Sandy Rylander. She suggests either reading it on your screen, or printing a copy out for office use.