How do you light up a rural area with no electric power lines? You might use a solar-powered light bulb. This is a great example of “appropriate technology.” It’s small-scale, simple, local, yet sophisticated and perfectly fitted to the resources people have at hand.
Community-based nonprofits and small businesses can use appropriate technology in their communications.
Example #1: you don’t have the budget for a specially designed constituent relationship management (CRM) system ? You can use free tools to track your donors or customers. They have their limits, but if you have simple needs and you have more time than money, they may be appropriate for you.
Example #2: you can’t afford a PR software system like Vocus? Go back to the future and build your own media contact list.
This is a great job for a volunteer. He or she can go online and find the newspapers, TV and radio stations, blogs, and even Facebook groups related to the community you serve, or the programs or products you offer.
(A tip: try out the contact information early–before it’s vital to get the word out–and often–to make sure your contact hasn’t left that company.)
What’s your favorite example of using simple, inexpensive approaches to get the job done?