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WELCOME??? TECHNOLOGY

ONLINE MEETINGS

So, here’s the problem: you have an office in one part of the country, but your Board members are scattered all over the country. How do you organise board meetings, and keep everyone informed and included without all the cost of travel, expenses and accommodation? Or perhaps you deliver a services to people spread across several counties. How can you efficiently reach your service users for training, support, focus groups and conversation?

Online meetings systems offer a solution to these common problems. An online meeting offers you the ability to communicate with your Board, your clients and your colleagues without leaving your desk, and importantly, without making them leave theirs.

There are many systems available, but a typical meetings platform will allow all participants to view a presentation, see and hear the presenter and

interact with each other and the presenter, all from the comfort of their own desks.

Some possible uses of online meetings include: • to reach a geographically disparate audience without travel,

• spread your service to anywhere with a broadband connection,

• offer training unlimited by distance or location or venue,

• collaborate with colleagues in different offices, • hold meetings for a fraction of the cost.

It’s obvious that there is no substitute for real face- to-face meetings, and online meetings will not be for everybody. However, for many common situations they offer a real, tangible way of cutting costs and improving efficiencies, which is invaluable to charities. Explore: Microsoft Live Meeting or dimdim.com

Le Chéile

Vol 9 • Issue 1 • Spring 2010

www.aware.ie 

The websites of community and voluntary organisations often tend to be less than pretty. Functional, yes, perhaps even useful, but rarely pretty. However, every once in a while you stumble across a site that is genuinely beautiful - www.aware.ie is such a site.

The design is modern and leaning towards minim- alist, with lots of white, lots of space between the screens elements and a mixture of bold colours and subtle gradients, which make the page really shine.

The site utilises the “mega menu”, an emerging trend in web design, where hovering over a button displays a screen-wide tract of simply laid out, easy to digest menu items. Through these well-ordered menus the site is very easy to navigate.

Aware have done a great job of focusing their content on the visitor. The visitor is asked “how can we help you?”, which immediately puts the client’s needs at the fore. This client-centric theme continues

throughout the content, which is vital for keeping visitors engaged. Solid calls to action throughout the page, e.g. “get involved”, challenge the visitor to act and at the bottom of every page visitors are treated to a really striking footer, incorporating all of the organisation’s social media activities and a way of subscribing to their email newsletter.

There are handy tools, like a mood monitor and diagnostic tool and literally buckets of information about depression and its treatments. However, for an organisation that relies on fundraising for 80% of its income, it is surprisingly difficult for a common visitor to donate. Aware have a seemingly complex fundraising event and volunteer management tool, which allows people to volunteer and fundraise for various events for the charity, but no easy route for a visitor to give. Even if you know exactly where to go, it still takes five clicks to reach a donation form. Putting barriers in front of potential donors are only going to stop them from becoming donors.

Despite this issue Aware has created a beautiful looking site, that ticks all the right boxes.

Window on the web

Tech talk

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