WordPress

last person joined: 4 days ago 

A place for nonprofit WordPress developers and content managers of all skill levels.
The WordPress group is an engaged network of WordPress developers and content managers, for all skill levels, by WordPress users for WordPress users, to encourage the usage of and advocate for WordPress.

Our goal: to support nonprofit organizations using (or interested in using) WordPress. Additionally, this is a safe and friendly place for beginning WordPress developers and users to ask questions and connect to like-minded people.

Short link: http://community.nten.org/wordpress

1.  Question of the Month-November: Intranet Plugins

Posted 6 days ago
This month's Question of the Month just walked in my office. My board wants to purchase a $5,000, 3-year contract for a "board portal" - an online location that securely warehouses meeting minutes and financials, while providing access-from-anywhere convenience...oh, and they want to be able to sign documents online here too. We're a small nonprofit; access would top out at 20 with 11 board members, 4 advisory council members and select staff.

About 10 years ago, we instituted a website-based "intranet" at my former employer. The Intranet was accessible with an email login and password protection. Hosting sensitive monthly documents allowed remote board members spread across six counties the opportunity to access files earlier than the mail delivered, kept the board organized, helped the organization reduce postage expense, and eliminated mindless staff time stuffing and mailing board packets. It also helped our board focus on the work at hand, rather than spending time locating old emails and loose papers (we did opt to equip them with a binder for the paper-impaired). It took a while to migrate the board to the Intranet, but within a year, the more tech-savvy embraced the change.

Are you using a WordPress plugin to provide "an intranet" or online portal access for your board? Are you using this behind-the-scenes access by other department personnel who need access to the same or different set of files? What are you using? What was the learning curve? Was it successful enough to warrant bypassing the Out-of-the-Box alternative?

Thanks for your input. And if you have a question walk through your office door, please post it as a Discussion Thread! T

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Tara Collins
Director of Communication & Resource Development, RUPCO
Kingston, NY
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2.  RE: Question of the Month-November: Intranet Plugins

Posted 5 days ago
I would like to answer in depth, but I cannot as I have not used WordPress for intranet (besides localhost for development and testing). But I can pose the following question to you:

Wouldn't DocuSign and a DropBox accomplish basically the same thing?

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Ali Jaffar
Lead Developer at Key Medium LLC
codingforcauses@keymedium.com
www.keymedium.com
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3.  RE: Question of the Month-November: Intranet Plugins

Posted 5 days ago
I am torn between spending money and have it all in a sophisticated board portal, and have the board deal with customer support, training, etc. issues, or use already available resources like Google Drive to carve out a corner of the Google System and organize it.
"Collaboration Tools for Board members" was the topics of our NPTechClub Tech4Good meeting last May.

After our NPTechClub meeting in May, Jim O'Reilley and I explored how a board collaboration could be organized via Google Drive in our podcast episode #18 (transcript is available) I'd be very interested in your comments, should you indeed take a listen.

For WordPress, I haven't seen a plugin or a suite of plugins for this purpose, but with enough time to plan and think, it might work with a combination between BuddyPress and Restrict Content Pro

And here are more resources from the Tech4Good SWFL meeting 

Idealware published a Consumer's Guide to Board Portals in May 2016.

We handed out a two-page summary of the Comparison Chart last night. It's available as Google Doc.  You can obtain the 60-page research report for free on Idealware's website

21 Free or Low/Cost Collaboration Tools

Document/Collaboration
File sharing
Online conferencing
Project Management/Task Collaboration
Surveys/ Voting
Electronic Signatures





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Birgit Pauli-Haack
Co-organizer Tech4Good SWFL
NTEN Nonprofit TechClub in Naples FL
text/call 239-595-3882
NPTechProjects
Join our WP4Good Club
Skype: birgitpauli
Twitter: @bph
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4.  RE: Question of the Month-November: Intranet Plugins

Posted 4 days ago
I set up a prototype intranet "knowledge base" for a client to consider using a theme called Manual (from wpsmartapps) and installed the Ultimate Member plugin, among others.  Let me emphasize I'm not a developer.   I set it up simply to help drive the thinking/ideas forward regarding their intranet requirements and what could be done using WordPress.

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Joe Keenan
Primary Contact
Adaptive Media Strategies
Hudson, NY
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5.  RE: Question of the Month-November: Intranet Plugins

Posted 5 days ago
That is a great question!

I'm of the opinion that hosting a board portal via WordPress is a fairly rotten idea unless you have a developer on staff (or access and funds for one).  Earlier this year, I pulled off a WordPress intranet for a client using a plugin called Groups and a related plugin for masking file URLs.  

Setup took forever (I had to transfer around 800 PDFs manually because of the way the plugins work) and I still think the file uploading and page uploading processes are a wonky thing to hand over to a client.  I only did it because they insisted, and that was after a valiant attempt to get them to use something else.

My pick for a board portal is BoardBookit. It's excellent software (I've seen the demo) and free for nonprofits with budgets under $2 million.

Cindy

Cindy Leonard, Consulting Team Leader
Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, 
339 Sixth Ave, Ste 750, Pgh, PA 15222
p 412-397-6007 | f 412-397-6016 | leonard@rmu.edu | www.bcnm-rmu.org





6.  RE: Question of the Month-November: Intranet Plugins

Posted 5 days ago
I've twice set up intranets using WordPress and wouldn't call either attempt a success. Tried plugins including BuddyPress, bbPress, for membership, documents etc. Set up custom post types and fields.

I agree with Cindy that it's probably best to not use WordPress for this purpose; although with enough time and money, I'm sure there could be good solutions. I'd prefer to test drive some of the tools on Birgit's list instead.

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Jason King
Freelance WordPress development and Google Ad Grant management
Mirepoix, France

www.kingjason.co.uk

Twitter: @jasoncsking
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7.  RE: Question of the Month-November: Intranet Plugins

Posted 5 days ago
Not an answer to your question but my insurance company has a board portal as a benefit of D&O insurance. https://insurancefornonprofits.org/  I've not used it but it might be a better option than the $5k?

PS - for intranet we are moving to Google Sites but we won't be putting highly sensitive docs on there.

--
Kai Williams
Executive Director


The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

PO Box 3197
Eugene, OR 97403

Phone 866.871.1869
Fax 408.876.6153
director@theiwrc.org







8.  RE: Question of the Month-November: Intranet Plugins

Posted 4 days ago
I've always said that the problem with Intranets is that people view them as a solution to internal communications in an org/business. But in my opinion they are a technical solution to what is actually a people problem.

The story I always tell is of the guy who used to sit in the desk behind me who would make changes to tools or process without telling the rest of the team. If he couldn't be bothered to swivel his chair, tap me on the shoulder and tell me something important, or raise the fact of the change in a team meeting, why would he log on to some website and write it down there?  The issue was cultural, not technological.

So I think an intranet is a PART of the solution to internal comms, but not the WHOLE solution.  It needs to be combined with some or all of:

 - email newsletters
 - offline internal comms: a poster on the canteen wall can do a lot!
 - team meetings
 - communications "champions" or "ambassadors" (both are terrible words - find your own) who promote good communication and point people at the tools and processes to use

WordPress has it's place in this mix, but I've always struggled with using it for any kind of community.  It's a publishing tool, so I would use it for publishing - your internal news portal!  Like others, I've struggled to use it for forums/social type stuff.  The alternatives to bbPress (such as Vanilla and Discourse) are so much better.

The one WordPress thing I'm always slightly baffled doesn't get more attention is O2: https://geto2.com/ . This seems to fix a lot of the problems of online chat and forums but no one other than Automattic - the people who make WordPress.com - seem to use it in the wild.

With all that in mind, can I add to the list:

  • https://www.igloosoftware.com/ - which is a cloud-based intranet that I've heard good things about but never actually used
  • https://typeform.io - my favourite forms!
  • Facebook Workplace: https://www.facebook.com/workplace - which has many of the benefits of other intranet/internal comms tools, but with the huge advantage that most of your users will already know how to use it because it's really just a private Facebook

Ross

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Ross Wintle
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9.  RE: Question of the Month-November: Intranet Plugins

Posted 3 days ago

@KaiWilliams @JasonKing @CindyLeonard @BirgitPauli-Haack @AliJaffir this is why I LOVE our community! Thanks for the recommendations – and words of caution – sometimes the best solution ISN'T a WordPress plugin, and that's ok. I'm emailing our CEO now with the myriad of options you've all shared. I'll report back with our choice to a board portal that works.

 

Tara Collins

Director of Communications & Resource Development

RUPCO, Inc. | 289 Fair Street | Kingston, NY 12401

845 331-2140 ext. 276 office | 845 331-6217 fax | (607) 643-5148 cell

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