Communication Tools for Neighborhood Associations

SW News newspaper

SWNI publishes the monthly 16-page SW News newspaper. Each neighborhood association is provided space in the printed and online editions for a 300-to-500 word article, public meeting notice and event announcements. The 20-page July edition is mailed to all households in southwest Portland and highlights neighborhood association summer events.

Maps

The City of Portland provides two large printed neighborhood boundary maps to each neighborhood. SWNI will pay for lamination of the maps if requested.

Website

The SWNI coalition website, swni.org includes coalition-wide content and separate pages for each neighborhood association. Each neighborhood association receives a website login for updating their content.

Newsletter and Social Media Accounts

SWNI staff assist with establishing and managing MailChimp email marketing and Facebook social media accounts for neighborhood associations. This facilitates account ownership during volunteer transitions.

Custom Domain Name: myneighborhood.org

SWNI will pay annual domain registration fees and manage DNS records for neighborhood association domains. The domain name can point to a neighborhood's webpage on swni.org or a neighborhood website located on another server. Custom domain names include G Suite accounts using the domain name.

Google for Nonprofits

Gmail, Docs, Forms, Sheets, Calendar, Drive and Google Meet are included with every G Suite account. Following are some of the ways SWNI has implemented G Suite for Nonprofits to support neighborhood associations. Learn more about G Suite tools at the G Suite Learning Center.

Groups

Communicating with neighborhood association boards of directors and ensuring required land use and transportation notices are delivered to the correct individuals are made possible by the use of two Google Groups for each association, maintained by SWNI staff.

  • Board Group

    • Members of a neighborhood Board Group are the association's board of directors. When board members change, SWNI staff update the Group.
    • The Group email address, for example board@myneighborhood.org, forwards email to all members of the Group, making it possible to communicate with all board members of a neighborhood association without exposing their email addresses.
    • The Group provides board members with unique access to the neighborhood's records and working documents stored in the cloud on Google Drive. There, board members can view their archived records maintained by SWNI, update their PUBLIC Meeting Materials folder linked on their website and shared publically and they can create additional folders for collaboration and sharing.
    • The Board Group email addressses can be found on the Neighborhoods page.
  • Contact Group

    • Members of a neighborhood Contact Group are the individuals responsible for receiving their neighborhood's land use and transportation notices. When representatives change, SWNI staff update the Group.
    • The Group email address, for example contact@myneighborhood.org, forwards land use and transportation related neighborhood notifications to individuals without exposing their email address. Communications from the City, developers and other civic organizations addressed to the Group are delivered to the appropriate individuals. 
    • City staff use this Group address in place of individual contacts. This releives City staff from making frequent updates to their various departmental databases which were often not current.

Drive

A Google Drive has been set up for each neighborhood association, accessible by members of the Board Group.

  • Archives Folder
    • The Archives folder contains all the neighborhood's archives managed by SWNI.
    • The Archives folder is view-only by members of the Board Group.
  • PUBLIC Meeting Materials Folder
    • The PUBLIC Meeting Materials folder is used for sharing meeting documents. For example, an agenda and minutes for approval.
    • The PUBLIC Meeting Materials folder is viewable by anyone but only members of the Board Group can add and remove documents.
    • Websites and newsletters link to this folder. The link never changes and allows documents to be updated after a newsletter is sent. A permanent link on the website to this foler eliminates the need to update the website for each meeting.
  • Collaboration
    • Members of the Board Group can create and share documents and folders on their neighborhood Drive.

Custom Domain G Suite Accounts

  • G Suite accounts, including email addresses are available for custom domain names, for example myname@myneighborhood.org. SWNI pays the annual registration fee for custom domain names.

Photos

  • Unlimited photo storage for each neighborhood association.
  • Photo albums can be shared on websites and in newsletters.

Meet

  • Every G Suite account includes Canendar and Meet for scheduling and hosting video meetings. Recordings are automatically saved to the account's Google Drive that has 30 GB storage.

YouTube Nonprofit Program

SWNI helps set up and manage a branded YouTube account for each neighborhood association with features especially useful for nonprofits:

  • Link anywhere cards let you link supporters to any external URL
  • YouTube Giving features can help with fundraising and rallying supporters
  • Creator Academy offers lessons tailored to nonprofits
  • Shoot or edit videos at YouTube's global creator studios

Google Earth and Maps

Neighborhood associations can develop compelling data visualizations to track and share their organization’s impact. Plus, use Google Maps Platform to help people locate community programs and resources closest to them.

Microsoft for Nonprofits 

A Microsoft for Nonprofits grant pays for website hosting, a remote ArcGIS desktop, a remote accounting desktop and cloud storage for backups. The grant also provides 10 licences for Microsoft 365 Business Premium. Additional licenses may be purchased for $5/mo or $60/yr, discounted from $20/mo or $240/yr.

SWNI Office and Staff

Note: The SWNI office is closed due to the pandemic. Staff are working from home. See Contact page.

Neighborhood associations can use the SWNI office mailing address and phone number.

  • Neighborhood association mail is held in the SWNI office for pickup. 
  • SWNI pays for laminating a large boundary map for each neighborhood association. The city of Portland provides the maps at no charge to neighborhood associations.

Equipment Loan

Neighborhood associations can reserve SWNI equipment for use at their meetings and events.

  • Overhead projector
  • Laptop
  • Audio recorder
  • Portable whiteboard
  • Video equipment for live streaming meetings or production of neighborhood videos
  • See Events page for more event-related supplies available by reservation

Printing and Mailing

  • SWNI pays postage (some years - see annual budget) for a postcard mailing to all households within the neighborhood association boundaries.
  • Assistance with graphic design of postcards and flyers.
  • SWNI provides a commercial printing allowance to each neighborhood association (some years - see annual budget).