Communication Tools for Neighborhood Associations

Mailing Address

Neighborhood associations can use the SWNI office mailing address and phone number. Neighborhood association mail is held in the SWNI office for pickup. 

SW News newspaper

SWNI publishes the monthly SW News. Each neighborhood association is provided space for a 300-to-500 word article, public meeting notice and event announcements. The July edition highlights neighborhood association summer events.

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 independant website hosted elsewhere. Custom domain names include Google Workspace accounts.

Google Workspace

Through a Google for Nonprofits grant, each neighborhood board member may request a Google Workspace account with all the apps; Gmail, Drive (30GB), Meet, Calendar, Chat, Doc, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, Forms and Currents. 

Following are some of the ways SWNI has leveraged the Google for Nonprofits grant to support neighborhood associations. Learn more about these tools at the Google Workspace 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 neighborhood association.

  • Board Group

    • Members of a Board Group are the board of directors. When your board members change, notify SWNI staff to 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 neighborhood Board Group email addressses can be found on the Neighborhoods page.
  • Contact Group

    • Members of a Contact Group are the individuals responsible for receiving their neighborhood's land use and transportation notices. When representatives change, notify SWNI staff to 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 previously not kept current.

Drive

Each neighborhood association's Google Drive is accessible by members of their 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.
    • Send materials to be archived to SWNI Staff.
  • 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 upload meeting materials to the website.
  • Collaboration
    • Members of the Board Group can create and share documents and folders on their neighborhood Drive.

Photos

  • Unlimited photo storage for each neighborhood association.
  • Photo albums can be shared on websites and in newsletters.
  • Google Photos has a robust search feature.

Meet

  • Every Google Workspace account includes Canendar and Meet for scheduling and hosting video meetings.

YouTube Nonprofit Program

SWNI helps set up and manage a branded YouTube account for each neighborhood association with unlimited video storage and other 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.

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.

Microsoft for Nonprofits 

A Microsoft for Nonprofits grant pays for the SWNI website hosting, a remote ArcGIS desktop for watershed mapping projects, a remote accounting desktop and cloud storage for backups. The grant also provides 10 licences for Microsoft 365 Business Premium for SWNI staff use.