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.

G Suite 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

Two Google Groups have been set up for each neighborhood association. Additional Groups can be set up to support unique neighborhood association needs.

  • Board Group

    • Members of a neighborhood board Group are the association's board members. When board members change, the Group is updated to reflect current board membership.
    • These Groups facilitate communications to neighborhood board members. An email address such as 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 the board members' email addresses.
    • These Groups facilitate online collaboration and access to the organization's documents. Groups provide board members with permission to view and update folders and documents on the neighborhood's Google Drive.
  • Contact Group

    • Members of a neighborhood contact Group are land use and transportation volunteers. When volunteers change, the Group is updated.
    • These Groups facilitate official notifications to neighborhood activists without exposing volunteers' personal email addresses. Communications from the City, developers and other civic organizations addressed to contact@myneighborhood.org, are forwarded to the appropriate volunteers. 
    • City bureaus never need to update neighborhood contact lists.

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 and is updated by SWNI.
  • PUBLIC Meeting Materials Folder
    • The PUBLIC Meeting Materials folder is for upcoming 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 can link to this folder. The link never changes and allows documents to be updated and added after the newsletter is sent. 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 embedded on a website and shared in a newsletter.

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 365 Business Premium

The Microsoft for Nonprofits grant includes 10 licenses for Microsoft 365 Business Premium. This includes OneDrive (1TB of cloud storage), Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams for each account. SWNI staff each use one licesnse and neighborhoods share the additional licenses. Neighborhoods may use their communications funds to purchase their own license for $5/mo or $60/yr, discounted from $20/mo or $240/yr. Office 365 Training Center.

Azure Credits 

SWNI uses the donated $3,500/yr Azure credits to host the swni.org website, an ArcGIS remote desktop for the Watershed Resource Center, a remote desktop for SWNI's accounting software and cloud storage for backups of the website, neighborhood archives and office files.

Staffed Office

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

SWNI staff are available 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday, to answer phones, receive mail and greet walk-ins at the Multnomah Arts Center office. 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 City of Portland boundary map for each neighborhood association.
  • SWNI staff are available to assist associations in using office printers, laminator and other equipment and supplies.

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 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) and use of printers in the SWNI office.