Choirs typically have exceptionally tight budgets, so getting the most bang for your buck is especially important. Here’s a sampling of choir management tools that will make your life easier – for free!
1. Google Suite
Google’s full suite of free tools makes it easy for organizations to manage everything in one place.
For managing your chorus members, try using Google Contacts as a member database and Google Groups for email distribution lists.
For file management, use Google Drive. Create Google Forms to gather feedback from your members, use Google Docs/Sheets/Slides to create and collaborate on various files, Google Drawings for riser charts, or even Google My Maps to import a list of member addresses for carpooling requests.
For managing meetings and volunteers, try Google Hangouts as a chat feature and video meeting host. Use Google Keep as a way to track meeting notes, assign action items, and collaborate with your team.
For your marketing efforts, use Google AdWords for pay-per-click ads, list your organization on Google My Business for a boost in SEO, and link your website to Google Analytics for web traffic insights.
Google Apps for Nonprofits includes everything in your Google Suite but with a few added benefits. As a nonprofit, choruses can take advantage of Google AdWords Grants which provides up to $10,000 in free Google ads. Google’s YouTube Nonprofit Program allows nonprofits to accept donations directly through YouTube while Google One Today allows organizations to collect donations with no transaction fees and keeps donors engaged in fundraising campaigns.
3. HubSpot Free CRM and Marketing Automation Platform
HubSpot is a worldwide leader in marketing automation platforms. They offer nonprofit pricing as well as a free version of their marketing tool. With the free version, organizations can create forms on their website to collect contact information. The platform tracks which website pages contacts are visiting while also offering the functionality to integrate with other email marketing platforms (such as Mailchimp) to send emails to contacts.
HubSpot offers a CRM that is 100% free forever which can be used as a contact database of chorus members, donors, email subscribers, ticket buyers, and more. Send emails straight from the platform, track opens and clicks, and see all correspondence to a contact in one place. HubSpot’s contact fields are customizable so you can keep track of the information that matters. You can even use the “deals” feature to manage your donor pipeline!
Mailchimp is an email marketing platform which can help you take your email marketing strategy to the next level. Segment your contacts into lists and setup targeted email campaigns via the platform. For more robust email features, add Mailchimp Automation.
Choruses often use multiple platforms to manage data. Avoid manual data entry across platforms by automating tasks via an automation platform. With Automate.io (or Zapier) you can automate the data entry process, reducing or even eliminating duplicate data entry entirely.
Stop the long email chains! Open up another way for chorus members to communicate via a chat platform like Slack. Slack can increase your volunteers’ productivity by freeing them up to brainstorm together and have meaningful conversations without the worry of clogging inboxes. Slack can also be a useful member engagement tool encouraging members to get to know each other outside of chorus rehearsals.
Trello is free project management software that allows you to keep lists of action items, assign team members to tasks, and move projects through a pipeline. Trello is particularly helpful for the marketing and operations teams within a chorus when planning projects or campaigns.
Doodle is my go-to meeting scheduler; it is perfect for finding meeting dates and times that work for everyone! Use Doodle to schedule the chorus’s operational meetings, plan for any rehearsal changes, or survey the chorus for performance date availability.
Canva is a platform for non-designers that makes it easy to create beautifully-designed marketing materials. Canva offers pre-designed templates for social images, newsletters, one-page letters, web banners, and more with options to customize designs with your own branding and copy. With Canva, there is no need to hire a designer. Use Canva for both external marketing materials and internal materials such as your singer handbook.
WordPress is a content management system where you can create your website and/or blog for free. There are various responsive templates to choose from and the interface is user-friendly. WordPress offers a variety of plugins and integrations which allow you to not only enhance your marketing efforts but to also create a membership site as well.
Download a list of 101 free choir management tools: goo.gl/HnMVGw!
Tori Cook is the Director of Marketing at Chorus Connection a choir management software company. She directs the Harborlight Show Chorus and is President of Chorus pro Musica in the Boston area. When not making music, she daydreams about adopting a golden retriever puppy and scuba diving to exotic locations around the world.