New to managing a remote team? We collected our favorite remote-friendly tools for your team so you can deliver impact from afar.

Like many teams, Philanthropy U is doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by mandating that all employees now work remotely. This has been an adjustment for us, and we know we are not alone. Many social impact organizations are trying to decide what is best for their teams, their work and their communities.

If this is the first time your team will be working remotely you may want to check out this guide to get you started.

To help you make the transition to all-remote a little easier for your team, we collected a list of our favorite tools for effective online collaboration. Many large companies are also implementing special discounts or trial periods to support teams like yours through the COVID-19 pandemic, which we also mention below. 

Internal Communication

  • Slack: creates an internal message board for your team, where you can create channels, have private messages and more. It works across all devices and their free plan works for many teams straight out of the box. 

Nonprofits can now access Standard and Plus Slack plans for free for the next three months. These plans have added functionality over Slack’s free plan, including more storage, group calls and more.

  • Google Hangouts: if your team is already using Gmail, then Google Hangouts is a great option for your internal communication. You can chat with your colleagues, create groups and easily insert conferencing links to your Google Calendar events.

Google announced that existing G Suite and G Suite for Education customers worldwide would have access to advanced Hangouts Meet functionality through July 1, 2020.

Video Conferencing

  • Zoom: bring up to 100 callers together in one conference call. You can easily choose a layout that lets you see everyone’s faces. It has a built-in chat as well as the ability to present and record in the free version.

Microsoft is providing longer free trials of its Microsoft Teams app, which includes chat, video conferencing and team file storage.

GoToMeeting: another great option for video conferencing, they also released Emergency Remote Work Kits that provide free access for 3 months to many of their tools. These have been made available to healthcare providers, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

Project Management

  • Trello: a favorite among many team members at Philanthropy U, use it to keep your projects organized individually and in teams. You can easily personalize it so it works for your organization’s structure, or access one of their many project templates to get started. 
  • Asana: another project management tool typically used by developers that includes helpful integrations with other tools, a handy calendar view and the ability to collaborate with up to 15 teammates with their free version. 

Professional Development

  • Free online courses for social impact: If you are looking to use the time you would have spent commuting learning a new skill, check out our free online courses for social impact. Philanthropy University courses have been designed specifically to address the unique needs and challenges of social impact organizations. You can access our courses, discussion forums and certificates entirely online, and since our courses are self-paced, you can find the learning rhythm that works for your new schedule. 
  • Duolingo: Maybe you have been putting off learning Spanish or Arabic, now is a perfect time to check that off your list! You can make progress during your lunch break. They offer 20+ languages to learn for free. 

Self Care

  • Headspace: We recognize that your mind may be worrying about many things at the moment, not just your productivity. We encourage you to take care of yourself during times of crisis, even if you only have 10 minutes. Check out their free “weathering the storm” medications to help you get through difficult times. 

As your team’s work moving online comes increased risk, and therefore awareness, around cybersecurity and data management. Here are some tips to keep your information safe, including making sure your antivirus software is up-to-date. 

Our dedication to social impact organizations remains unwavering during this time. Our goal is to support your teams now as much as ever. We have developed free COVID-19 courses and are collecting all related resources we are creating here to make sure you are staying safe and impactful, whether in the same office or not.

March 18, 2020



Gina is our Marketing Manager at Philanthropy U. She has a background in international education, international development and scaling enterprises.