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Monthly Archives: August 2015


Google's Project Sunroof

Posted on August 24, 2015 by marty

Google Project Sunroof

Google's new Project Sunroof uses its expansive data in mapping and computing resources to help calculate the best solar plan for you.  Project Sunroof looks up your home in Google Maps and combines that information with other databases to create your personalized roof analysis.

Project Sunroof recommends an installation size to generate close to 100% of your electricity use, based on roof size, the amount of sun hitting the roof, and your electricity bill.  Project Sunroof then uses current solar industry pricing data to run the numbers on leasing, taking a loan, or buying solar panels for your house to help you choose what's best for you and will give you an estimate on the amount of savings you would experience by utilizing solar power.

Unfortunately at this time, Project Sunroof is only available in San Franscisco, Fresno, and Boston.

But here are the estimated savings for some famous houses in those cities:

Tanner House on Google Project Sunroof - Goodnight Michelle

The Full House house
1709 Broderick Street
San Francisco, CA
$14,000 - Estimated net savings with a 20-year lease


Mrs. Doubtfire House
2640 Steiner Street
San Francisco, CA
$13,000 - Estimated net savings with a 20-year lease


Grateful Dead House on Google Project Sunroof - Sunshine & Daydreams

Grateful Dead House
710 Ashbury
San Francisco, CA
$14,000 - Estimated net savings with a 20-year lease


Paul Revere House
19 North Square
Boston, MA
$22,000  - Estimated net savings with a 20-year lease


Kirkland House
(Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm at Harvard)

95 Dunster St
Cambridge, MA
$24,000 - Estimated net savings with a 20-year lease


To learn more about Google's Project Sunroof, go to https://www.google.com/get/sunroof#



Google Analytics for Nonprofits

Posted on August 13, 2015 by marty

Google Analytics is one of the best ways to help you understand ways to reach your audience and drive traffic to your website.  And best of all, it is a free tool offered by Google and relatively easy to incorporate into just about any website.

There is a tremendous amount of information that you can get from Google Analytics about the traffic on your site, but sometimes all of this information can be a little overwhelming, so I have created a dashboard to help you easily get some of the most important information.

To download the Google Analytics for Nonprofits dashboard, go to:

After loading the dashboard template, adjust the date range for the report to a time period that fits what you are looking for.  To look at general website info, I like to set the date range to a year.

Google Analytics for Nonprofits Dashboard


You can also set the date to compare to previous periods – compare this year’s traffic to last year, etc.

Google Analytics Date Range


Visits and Visitors

The first information is the amount of website visits and new users.

Google Analytics Visits and Visitors


The second is a timeline that shows when the website had spikes in traffic.  This organization had a fundraising event in April and experienced a high amount of traffic around that time.


Mobile Usage

The next widget shows how much traffic came from desktop computers, mobile devices, and tablets.  About 70% of this organization's traffic was on desktop and 30% on mobile and tablet.  The "Average Pages Per Session" is a useful figure to see the difference in engagement between desktop and mobile users.  If mobile users are looking at less than half as many pages as a desktop user, that could indicate that the website is not mobile-friendly. (psst - we do responsive website design)


Geographic Location of Visitors

Track where your website visitors are coming from.  This widget is configured to only show cities in the United States, but you can change the settings based on the needs of your organization.



Sources of Traffic

This widget shows what channels are delivering traffic to your site.  "Organic" refers to organic search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.).  "Direct" is people typing in your web address.  Referrals are links to your website from other websites.



Referrals are other websites that link to your website.  Be wary of referrals like "siteevaluation.com", "eventracking.com" or just about anything with "SEO" or "Buttons" in the website address, those are usually just bots crawling your website.


Search Keywords

This widget shows some of the keywords used in searches to get to your site.  Ironically, Google Analytics doesn't include seach terms used in Google searches (which accounts for about 85% of search traffic), so this relies on search results from Yahoo, Bing, etc.  But, this can still be helpful in giving you a idea of some of the keywords people are using.  I would also recommend changing the settings on this widget to filter out your organization's name.  In this example, all of the top 10 terms were variations of the organizations name.  It seems that people are becoming increasingly lazy and not typing in "www.yourorganization.com", and instead just typing "Your Organization" into the seach bar.

Google Analytics Search Keywords for your Nonprofit


Traffic from Social Media

Good information to see if your social media efforts are paying off. 


Most Popular Pages on Website

Ths widget shows what pages people are visiting.  Usually, the home page (/) is the most popular.

Most Popular pages on your Nonprofit Website


Take a Book. Leave a Book.

Posted on August 6, 2015 by marty

Over the weekend, Deb DeFreeuw and David Morgan installed a Little Free Library in front of the Force 5 Offices.  For those of you that don't know about the Little Free Library, it is a nonprofit organization that supports the worldwide movement to offer free books housed in small containers to members of the local community.

The idea was popularized in Hudson, Wisconsin, in 2009 when Todd Bol mounted a wooden container designed to look like a school house on a post on his lawn as a tribute to his mother, who was a book lover and school teacher. Bol shared his idea with his partner, Rick Brooks, who spread the word, and the idea spread rapidly. Library owners can create their own library box, usually about the size of a doll house, or purchase one from the website.

The original goal was the creation of 2,150 Little Libraries, which would surpass the number of libraries founded by Andrew Carnegie.  But the idea is so popular it has already spread to over 20,000 registered Little Free Libraries in over 70 countries.

For more information, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org