Cloud Computing for Nonprofits – What Is It and How to Get Started?
Have you looked into Cloud computing options for your nonprofit? Do you know the benefits of Cloud computing, or how your organization can implement it in the most cost-efficient and effective way? This blog is to help you understand what Cloud computing options exist and whether they are the right fit for your nonprofit organization.
What is Cloud computing for nonprofits?
Cloud computing is, simply put, the delivery of computing services – servers, database, analytics, networking, and more – over the Internet (i.e. “The Cloud”). Some examples of Cloud computing that you might use in your nonprofit include: 1) using an online service, like Microsoft Outlook, to send emails; 2) sharing documents and files online using Dropbox or OneDrive; and 3) keeping track of your donor and volunteer base through a CRM like Salesforce or Dynamics 365.
In today’s technologically-advanced world, there is an expectation that nonprofits should be able to provide the same technology experiences that the public or private sectors are offering. This is true for the donors interacting with the nonprofit, but also true for the employees and volunteers that are working in the nonprofit. Cloud computing is a cost-effective, fast, reliable, and flexible array of services that many nonprofit organizations, both large and small, have already adopted or would like to implement in order to meet these expectations.
But a lot of nonprofit organizations don’t know how to get started, and they’re not in a position to hire a full-time technology resource to help them, either. That’s where working with a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) comes into play. By utilizing a CSP to help move them to the Cloud, nonprofits are taking that first step into being able to match their public/private counterparts and provide the user experience required to stay competitive. Implementing Cloud computing for your nonprofit by working with a CSP helps you reduce your IT costs, boost productivity, and increase collaboration.
#CloudComputing reduces IT costs, boosts productivity, and increases collaboration opportunities.
What is a Cloud Service Provider (CSP)?
A CSP is a company that delivers Cloud solutions as an on-demand, pay-as-you-go service to their customers and users. By providing customers with access to Cloud resources through the Internet and only billing them for resources and services that they use, CSPs are becoming increasingly more desirable for nonprofits, especially, because of the advantages in terms of cost, accessibility, or scalability.
The benefits of working with a CSP
Adopting new technology comes with headaches. What is the right technology option for my organization? What are the pros and cons? Are we going to have downtime? How long would it take to implement it? Will there be a training for my staff? Working with a CSP helps you answer these questions and reduce the headache that comes with adopting Cloud computing for your nonprofit.
Becoming a Microsoft-certified CSP is not an easy task – an IT company that wants to be considered a CSP needs to meet specific criteria, which includes investing in their own infrastructure and demonstrating that their support and billing capabilities are up to Microsoft’s lofty standards. Thus, when your nonprofit chooses to work with a CSP, you’re choosing someone who’s guaranteed to deliver the high quality of service that Microsoft demands of itself and its partners.
Think of your CSP as your one-stop shop for technology support. CSPs need to know technology like the back of their hand, thus, they can become your go-to support network for all things technical. Because of this knowledge, by choosing a certified CSP to work with, you can be sure that your organization won’t face potential data loss or downtime risks that often come with adopting new technology.
The benefits of working with a CSP include:
- You will have a team of Cloud computing experts who can help you determine which Cloud computing options best fit your needs.
- You will be able to adopt Cloud computing in the most cost-efficient and timely manner.
- Understanding how using the latest technology leads to better collaboration and support capabilities for remote workers.
- Greater ease in scaling up or down, as you need.
- Save time and money, which you can put towards the causes that make your nonprofit unique and impactful.
- With the latest Cloud technology at your disposal, your nonprofit will be able to stay ahead of the curve.
Working with a #CloudServiceProvider can help nonprofits tap into expertise and experience that will help them adopt #CloudComputing in the most cost-efficient and timely manner. Stay ahead of the curve with the latest #Cloud Technology at your disposal!
Why choose ProServeIT as your Cloud Service Provider (CSP)?
ProServeIT is no stranger to helping nonprofit organizations empower their workforce by implementing the Cloud-based solutions that we’ve mentioned in this post. We’re a Microsoft Gold partner, and a certified CSP, with expertise in assisting nonprofit organizations, just like yours, in selecting which licenses make the most sense for your needs. Further, we have the technological expertise and know-how to support the implementation of Cloud technology within your nonprofit – ensuring a smooth migration to the Cloud is what ProServeIT does best.
ProServeIT can work with you to:
- Help you determine if your organization qualifies as a nonprofit according to Microsoft standards.
- Determine which license would be the best fit for your organization to implement.
- Assess your current IT environment and provide recommendations on the best migration strategy.
- Assist you with your migration to the new Cloud technology you’ve chosen.
- Provide suggestions on how you can get the most out of your new technology investment.
- Provide post-migration support to ensure that your end users are comfortable with the new tools you’ve implemented.
I want Cloud computing for my Nonprofit. How do I get started?
Here are three packaged offerings you can take advantage of. These are the packages ProServeIT has designed, based on our years of experience with numerous nonprofit organizations:
- Office 365 Email Pilot Migration: ProServeIT offers a standard modular approach to adopting Office 365 in your nonprofit. By moving a pilot group of up to 50 users to Office 365, you’ll have a rock-solid foundation for any future Cloud projects you might want to implement.
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Jumpstart: With our MFA Jumpstart program, ProServeIT will help your nonprofit improve your security by enabling MFA within your Office 365 environment on a pilot basis.
- Advanced Threat Protection (ATP): ATP, an email filtering service provided by Microsoft Exchange Online, is a simple way to increase protection against specific types of advanced threats, including ransomware and cryptoviruses.
If your nonprofit meets Microsoft’s Nonprofit Qualifications, you can also take advantage of special pricing when purchasing some of the more popular Office 365 licenses for your business. Office 365 Enterprise E3, for example, is available for as little as $5.70 CAD/user/month (as compared to the $25.30 price tag for regular Enterprises). See more about the special pricing in our Cloud Service Provider (CSP) document for nonprofits and charities.