Dec 23 2021

How Low-Cost Cloud Can Help Nonprofits Modernize

Large technology companies often offer discounts and resources to charities looking to embrace modern technology stacks. You just have to know where to look.

For nonprofits, budgets may not always reach as far as their missions. But that doesn’t have to mean they can’t use the same technology tools as traditional businesses.

Prominent technology companies offer a wide array of products and services that can help nonprofits collaborate, fundraise and more effectively reach their stakeholders. Many of these resources are inexpensive, discounted or even free for nonprofits that know where to look.

The first step is to see if your organization is eligible. It’s important to look at specific application requirements, but if your organization is focused on charitable, educational or preservation efforts, these resources may be available to you. (Nonprofits without a charitable focus — such as fraternities, associations or labor unions — will generally not be eligible for these programs.)

CDW offers discounts on many services to nonprofits, with the goal of helping organizations modernize their technology stacks. Here are a few solutions that can be especially beneficial for nonprofits.

Cloud Solutions: Google for Nonprofits

Thanks to its widely used cloud-first office suite, Google has been growing in popularity across industries. This is especially true in the nonprofit sector, which has found value in the company’s Chromebook offerings.

Google offers a number of solutions specifically for nonprofits, including a no-cost Google Workspace tier, which offers up to 30 gigabytes of cloud storage per user in addition to the standard application suite of Gmail, Google Drive, Google Meet and Google Docs. It also includes discounted access to higher-level tiers of Workspace that allow for larger videoconferences, additional cloud storage and increased security techniques such as advanced endpoint management.

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Cloud Solutions: How Nonprofits Can Use Office 365

Like Google, Microsoft offers a group of solutions for nonprofits, including discounts on application suites, collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, business intelligence tools and even top-level administrative tools.

One of the most robust discounted offerings for nonprofits is an annual credit for access to the company’s Azure cloud management services, worth as much as $3,500 per year. The company also offers discounted access to its Power BI visualization platform and Dynamics 365 customer relationship management (CRM) tool.

Microsoft also makes available free, self-paced educational courses for nonprofit employees looking to get a grasp on applications like Teams, Excel and SharePoint.

Software Solutions: QuickBooks for Nonprofit

Bookkeeping is key for nonprofits, especially given that their financial records are publicly reported and closely scrutinized by potential donors. One of the most popular ways to do that is through Intuit's popular QuickBooks accounting software.

Intuit makes a strong case that the software is well suited to nonprofits in particular, in part because the cloud-based QuickBooks Online can effectively integrate with different CRM platforms.

The company maintains a partnership with TechSoup, an organization that makes technology tools available to nonprofits, to offer discounted versions of the application to nonprofit users.

MORE FOR NONPROFITS: The tech trends that will shape the industry in 2022.

Software Solutions: How Nonprofits Can Use Adobe

Whether producing graphics, brochures, magazines, websites or video projects, many organizations rely on the design-focused offerings of Adobe to help generate and maintain their creative projects.

Adobe also closely partners with TechSoup to make available discounted copies of its popular tools, such as the broad-reaching Creative Cloud suite (which includes such mainstays as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD and Premiere) and the Acrobat document management tool, which is important for use cases such as signing electronic documents.

Collaboration Solutions: How Nonprofits Can Use Zoom

Zoom is widely considered one of the big beneficiaries of the move to remote work, as many people learned to get comfortable with videoconferencing for the first time during the pandemic. But nonprofits, which have put on a lot of virtual events during this time, have found Zoom to be a great option for fundraising as well.

The company also works with TechSoup to offer discounted versions of the popular videoconferencing suite.

Of course, having access to the software is just one part of the equation when it comes to leveraging a tool like Zoom. Nonprofits need the right equipment to ensure a professional experience for users, so purchasing the right audiovisual equipment could prove to be a useful investment down the line, whether your organization is working in a fully remote setting or embracing in-person events once again.

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