Cloud Computing for Nonprofits

Last week, I participated in the Steel City Solutions technology for nonprofits conference where I led a break out session on cloud computing specifically as it relates to nonprofits learning to use the cloud to:

  • become more efficient
  • lower technology costs
  • make documents more secure and more reliable
  • share, edit, and collaborate on documents in real-time
  • access documents from anywhere there is an internet connection

That presentation is listed on slideshare, and also here for your convenience. The slides are preceded by a video of the presentation which includes audio walking you through the live version of the presentation. Also, at the end of the presentation, you’ll have access to the working files, the presentation itself, and a resource link we put together to give you access to more than a dozen FREE Cloud resources for nonprofits.

We hope you enjoy the presentation, slides, and resources. If so, please consider dropping us a note here in the comments or via a social media channel.

 

 

The Cloud is a Democracy

Marc Benioff, CEO and Founder of Salesforce.com, one of the largest cloud platforms in the world, said this about the cloud:

“The cloud services companies of all sizes…The cloud is for everyone. The cloud is a democracy.”

As recent as a few years ago, creating and maintaining a network/server at your nonprofit location was a dubious prospect, especially for smaller organizations with limited resources. Networks take time and expertise to setup. They take money to purchase and they take staff and mountains of money to maintain. That’s the main reason smaller nonprofits stay away from network implementations.

But this has serious downstream effects. Without a good database to keep your information, your data collection suffers. There’s only so many ways you can slice and dice data inside excel. So you go without, or you don’t collect data at all. Come grant writing time, your applications suffer by not including that data, and your funding gets cut or your don’t get that multi-year funding because you can’t prove your programs are successful using real data.

What Benioff means about the cloud being a “democracy” is that the cloud is not cost prohibitive like on-site networks. Even organizations with limited resources can afford to implement a cloud solution that lets the organization track data, analyze and report on it, and share it securely with whomever needs access. Mom and pop shops, using the cloud, now have access to the same systems and features that large organizations use to keep their own data and documents.

 

Cloud Computing Earns Nonprofit $20,000 in Grant Funding

In the presentation, we don’t merely explain cloud computing like the myriad other presentations you might see only. We don’t stop at theory, or just give you a list of cloud providers. Nope, we go deeper. We show you 2 real world examples of how cloud computing is being used to make organizations more efficient and bring in more funds. We give you actual examples of how we helped 2 nonprofits take control of the cloud and use it to make their organizations less reliant on foundation funding. Both organizations were small organizations with staff of less than 10 people. In once case, the organization actually had a staff of only one person – it is almost entirely volunteer based and mobile.

But don’t just take our word for it. We also give you actual results from a recent Microsoft survey that showed of the organizations which employed the cloud:

  • 62% experienced an increase in document privacy
  • 75% experienced an increase in document reliability
  • 94% experienced an increase in overall security

 

Watch the video above, or directly on slideshare, and if you have any questions please leave a comment here, or on any one of our social channels. Remember to download all the files and resources lists here: FREE Cloud resources for nonprofits.

 

 

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Craig Grella

Founder and Executive Director at OrgSpring
Craig is the founder and executive director or OrgSpring, a nonprofit dedicated to helping other nonprofits achieve their missions online. Through tips and tutorials, Craig's goal is show nonprofits how to use technology to become more efficient, grow their list of supporters, and increase online donations.