September 4, 2020

4 Ways Not-for-Profits Can Be Flexible and Cost-Effective Using Technology

If your not-for-profit is looking for ways to empower staff and continue with your mission during this time, but are concerned about spending, you’re not alone. New technology can and should be accessible, flexible and cost-effective to implement and managing going forward. With these goals in mind, below are five ways not-for-profit organizations can implement new technology to help move their mission forward while staying on budget.

1. Stay Productive in the Cloud

By moving to the cloud, not-for-profit organizations can stay on top of the latest tools, applications, and innovations. In the past, expensive server hardware was required to be purchased every 3-5 years, or longer depending on budgets. Organizations can now move to the cloud with little to no licensing costs. Companies such as Microsoft offer free or heavily discounted licenses for not-for-profits to move to the cloud. Microsoft ® Azure and Office 365 allow employees to work from anywhere in a secure network.

2. Collaborate and Connect in One Place

If your organization rolled out Microsoft ® Teams during the switch to a remote work environment, you may already be familiar with the chat, teams, channels and apps features across your organization. Maybe you’ve deployed meetings and conferencing. Now you’re ready to add calling workloads to Teams to eliminate your old or outdated phone system. By adding in Teams Calling, you can now better collaborate with one place for all of your meetings, files, chats and calls.

3. Stay Protected with Top Notch Security Included

Staying collaborative is important but staying secure while doing so is vital. Cloud technology such as Microsoft ® 365 has built in security measures to protect your users’ accounts, files and email from spam and phishing. As of September 2020, not-for-profits have access to 250 seats of E1 license, 10 seats of Microsoft 365 Business Premium, and $3,500 in credits for Azure services to be used at your discretion over a 12-month period.

4. Move at Your Own Pace

Upgrading technology and moving your environment to the cloud doesn’t need to happen all at once. Leadership and employees are often overwhelmed by changes to technology. We recommend developing a roadmap for your approach to change. By utilizing migration paths to the cloud, changes can happen slower to accommodate training and budgeting. 

To access and utilize Microsoft’s not-for-profit benefits, your organization must first sign up with TechSoup. TechSoup seeks to create an infrastructure for nonprofits to stay informed on how to use technology to increase their social impact. As a “connector across sectors,” TechSoup is backed by more than 90 leading tech companies – including Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, and Intuit– and they network with other social enterprises, companies, foundations, and technological activists.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Anders Technology can help your not-for-profit use technology to enhance flexibility and collaboration across your organization and board. Contact an Anders advisor below to learn more.

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