Every charity/non-profit organisation we have ever worked with over the years has been driven by a core set of values and objectives, which we believe fits in well with what Microsoft Office 365 now offers this sector, for example:
- Fundraising: As well as the everyday implementation and planning of projects, events and initiatives, the biggest task facing charities is fundraising. So with collaboration platforms such as SharePoint Online that comes as part of Office 365, organisations can create areas for ideas to be forged with a wide audience of staff, volunteers and 3rd parties that will allow them all to communicate, generate awareness and contribute towards these goals.
- Communication & Collaboration: This is essential in every organisation but it can be difficult for charities in particular especially when geography and diversity of roles is added to the equation. Organisations need to protect their information and Exchange Online which also comes as part of Office 365 delivers corporate standard email with antivirus and anit-spam all to the highest level. Combined with SharePoint Online and Microsoft Office these platforms provide a familiar environment for staff and volunteers alike that will allow for ideas and vital information to be recorded easily and consistently on any device. The collaborative nature of Office 365 also cuts across geography and language boundaries while keeping costs low. Since everything is on a secured and centralised platform, ideas, updates and operational information never slips through the cracks.
- Measuring Performance: One of key elements of any charity is the requirement to monitor how well their projects are going, and assess and evaluate their effectiveness. This usually means that there is a lot of data that needs to be recorded and processed within tight timeframes, all of which takes time and effort that take away from the organisation core values and objectives. So with the various elements of Office 365 information and data can be sorted, organised and made more accessible to those who need it and when data is centralised and available for analysis, it’s becomes easier to gain insight in order to make more strategic decisions.
- Social: Is something that can really help with adoption and awareness and with Office 365 it can also help charities create a more social based environment while still ensuring that operational information and objectives are met. This in turn can encourage volunteers who are not necessarily tuned into corporate processes to contribute to ideas and information that turn into delivering key objectives in a less formal way.
- Keeping Costs Down: This is at the core of every charity and non-profit organisation and with Office 365 under a cloud computing subscription model this is a reality. No more expensive capital expenditure on network servers and service contracts or downtime that generates more costs from upgrades or the latest security threats. Microsoft take care of all of that from their own data centres while also ensuring your information is kept secure and more importantly private to you. This means even the smallest organisation can have a complete disaster recovery plan built-in when they move to Office 365, on a technology platform that is upgraded automatically and encourages information management and task automation to ensure more can be done in less time, and who in todays busy information driven world doesn’t need more time in their day?
Making sure resources are where they are needed most!
Microsoft as you would expect with a founder such as Bill Gates, is a company that donates and subsidises a lot of their software to charity, education and non-profit sectors and this is equally true of their attitude towards Office 365 pricing to these sectors today. For example, charities and non-profit organisations that already have Microsoft Office and don't need lots of extra software licences can avail of Office 365 for free. While others that want or need more functionality and extra software are also given considerable discounts that are a fraction of the normal costs given to a typical commercial business. A summary of the costs and eligibility for UK based charities/non-profit organisations can be found here.
So at the end of the day charities that are able to adopt and take advantage of Office 365 will be driving more than just a culture of collaboration and efficiency; they will also be ensuring that more of their funding will go directly towards the causes that need it most and in these times of economic caution and budget cuts coming from every direction that is the real pay back for making the change.
For more information on how the Office 365 platform can help your organisation save on costs, improve communication and speed up processes feel free to contact us on 028 9031 1010 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange a demonstration for you.