Why Cloud Computing Is Essential for Nonprofits
Tight budgets, low staff numbers and a dependence on volunteers are a constant source of stress for nonprofit organizations (NPOs). That’s why it’s critical for them to take full advantage of technology to fill in the gaps. Cloud computing is one of these solutions. Here’s why:
The cloud eases financial strain by eliminating the need to constantly upgrade computer equipment. Moving data storage and processing power from on-site solutions to the Web eliminates the need for constant upgrading of outdated technology and dedicated staff or vendors to maintain the equipment in-house.
With the rise of telecommuting and remote teams spread throughout the world, there’s no longer a need to have physical access to technology. Cloud computing allows multinational teams to collaborate and work in real time.
The nonprofit Operation Smile, which provides free corrective surgery for children with cleft palate, uses cloud computing solutions to collaborate with workers in the field. By utilizing Microsoft Office 365, Operation Smile doesn’t have to worry about investing precious resources in training because most people are familiar with Microsoft products. This enables everyone to focus on the mission instead of dealing with cumbersome technology issues.
Companies like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft help nonprofits use cloud computing by donating services or providing credits for their services. Amazon Web Services created a program with Techsoup that allows NPOs to receive $2,000 worth of credits per year to use its services. Similarly, Microsoft announced on its blog in January 2016 that it will donate $1 billion to NPOs and university researchers through 2019.
In addition to significant cost savings, cloud computing gives NPOs an unparalleled competitive edge when it comes to donation collection. By investing all of its profits in cloud computing, JustGiving was able to collect over $3.5 billion in donations for over 13,000 causes. Before the cloud, it would have been impossible to collect and distribute such a large amount of money in one year.