The holidays are a time of giving and many nonprofits are quickly ramping up campaigns to share their mission with potential donors. Business is more competitive than ever this year and this includes nonprofits. To thrive nonprofits need to continuously educate the community about the work their doing and, more importantly, the real impact that work is having. While nonprofits should be the most efficient businesses around too many waste precious resources on outdated technology.
Like every business, nonprofits are desperate for leaders to step up to the plate and make it their responsibility to make the organization more effective. If you want to be a leader in your organization the, "that's not my job line" doesn't cut it. Too many nonprofits are using outdated and overpriced technologies.
How do you know if your organization is one of them? Ask yourself some simple questions:
- Can you easily access your email and calendar from your mobile device?
- Has email "not been working" for any extended period of time in the last several months?
- Do you have the same functionality at home as you do at the office?
- Can you easily schedule and share calendars with the rest of the team?
- Can you easily share information with stakeholders?
- Do you have access to instant messaging, voice and video chat?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, then it's time for a leader in the organization to step up to the plate and push the organization forward. Google Apps is free for nonprofits, still too many organizations do not take full advantage of modern cloud computing applications. Google Apps are not only free, they offer more value than any solution you can buy.
What are the benefits?
Google Apps is secured in the same way banks secure online banking transactions. Google has many of top security experts in the world working for them - Vint Cerf, literally "the father of the Internet" works at Google. Google is a $30,000,000,000+ company - they run their business on Google Apps. Google is the 4th largest manufacture of servers in the world and runs one of the most advanced networks of data centers in the world. The organizations data is centralized so there's no longer a need to keep sensitive data on a thumb drive or hard drive. Gmail messages are automatically scanned for viruses and malware, protecting employees and your network from threats. Data stored with Google is fractured into many pieces and saved across multiple servers - no one can steal or break into "your server" at Google - if someone grabbed a Google server, they'd have nothing more than alphabet soup.
When a nonprofit decides to leverage Google Apps, they're taking full advantage of Google's network of data centers. Data is synchronously updated across multiple data centers and multiple times within each data center - this is how Gmail has been able to provide 99.99% uptime in 2011. All this backing up and backing up again, doesn't cost the nonprofit anything - it is included as part of the service. Google Apps was purpose built to be redundant. Think of the Google.com search engine? When's the last time you remember it being down? Yeah, me either.
If you forward your organization's email to your personal account so you can check it on your smartphone or tablet, that's a problem. If you spend time "syncing" a device, that's a problem. Your data should be available to you when and where you want. There's no longer a technical reason you should not be able to access your email, calendar, documents and contacts on your device. We no longer live in a world that runs on Windows - our world runs on Windows, iOS, Android, OS X, and others.
Google Apps includes more than 60 services. Including cool features like Video Chat - you can even call mobile or landlines from Gmail. Calendar, Docs, Sites, Google+ with Hangouts, Blogger, and dozens of other applications - all available with Google Apps. Organizing folders in Outlook is not productivity, it's busy work. You can search the entire Internet for anything in seconds, you can bring this same power to your inbox.
When every dollar really matters, it's critical that you get the most out of your apps - if your apps are not working as hard as you are, it's time to Go Google.