Like all non-profits, resources are hard to come by and frugality is up front and personal.
The good news is, there are plenty of discounts and donation-level ways to tackle many of a non-profits’ most pressing needs. In this write-up, we’ll cover the top three:
Email and Calendar
For small non-profits, having good and reliable email communications and calendar scheduling is very important. The good news is both Google and Microsoft offer donation-level access to Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 for non-profits that are 501(c)(3) listed. If you are currently paying for your email and calendar applications, it is time to look for ways to migrate to these cloud offerings with many benefits. Which you choose, however, has a lot to do with your current applications. More on that on a later blog.
Once again, Microsoft and Google both offer document editing and spreadsheet software at little or no cost (depending on how you plan to access). Web access from both vendors is included in their email and calendar offering. If you need something off-line, Microsoft offers their install-able Office suite (at the time of this writing) for $2/month/user when added to their Office 365 email and calendaring subscription ($0). If you do the math, you are paying $72 per user for a three year lifespan on Office versions (roughly 3 years between Office suite upgrades), compared to $130 for regular non-profit purchase or $399 for for-profit companies.
Customer Relationship Management
Almost all non-profits use some kind of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, whether a full fledged platform like Act! and SalesForce, or just simple spreadsheets and home-built databases. Some vendors have very small discounts for non-profits (like Act! with a roughly 10% discount), and some vendors like SalesForce offer 10 free subscription licenses with their ‘Nonprofit Success Pack’. Microsoft offers a significant discount on their CRM platform called Dynamics CRM that can be added to an Office 365 subscription. If you are paying full price for your CRM, be sure to ask your CRM vendor for any non-profit discounts or look at moving to another provider.
Not sure what to do next? Send us a note and we’d be glad to offer advice and help get you started.