How to Keep Your Nonprofit Technology Cost-Effective and Safe with M365

More than four million nonprofits around the world have fewer than 50 employees. These small and medium-size organizations have many of the same needs and goals as larger nonprofits. They work on the frontlines to save lives, provide critical services to underserved communities, protect the environment, and much more.

The challenge is they have fewer resources to purchase the latest technology, train their employees to use it, employ IT support staff, or invest in resources to keep their organizations secure.

Keeping your Nonprofit technology cost-effective

There has been rapid growth in moving to the cloud in recent years. Many organizations have moved to remote working or at least a hybrid working environment due to COVID-19. We have figured out that we can work remotely, just as productively as we can work in the office. This remote work also allows us flexibility in our working hours to include some household duties and improve our work-life balance.

Most nonprofit technology requires the cost-efficiency, flexibility, security, and other benefits the cloud offers. It is possible to reduce, or eliminate, some of your other license expenses. Here are a few of our favorite features of working in the cloud:

Sharing of documents in real-time

I have often had a document on which I need collaboration or others’ opinions/thoughts. It’s been challenging to track changes when the document is shared as a copy (rather than a link). However, when everyone is working in/on the same document, nothing gets lost, and it’s automatically saved in OneDrive.

Be productive anywhere with Microsoft Teams

I can now meet/chat/call anywhere with a scheduled online meeting or start one instantly. Chats and files shared before, during, and after meetings are always available so that people can refer to them at any time. Teams comes free with a Microsoft license, and I don’t need the added expense of Zoom anymore.

I don’t have to be in the office to answer my desk phone

When I receive a phone call, I can answer it on my computer or mobile phone. Microsoft Teams is an app on my mobile phone, and it rings just like any other call. You can also purchase Teams Phone with a calling plan to replace your telephone system. Staff can be given their own phone numbers to make and receive calls directly.

Keeping your Nonprofit technology safe

A study from Microsoft found that 60 percent of nonprofits report having no organizational digital policy to manage cybersecurity risk, and 74 percent do not take critical security steps to ensure email accounts are not compromised. If nonprofits don’t have cybersecurity practices in place, their organization and beneficiary and donor data is vulnerable to hackers.

The World Health Organization stated that “Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cyber-attacks directed at its staff, and email scams targeting the public at large.” I, myself, have received numerous spam emails claiming to be coming from someone that they are not and requesting I click here to respond. I am sure you receive these same types of emails. Keeping your information safe in this digital world and your organization’s and staff’s information safe can be challenging. Microsoft is here to help.

Did you know that Microsoft 365 Business Premium is a comprehensive productivity and security toolkit? Here are some great features:

  • Collaborate in real-time
  • Enable remote access and protect identity
  • Protect against cyber threats and data loss
  • Easily secure and manage devices

Collaboration and remote work should start with securing identity and access to devices. For example, you can protect against lost passwords. MFA requires users to enter a second ‘factor’ (code, fingerprint, etc.) to prove their identity and prevent 99.9% of identity attacks.

Protecting your users against cyberthreats can be done with Microsoft 365 Defender for Office (DFO). There are ways to protect against malicious links and attachments in emails with real-time scanning. Defending against impersonation, spoofing, and suspicious processes like ransomware is also possible with Microsoft Defender Anti-Virus.

The built-in mobile device management for Microsoft 365 helps you secure and manage your user’s devices. You will be able to set up device security policies to help limit access, view device reports, and remotely wipe a device of work-related documents.

Microsoft 365 Licensing for Nonprofits

The great news is that Microsoft 365 Business Premium is offered as a grant for up to 10 users. This offer comes with Microsoft Teams and can help your nonprofit improve cybersecurity, reduce costs, and empower staff and volunteers to work from anywhere. You will be able to run your organization from anywhere, with peace of mind.

Here is what is included with Microsoft 365 Business Premium licenses:

  • Up to ten donated licenses for eligible nonprofits; the rest are an additional $5/user/month
  • Web and Desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
  • Ability to create automated workflows with Microsoft Flow
  • Online meetings with screen sharing, audio, and HD video
  • Hub for teamwork with Microsoft Teams
  • Task management for teams with Microsoft Planner
  • Business-class email, calendar, and contacts
  • File storage and sharing with 1TB per user
  • Device management
  • Advanced security features

If you are not looking for the extra security features of M365 Business Premium, you could choose the M365 Business Standard for $3/user/month.

And if you only need web and mobile versions of Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and email, M365 Business Basic might be the right choice. Again, this option is a grant from Microsoft and no charge to eligible nonprofit organizations.

If your organization has over 300 users, you will want to look at the Enterprise licenses. However, with so many great options, it can be hard to choose what is best for your and your organization.

Are you eligible?

Getting started is easier than you think. The first thing to do is find out if your organization is an eligible nonprofit.

To become a Microsoft eligible nonprofit organization to receive the granted licenses and the discounted price for licenses, you will need to register your organization with Microsoft and receive nonprofit eligibility status. Apply here:

Once you receive your nonprofit eligibility status, contact Advisicon, and we will help assign those granted licenses to your organization’s users. You will find great joy in sharing and editing documents together, team collaboration from one place, video conferencing without an additional subscription cost, and the ability to work anywhere on any device.

If you would like more information, please reach out to us.