Updated: Oct 2, 2020
Thanks Google! G Suite for Nonprofits
Tracey Wond shares her experience of using Google’s G Suite to help charities and non-profits get digital – all the more – it’s free!
Being fit for the modern day is scary for many small charities. Yet, I’m of the view that this is essential and absolutely means getting to grips with web-based applications. I’m also passionate about these being intuitive and sustainable enough to hand over to organisations. Yet, working with the audiences that I do, the price point is very important.
That’s where Tech Soup, Charity Digital and Google for Non-profits come in. Non-profits and charities can gain free or heavily-reduced rates to a lot of big-name software providers including Avast, Adobe and Google (yet none of our clients ever know this before we get to them!). Our particular favourite here is Google’s, ‘Google for Non-profits’, which provides unlimited users, and access to the usual suspects such as G Mail and Drive as well as Google Classrooms and Hangouts – for free! Let us illustrate what this means to a charity or non-profit:
Through G Suite you’re able to configure your domain to work with G Mail which means professional, personalised domain-specific mailboxes for absolutely no cost. Voila! Email addresses for the Chair, Treasurer, President, Enquiries – all for free.
Non-profits benefit from 30GB free cloud storage per user through their Drive application – meaning non-profits can retain and share their all-important files and ensure nothing gets lost when trustees handover (this churn can be a big problem in non-profits with documents getting lost over time).
We’ve found Google Classrooms to be a great training platform for staff, volunteers, trustees and boards. For a charity in particular, there is a need to be on top of various legislation and codes of practice and we’ve been using classrooms to help Charities to ensure everyone is kept up-to-date.
Google Hangouts is Google’s video conference application which we’ve found to be really reliable and helps reduce the number of face-to-face meetings – great if your non-profit’s members are scattered across the country.
The hardest part is most certainly sign up - where, through TechSoup, Google need to verify your organisation as a charity which does take about a week we find. Aspects such as confirming your Charity’s email, registration number and mission are also required.
We’ve tinkered with Microsoft’s Office 365 reduced-price-offering for charities but with the exchange license provided separately and user licensing restricted it didn’t quite cut it. There’s something about this offering from Google that just works.
Dr Tracey Wond, Director of ESME Creative specialises in supporting charities and SMEs to modernise and improve their ways of working to help them run more efficiently, improve and connect with their users and beneficiaries, and ensure compliance and good governance. This includes supporting organisations to develop policies, training, websites social media and booking platforms and seek grant funding.
She has published books and articles on a range of topics relating to good management and governance in non-profit and small business contexts. She has a PhD in business and has worked with a range of organisations including several police forces, Rolls Royce, and with countless small/medium businesses.