If your nonprofit is still operating in the dark ages regarding email and calendars, pay attention.
Microsoft is now offering Office 365 for FREE. Office 365 includes services that only the biggest, most sophisticated nonprofits used to be able to afford:
- Shared calendars among your whole team
- User-friendly webmail that functions just like Outlook
- Full integration with tablets and smartphones — all email folders, calendar, and contacts sync across multiple devices. For example, sent mail from one device shows up in sent mail on all other devices, and your office contacts automatically show up in your smartphone.
- All data is stored in the cloud, making a lost/stolen device no big deal
SPARC began using Office 365 about two years ago. It changed everything about how we do business. When I found out Microsoft was beginning to offer it for free, I couldn’t believe it.
Now, all nonprofits everywhere have literally no reason not to use this product.
There are other options out there if you want these services — namely Google Apps for Nonprofits. I will speak from experience, though — I found Google Apps too scary to set up. Google’s approval was terribly cumbersome, and install and implementation seemed way over my head (and I’m pretty computer savvy).
Make no mistake: migrating to Office 365 is something I’d recommend hiring an IT contractor (SPARC used HyperFormance) or engaging a qualified, experienced volunteer to do for you. But this is a one-time investment for invaluable returns.
Want help deciding if this is the right product for you? Check out TechSoup’s article on the subject. (Please note: I am not an affiliate with Microsoft and receive no benefit for recommending their product.)
One last thing: if you, like me, are an avid user of mobile devices, then you could upgrade to a more advanced license for Office 365. This enables you to use full versions of Microsoft Office on your tablet and smartphone. You can create and edit documents directly on your mobile device. You can upgrade on a user-by-user license, so most of your team can stay on the free version, and only those often working out-and-about can use the upgrade (currently $4.50/user/month).
Question: What does your organization use for advanced email/calendaring?