For most of us in the nonprofit world, Microsoft's Outlook is all we know when it comes to online communications. That's because not only is the Office software quite good, but Microsoft has long been very generous in giving software grants to charitable organizations like yours through partners like TechSoup.
As of late, the software giant has made some changes that should get the nonprofit community excited about emails, calendars, and spreadsheets. If you’ve read even one tech-related article or blog post over the past few years, then you have heard of the cloud and can probably recognize that in-house and hosted servers aren’t long for this world.
That’s partly why Google for Nonprofits and its cloud-based Google Apps platform has become an attractive alternative to Microsoft for Nonprofits in recent years. However, for many longtime Microsoft Office and Outlook users, the change to Google can be a challenge, which is why we are so excited that Microsoft is now offering its own cloud-based solution, Office 365 Level E1 software for free to nonprofits!
Bottom Line: With Office 365 for Nonprofits, you can move to the cloud and continue to use the programs you know and love.
You're probably already familiar with much of what Microsoft Office software has to offer, but here's a look at what you'll get with the cloud-based Office 365.
Office 365 provides 25GB of email storage and supports Outlook desktop software really well. If your nonprofit relies on Outlook, this may be its most attractive feature.
Creating & Editing Documents in the Cloud
Google Docs has done a nice job with this, however, seasoned Office users will feel more at home using the familiar Word, Excel, and PowerPoint interfaces that come with the Office 365 Office Web Apps.
Microsoft’s Lync Online is a very solid response to Google Hangouts. It has a 250 person meeting limit, and some great features like built-in recording, screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, and access to clients/donors who aren't on Office 365.
Office 365's Exchange Online Protection platform to provides spam, virus, and malware prevention. You can also use the very cool Exchange Administration Center to track messages in real-time and monitor compliance with corporate policies and government regulations.
Office 365 offers full HIPAA, FISMA, SAS 70 Type II, and any other advanced security credentials that your organizations might need.
Let us know if you would like to find out more about how to apply for Office 365 for Nonprofits. We would love to help.