Nonprofits, or the third sector, have been slower than other organizations to implement cloud-based services. While charities might struggle with unique business obstacles, nonprofit organizations stand to gain so much from adopting the cloud. Charities depend on good technology practices to promote their cause, request donations and find volunteers. The charities that have started using the cloud have found positive results.
Cloud has been a success for nonprofits
Cloudtech recently featured a story about the Canadian Cancer Society and how it used a cloud-based phone system to streamline communications. The society found it was missing calls and possible donations with its old system. By updating the phone system with cloud computing solutions, it was able to improve customer interaction and increase donations by about 40 percent.
Many charities have discovered how the cloud aids in communication. Charities may have key leaders, members and volunteers who are located all across the world. A cloud-based communication network helps them stay in contact and can assist in their contribution to the organization. A centralized data processing infrastructure allows all those with access to update and reference company information.
The Guardian suggested cloud solutions will increase a nonprofit's overall financial capital. Not only could the cloud make donation collection easier and more far-reaching, utilizing cloud software and hardware can cut down on a charity's expenses. The use of cloud's remote servers means a company doesn't have to maintain its own equipment. Offsite facilities makes the cloud greener and less energy draining then some IT options, which is good news to environment-focused charities.
Some organizations are hesitant to adopt the cloud
The Guardian indicates the cloud saves companies money in the long run but many charities are hesitant because of the initial cost of radically altering their IT infrastructure. Cloudtech reported about a quarter of nonprofits do not feel they have the financial capability to deploy large-scale tech solutions. Most charities feel their major IT obstacle is operating with dwindling budgets.
According to Cloudtech, monetary concerns are not the only reason nonprofits are hesitant to use the cloud, many companies feel cloud providers do not fully understand the demands of the third sector. There are fears the cloud will not work with the organization's current infrastructure and the system's IT support won't understand charity-focused strategies. Cloud representatives need to meet with prospective charity clients individually and communicate how the cloud can facilitate their unique needs. A hybrid cloud solution might ease transition and calm financial worries.
Tech donations to charities
Tech companies have been donating cloud-based products to nonprofits. If a company head truly believes in a charity's cause, he or she may provide the computing tools necessary to make the organization successful. There is also a less altruistic reason companies may provide their cloud programs to a nonprofit organization. E-Commerce Times highlighted the sales potential of offering free product to organizations. The E-Commerce piece indicated executives might serve on the board or lead nonprofits, such as churches. Allowing a church to use cloud-based programs for free could provide a place for the congregation to get comfortable with the new technology and look to implement it elsewhere.