Cobweb has been working with charities for over 20 years. We have a very good understanding of the challenges charities face around technology and, in particular, how to get the most value from technology to provide the best service for the individuals and communities they are focused on helping.
As a result, we’re advising our not-for-profit clients that now is the best time to move to Microsoft Office 365. Why? Because Office 365 gives charities the ability to communicate and collaborate across the organisation, from any location or device, while saving money.
Office 365 is a cloud-based software suite that incorporates the familiar Office tools – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Outlook, for example – with next generation productivity apps, such as Skype for Business, SharePoint Online, and the social media platform Yammer.
At Cobweb, we work daily with charities, helping them to implement technology, and see not-for-profit organisations moving to Office 365 today to take advantage of the following features in particular:
By giving email addresses to all staff, volunteers and fundraisers, charities can communicate faster and in a more productive way.
Skype for Business video conferencing
The ability to hold online meetings with full audio and video capabilities and to share information in real time reduces the need for in-person meetings, with reduced travel requirement enabling charities to save money and use more of their funds to further charitable aims. The tool enables workers to see when colleagues are online, and set up instant online meetings.
OneDrive for Business
Every user has access to 1TB of cloud storage, enabling users to share files internally and externally (subject to the relevant permissions being in place). Users can also access information from any location, on any device, at any time.
Charities now no longer have to worry about purchasing Office licences, as with Office 365 they are always on the most current version. A key feature* that we see charities appreciate, in particular, is the ability for multiple people to work on a single document in real time, at the same time, and eliminating the problems associated with identifying the ‘latest version’.
Marketing departments are increasingly using Yammer, the corporate social media app. It’s being used to push important information out to staff, volunteers and the public, and to ask questions and create specialist interest groups.
Teams is a hub for teamwork, enabling users to create a place to share information, upload files and use Skye for Business. We see charities using this for new projects, especially, and utilising the ability to invite people to the team both internally and externally. It has a key feature of persistent chat, so users in different time zones, those working late or early, or on shifts, can see the day’s chats and messages left for them.
Security and compliance
Office 365 incorporates built-in security, compliance and privacy controls, and can help organisations meet the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requirements, and which come into effect on 25 May 2018.
Work from Anywhere
Office 365 can help keep charity workers connected, whether they’re in a local retail outlet, at head office, or out in the field, distributing services.
Free Microsoft licensing for charities
Microsoft is making available free Office 365 licensing plans for Business Essentials and E1, and discounts on all other Office 365 plans – and one of the key benefits of Office 365 is the ability to mix and match licensing plans (and we’re here to help with identifying the best plans to suit individual need).
Can Cobweb help you?
We’re here with advice and guidance, to help you outsource the IT burden. In addition, we offer a range of support services, including 24*7 support and core hour end-user support and help, starting from as little as £2.00 per user per month. We’ve also created a number of specialist services designed solely for the charity sector, including the ability to create an additional level of security around sensitive information.
If you’d like more information about Office 365 and the various plans available, download a copy of our free eBook, Office 365: The Definitive Guide.
And if you’d like to get in contact about the work we’re doing with charities and not-for-profit organisations and to see how we can use our experience to help you, please either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me on 0333 009 5941.
(*This features requires Business Premium or E3 licensing)