When we previously conducted research about the use of cloud services in the nonprofit sector, it was 2011. In that original report, we noted that many nonprofit staff were using hosted services, such as email, without realizing that they were accessing the cloud. We also found that there was strong concern for security of cloud systems, such as databases, though those same organizations were using hosted services for accessing and sharing sensitive data.
At the end of 2015, we partnered with Microsoft Philanthropies to conduct another round of research to get a better sense of the cloud services being used by nonprofits; fears or struggles around using the cloud; and plans for potential expansion.
We anticipated that some notable changes might have occurred in the years since the last report and certainly have proof of those changes in this new report. Some key findings include:
- Cloud services are a core part of nonprofit operations, with 100% of survey respondents indicating they use at least two cloud services, up from 80% of survey participants in our last survey.
- The newest addition to organizations’ cloud services ecosystems is document storage.
- In comparing installed versus hosted services, respondents noted staff training as important but not likely to have a difference in their selection (contrast this to the results in NTEN’s annual Tech Staffing & Investment research, where respondents indicate that they have the tools they need but not the training to use those tools well).
We hope you find this report valuable. If you have observations, feedback, ideas, or requests as far as how we can help you and your organization use technology, please let us know.