5 Cloud Based Apps For Teams to Organize Events Better (and for FREE)

May 24, 2012
Many of us in the nonprofit space know how much effort goes into organizing large, annual events. Even though many of us are entrenched in the intersection between our work and technology, we often struggle with finding ways to make our lives simpler. In today's world, cloud technology can allow most nonprofits with an Internet connection to access hundreds of files, manage multiple teams, and keep track of others whether they are remote or across the office. Last year, our organization, Games for Change, put together the largest Festival in our 8 year history. With over 800+ attendees and another 10,000 viewing online, we've sold out the event while doubling attendance and income. Much of the organizing was done with new staff and new ambitions. While the Festival proves to be bigger than ever, yet easier to manage with a series of tools being used by the entire team.

Have Your Feet On The Ground When Looking At The Cloud

May 24, 2012
As I said in The Cloud: Not As Airy As You Thought, cloud computing is a boon to startup nonprofits and businesses as well as those that are growing. Here's a case study, from Jason Hutchins, president of Nonprofit Solutions Network. A small nonprofit, with a staff of seven. Server is maxed out, ready to be replaced. Question: New in-house server or move into the cloud? Answer:The cloud.

The Cloud: Not As Airy As You Thought

May 23, 2012
Let's start with the basics. “Cloud computing” isn't really a cloud. It's a bunch of servers in a far-off, climate-controlled locked room, watched over by some serious techies. It's just not your own server in your own room with your own techie. And the server holds your information right next to information from a whole lot of other people. The cloud is often described as a “utility based” service. Like electricity, water, or gas, you pay for what you use and can increase the amount you use as needed. Also like utilities, it's a lot cheaper to use Con Edison than it is to buy and maintain your own generator and meters.

CRM is Exactly What Your Nonprofit Needs

May 23, 2012
I recently had a conversation with a colleague about the advantages and disadvantages of using a constituent relationship management (CRM) system such as Salesforce to manage multiple types of relationships. Their main argument against it was that while managing all the information in one location is tempting, it not practical if the organization has multiple complex processes. Consider Habitat for Humanity (HFH) – in this case, a mid-west chapter.

What is the Value of the Cloud for CSOs in the Developing World?

May 17, 2012
There has been a lot of talk lately about the benefits of Cloud computing to the nonprofit sector, but many CSOs in the developing world are unaware of how important this technology is quickly becoming. This is in part because developing countries face additional constraints which limit its adoption, though the benefits that can be derived from its use are somewhat unparalleled. CSOs in developing countries may arguably not be as worried about security and privacy, (though this too is by no means of little importance!) because infrastructure problems like lack of a reliable electricity supply, limited internet access and slow broadband are issues they must still overcome if they want to adopt many ICT services and truly take advantage of services like the Cloud.

Google Drive: Does It Matter?

May 14, 2012

On April 24, Google announced the much anticipated Google Drive service, a cloud-based "disk drive" where individuals and organizations can store there documents, spreadsheets and a host of other electronic files. That may sound like a big deal but organizations and individuals with Google accounts could do that already using Google Docs. So does Google Drive really matter?

In short, the answer is yes!

Developing a Cloud Migration Strategy, Part 2: Process, Costs & Things to Consider

May 10, 2012
We may have jumped the gun a little by discussing what systems to migrate in part 1 of this look at developing a cloud migration strategy, but now we're going to ask and answer the question of How to Migrate. Migrating to a cloud based application or service is different from installing some software or server in your office. It is imperative that you read and understand the legal agreement you're signing because governs the business and service relationship you are establishing. Cloud service providers are looking out for their best interests in these agreements and you should too. Here are some typical questions you should answer as part of evaluating a new solution:

Developing a Cloud Migration Strategy, Part 1: What Systems Can You Migrate?

May 9, 2012
At its core the “cloud” is a scalable architecture that allows data to be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Having that basic definition in mind, it's important to recognize that the cloud, or perhaps more accurately cloud services, is just another IT resource. There are certain obvious benefits that the cloud can provide: scalability, high availability, and low recurring pricing. On the other hand there are also some downsides to moving to the cloud: vendor lock in, complex terms of service, and unexpected additional costs.