Topic: Infrastructure

Nonprofit Data: The Case of YMCA of Metro Chicago

January 7, 2013
The YMCA of Metro Chicago is a big organization, with a $110 million budget and a physical infrastructure that includes 23 gyms, five camps and 14 community schools, all supported by nearly 600 full-time staff and thousands of part-time fitness instructors, afterschool staff, and other human services personnel. In addition to gym visitors, the nonprofit provides services for hundreds of Chicago public school students and as many as 700 seniors each week.

Nonprofit Data: The Case of the Alliance for Climate Education

January 7, 2013
When the Alliance for Climate Education wanted to use data to measure impact and engagement, among other uses, it turned to consultants for help—first Seattle-based Groundwire Consulting, and then Percolator Consulting, a Groundwire spinoff. The award-winning national nonprofit is dedicated to using fun-based methods to educate America's high school students about the science behind climate change, and inspiring them to do something about it. The organization is based in Oakland, Calif., with teams in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, Atlanta, New England, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Cloud Computing for Nonprofits: the Risks How to Overcome Them

June 14, 2012
A recent NTEN survey of 780 nonprofits revealed that 91% of respondents are using some sort of hosted software. In fact, almost 80% are using multiple cloud-based solutions. However, according to NTEN’s report, “the feature-set, ease of use and cost over time” were more important to them than whether or not a solution was cloud-based. These advantages are precisely why the Cloud is generating a lot of excitement in the nonprofit world these days. Remote access, reduced operating expenses, and less maintenance enable nonprofits to cut costs, operate more efficiently and devote more time and money to their core mission. Some organizations have moved their entire IT infrastructure to the Cloud with dramatic results.

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.