Nonprofits needs to use funds effectively, and that nature often extends to technology and digital marketing tools.
Fortunately, many mainstream digital services companies offer discounts to non profit organizations that are looking to upgrade their hardware and software. Such offers can make a difference when there’s less budget to add a much-needed computer or kick-start a migration to the cloud. On average, small nonprofits typically spend just over 13 percent of their overall budget on IT, according to an earlier report from the Nonprofit Technology Network. Large nonprofits, spend even less i.e., only 2.8 percent on IT.
For nonprofits that understand the value of technology but have minimum funds to buy the required technology or software, the options below are worth consideration.
An international network that provides technical support to nonprofits, TechSoup also helps connect groups in need of affordable products. This includes refurbished desktop and notebook computers, monitors, tablets and mobile devices.
To purchase equipment, buyers must register with TechSoup. Approved groups can request any number of products but must also be willing to provide testimonials (pertaining to services received from Techsoup) for a related case study.
The tech giant offers discounted and free equipment via the Microsoft for Nonprofits initiative. Among the deals, cloud services such as Office 365, Surface hardware and on-premises software are available. Microsoft hosts tech training programs in select markets to help nonprofits use these tools to their full advantage.
A range of nonprofit groups are eligible to apply, including schools, healthcare organizations and political entities. Those interested can find commonly asked questions and an application link for the Microsoft program on its website.
Several years ago, cloud-based file-sharing service Box.com launched Box.org a portal offering the same free and discounted subscriptions to nonprofits. The cloud storage application can help teams share, edit and securely store digital files across their locations and devices.
To be eligible, interested nonprofits must have a declared charitable or philanthropic mission that benefits their target communities. The first 10 licenses are free to nonprofits of any size; additional ones may be purchased at a 50 percent discount.
Groups registered with Google for Nonprofits have a large sum i.e., $10,000 of in-kind services from Google Ad Grants. The service, like Google AdWords, allows participants’ text-based ads to appear in search results targeted by keyword and geography, which are considered essential in attracting clicks and donations.
Although more than 35,000 nonprofits use it, recent changes to the platform require a sharper approach to keywords and geotargeting. Google announced in March 2018 that a group’s funds would be cut if their ads earn a click-through rate of less than 5 percent over two consecutive months.
Some companies offer refurbished and surplus equipment to nonprofit groups with the intention of putting it to good use and keeping it out of landfills across the world. These discounted and cheap laptops/computers can be very useful and it often comes with free software. Websites like dellrefurbished.com and ifixit.com provide low-price computers with free software.