4 Reasons Nonprofits Should Consider Cloud | SoftwareONE Blog

4 Reasons Nonprofits Should

Consider AWS for their Cloud Strategy

4 Reasons Nonprofits Should Consider AWS for Their Cloud Strategy

Nonprofit organizations play an important role in our society.  They provide programs and services to communities around the world who need more support.  Programs and services are the most important aspect of the operation and justify the purpose behind any additional departments brought into the organization.  This includes IT and innovation.  The goal of technology is to contribute in a positive way to the mission.

To effectively showcase themselves to donors and stakeholders, nonprofits are tasked with providing transparency on every dollar coming in and out.  Operational expenditure is expected but needs to be tied back clearly to how it’s positively influencing the work.  Donors and stakeholders feel more connected to a cause and inspired to give again when they can see their personal impact.

When an organization leverages technology effectively, it is easier to justify the continued investment.  Some ways nonprofits are using technology to find long-lasting success is in areas such as management of operations and donors, increased impact without increased overhead costs, displaying results and mission impact, and relevance to speak to many generations. It seems fitting that nonprofits, who are constantly pioneering and pushing boundaries, would rely on the pioneer of cloud computing, AWS.  Starting their journey in 2006, AWS have over 200 products and services available in their platform, more than any other cloud provider today.  And partnerships with hundreds of software integrators focused on nonprofit technology.

Accurate Data is the Foundation of Successful Business

Increase in reach, programs, and services without increase in overhead is hard! If you are working as a Director or Executive in a nonprofit organization, this question will sound very familiar to you. How can you be asked to reach more communities and people without building more infrastructure or acquiring more resources?  The pursuit of keeping costs low is a constant challenge.

To track mission progress with accurate data is not an easy feat.  A clearly defined mission means there are clear levers the organization is looking to change and it’s important that people know the goals and progress to goals along the journey. World Vision for example does a good job of this.  However, it can be difficult for most organizations. Recent research by Manifesto shows that Only 55% of nonprofit organizations say they have access to up-to-date, real-time information to make informed decisions; less than any other industry.

Maintaining relevance through the generations means knowing your fan base and interacting with them in ways that speaks to them. The Millennial generation for example is known for generosity, giving and doing. Research from Classy.org indicates 84% of Millennials give to charity. Interestingly enough, 25% of donors use their phones to find nonprofits they were previously unaware of and 25% also use their phones to complete donations.\

Simplify Your Nonprofit Work Routine

Cloud technology can address these areas for a nonprofit organization and much more. Let’s break down the 4 main reasons why a nonprofit should consider implementing cloud and AWS in specific.

1. Track your spend and lower costs

It is hard to justify investments in technology, especially when there’s a lack of understanding or knowledge to manage the spend once it’s started.  By eliminating on-premises equipment, it can become simple and predictable to run the organization on the cloud. Experts like our team at SoftwareONE can guide your organization through an assessment of what your ideal cloud journey could look like.

What may at first seem complex and cumbersome, can become simple and doable – by understanding your immediate business needs and how to best prepare for them. Where some people might have a huge pain in spending too much money on outdated hard- and software with ending support contracts for older versions, others have a stronger interest in making their complete business operations more agile, leaner and flexible. You might want to ensure you have control of your spend, with visibility and a team on your side searching for trends and opportunities for optimization. Moving the business to the cloud can be an option in all cases but need a different approach. Depending on where you are on your transformation journey, an experienced partner can help you defining the right strategy and making the first move.

This also includes finding the right public cloud platform for your needs. Cloud providers such as AWS offer transparency and predictability in cloud costs. 

2. Start scaling, stay flexible and agile

How can your organization address more communities, people, animals, or the environment without adding more staff or infrastructure?  Cloud of course. AWS for instance gives you the ability to have broader reach without necessarily adding to the bottom line. By hosting your infrastructure on AWS, you don’t need to pay for equipment or large data centers anymore.  You can use virtual machines and enjoy flexibility and scalability. Machine learning and AI will help you with data insights and analytics, so you can shift some of the manual tasks out of the way. You can also reap the added benefits that come with having a services provider such as additional support resources and managed services to keep your organization secure and always on 24x7 when you need it.

3. Show impact on mission

With cloud, you can bring data together seamlessly. AWS data lake and analytics services can enable your organization to easily setup a bank of information that can be leveraged to gain faster and deeper insights.  Draw meaningful conclusions and share your successes from information already coming into the organization daily. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence services in AWS can be used to speed up and scale up innovation by analyzing relevant information and business processes that are important to your cause. This might seem complex, but even with limited knowledge in-house, you can team up with a partner like SoftwareONE to make the ideas a reality!

4. Stay relevant to the people who want to give

You know that: The most giving generations today want to donate and interact with your organization through social media, on the internet using mobile devices wherever possible with ease and speed.  Cloud technology gives a nonprofit like yours the ability to build modern applications faster or transform legacy applications which have been around for years. Once your organization is on AWS, it becomes easier to build and deploy new services whether you want to start from scratch to build modern applications (Application Development) or transform legacy applications, AWS cloud services can provide greater compatibility and enable you to share and collaborate with others more freely.  Many of the newer products are born in the cloud and might not interact with older systems you have implemented on-premises. Enable innovation and creativity with the cloud.  If you are seeking volunteers, you might attract more interest by having modern systems. Demographics such as a students and young professionals are used to working a certain way in their daily life. If you can make working for and with your organization easy for them, they will join the cause faster!

To effectively drive change in pursuit of the mission, your nonprofit organizations need to consistently showcase accurate results, increase reach, keep costs low, consolidate impact metrics, and appeal to the giving class. The cloud, and AWS in specific, offers predictability, scalability, analytics, information sharing and a modern platform, which are key to driving these outcomes. The ONEImpact team is a dedicated team within SoftwareONE focused on supporting nonprofits gain access to and get the most out of technology to achieve their goals.

Plan Your Nonprofit Strategy Towards Cloud

Whether you’re seeking help with creating a comprehensive roadmap, automating business processes, deploying the right technology, gathering data for decision-making, or accelerating change enablement, SoftwareONE’s ONEImpact team can help.

Learn More

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Author

Yasir Jahangiri

AWS Solution Architect

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