Every nonprofit organization aims to carry out life-changing missions, whether in their local communities or on a global scale. However, many of these entities struggle to operate given their relatively small budgets. Some crucial functions fall to the wayside because there is a lack of capital to spend on them.
Technology is one of the biggest areas in which nonprofits tend to struggle. On average, nonprofits allot less than 6 percent of their operating budgets toward technology. As such, their IT infrastructure tends to lag behind, leaving them at a disadvantage in such a rapidly developing digital climate.
Fortunately, cloud computing has made it possible for nonprofits to capitalize on the latest IT innovations while still adhering to their stringent budgets. Here are a few of the top reasons why you should consider migrating your nonprofit from its existing infrastructure to the cloud:
You gain access to superior infrastructure
Traditional infrastructure is limited not only in scale but also in services that are available to you. When you deploy cloud services at your nonprofit, you will become part of an infrastructure that serves countless users. The sheer size of these data servers allows cloud vendors to continually develop their cloud systems in a way that would be impossible in an on-premises setup.
The cloud also shifts much of your nonprofit’s IT infrastructure to your provider. Within this environment, you will be capable of accessing agile Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions and next-generation Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) components. Hosting services such as these in the cloud makes it easier for you get more out of your infrastructure without having to handle its demands on your own.
You can move nearly any workload to the cloud
Your nonprofit can streamline many of its most essential workloads by migrating them to the cloud. Think of basic needs such as calendar, file storage, and e-mail management. Through the cloud, you can leverage solutions to centralize these functions and make disparate information easier for your team to access.
Aside from these more general functions, you can also migrate your donor database to the cloud. This will make the biggest impact on your organization, allowing for better connectivity to donor information and instantaneous scaling of services as your network expands. More importantly, your cloud-based system will integrate your donor database with other platforms, which will make projects like e-mail marketing much simpler to facilitate.
You can revolutionize your enterprise resource planning (ERP)
Nonprofits are similar to commercial organizations in that they share a need for agile, practical ERP platforms. From managing donations to handling internal finances, you may find yourself without the resources that you need to oversee some of your most crucial functions.
In the cloud, you will find ERP solutions that can help you meet demands in areas such as reporting. This can be a tricky endeavor for organizations like yours, which must be able to extract data and formulate reports for regulatory entities and supporters alike. Cloud-based ERP streamlines this process, alleviating some of the burden on your staff while enabling you to fulfill all your reporting obligations.
You can empower your workforce on the go
Nonprofit work is a collaborative effort. To ensure that everything runs smoothly both in the office and in the field, you will need a platform that can support your team from any device in any location. The cloud is capable of doing just that. From board members who are at meetings on another continent to project managers who are out working on an initiative, you can keep them connected to the information they need most via the cloud. Your entire team can stay connected as long as each user has a connection to the Internet. This will help your nonprofit more easily execute its mission, regardless of which communities or causes you may serve.
You can minimize your spending on infrastructure
Migrating to the cloud can help your nonprofit avoid numerous expenses that come with managing its own infrastructure. Buying and installing in-house servers can be expensive, and the cost of maintenance and backup will add even more of a financial burden to that. For nonprofits, budgeting for these expenditures may be difficult or even impossible.
There are, of course, costs involved with the move to the cloud, but your return on investment will be virtually immediate. Moreover, you will be able to save money over time as you use cloud services. Not only will you avoid paying for your own infrastructure, but you will be free to scale your services depending on what you use. All of these cost-saving benefits will help your nonprofit save more money to spend in the areas where it’s needed most.
You can manage your online fundraisers
Fundraising is the single most important driving force behind a nonprofit organization’s mission. Since you will need to raise money on a continual basis, you will need a system that helps you manage all aspects of this crucial process.
Using the cloud to house information about your donors will dramatically improve your fundraising capabilities. With cloud SaaS solutions, for example, you can leverage online platforms to manage data about your supporters and their donation trends. Gaining more insight into the people behind the donations can help you to create tailored requests for grants.
Cloud SaaS can also make it easier to facilitate the more general fundraising process. Platforms such as mobile applications and web tools can create an easier way for your supporters to donate to your organization, thus helping you more quickly meet your fundraising goals.