Without a doubt, most non-profits must strive to make the most of every donation or grant. For this reason, non-profits are constantly looking for ways to reduce overhead costs without sacrificing efficiency and productivity.
If your non-profit organization is looking to reduce costs while improving productivity, cloud computing can help. Many non-profits are opting to migrate to the cloud to increase efficiency while reducing overhead costs. Cloud computing can also create more flexibility while providing your non-profit with a model that is scalable. This means you can add or subtract services as your organizational needs change.
Within the last few years, cloud computing has become more common with advancements in technology and security applications taking center stage. Cloud models have been used by businesses of all sizes and are now being seriously considered by non-profits mainly because of the financial benefits. Additionally, a cloud model provides a non-profit with access to powerful CRM tools, office applications, donor management software, collaboration tools, and much more.
That said, there are a number of financial benefits for non-profits when using a cloud computing model. What are they?
Financial Benefits of Cloud Computing
Many businesses have realized the financial benefits of using a cloud computing model, but what are some of the ways non-profits can benefit?
Reduced Overhead Costs for IT
Using a cloud computing model means that you can pay for access to state-of-the art systems on a subscription-based fee. This results in a significant cost savings when you compare it to investing in upfront capital expenditures to implement IT on the premises.
Additionally, the costs associated with regular maintenance of an in-house infrastructure may alone be equal to the subscription fee you pay for access to modern technologies. Plus, a cloud model not only eliminates upfront capital investments, the cloud provider also takes care of the infrastructure maintenance and updates.
Software Cost Savings
When you deploy software applications in-house, the task of purchasing, paying the license fees, installing, and then eventually upgrading the software can be cost prohibitive for most non-profit organizations. Instead, a cloud computing model provides you with access to advanced software applications without the headaches of maintenance and upgrades.
Accessing software in the cloud allows you to focus on important non-profit initiatives while the cloud services provider maintains and updates the software as needed. With most cloud services, you also have access to a professional tech support team and help desk support. Additionally, security and software upgrades are performed by the cloud services provider without any additional costs incurred in your subscription.
Reduced IT Support Costs
A cloud computing model saves non-profits money on internal IT support. This is because updates are less complex when performed in the cloud than on in-house infrastructures. When you use a cloud system, the updates are performed once on a server and impacts each individual user simultaneously.
This is much less complicated than going around to each machine and performing the updates separately. Additionally, it allows you to control which updates you want to receive and ensures your infrastructure stays up to date and in compliance with non-profit standards and regulations.
One of the primary reasons businesses and non-profits are attracted to a cloud model is because it is scalable. Many non-profits experience changes and fluctuations in daily operations, number of volunteers, and staff members.
When you choose a cloud model, nothing is set in stone and you can add or subtract services and number of users as needed. This can be done on the fly and without disrupting daily operations.
Return on Investment
Return on Investment (ROI) can be tricky for non-profit organizations when figuring in the cost of acquisition, software depreciation and licensing costs, maintenance, and upkeep. With a cloud model, you only pay for the software and services you use. Plus, as we mentioned earlier, you can scale up or down as your organization needs change. Additionally, cloud services provide you with an interface that helps you keep track of the exact resources you are using.
Non-profits can quickly see a significant ROI in terms of energy savings, upfront capital investments, licensing fees, and administrative costs. This leaves you with the resources you need to focus on new fund raising initiatives and other new ideas that keep your organization moving forward.
Disaster recovery can be costly for both non-profits and most businesses alike. By storing your data with a cloud service in an offsite location, you are protected in the event of a catastrophe. Cloud service providers have compliance standards and regulations they must meet in order to serve their client base and one of them is having an effective disaster recovery solution in place.
When you pay your subscription fee to access cloud computing services, this includes disaster recovery. All of the critical information you need to run your organization is stored in a secure offsite location and is backed up on a regular basis. This ensures you can quickly recover from a disaster without incurring the costs associated with implementing a disaster recovery strategy.
Cloud computing helps your non-profit to operate on a smaller footprint by providing you with access to cloud-based applications and collaboration tools without the costly and complex infrastructure required to run them. This allows your volunteers and staff to easily collaborate, communicate, edit, and share documents without having to be in the same location at once.
Overall, financial benefits are only one part of the advantages of cloud computing. Non-profits can also benefit from the technology, security, and increased productivity at a fraction of what it would cost to implement and maintain IT on the premises.