Nonprofits often struggle to pay for the cost of maintaining their own servers, and this can present a huge problem as they seek to expand and improve their programs.
But with cloud storage, you can store files on a remote server instead.
This means that your data is accessible from anywhere without the costs associated with having your own hardware.
Which Categories Are Consider Nonprofits?
According to the IRS, any organization that is considered tax-exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code can be considered a nonprofit.
This includes charitable organizations, government entities, social clubs, labor organizations, and more.
In addition, there are a variety of other organizations that can be considered nonprofits, including not-for-profit organizations, religious organizations, fraternal organizations, and more.
The number of non-profit organizations that use cloud storage has increased significantly in recent years, and according to Manta, cloud storage usage has risen by 37 percent in the past year alone.
The ability to store files remotely means that non-profits don’t have to worry about space, and they can instead focus on their goals without having tons of data bogging them down.
How Nonprofits Should Host Their Data
Your data is only as secure as the security of your chosen storage provider. And that is why we had to come out with these most secure cloud storage providers.
You can use any quality storage software or service regardless of the type of file you want to store.
But the safest way to do this is with a service that is specifically designed for nonprofits.
Data is precious no matter it is for business or nonprofit purposes.
There is always a risk of data loss and without the proper cloud backup, you could be putting your data at risk.
Like others, nonprofits too have unique needs in terms of their ability to store and share information in a secure way.
Fortunately, there are a number of services that specifically cater to nonprofit organizations.
What is a Donated Account?
A donated account is a service through which organizations can pay for cloud storage through their website or other digital channels.
Additionally, donated accounts also offer an option for nonprofit organizations to accept donations.
Is There a Difference Between Donated Accounts and Premium Services?
The difference between the two is that premium services are available to all users, whereas donated accounts are only available to those who have made a monetary donation or have signed up as members of the organization.
Features That Should Be Included
There are a few features that service nonprofits should have in order to serve in the best interest of the organization. Often, this is where benefits can go unnoticed or unreported.
Cloud-hosted storage is one of the most important features of any cloud storage provider.
It goes without saying that any organization would prefer to have its own dedicated servers for hosting its data.
In many instances, this is simply not possible, however, and it is necessary to utilize a service that provides cloud-hosted storage.
Some of these features may not all be available with every provider, but at the very least they should have some of these features available.
Here are some of the most important features of cloud storage for nonprofits.
Publicly available storage space is one of the most important aspects of cloud-hosted storage.
Many companies that offer these types of services will often offer free plans like Dropbox.
But this is not ideal for organizations that handle sensitive data.
Instead, they should be able to purchase their own public cloud storage space, which they can use to store public files, organizational documents, and more at a discounted price.
Security and encryption of data are not something that you can take lightly.
If an organization has to deal with large amounts of data that is highly sensitive, then this issue becomes even more complicated.
To remedy this, service providers should offer their own secure storage options that protect the data in various ways.
For example, they can utilize encryption to protect the data so that no one can access it without authorization.
The public-access storage option may be something to take into consideration as well.
4 Best Cloud Storage Services for the Nonprofits
Box.com is the first on the list of cloud storage services for nonprofits because of its expansive range of storage options.
Box for nonprofits will allow you to store and access your files in a secure and reliable way.
They are partnering with TechSoup Global Network to help validate your application so they comply with their eligibility criteria which you can find here.
Once you get through that, your organization can start to pick the plans that are suitable to your need.
There are 5 offering options which are:
c) business plus
e) enterprise plus
Other than the Starter plan which is free and capped at 100GB storage, you get a 50% discount on the rest of the paying plan that comes with unlimited storage.
Get into Box nonprofits cloud storage service at: https://www.box.com/industries/non-profit
2. Google Workspace
Google for nonprofits is offering Google Workspaces for nonprofit organizations only.
These are very generous offerings where each user will receive 30GB of Google Drive storage for free.
And if you need something more, then you can get a 70%+ discount from the normal pricing depending on the plan that you select.
Same as the Box, you need to be eligible and they will need to go through a stringent validation process in order for your organization to enjoy such perks.
Find out more at: https://www.google.com/nonprofits/offerings/workspace/
3. Microsoft 365 Nonprofits
Onedrive is a cloud storage product from Microsoft.
You get much more than a cloud storage service if you are opting for Microsoft here.
You receive a full Office suite which includes, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and etc.
However, there’s a two-year period of effectiveness on your nonprofit benefits from Microsoft.
You have to revalidate in order to continue enjoying them. Make sure you read all the fine print here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/nonprofits/eligibility
Getting started with them is easy. They offer either a discounted or donated solution.
Get to know more about their cloud storage for nonprofits at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/nonprofit
4. Dropbox Business Discount
You can’t miss out on Dropbox when we talked about cloud storage.
Though they are not offering anything free even if you are an educational or nonprofit institution, they do have some steep discounts for you.
Those discounted prices are only available with their Business plan.
Furthermore, you need to contact them personally and discuss things that I personally think are quite cumbersome.
Find out more info at: https://help.dropbox.com/accounts-billing/payments-billing/discounts
Why These Providers Offer Donated Accounts or Discounted Prices for Nonprofits
These cloud storage providers offer nonprofit organizations free or discounted plans for a variety of reasons.
Some of the most common reasons include:
They want to support nonprofits. They receive tax benefits from doing so.
They want to promote their own services.
Giving away free or discounted plans is a great way to show the public that they are using their technology for good causes.
It allows them to generate new clients and bring in more money through tax benefits.
For whatever reason, nonprofits should remember that we all care about solving the problems of society and that these companies help in that regard.
Nonprofit organizations can take advantage of these discounts for a variety of reasons.
It is a great way for nonprofits on a small budget to get technology services in a cost-effective manner.
Cloud Storage for nonprofits has become an amazing resource to store your data safely in this digital world.
And with this technology, not only do you save your time and money, but you can also share important information with anyone even if they are in a different location or across the globe and among your employee.