As you know, I am a big fan of Google’s suite of productivity apps. Google Docs, Drive and Co. Perfect for collaboration and creation for our students. And as Google have a few dollars saved up, they offer this service free to schools with their Google for Education platform, something I have worked with many schools to implement.
In my new role, I have moved from the classroom to the nonprofit sector.
Collaboration and creation are still part of what I do everyday, but this can come at a cost, in terms of software and users. The more people I would like to get on board and work on these projects, the more it could end up costing me. And like schools, I will have groups of users (AFL Players, Working Groups, etc) that will come and go at different stages and may only need access to these platforms for a certain time.
This is where Google for Nonprofits has come in. Not only do they offer their Google Apps platform for free, but also offer other services only for nonprofits such as:
- Ad Grants provides you with 10.000 USD per month in AdWords to raise awareness and target new audiences online through Google advertising.
- YouTube for Nonprofits offers premium features for organisations to make the most of their YouTube channel.
- Google Earth Outreach provides rich opportunities for organisations to create interactive content and visualise their impact.
So, how do you get in on this action?, first (and, well, it is in the name) you need to be a nonprofit. Got that ticked? (good on you) now you can signup here: http://www.google.com.au/nonprofits/join/.
In Australia when you go though this process (which is pretty easy, just a few check boxes and paperwork) you will also get access to Connecting Up.org, a organisation that provides nonprofits with free and discounted software from a range of providers such as Microsoft and Adobe (which can save you even more dollars and help out other members of your organisation)
So far this has worked out great for us. I wouldn’t say without it I would have changed my plans, but more in knowing that I can work on new programs, big or small, without the constraints of thinking about optional upfront costs. For example, where in the past we may have limited our interaction with a subgroup to just using their personal email for communication, I can now set up my users as officially with a Google account in our domain, offer them all the security and safety that that brings and expose them to new tools and ways of working.
If you are a nonprofit, get on it, you have nothing to loose.