Charity Managers Guide to Best Cloud Storage for Nonprofits

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Cloud storage for nonprofits is a technology that enables organisations to store and access data online from anywhere at any time, rather than on physical servers. There are many benefits of cloud storage for nonprofits including cost savings on hardware and software, increased scalability, better collaboration between staff and volunteers, enhanced security measures such as backups and disaster recovery plans and ease of information access.

Find out more about the best cloud storage solutions for nonprofits in this blog.

best cloud storage for nonprofits

What Makes The Best Cloud Storage For Nonprofits?

When it comes to cloud storage, choosing the right one for your charity and nonprofit organisation is key. Not sure where to start? The main 5 properties mentioned below are the key things to consider when choosing the best cloud storage for nonprofits:

  1. Storage capacity – The best cloud storage solution for your nonprofit is one that provides you with enough storage! When it comes to storing your charity’s data and files, some cloud storage solutions may not have the capacity to store them, and others will provide enough.
  2. Security & data encryption – Your cloud storage solution will be responsible for storing all of your charity’s sensitive data and files, therefore the correct security and data encryption included with your cloud storage should be optimum.
  3. Ease of access & permissions – Some cloud storage solutions include permission and varied access levels. For example, if your charity has managers, staff and volunteers, tailoring users to different permissions allows you to determine who can access your files folders.
  4. Integration with apps & software – The best cloud storage for nonprofits is one that can offer integration with multiple apps and software. Not only does this help to keep your data and files in one place, but also maximises ease of use.
  5. Costing – Last but not least, is the cost. There are many cloud storage solutions available to nonprofit organisations with a wide range of packages, some being bespoke. Finding the right one for your charity with a suitable price is vital.

1. Microsoft OneDrive for Nonprofits

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive for Nonprofits is an online storage and collaboration platform that helps nonprofits streamline their operations. It offers 1TB of storage and allows the admin to set file permission and integration with Microsoft Office Apps. OneDrive offers several plus points for Nonprofits including cost savings on hardware and software, enhanced security measures such as data encrypted in delivery and disaster recovery plans, improved collaboration between staff and volunteers, increased scalability, better agility, and easier access to information. Additionally, OneDrive for Nonprofits enables organisations to share large files with ease while ensuring that the data remains secure.

Microsoft OneDrive is free for eligible nonprofit organisations of up to 300 users. It comes under Microsoft 365 Business Basic and can be purchased with a Microsoft grant.

2. Microsoft Sharepoint for Nonprofits

Microsoft SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint for Nonprofits is more than just cloud storage, it’s a collaboration platform which helps organisations that need multiple individuals and teams to work on documents and products at the same time. Microsoft SharePoint enables intranets and team sites for different departments within a nonprofit organisation. Your team can collaborate in real-time on dashboards, calendars, tasks, notifications, and updates. Also, Microsoft 365 SharePoint provides version history for restoring and protecting data and an admin centre to track important updates.

Microsoft SharePoint is free for up to 300 users with Microsoft 365 Business Basic Grant option. It also offers 1 TB of storage, plus 10 GB per license purchased (Microsoft 365 Business Standard Nonprofit Staff Pricing £2.30 per user per month. Microsoft grant offers 10 users free then £4.10 for any additional user per month.

3. Google Workspace For Nonprofits

Google Workspace

Google Workspace for nonprofits stores and share files which users can collaborate on in real-time on any device. Google Workspace provides control document sharing policies, meaning you can decide whether external viewers can access your files and make edits to them. You can also grant permissions within your organisation at different levels for folders and files. There are colour-coded version histories to quickly see who made changes to a document and restore or make copies of an old version. Google Workspace is fully integrated with cloud apps for Gmail, Google Meet and Google Calendar.

Google Drives offers 30Gb of storage. However, there are some upgrade options. Upgrade to 2TB with Business Standard at £9.20 per user per month (plus 75% discount for nonprofits), upgrade to 5TB with Business Plus at £13.80 per user per month (plus 72% discount for eligible nonprofit organisations), or receive unlimited storage with Google Workspace Enterprise (discount of over 70% for nonprofits)

4. Dropbox Business 

Dropbox Business

Dropbox Business is an enduring cloud storage solution that provides granular file permissions to ensure that only the correct people within your organisation have access to each document. Dropbox allows you to collaborate in real-time when editing files or even leaving feedback on documents using Dropbox Paper. With Dropbox, files are encrypted in transit ensuring the security of your data. It also provides fast tracking to see how your data is being shared through in-depth audit logs.

Dropbox Standard package costs £12 per user per month (a minimum of 3 users) with a total of 5,000GB of storage. They also offer an Advanced package at £18  per user per month (a minimum of 3 users) with unlimited storage. Dropbox Business doesn’t have a free version available, however, nonprofit discounts can be available by contacting Dropbox directly.

5. Box For Nonprofits

box cloud storage solution

Last but not least, Box, the cloud storage solution for nonprofits. Box comes with an insight dashboard so that admin users can see how others are using Box. Box Relay saves your nonprofit organisation time by allowing you to create automated workflows for users. In terms of security, Box provides metadata labels to ensure that users are aware of documents containing sensitive data and adjust sharing permissions accordingly. Box cloud storage solution integrates with Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs and so you can work on your Google or Microsoft documents and autosave them to Box.

Box offers 10 free licences for eligible nonprofits, which come with 100GB of storage. There are also 3 other packages currently at 50% off. The Business package which provides unlimited storage, unlimited users and 1 app integrations for $10 per user. Business Plus also provides unlimited storage for unlimited users, but has 3 app integrations and a larger single upload limit. Lastly, Enterprise provides unlimited storage for unlimited users, but also has unlimited app integration.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are lots of cloud storage options for nonprofits on the market. Deciding on a cloud storage solution that best suits your charity is vital, whether it’s based on storage amount, collaboration features or access levels, use the information from this blog to determine the best for your nonprofit organisation.

Do you need some advice on how to use Microsoft cloud storage solutions for your charity? Book your FREE consultation below to speak to our IT experts and find out the best cloud storage for nonprofits.

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