When it comes to running a charity or nonprofit organisation, optimising resources and streamlining workflows are essential. One area where this can be achieved is through the use of efficient word document processing software. There are several document processing options for your nonprofit to choose from including Google Docs, LibreOffice Writer and Microsoft Word. However, with so many options available, it’s challenging to know which is best suited for your organisation’s needs. Choosing the right tool can help promote team efficiency, flexibility, remote access/remote working, and security, so implementing the correct one is crucial.
In this blog post, we’ll explore three popular document processing tools: Google Docs, LibreOffice Writer, and Microsoft Word. Let’s dive into it.
Open Source vs. Commercial Word Processing Programs for charities
Charity organisations often have limited budgets, making it essential to choose software that provides the most value. All word processing programs are a crucial tool for charities enabling them to create and distribute important documents effectively. When deciding between word processing programs there are 2 options available, open source and commercial.
Open source word processing programs, such as LibreOffice Writer, is a free resource for all. They are heavily maintained by a community of users who develop and improve the software. Open source word processing programs are customisable, which allows charities to tailor the software to their specific needs.
On the other hand, commercial word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs, are subscription or one-time fee basis. commercial word processing programs offer advanced functionality and integration with other applications.
Both options have their advantages. Choosing between open-source and commercial word processing programs depends on your charity’s unique needs.
A Closer Look at Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is a great example of a word processing program. It is part of the Microsoft suite of apps and is widely used for creating, editing, and formatting various types of documents, including letters, reports, resumes, and more.
The first key benefit for nonprofits using Microsoft Word is the program’s extensive range of formatting options for your word documents. Additionally, nonprofits can also use Microsoft Word to collaborate on documents with team members, making it easy to work on larger projects together. The program integrates well with other Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, allowing nonprofits to access all necessary tools in one platform.
Furthermore, Microsoft offers licence discounts for nonprofit organisations. If your charity is a Microsoft eligible nonprofit, you can access Microsoft Word for free!
With Microsoft Word it is possible to share documents and make comments. However, it doesn’t offer real time collaboration. This could be a disadvantage for nonprofits that require multiple team members to work at the same time on one document.
A Closer Look at Google Docs
Our next word processing platform is Google Docs. This is another cloud-based word processing program that allows users to create, edit, and collaborate on documents in real time.
One of the main benefits of Google Docs is its collaboration tools. Multiple staff and volunteers can work on the same document simultaneously, making it easier to collaborate with team members anywhere they are. It also allows real time commenting and you can edit and share documents for quick and efficient feedback.
Additionally, Google Docs integrates seamlessly with other Google Drive applications, such as Google Sheets and Google Slides. This access to Google products offers an all-in-one solution for those charities using other Google applications.
One disadvantage to Google Docs is compatibility issues when exporting or importing documents from other word processing programs. This can lead to formatting errors that can be time-consuming to resolve.
A Closer Look at LibreOffice Writer
LibreOffice Writer is a free and open-source word processing program for nonprofits. As with Microsoft Word and Google Docs, Libre Writer is part of a larger suite of tools. In this case, it belongs to LibreOffice, which is available for Windows, macOs and Linux.
One of the key benefits of LibreOffice Writer is that it is free to use as its open-source. It also offers a high level of customisation features, which allows users to tailor the software to their charity’s needs. LibreOffice Writer supports a range of file formats, making it easy to import and export documents from other applications.
However, a limitation of LibreOffice Writer would be the level of compatibility with file formats. This could make collaborating with other organisations that use different word processing programs challenging.
Google Docs, LibreOffice, or Microsoft Word?
So let’s do a comparison of all 3 word processing programs to see clearly the pros and cons of each. See below a list explaining the pros and cons of each processor.
|Multiple staff and volunteers can work on the same document simultaneously.
|Compatibility issues when exporting or importing documents from other word processing programs.
|LibreOffice Writer supports a range of file formats, making it easy to import and export documents from other applications.
|Level of compatibility with file formats. This could make collaborating with other organisations challenging.
|The program integrates well with other Microsoft Office applications, such as Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
|Microsoft Word doesn’t offer real time collaboration.
Final Thoughts on Google Docs, LibreOffice Writer and Microsoft Word for Nonprofits
In conclusion, choosing between Google Docs, LibreOffice Writer and Microsoft Word ultimately depends on your organisation’s needs and preferences. Google Docs offers real time collaboration, cloud storage, and accessibility, while LibreOffice Writer provides a free, open-source alternative with many of the same features as Microsoft Word. Meanwhile, Microsoft Word remains the industry standard and offers advanced formatting options and integration with other Microsoft applications. Before deciding on your document processor option, it’s essential to consider factors such as cost, usability and compatibility. By selecting the right document processing software, your nonprofit organisation can achieve greater efficiency and productivity for your staff and volunteers.
Make an informed decision about the best word-processing program for your organisation. Contact us for a free consultation with our experts.