Hybrid working arrangements allow nonprofits to tap into talent from diverse geographical regions, increase workforce autonomy, and reduce costs. However, every opportunity comes with its own challenges, and the move to hybrid work is no exception. Enabling a hybrid work environment for nonprofits requires flexible and budget-friendly technologies. Microsoft 365 is one such comprehensive solution that offers nonprofits a powerful set of tools to address these challenges while optimizing hybrid work.
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based productivity platform that features online versions of popular applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as services like Outlook and SharePoint. Unlike traditional software that is installed locally and runs on individual computers, Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service that enables users to access the latest Microsoft applications and services from any device with an internet connection.
Why should nonprofits choose Microsoft 365 for hybrid work?
Microsoft 365 comes with many features that are perfectly suited for nonprofit organizations looking to optimize hybrid work.
The first thing many nonprofits consider when implementing new technologies is the cost. Many technologies may offer stellar features but come with a hefty price tag that is out of reach for nonprofits with limited budgets. Fortunately, Microsoft 365 doesn’t fall into that category.
In fact, Microsoft 365 offers a range of discounted subscription plans for nonprofits:
- Business Basic – Free for up to 300 users for qualified nonprofits, 1 TB of cloud file storage, business-class email, and web versions of Microsoft applications.
- Business Standard – $3 per user per month for small and mid-size nonprofits. Contains all of the Business Basic offerings plus webinar hosting capabilities, registration and reporting tools, and desktop versions of Microsoft 365 apps.
- Business Premium – $5.50 per user per month for mid-size nonprofits, but free for the first 10 users. Offers all Business Standard features plus advanced security features, cyberthreat protection, and device management.
- E3 – $9 per user per month and comes with all Microsoft applications, device and identity management features, and data loss prevention services.
- E5 – $22.80 per user per month and comes with all E3 features plus advanced security, compliance management, data analytics, phone calling capabilities, and eDiscovery.
Seamless collaboration tools
The tools included in Microsoft 365 enable nonprofits to seamlessly work together regardless of their physical location. For starters, OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution that allows users to store, share, and work on documents from any device or browser.
SharePoint is another valuable tool that enables nonprofits to create a secure intranet site where employees can easily access company resources and stay up to date with the latest news and events.
Finally, Microsoft Teams offers real-time communication through chat, video conferencing, and screen sharing features, allowing remote nonprofit teams to stay connected and collaborate effectively.
With every Microsoft 365 business subscription, nonprofits get access to familiar and feature-rich productivity apps such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These applications are continually updated with fresh new features such as AI-powered presentation design, built-in search and calling capabilities, and advanced data analytics, enabling nonprofit employees to work smarter and more efficiently.
Beyond the well-known apps, Microsoft 365 also comes with services such as Planner, Power Automate, and Power BI.
- Planner – Enables nonprofit teams to create plans, assign tasks, and track progress through a centralized dashboard
- Power Automate – Allows nonprofits to automate repetitive tasks and workflows across various applications without writing any code
- Power BI – Provides nonprofits with advanced data visualization capabilities, enabling them to make informed decisions based on real-time analytics
Improved employee experiences
To improve employee satisfaction and retention, Microsoft 365 offers Viva, an employee experience platform that fosters culture and knowledge sharing within organizations.
With Viva, nonprofit teams can create digital community spaces where employees can share feedback on hybrid working spaces, access learning resources to develop new skills, and stay informed about company news and events. This helps organizations build a sense of belonging amongst their employees and improve overall employee satisfaction.
At the same time, Microsoft Viva gives managers insights into their employee’s well-being and the usage of physical working spaces, enabling them to make data-driven decisions that positively impact their team’s productivity and engagement.
Reliable security capabilities
A challenge for hybrid work environments is ensuring that sensitive data is secure when accessed remotely. With Microsoft 365, nonprofits can rest easy knowing that their data is protected with powerful security features such as advanced threat protection, multifactor authentication, encryption, and access management.
More premium plans include features such as data loss prevention to prevent the sharing of confidential information with unauthorized recipients via email or other channels. There’s also security and compliance management to ensure that nonprofits meet all regulatory requirements pertaining to data and privacy protection. Additionally, all Microsoft 365 data is backed up regularly in the cloud, ensuring nonprofits never lose valuable data due to system failures or natural disasters.
If you’re a nonprofit looking to leverage the power of Microsoft 365 for your hybrid work needs, Varsity Tech is here to help. We’re experts in deploying and managing Microsoft technologies as well as helping nonprofits get the most out of their Microsoft 365 subscription. Contact us today to optimize your nonprofit’s operations.