Technology services broaden the reach of nonprofits, allowing them to further their mission and serve their communities in new, more efficient ways. With the improvement and implementation of technology services for nonprofits, many organizations are seeking ways to revamp their IT strategy. Unfortunately, nonprofit organizations tend to have tight budgets that make this difficult to do.
If this sounds familiar, you may have found yourself searching for cost-efficient tech solutions. Perhaps you run a church and have recently questioned, “Can churches get Microsoft Office for free?” Maybe you’re in charge of a volunteer organization and are wondering, “Is there an inexpensive program to manage our web content?” Fortunately, many corporations and governments around the world have recognized the value of technology for nonprofits, resulting in free or lower-cost options as well as numerous grants to specifically fund technological improvements.
As you browse free database software for nonprofits, you have most likely come across Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform. Azure can be an appealing option due to the many solutions it offers to nonprofits and Microsoft’s annual $3,500 Azure nonprofit credit. In this blog, we will explore what Azure is and how your organization can take advantage of Microsoft nonprofit support.
As we mentioned above, Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform. What exactly is cloud computing? Cloud computing allows you to essentially rent computing resources, making these resources available to you almost immediately for a significantly lower cost than obtaining them yourself. Some examples of this are:
Prior to cloud computing, options were limited, and many had no choice but to buy their own software and equipment. This takes time and money, both of which are valuable resources (especially for new nonprofits). Other leasing and sharing options existed, but the commitment and lack of reliability left many wanting a different solution. This led to the creation of cloud computing.
For all these reasons, Azure can be a powerful tool for nonprofits. You can implement and manage Azure yourself or hire an IT professional to manage it for you, like our team at Computers in Ministry (CIM). But how can nonprofits afford this powerful tool? Thankfully, Microsoft has special Azure nonprofit pricing that makes Azure a low-cost option for qualified nonprofits everywhere.
Your organization must meet three criteria in order to qualify for Microsoft nonprofit eligibility. Those three requirements are:
Qualifying is the first step to unlocking the many cost-effective options Microsoft offers only to nonprofits. Let’s explore some of these options, including Microsoft’s Azure nonprofit credit.
Microsoft offers many grants, credits, and discounted solutions to nonprofit organizations. For example, qualifying nonprofits can apply to receive an annual $3,500 Azure credit. With this credit, organizations can access Azure workloads created by Microsoft through the Microsoft nonprofit portal. You can renew this credit every year as long as your nonprofit continues to meet Microsoft’s nonprofit eligibility requirements. If you run through the $3,500 credit before the year is up, your subscription switches to a pay-as-you-go plan.
Nonprofits can also take advantage of similar offers for Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Surface hardware, among other Microsoft programs and products.
Our mission has always been to help nonprofits implement and utilize affordable technology solutions. If the possibility of free and discounted technology services excites you, but also overwhelms you, you are not alone. At CIM, we know that managing your nonprofit’s technology may feel like a full-time job and distract from the true mission of your organization. Passing that distraction over to a CIM expert can relieve this stress and instead allow you to focus on the growth of your nonprofit. Our team is certified in many areas, including Microsoft, to develop a technology roadmap that suits your needs. Please contact us today to discuss how we can empower your nonprofit through technology.