Migrating to Google Apps for nonprofits



Recently, I shifted my nonprofit’s Internet presence to . And I can definitely say that I’m impressed. I had beta tested Apps back when it first came out, but it really came down to laziness for not actually integrating it into my nonprofit.
Well, it didn’t take terribly long to do so. Now I have integrated email, calendar for event planning and meetings, and Gtalk and website building if I ever wanted it. It even allows you to incorporate Google Docs so that the groups can share documents back and forth. Currently, I’m only using the email and calendar since it’s a lot more stable than my current server, and it’s plenty for a nonprofit that doesn’t have much resources. Definitely worthwhile shift for any small organization looking for some online presence.
One little caveat… if you don’t have your 501c3 (which I do not since we’re umbrella protected by our fiscal sponsor), then you have to settle for the Standard edition. Doesn’t bother me any, but it might bug some people not being able to migrate their old mail. You are also limited to twenty five users, and 2G space for email.
On the flip side, it’s not only encrypted (SSL) but you can customize the start pages, assign controls to certain users, have multiple different plugins to your start page, use your logo within the email, and much much more. It’s a fabulous service provided by Google and definitely one that I would recommend all small organizations to take full advantage of if they have not already. You can’t beat free, and if you use Gmail already for your personal email, there should be no scares at all since all of the technology is the same. Google Docs takes care of most of your Office suite needs, and all you need is Internet access. In fact, if you have Google Gears installed, you might be able to get away with some offline access too.