What Every Non-profit CEO Should Know About Cloud-based Data Storage
Posted by Pamela S. on Friday, June 28th, 2013
Should you move your non-profit organization to the cloud? As CEO, it is your duty to ensure that your operations are watertight and that your funds are being used effectively. That is why many non-profits are utilizing a cloud-based data storage system to save money and operate more efficiently. Raise your sights and reach up into the cloud.
What is the cloud and cloud-based data storage?
You have probably heard of the cloud and if you are a non-profit, you are probably using some aspects of the cloud to conduct business. Perhaps you are sharing files online or using other free cloud-based services. This is great, but there are reasons why a non-profit shouldn’t be using these free services, and we will talk about that later.
A cloud-based secure content management system or data storage system is a way to manage all of your data through an offsite datacenter. What this means is that while your information may be on your computer, it is actually stored in a much more powerful server that has stronger security, more storage and better backup of data.
Providers of cloud-based services also provide secure email and document delivery. Experts predict that the cloud is the future of the Internet and many early adopters are finding this system to be extremely cost efficient, secure and easy to use.
Why does my organization need to take advantage of cloud-based data storage?
Non-profits often have very limited office space. They operate with little staff and some volunteers. Are your computers, printers, faxes and other office equipment ready to be replaced? You understand the cost involved. Perhaps much of this equipment was donated.
Do members of your team work from home or live outside the area? Many volunteers also have full time jobs and if they were able to access information from their home computer, they would probably be able to dedicate more time to the cause.
Can my organization afford to move to the cloud?
Non-profits have strict budgets. They are also under a lot of scrutiny. Donors and grantors want to know what percentage of their money goes to administrative costs.
Cloud-based services are cost effective. By making the move to digital storage, you will save money on ink and paper and cut down on payable hours for extra office staff.
In the event that your computers are lost, stolen or destroyed, all your information is safely stored in the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere.
Your donor list contains sensitive information, such as names, addresses, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers for tax receipts. If this information was exposed, it could lead to a data breach and your organization would quickly lose some of those valuable contributors. You also maintain information on staff and volunteers as well as other important information regarding your foundation or organization.
By storing your data in the cloud, in a secure content management system, it is encrypted and password protected. That’s why we say that free isn’t always better. While having someone offer you some free office furniture may be a good thing, free data storage is not the way to go to protect that privileged information.
If you are sending out donor requests, they will appreciate a secure email request and be more likely to accept it, since many emails asking for funding are often viewed as spam.
Storing your data in a cloud-based system allows you to cut down on many other expenses and it provides a secure platform to conduct your very important business of helping the community or fundraising for a worthy cause. You’ll have more time to do these things and not worry about spending money on IT and a host of software programs that often don’t do what they are supposed to do.