Charity and Third Sector IT Support
Onega work with a wide range of clients including SME's, Financial Services Organisations, Education and Public Sector and have a good number of clients running charities to whom we provide IT support in London and across the UK (and sometimes beyond).
If you are running a charity then you face all the pressures that a business faces in IT systems and need things to run smoothly, reliably, and efficiently.
The good news is that the IT sector recognises the needs of third sector organisations and some of the big players in computing - hardware, software and Cloud Services have programs associated with their charitable giving from which you can benefit. These provide top of the line IT systems and services at a fraction of the normal cost, or sometimes even completely for free.
Some of the offers open to UK charities from IT Vendors:
Microsoft - MS offer their Office 365 Services which include enterprise grade email, calendaring and file sharing platforms (SharePoint and OneDrive) for free (they note as 'Donation') as their Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials or E1 (if you are a large organisation) and their highest Business Premium, E3 or E5 suites which give you full MS Office for a deep discount compared to normal pricing (eg at time of writing in the UK O365 NonProfit Business Premium is listed at £1.50 per user per month vs standard business pricing of £11.30 per user per month ex VAT. Good value in anyone's book. If you are currently running a charity on an old server with Exchange then there is a very compelling case for upgrading to Office 365 and then having a much more functional and reliable setup very much fit for the future now.
Google - Offer a range of free services for charities and non profit organisations. These include their G-Suite online applications for email and collaboration. Also included are free Ad-Words credit to draw attention to your website and help raise awareness or with a focus on fundraising etc. This benefit can be up to USD $10,000 of free credit (which works out to a daily ad budget of USD $329 of credit) which can draw a huge audience to your organisation and website. How many ticket sales / donations / new supporters could this advertising bring to you? For details on the Ad Grants see https://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/nonprofits/products/#adwords#tab3 . Did you know that Google also owns YouTube? They also allow free premium accounts for third sector organisations so that you can have your own branded online TV channel on YouTube to show all your good work. This is alongside all the Google services like their free website analytics that you would do well to make use of in any case also.
Adobe - Creative Suite includes PhotoShop, DreamWeaver, PremierePro, Illustrator, Acrobat Pro, Audition, After Effects, Lightroom, Illustrator etc. These are premuim commercial design tools used in the creation of huge numbers of websites, magazines and online films and podcasts. Normally for commercial use this is priced at approx £50 per month for and individual to access all their applications, but for qualified charities you can get all this at a 90% discount - ie just £5 per month at the time of writing (correct as of May 2017). Documents online and on paper can thus have as much pollish and impact as those from the commercial sector which is important when fundraising or getting your message across equally.
Cisco - One of the leading networking equipment manufacturers and normally found in large corporate offices. Cisco's charitable donations mean that your charity can enjoy the benefits of top of the line equipment at deep discounts. The pricing works out to be about the same as buying lower tier equipment but with the benefit of the built to last Cisco engineering and end to end quality.
Technology Trust - https://www.tt-exchange.org/ - this is a great resource which lists many of the deals available to charities (and they are a charity themselves). You can browse many offers there for charities from IT vendors.
FreeSSL Certificates for Non Profits - If you charity you can benefit from a free premium SSL certificate as Symantec / Geotrust will give you a certificate. These have the benefit that they are full annual certificates and from a well respected provider. They can also include multiple SANs (multiple addresses as needed by Exchange Server for example). Finally Symantec / Geotrust can issue an EV certificate that makes your browser go green to indicate a safe (high assurance) site. The other option is to use sites like https://www.sslforfree.com/ though you have to go through the hassle of converting an issued certificate for a Microsoft environment, and typically the certs are only issued for 90 days so you have to repeat the excercise quite often or automate it if possible with LetsEncrypt.
Criteria for Not-for-profit pricing:
Criteria for access to the deeply discounted (or free) charity pricing varies from vendor to vendor. Some require that you are a UK Registered Charity with the charities commission, whereas others might have more relaxed or less formal criteria. In any case we can discuss and help you work out the best route for your needs.
What charities does Onega work with?
IT Support for City Livery Companies, National UK charities, International Charities, Local charities, Mutual and Friendly organisations.
Thanks to Misko for the banner photo on the top of the page here.