Charities and Technology: I.T and Productivity

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Charities and Technology: I.T and Productivity

In our final part of the ‘Charities and Technology’ series, we talk about different I.T and Productivity tools to help your organisation.

So far in this series, we’ve covered different social media tools that have dedicated functions for charities and not-for-profits. We have also looked at different applications that can improve your charity’s overall marketing efforts, from scheduling tools to email marketing.

In addition to this, we explored tools that could assist in improving your charity’s financial accounting and reporting as well as the technology you can use to fundraise.

There’s a reoccurring theme in the sector that many charities still do not have a digital strategy in place and the main cause is due to a lack of investment and the training needed to implement it. Therefore, in this series, we’ve decided to show you tech that is mostly free, or great value for money. In this segment, we’ll be covering I.T and productivity apps to make your charity more efficient.


Work and Collaboration

  • Office 365

Office 365 is a web-based subscription service from Microsoft that offers access to Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Microsoft Office is widely used, and their subscription-based model makes it easier to select programmes that are needed for you to be more productive within your charity.

In addition to the standard programs such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel, Office 365 comes with Microsoft Exchange for emails, Skype and OneDrive to store your charity’s work. You can also work more collaboratively within your charity using the app ‘Teams’; the app even has a group webchat.  There is a nice discount for charities and not-for-profits who want to upgrade their work systems and use Office 365. The Office 365 Non-profit Business Premium subscription is offered to charities for just £2.30 per user per month. Below is a short case study on how Office 365 has been able to help the charity, Operation Smile, and its impact.

  • Google Drive

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronisation service which allows users to store files on the drive and across multiple devices. Google Drive allows you to store any type of file from images to illustrations, recordings, videos, spreadsheets and PDFs. If you previously held documents on Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, these can be imported to Google Drive without losing its format.

It’s a great solution for remote working and creating documents on the go as the work is backed up automatically. Google Dive initially comes with 15GB free storage which may be sufficient for smaller charities, however pricing is reasonable when it comes to getting an upgrade. 100GB of storage starts at £1.59 per month and 1TB is priced at £7.99 per month.

If your charity is looking to transition to using Google Drive and use the entire Google Suite, there’s a dedicated YouTube channel that demonstrates how to use its features – click here.


Task Management

  • Trello

Trello is a leading web-based project management application that can be used on a desktop, tablet or phone. It allows organisations to manage multiple projects online. Trello’s card system makes it easy to see which tasks need to be completed by certain departments and team members. On these cards you’re able to add comments, create checklists, add labels and due dates, upload file attachments, and more.

Your team will receive notifications on changes within a task either by email or through the app. The app also has great integration features whereby your team can connect with services such as Google Drive, Evernote, Salesforce and MailChimp. The app is completely free to use but its paid subscription starts from roughly £7.99 per month for extra features (scheduled commands, data export, unlimited team boards etc).

Below is an example of how Trello has been used to organise content for social media. It can of course be used for many other aspects of your charity besides Marketing. Another great way to use it would be when planning fundraising campaigns.

Trello Non Profit


  • tt-exchange

The tt-exchange (from Tech Trust) is a social enterprise with an aim to help charities and not-for-profits increase their impact through the use of information technology. The tt-exchange has built a good relationship with some big brands meaning that your charity can take advantage of high-range products to improve your I.T. Some of these brands include Microsoft, Amazon, Symantec, Shopify and Tableau.

Signing up to the tt-exchange is very simple and just requires that you are registered with the Charity Commission. Once you receive notification of your eligibility you can place your donation request and then obtain a discount for the software requested. To date, the tt-exchange has helped charities save over £200million on software costs, meaning you can put more money towards your cause as opposed to overspending on technology.

TT- Exchange

This concludes the fifth and last part of our ‘Charities and Technology’ series. If you have any questions on the tools mentioned or want some advice, contact Ingrid on or 020 8551 7200.

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