Microsoft offers donated and discounted versions of Office 365 to eligible organisations.
Office 365 Non-profit E1 (unlimited users)
Office 365 Non-profit Business Essentials (maximum 300 users) There’s a lot you can do with Office 365; here are some of its key benefits:
Office Web Apps. With Office Web Apps, you can open, view and edit documents right from your browser on your home computer. With each Office 365 Business Premium subscription, your staff can install the latest version of Office Professional Plus on 5 different devices.
Hosted Email. With Microsoft Exchange Online, you can access your email, shared calendars and contacts from your PC, Mac, Smartphone or tablet. Office 365 provides users with 50GB of mailbox storage with attachments up to 25MB each.
Document sharing. Easily share documents with your colleagues with SharePoint Online, which is like an online document repository in the cloud. You can even edit documents simultaneously with others, saving you precious time.
High-definition collaboration. Skype for Business is an all-in-one tool for video calls, web conferencing, instant messaging, and voice calls. With high-definition (HD) video conferencing, you can meet and collaborate with out-of-office staff and volunteers. Skype for Business includes a real-time note-taking feature so you can keep track of ideas and notes from your meetings.
Security and privacy. Along with built-in spam and malware protection for email, Office 365 also lets you add security to mobile devices. Your IT staff can manage and customise your organisation’s security options in a web-based admin centre).
24/7 Support. Microsoft will provide 24/7 professional-level support no matter which plan you are on.
Like Microsoft, Google has a suite of products that can be used freely for document creation, collaboration as well as communication. These include, GMAIL for emails, Google Drive for document storage, Hangouts for communication, Docs, Sheets, Forms and Slides for documents, spreadsheets, forms and presentation authoring. The only limitation with this offering is that it is only limited to online document creation and storage.
iWork is an office suite of applications created by Apple Inc. for its macOS and iOS operating systems, and available cross-platform through the iCloud website. It includes Keynote, a presentation program; the word processing and desktop publishing application Pages and the spreadsheet application Numbers.
LibreOffice is a powerful and free office suite, used by millions of people around the world. Its clean interface and feature-rich tools help you unleash your creativity and enhance your productivity. LibreOffice includes several applications that make it the most versatile Free and Open Source office suite on the market: Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing).
Workplace by Facebook is an online platform specifically designed for communication and collaboration between teams and individuals at organisations of any size. Unlike the rest of the products on this platform, workplace does not come with productivity tools like document authoring. However, it can integrate seamlessly with most of these as well as many other 3rd party applications. Workplace by Facebook comes with a familiar user interface as well as a whole host of useful features for organisations. You’ll get Facebook features such as messaging, live-streaming, News Feed, and the ability to create groups for any project.
Office 365 Nonprofit Business Premium (maximum 300 users; includes the latest version of Office Desktop on 5 devices)
Office 365 Nonprofit E3 (unlimited users; includes the latest version of Office Desktop on 5 devices)
Google Apps for allows you to:
The premium version of Workplace is available for $3 per active user, per month.
Larger organisations may be especially interested in capabilities that include single sign-on, Active Directory support, and integrations with other applications such as the G Suite. With Workplace Premium, you get admin capabilities to help better manage your teams, and it’s secure — you own the rights to your data. It also includes free one-on-one support for Workplace administrators. Workplace can be a great, alternative to similar collaboration platforms — and that’s especially true for the premium version. It may also prove easier to adopt organisation wide since many of the features work in a similar (or identical) way as they do in a personal account.
A domain name is a very important step in establishing your online presence. Knowing what to look for when buying a domain will help you choose the right domain(s) for your organisation. Remember these useful tips in choosing the right Domain Name:
Easy to Remember
Choose a domain that is very easy to remember and as short as possible. Potential customers are bombarded by domain names in commercials every day. Making yours memorable will help you tremendously ensuring your customers find your website easily.
Avoid Special Characters
Avoid dashes and numbers in your domain name. This can make it confusing for your audience and isn’t easy to share with others.
Your domain name should include keywords wherever possible that are relevant to your organisation. This helps your domain look more relevant and encourages visitors to choose your website when comparing search engine results.
Purchase Common Misspellings
If a word in your domain name is easily misspelled, it’s a good idea to purchase common misspellings. Then set those misspelled names to redirect to the correct domain.
Buy other top-level domains
Purchasing the .net, .org, and .com domain variations is a good idea to make sure no one else gets them. If they do, they could redirect clients who are looking for you to their own website.
Keeping good records is vital for any organisation. Whether that is to help manage your costs, whether it is for legal, regulatory or tax reasons, or simply to help manage and improve your organisation. Collecting, storing and effectively analysing your data is vital. It is very important to maintain good records. However, it is not just about storing records and data, you also need the systems and processes to effectively use and analyse that information.
You have a legal obligation to maintain adequate records
Firstly, you must keep adequate records by law. As a Foundation, you must have information such as your deeds of trust, minutes for at least four board meetings per year, your registered office address and any rights people may hold over any of your assets. You may also need to provide historic information for insurance purposes or, in the worst case, by the courts if you have a legal complaint against yourselves.
Keeping records to help improve and grow your Organisation
Without adequate records it would be impossible to measure where you are and to keep track of your progress. Financial information such as costs and revenues should be available from your accounting system
Creating a knowledge base to help your employees or volunteers grow and develop
Storing information and making it available to your employees or volunteers can help them grow, learn and develop. Simply empowering your employees or volunteers by putting key information into the palm of their hands can also help them make decisions in the field quickly and accurately without having to call the office.
What information should you keep?
If your organisation is offering or receiving a service, ideally you should have a contract for every service provider you engage.
The types of records you may be required to provide to ZIMRA, NSSA and Auditors include:
Keeping good financial records is very important to your organisation and will help you do the following:
1. Monitor the progress of your organisation
You need good records to monitor the progress of your organisation. Records can show whether your organisation is improving, which areas are contributing the highest to your costs, or what changes you need to make. Good records can increase the likelihood of an organisation’s success.
2. Prepare your financial statements
You need good records to prepare accurate financial statements. These include income (profit and loss) statements and balance sheets. These statements can help you in dealing with your bank or fundraising partners and help you manage your organisation.
An income statement shows the income and expenses of the business for a given period.
A balance sheet shows the assets, liabilities, and your equity in the organisation on a given date.
3. Identify sources of your income
You will receive money or property from many sources. Your records can identify the sources of your income. You need this information to separate organisation from non- organisational receipts and taxable from non-taxable income.
4. Keep track of your deductible expenses
Unless you record them when they occur, you may forget expenses when you prepare your tax return. It is thus important to keep good records to avoid any oversights.
5. Prepare your tax returns
You need good records to prepare your tax returns. These records must support the income, expenses, and credits you report. Generally, these are the same records you use to monitor your organisation and prepare your financial statements.
6. Support items reported on your tax returns
You must always keep your business records available for inspection by the ZIMRA and NSSA. If ZIMRA or NSSA examines any of your tax returns, you may be asked to explain the items reported. A complete set of records will speed up the examination
General Organisational information
General organisational information could include vehicle-tracking data to help monitor and reduce mileage. It could include activity-tracking data to help optimise your organisation or it could include correspondence from your partners and the community you are serving. It is a good idea to keep employment applications, emails and other business correspondence.
The primary source of record keeping should be on your computer. However, it is important to have a back-up of all the data that you keep, in case of some form of technology failure. The first port of call in data back-up in on a physical external hard drive disk. The major draw back with this method is that it is difficult and cumbersome to keep organisational wide data on a hard drive. The most ideal way of backing up data is by storing it on the cloud (online). There are several cloud options that can be used for free and at a premium. Some of the most popular include:
Except for Sharepoint, these platforms offer various sizes of free storage for individual accounts. This is an option that is worth exploring when financial resources are a constraint.