In my earlier posts I’ve mentioned Google several times in reference to its non-profit services - which is free to use. Now, I want to talk briefly about Microsoft (MSN).
Unlike Google, MSN does not have anything like the Google Grant, which allows for free in-kind advertising on Google.com. However, they do provide donated or license free software for many of their products including Sharepoint, Office Professional (excel, PowerPoint etc), Communicator and many other applications.
Here is Microsoft’s Nonprofit Homepage: http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/community-tools/nonprofits/
Here is the eligibility parameters and how to apply: http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/community-tools/nonprofits/whos-eligible/
Here is a Nice slideshow presentation showing what you get and how to use it: http://www.slideshare.net/TechSoupGlobal/make-the-most-of-your-microsoft-software-donation
My recommendation is to check it out and map out how the MSN products can integrate into some of the other free or low cost applications out there such as Google.
Stuff like communication and collaboration may seem less exciting than things about donations or creating email or newsletters, but don’t ignore it, streamlining and lowering costs in all areas of your business adds up – and can enhance the services you provide to your constituents.