Microsoft’s Office 365 Nonprofit E1 Plan is perfect for organisations in the nonprofit, health and community sectors. Office 365 encourages nonprofit members to become digital nomads as staff can work remotely and are still able to collaborate with their team members back in the office. Office 365 popularity comes as more NFPs begin to adopt a judicious view that values IT as a productivity tool, rather than a burden that chews up budget.
As most charity and community organisations move to a Microsoft office 365 Nonprofit E1 plan for business continuity benefits, few organisations are aware of the wealth of applications further available to them. Such applications encourage radical improvements in internal and external communication as well as collaboration. Here are 5 tips to maximise the utility of your Office 365 Nonprofit E1 Plan:
Tip 1 – Change the way you communicate with ‘Microsoft Stream’.
Did you know that 80% of content on the internet will be video by the year 2020? Why not do the same with your organization. ‘Microsoft Stream’ allows you to build your own internal channel (like YouTube). This is great for delivering company updates, new processes or even internal how-to videos.
It’s very easy to setup:
- Head to portal.office.com
- Select Video and choose who should see the video
- Upload your video
- Highlight to your team what the video is about
The best thing about Microsoft Stream is that it gives you a different way to communicate to your team members. You might be surprised how well your visual and audio message will be received in comparison to an email.
Tip 2 – Gather your data with Microsoft Forms
‘Microsoft Forms’ allows you to digitalize those internal and external forms. This saves printing and documentation up keep costs, assists with confidentiality, is user friendly, and not to mention the added bonus of being great for the environment.
We have some clients that like to use this application for HR onboarding and offboarding as well as internal and external surveys. The best part is that your data is kept nice and secure inside your Office 365 subscription. You have complete control over access delegation, allowing you to share forms with to whoever you want, whenever you want.
Here is how you create your first form:
- Head to portal.office.com
- Click on Forms
- Create your form and publish it
- Review and analyse collected data
Tip 3 – Plan out your projects and tasks
‘Microsoft Planner’ is great for mapping out your projects and tasks within your team. Planner allows you to break up a major project into bite sized tasks and assign them to different individuals.
This collaboration tool is powerful when facilitating projects that run over several months and different locations. It is particularly useful to keep team members up to speed and on the same page. Furthermore, it is simple to use and readily available with your Office 365 Nonprofit E1 subscription
Tip 4 – Collaborate with Microsoft Teams
Have you ever tried to work in collaboration with your team over email and phone calls? It’s tough!
‘Microsoft Teams’ is one of my favorite features as it has transformed the way my colleagues and I work together. All the departments at Evolve IT Australia are using ‘Teams’ to communicate and collaborate with each other on major issues, documents and important information. We have reduced the number of emails that go out, allowing us to declutter our inboxes and save email for key client, partner and vendor communication.
It integrates with most Microsoft products including ‘Skype For Business’, ‘Microsoft Stream’, ‘Microsoft Planner’, Calendar and ‘SharePoint’. Every team and department also gets a’ OneDrive’ to share as well as a ‘OneNote’. This seamlessly allows your team to work on shared documents at the same time without any data loss.
Teams is also great for facilitating in office and offsite meetings. It significantly cuts down meeting times as relevant information can easily be shared and communicated before the consultation. Meetings can therefore be effectively used for forward planning and decision making. As of recent, Teams has capability for external sharing, perfect for NFP organisations that host regular board meetings.
Tip 5 – Run a webinar with Skype For Business
‘Skype For Business’ is the perfect tool to reach out into the community or to people in remote locations. You can host external meetings and share your screen as a webinar in a secure environment.
I use ‘Skype For Business’ for training sessions, product demonstrations and video meetings with clients. The best feature about ‘Skype For Business’ is that you can record the session for subsequent rewatch. This capability has saved me a lot of time as the video can be shared internally and externally.
Depending on your business usage style, ‘Skype For Business’ may also replace your traditional phone system, substituting the need for desk handsets.
Microsoft’s Office 365 Nonprofit E1 Plan is packed full of features. Be sure to explore all the applications available to you and don’t be afraid to experiment with what works best for your organization. When maximized for utility, Office 365 saves time and money and greatly improves an organisation’s ability to work productively.
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HOW EVOLVE IT CAN HELP
At Evolve IT we’re passionate about helping others and take pride in empowering not for profits (NFPs) through technology. Whether it be by assisting collaboration, streamlining communication or enabling an ever more mobile work force.