Google for Nonprofits - Easy and free tools for the Greater Good
In what seems to be a landmark announcement (to me at least,) Google has launched a tool portal for nonprofits. Most nonprofit organizations work on very tight budgets, and providing no-cost quality tools for day to day business operations, with the ability to collaborate on projects, is a huge boost for nonprofits. Integration with YouTube will allow these nonprofits to "broadcast [their] cause to the world's largest online video community."
As if the free business tools and online exposure platform weren't enough, the new Google for nonprofits portal will allow organizers to disseminate information to staff, volunteers and supporters as well as provide a platform for these people to communicate with each other. Now, fully functional online communities with real world backing can converge to work for a cause.
In addition to the above mentioned perks, the Google for Nonprofits portal also has information and guidance for all sorts of nonprofit initiatives. Advertising can be had at no-cost through the Google Grants program, and Google Checkout transaction fees can be waived for nonprofits.
While it is absolutely awesome that Google would step in and offer this kind of assistance to nonprofits, we must remember that Google is always looking for ways to help better society in general. Their 'do no evil' philosophy extends beyond the typical grievances between for-profit companies and their customers. Having offered years of consulting to nonprofits and for-profit corporations, I can say that this will have a huge impact on every nonprofit that takes advantage of the services Google is providing. Nonprofits are also a haven for college interns and future leaders of America, so introducing these people to quality business tools at no cost can open their minds to the infinite possibilities of free and open-source software. It is vitally important that future generations understand the concept of free and open-source software, and that they embrace and adopt this form of technology over the current inefficient model of overpriced, bloated and proprietary software. Every step an organization takes toward freedom and democratization of information and technology is a step in the right direction.