How Microsoft 365 Helps Churches and Other Non-Profits Stay Involved

Microsoft 365 is a bundle of services that includes an array of Microsoft Office 365 applications, plus hosted email, online file storage, enhanced security features, Microsoft Teams video conferencing, Intune for device management, and upgrade rights to Windows 10 Enterprise.

We recommend that all organizations (including faith-based and religious organizations) take advantage of Microsoft 365 Business Premium. These licenses include both cloud and installed (or desktop) versions of Office applications that you are familiar with, such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and more. Microsoft 365 Business Premium also includes Teams for communications, cloud storage, Windows upgrade rights, and device management solutions.

Each license comes with Windows Defender Antivirus and BitLocker encryption. With so many members and staff interacting remotely from personal devices, there are many more cybersecurity concerns than ever before — for instance, more phishing and ransomware threats. Microsoft 365 has powerful security features built in. You’ll also receive all the most recent security and software updates automatically, reducing costs for IT and overhead.

Key Features for Faith-Based Organizations
Microsoft 365 has so many useful applications for faith-based organizations. This bundle of services has become extremely popular, particularly since the pandemic hit. As an all-in-one collaboration platform, it has useful features for connecting small and large groups. Here are its main features.

Office Applications like Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Access are included in all Microsoft 365 licenses. For users hesitant about using the cloud version, the installed (or desktop) versions of most applications are also included in all Microsoft 365 licenses (with the exception of Business Basic).
File Sharing tools such as Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive let your staff and members easily find, share, and edit files simultaneously in real time. You get version history, automatic backups of your data, and the ability to access this information from up to five devices per user.
Live-Streaming (Teams) can be used to host a live event like broadcasting worship services to your congregation. You can have up to 10,000 attendees. You will need a just a single discounted Microsoft Office 365 E3 or higher license (PDF) for the event host and organizer. Attendees do not need Microsoft Teams licenses.
Video Conferencing (Teams) can be used for smaller and more interactive ministry meetings like staff meetings, board meetings, counseling sessions, support groups, volunteer coordination, fundraising, and donor events. This feature includes screen sharing, meeting recordings and meeting transcripts that you can share with people who can’t attend. The service even does translations into different languages.
Chat (Teams) enables both staff and members to send messages by mobile phone or computer for one-on-one conversations or group chat for informal get-togethers or to share upcoming meeting agendas from your calendars. One unique thing that Teams Chat can do is to enable teletherapy consultations via video chat. When combined with Microsoft 365 security features, confidential personal information can be made HIPAA compliant.
Mobile Device Management with Microsoft Intune lets you control how your organization’s mobile devices and mobile applications are used, including mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.
Protecting Against Email Threats, which are a major source of malware. SpamTitan controls, cleans, and protects against spam emails. This tool blocks phishing, spoofing, malware, ransomware, and zero-day threats before they can harm your organization. This is some of the best protection for email available anywhere.
Robust Security Overall in Microsoft and Office 365, which have very robust security features including end-to-end data encryption. They also feature multi-factor authentication for times when it is essential to share very personal information.

Upgrade your Non-Profit with Adobe

Think your non-profit isn’t “big” enough, or tech savvy enough, to gain immense and immediate benefit from Adobe Creative Cloud? Think again. Adobe’s app suite has never been able to do more, and with Creative Cloud’s incredible collaboration tools, you can work alongside your team in ways that have never before been possible.

When you’re ready to upgrade your non-profit’s workflow, submit a price quote request here.

What Is the Google Chrome OS?

Chrome OS bears the same name as Google’s Web browser, called Chrome. In fact, Chrome is used as the primary interface for Chrome OS. You can see how Chrome, and therefore Chrome OS, has evolved over time through all the different versions that have been released.

Target Audience for Chrome OS

Chrome OS was targeted initially towards netbooks, super small notebooks designed primarily for Web browsing. Although some netbooks were sold with Linux, the consumer preference tended toward Windows, and then consumers decided that maybe the novelty wasn’t worth it. Netbooks were often far too small and far too underpowered.

Google’s vision for Chrome extends beyond the netbook. The operating system might eventually be a real competitor to Windows and Mac operating systems.

However, Google doesn’t consider Chrome OS to be a tablet operating system. Android is Google’s tablet operating system because it’s built around a touch-screen interface while Chrome OS still uses a keyboard and mouse or touchpad.

Chrome OS Availability

Chrome OS is available for developers or anyone with an interest. You can even download a copy of Chrome OS for your home computer, but you have to have Linux and an account with root access.

Tip: If you’ve never heard of a sudo command, you should probably just buy Chrome pre-installed on a consumer device.

Google has worked with well-known manufacturers, such as Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba.

Cr-48 Netbooks

Google launched a pilot program using a beta version of Chrome installed on a netbook, called the Cr-48. Developers, educators, and end-users could register for the pilot program, and a number of them were sent the Cr-48 to test. The netbook came with a limited amount of free 3G data access from Verizon Wireless.

Google ended the Cr-48 pilot program in March of 2011, but the original Cr-48s were still a coveted item after the pilot ended.

Chrome and Android

Although Android can run on netbooks, Chrome OS is being developed as a separate project. Android is designed for running phones and phone systems, so it’s not really designed for use on computers. Chrome OS, on the other hand, is designed particularly for computers rather than phones.

To further confuse this distinction, there are rumors that Chrome is indeed destined to become a tablet OS. Netbook sales have been eroding as full-size laptops become cheaper and tablet computers like the iPad become more popular. However, iPads have declined in popularity in American schools while Chromebooks have gained popularity.

Linux

Chrome uses a Linux kernel. Long ago there was a rumor that Google planned on releasing their own version of Ubuntu Linux dubbed Goobuntu. This isn’t exactly Goobuntu, but the rumor is no longer quite as crazy.

Google OS Philosophy

Chrome OS is designed as an operating system for computers that are only used for connecting to the internet. What this means is that Chrome OS is usually used for Web browsing, streaming video and music, online document editing, etc.

This is vastly different than other operating systems like Windows and macOS, which are primarily used on desktop devices and can run full programs like MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, etc. Those kinds of programs cannot run on Chrome OS as easily as they can on most other desktop operating systems.

Rather than downloading and installing programs on Chrome OS, you just run them in your Web browser and store them on the internet; these are often called Chrome extensions. While this does drastically limit the kinds of programs that can run on Chrome OS, there are actually lots of alternative apps made specially for Chrome OS.

In order to make that possible, the OS has to boot up very quickly, and the Web browser has to be extremely fast. Chrome OS makes both of those happen.

Some Chromebooks also support Android apps from Google Play Store. This means that if you have a supported device, you can install Android apps on your Chromebook much like you can on an Android smartphone.

Is this OS enticing enough for users to buy a netbook with Chrome OS instead of Windows? That’s uncertain. Linux hasn’t made a huge dent in Windows sales, and it’s been developed for much longer. However, cheap devices and a simple, easy to use interface provided by Chrome OS may just entice users to switch.

 

Carbonite Backup for Non-Profits

Picking a backup solution can be difficult – as non-profits, many different options are available to you. However, we suggest Carbonite. They’re one of the longest-running and well-known backup services in the market, and for good reason: there’s nothing simpler. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this review of their services.

Ready to upgrade your NPO infrastructure and keep your data safe from corruption? Head on over to our site now for a price quote.