Choosing Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace

Choosing the right NFP collaboration platform will enable your staff & provide foundations for the future
Cloud collaboration

We recommend non-for-profits pick either the Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace platforms and work hard to get value from their chosen platform. Learn more about discounts for not-for-profits for Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace here:

Both offer zero cost options including:

  • Email, contacts and calendar
  • Create and edit spreadsheets, documents and presentations
  • File storage and sharing
  • Video conferencing, instant messaging, group collaboration
  • Uptime SLAs.

The main differences (to help you choose between these two platforms if you're not sure which is best for you) are:

  • User interfaces differ (which are your staff comfortable with)?
  • Google Workspace
    • integrates better with ChromeOS devices
    • is available at no charge for a broader range of non-profits
    • has additional features and options available at a cost - refer here  
    • is reported by many NFPs we work with to be easier to administer for people with limited IT expertise (if you want to manage it yourself)
    • offers free licensing for nonprofit staff and volunteers.
  • Microsoft 365 has
    • stronger security certifications,
    • integrates better with Windows PCs
    • integrates better with servers (if you need them)
    • a broader range of features (some free, some not) - refer here
    • license limitations for volunteers (nonprofit grants (free licenses) are permitted only for paid nonprofit employees & unpaid executive staff who act as leadership for the nonprofit. Discounted licences can be assigned to any volunteer).

If you need a partner to support you in your use of a platform, make sure you consider this before choosing a platform – depending on your location and which platform you prefer, there may be many partners with the right experience, or none.

If you want to setup the environment yourself, you can see the quickstart guides here for Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 (nb. The Microsoft one is more complex than we'd like - if you find something better let us know so we can update this guide. Microsoft also has a FastTrack service to help with setup for organisations with more than 150 seats). 

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