Getting started with Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Using a cloud service like AWS can help cut costs by avoiding the purchase of expensive tech equipment i.e. servers.

Amazon Web Services, or AWS, is a market-leading provider of remote cloud computing services. AWS offers a comprehensive range of database storage options, compute power, content delivery and networking solutions. They are a global market leader in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). What makes AWS especially beneficial for non-profits is the pay-as-you-go model, allowing organisations to choose and pay for the services they need, helping manage costs and resources effectively. 

Not-for-profits who use AWS can:

  • Scale up during annual days of giving, and then scale down on demand, so that their website is always available during important fundraising days
  • Find solutions to the problems through open data sources and initiatives that aggregate cutting-edge research. 

NFPs that have significant application or infrastructure cloud requirements should consider AWS and explore whether it offers value for to support mission-critical applications that enhance your ability to deliver your services.

Watch a video which provides an overview of AWS

Benefits at a glance

Easy to use

AWS is designed to allow application providers, independent software vendor, and vendors to quickly and securely host your applications – whether it’s an existing application or a new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based application. You can use the AWS Management Console or well-documented web services APIs to access AWS’s application hosting platform.


AWS enables you to select what you need, including the operating system, programming language, web application platform, database and other services. With AWS, you receive a virtual environment that lets you load the software and services your application requires. This eases the migration process for existing applications while preserving options for building new solutions.

Cost effective

You pay only for the compute power, storage and other resources you use, with no long-term contracts or up-front commitments. 

Secure and reliable

AWS utilizes an end-to-end approach to secure and harden its infrastructure, including physical, operational and software measures.

All data flowing across the AWS global network that connects data centres and regions is automatically encrypted at the physical layer before it leaves AWS’s secured facilities. Additional encryption layers exist as well.

Scalable and high performance

Using AWS tools, Auto Scaling, and Elastic Load Balancing, your application can scale up or down based on demand. Backed by Amazon’s massive infrastructure, you have access to compute and storage resources when you need them.

Hybrid capabilities

AWS hybrid cloud services deliver a consistent AWS experience wherever you need it – from the cloud, to on premises, and at the edge.

Explore these additional resources to learn more


Access your ConnectingUp AWS Cloud Credits

The AWS Non-profit Credit Program provides access to US$1,000 in AWS Promotional Credit, helping to offset costs for not-for-profits associated with implementing cloud-based solutions. This helps not-for-profits meet mission goals without upfront investment in physical infrastructure.

AWS Cloud Credits are available to NFPs via ConnectingUp; more information and sign-up can be located here.

Leveraging AWS effectively, requires a good level of technology infrastructure expertise. If you aren’t skilled at managing network, server and platform infrastructure, we recommend you find a partner to help you make the most of the platform.

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