August 1, 2013
The speed and efficiency offered by the cloud are often too good for many organizations to pass up. In fact, a June 2012 study from the Nonprofit Technology Network revealed more than 9 in 10 nonprofits use some kind of hosted software and about 80 percent use several different cloud-based services. Those numbers have likely gone up in the past year, but organizations still face some problems when it comes to cloud implementation.
Cloud contracts are a cause for concern
The inherent risks of the online storage solution are apparent and cloud contractors need to do a better job of being transparent when forming agreements with their clients, according to a recent Gartner study. The research firm projects that over the course of the next two years, 80 percent of IT procurement professionals will want information for risk management purposes written in their contracts with cloud providers. With all of the critical donor information that nonprofits plan to store in their online storage solution, decision-makers must ensure that they go over their arrangement with cloud companies with a fine-tooth comb.
"Whatever term is used to describe the specifics of the service-level agreement, IT procurement professionals expecting their data to be protected from attack, or to be restorable in case of an incident, must ensure their providers are contractually obligated to meet those expectations," said Alexa Bona, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
Nonprofit decision-makers must be more proactive
Migrating to the cloud can be stressful for nonprofit leaders, but it is imperative that they are able to negotiate with providers to ensure the security of their data. An article from the Nonprofit Technology Network said that before signing any contracts with cloud vendors, decision-makers must make sure they have the latest security defenses, as well as policies in place that require them to perform background checks on their own employees. Furthermore, cloud contracts, or SLAs, should always clearly state whether the client or provider is responsible for things like regulatory compliance or ensuring data is backed up.
"Concerns about the risk ramifications of cloud computing are increasingly motivating security, continuity, recovery, privacy and compliance managers to participate in the buying process led by IT procurement professionals," Bona said.
In addition to their money-saving purpose on behalf of nonprofit organizations like AHS, First Nonprofit’s Nonprofit Unemployment Fund
streamlines the information we need to efficiently manage unemployment claims. Our relationship with NU Fund gave us access to such things as advice on planning for what’s ahead and how to analyze cost scenarios when unexpected events occurred. Both experiences were very helpful.
The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.
Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.
NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.
It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios. We
Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.
Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.