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Thread: Any office 365 nonprofit users out there?

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    Question Any office 365 nonprofit users out there?

    I'm investigating the options for centralising our emails (to get section/group emails out of personal mailboxes), and one of the options is o365.

    Does anyone use it just for emails, and how do you have it set up?

    TIA

    Chris
    CSL
    1st Shefford Cubs - Blue Arrows

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    Asst Sea Scout Leader GuruChris's Avatar
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    I set it up a few months ago and am gradually rolling it out to the leader team. There are certainly a lot of benefits (eases GDPR compliance, more professional image for the group, can maintain ownership of accounts as/if people move on, links into Sharepoint to keep documents & records, i could go on); the biggest problem is convincing other leaders to actually use it - if they're used to always using their own personal accounts most don't like to change (especially the older and less tech-savvy ones). It needs quite clear direction and leadership from the GSL / Chairman is you want to push people that way.

    Details page is at https://products.office.com/en-gb/no...ns-and-pricing (or just google "Office 365 for charities" and it should come up); after that it was all pretty self explanatory. The slowest part was waiting for the registration with Tech Trust to come back (they do the charity verification part for Microsoft) so we could get the office apps running, and took a bit of work to get it talking to our own domain (find a geek if you're not one yourself).

    EDIT - didn't actually answer the last part lol
    I give leaders personal accounts with their name, and if appropriate an alias (eg [email protected]). Sections and other teams get a shared mailbox, with access granted to the appropriate leaders. Have a few groups set up for group mailing lists (eg [email protected], [email protected]) and sharepoint permissions.
    Last edited by GuruChris; 06-06-2018 at 05:47 PM.

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    AESL & AGSL shiftypete's Avatar
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    We have gone with g-suite using google non profits rather than O365 as I am more familar with google products from work.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Assistant Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    We use it as a group (also use the paid for package at work)

    Its a great package for zero cost to the group... really worth the time to set up as long as you then use it properly.

    We are, as a group, introducing a policy now that all group business must be done via group emails. I've always been a tad twitchy about personal data being sent to personal email accounts and the move from DPA to GDPR has acted as a catalyst.

    We use a mix of shared mailboxes and distribution groups... groups are useful for disseminating info because you're more likely to get everyone reading it. Shared mailboxes are more useful for things that just require one of the team to action.

    I know you've said you only want emails, but id say it's also worth setting up sharepoint so that group files can easily be shared and accessed by the team (e.g. programme resources).

    The actual job of setting it all up takes a while... getting it talking to your domain can be an absolute nightmare unless you know what you're doing. Once its set up though its easy to administer.
    Dan Spencer

    Group Scout Leader 66th Bath
    Deputy District Commissioner (Programme) - City of Bath District
    Nights Away Adviser and member of District Executive Committee - City of Bath District
    Member of Avon County Appointments Advisory Committee
    Event organiser "Be Prepared" Resilience Events
    Formerly CSL, SL, ASL and Jamboree Communications Lead

    Web designer


    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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    I could have sworn I replied last night! button clicking fail I suspect lol

    Anyway, thanks so much for the info guys. I'm currently signing up for both to then evaluate them, although leaning more towards o365. Although I personally like the google ecosystem, it may be a step too far for some of our leaders.

    I'm assuming that you don't have the basic (free) o365 package if you are talking about apps. I'd be looking initially at the free offering just to get the email facility and perhaps for the onedrive (although my professional experience of onedrive is waaay less than good, and dropbox has never failed me in 10 years and can be made to be totally transparent).

    So I'm just waiting for the validation thing to happen so I can start playing around with email accounts :-)

    Thanks again
    Chris

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    We use it as a group (also use the paid for package at work)

    Its a great package for zero cost to the group... really worth the time to set up as long as you then use it properly.

    We are, as a group, introducing a policy now that all group business must be done via group emails. I've always been a tad twitchy about personal data being sent to personal email accounts and the move from DPA to GDPR has acted as a catalyst.

    We use a mix of shared mailboxes and distribution groups... groups are useful for disseminating info because you're more likely to get everyone reading it. Shared mailboxes are more useful for things that just require one of the team to action.

    I know you've said you only want emails, but id say it's also worth setting up sharepoint so that group files can easily be shared and accessed by the team (e.g. programme resources).

    The actual job of setting it all up takes a while... getting it talking to your domain can be an absolute nightmare unless you know what you're doing. Once its set up though its easy to administer.
    Thanks for your reply! Yes whilst not essential for GDPR, it is a great catalyst/excuse to introduce policy as long as it's done in a low-impact way with support. We're a small group so that won't be a problem.

    sharepoint/onedrive... I've had very poor experiences with these in my professional life so whilst I may evaluate them, I'm going with dropbox for now. Again it's about improving how we do things, whilst balancing that with a positive experience for the leaders to drive adoption. That said, it would not exclude the possibility of migrating files to the 365 ecosystem in the future.

    It feels like the summer holidays are the perfect time to get the domain etc set up, when there is not much parental comms happening, but yes I agree, anything to do with domain records can be a faff! :-)

    Thanks :-)
    Chris
    CSL
    1st Shefford Cubs - Blue Arrows

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    We use Google Apps here. Largely I think because it was me that was the main force behind setting it up and I went Microsoft free many years ago (at least at home).

    Which ever course you take, here are some reflections from our experience:

    - we give everyone an account that has a name like: [email protected]. These are the only "real" accounts, other than the "admin" account that is very rarely used.

    - we setup "groups" for each section with email address of the form: [email protected], [email protected] etc. These are the email address that we put on our communication with parents. Each of the section leaders are then made members of these groups so that they receive the email sent to their section. In some cases with have sections that are run by a team, in those cases all the team members are added to the group so that they all get the email. In google it is also possible to configure things so that people can send with the group address as their "From" address - so I can choose to send email from [email protected] or [email protected].

    - we setup "groups" for each of the primary roles in the group: e.g. gsl, chair, treasurer etc. These work the same as the section groups. So when you email [email protected] it will get to the current treasurer.

    Using group addresses in this way is very useful when managing transitions and when covering for people that are on holiday.

    - Google also uses "groups" as a way of applying access controls on shared documents (called "Team Drives") so we have a separate set of groups that are used for this purpose alone: i.e. all-beaver-leaders, all-exec etc. You can add "groups" to other "groups" so we have a all-leaders group that contains add-beaver-leader, all-cub-leaders etc. This means that most people one need to be added to one or two groups and then the hierarchy looks after itself.

    - Finally we have a set of groups that contain the email lists for each each part of the group e.g. all-cub-parents, all-exec-members etc. These are synchronised directly from our OSM sections each night. (this uses custom scripts that I have written - they are more than a bit flaky).

    We encourage all of our leaders to store their documents in Team Drives as the ownership of the files in Team Drives is the Team not the individual - so it does not matter if we delete their account, to documents are still there.

    All of this took about 2 months to set up last summer and it is still bedding in.

    Positives:

    1. everything is in one service. We have stopped using dropbox or anything else.
    2. Google Apps is very flexible
    3. mobile friendly.
    4. GDPR compliant
    5. if you have some techie people you can really go to town - we have a complete Family Camp booking system written in Google Sheets complete with sign up forms, paypal processing, timetable generation etc. (I expect this is possible in 365 too - but I have no experience of it).

    Negatives:

    1. you are going to need someone that really gets IT to set it up and manage it.
    2. users get confused by having more than one google account - they forget to switch accounts when accessing links.
    3. Google Docs takes time to get used to - people that spend their day job in MS Excel or Word get very frustrated that it does not work in the same way.

    Good luck with your implementation.

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    I just signed up for O365 for my group, in fact just switched the DNS over last night (hopefully all the emails still getting through!). I found signing up really easy, just needed a letter from HMRC to prove our tax exempt status (we are not a charity)

    So far, I've just set most leaders accounts to redirect to their personal email and will start to introduce them to One Drive shortly. (most already use One Drive or Google or Dropbox, so makes sense to consolidate them all).
    I've also set up O365 Groups for Leaders and Exec to put shared documents (eg kit lists, health forms etc) as everyone currently has their own versions of everything.

    My plan is to introduce it slowly and do some demos of how it all works, so the other leaders don't get scared by how complicated it is and refuse to use it.

    It also looks like it has loads of GDPR tools for auditing and logging, but not looked into them too much.

    There is a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1487...3121321766649/
    Paul

    Scout Leader at 90th Bristol Scouts
    Webmaster of Cabot District Scouts website

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    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulxb View Post
    ............. just needed a letter from HMRC to prove our tax exempt status (we are not a charity)..............
    I think you will find that you are, but I get what you mean.
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.¯ Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

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    We use Office 365. I set it up last year and administer it, with another leader as a second Global administrator. We have over 40 'users'.

    We use email, mostly with forwarders to personal email, but with a few people using the O365 mailbox properly.

    We also use Office 365 Groups, Distributions Lists and Shared Mailboxes, OneDrive and Sharepoint.

    We have mixed take up and it's taking much longer than I had hoped to 'sell' the benefits of using it across the group's adults. I like it but most people just find it too 'difficult' to even use the email let alone anything else.

    Sharepoint is way too complex and and lacking basic functionality compared to Dropbox for anyone to want to use it.

    But I'll keep trying...
    Last edited by pstretch; 07-06-2018 at 02:33 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    I think you will find that you are, but I get what you mean.
    We are actually an Excepted Charity
    Paul

    Scout Leader at 90th Bristol Scouts
    Webmaster of Cabot District Scouts website

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    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulxb View Post
    We are actually an Excepted Charity
    I know, but a charity nevertheless!
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.¯ Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

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    CTCSL / GSL sitb2000's Avatar
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    I have a number accounts on O365. Group, Church etc. Also for Charnwood International Scout and Guide Camp in 2019. The camp management team decided that every single staff member involved with the camp gets a Charnwood e-mail address - in order to contain information about the camp "in our domain".
    Simon Parr
    Group Scout Leader - 1st Nanpantan Scouts
    County Cub Scout Leader - Leicestershire Scouts

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulxb View Post
    I just signed up for O365 for my group, in fact just switched the DNS over last night (hopefully all the emails still getting through!). I found signing up really easy, just needed a letter from HMRC to prove our tax exempt status (we are not a charity)

    So far, I've just set most leaders accounts to redirect to their personal email and will start to introduce them to One Drive shortly. (most already use One Drive or Google or Dropbox, so makes sense to consolidate them all).
    I've also set up O365 Groups for Leaders and Exec to put shared documents (eg kit lists, health forms etc) as everyone currently has their own versions of everything.

    My plan is to introduce it slowly and do some demos of how it all works, so the other leaders don't get scared by how complicated it is and refuse to use it.

    It also looks like it has loads of GDPR tools for auditing and logging, but not looked into them too much.

    There is a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1487...3121321766649/
    Similar to how we started

    In the end, once leaders realised it took 2 minutes to set up their scout emails on their phones, it stopped being an issue - and now new leaders just get given a group email account, and help setting it up if needed.

    From a data protection point of view - how do you feel about data that a parent sends thinking its going to a "group" email account actually ending up in someone's personal account which their husband/wife/partner also has access to. Or, if they use their work email account for scouting, maybe a colleague, PA, etc might have access to it. It's not a scenario i feel particularly comfortable with.

    I totally understand that some people are technophobes, and having more than one email account has the potential to be confusing... to me I like to keep my life compartmentalised so could never use one email account for work, personal, and all of my scouting roles. Each role has a separate account. If you want to email me for group stuff its my @westonscouts email address. If it's about district stuff its my @bathscouts email address. If its about my county role its my @avonscouts email address. Simples.
    Dan Spencer

    Group Scout Leader 66th Bath
    Deputy District Commissioner (Programme) - City of Bath District
    Nights Away Adviser and member of District Executive Committee - City of Bath District
    Member of Avon County Appointments Advisory Committee
    Event organiser "Be Prepared" Resilience Events
    Formerly CSL, SL, ASL and Jamboree Communications Lead

    Web designer


    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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    We signed up for O365 a couple of months ago and it’s now being used by all leaders and exec members for email and shared files. This replaced personal email and Dropbox. There are no immediate plans to go further.

    Everybody has a personal login which they must use for anything to do with our group. Other scouting email (e.g. comms direct with TSA about their role can be done using other email. By having personal logins:
    We can see who is/is not using the system
    We can control who gets to do what.
    GDPR is of secondary importance to us. We had an instance where a leader left unexpectedly and we lost access to a lot of “our” data.

    Each user has their own OneDrive for (scouting) personal files.

    There is an additional “Admin” login for emergency access.
    Two people have Admin rights and their accounts (plus the Admin account) have two-factor authentication enabled.

    Each “role” has an Office 365 Group that (generally) has an external email reflecting the role (chair, Gsl, scouts, cubs, beavers, sec, hall, info, exec etc). Each O365 Group has a varying membership and all members have “Send As” email permissions so they can send mail as the role rather than as themselves.
    The O365 Group has a OneDrive that all members can access. This OneDrive is used for files that are shared by the members of the role. Thus, the Scout section has its own shared filing and so does the Exec. As people come into and leave roles, they are added or removed from O365 Groups.

    There are also a few Distribution Lists (Scout leaders, Cub Leaders, etc.)

    It’s early days, but there was little pushback from the 25’ish leaders and exec members and all seem to be using it OK. I did a couple of briefing emails first and spoke to most leaders. I wrote a User Guide and sent each person an invitation email that gave them their username and password, plus how to logon and access their email. Their scout inbox then had a message with a link to the User Guide and instructions how to sync their personal OneDrive. That way, they had used email and OneDrive straight away.
    I’ve had a few queries, which have been used to improve the User Guide, but it just seems to be working now.

  16. #15
    Escouts Team & System Dev Magician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garethhowell View Post
    There is an additional “Admin” login for emergency access.
    Two people have Admin rights and their accounts (plus the Admin account) have two-factor authentication enabled.
    Make everyone use MFA. It is negligence not to.

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