How Nursery Schools & Non Profits Are Saving Money, Increasing Productivity With Google Apps

Let me first state clearly and emphatically I have no horse in this race. I am approaching this topic purely from a philanthropic, and business acumen standpoint only. Now that the housekeeping is done let me share with you the main point of this article and it’s not necessarily that I love Google, (I do); the point is there are so many new tools on the market that can help a small nursery school, struggling non profit, or a multitude of small businesses grow, become hyper efficient, raise funds, track donors, communicate and collaborate with constituents, parents, donors, board members, whoever, FOR LITTLE TO NO COST!

Let me also state we practice what we preach as we use Google Tools all throughout our organization as well as products from 37 Signals which is also a fabulous resource for most small businesses. For those keeping score at home this is the third company I have had the pleasure building. My last one I helped grow to $50 mill a year in sales before I wanted to embark on a different set of challenges. In that prior company we had the following cost we incurred while maintaining a technology infrastructure that supported 35 employees.

 Old School Infrastructure:

Microsoft Exchange Server – 500 Gigs $10,000

Software License for Exchange – $ 5,000

Maintenance of Exchange Server – $ 3,500 a year

In- House WIKI ( Company Knowledge Base housed on internal servers using VM Ware) – $3,000

Company File Server $ 5,000

Tech To Maintain Whole System: $ 15,000

Please note I am leaving a lot out here as the list would be really long, like all of the Microsoft software licenses we had to buy, install and maintain. Down time dealing with viruses, spam, e.t.c. , as well as the limitation of having most of the data not be collaborative. 

 New  School Infrastructure :
Google Apps is a zero cost full suite of applications that lets students, faculty, and parents work together more effectively. No cost and no hardware mean money saved for more important things like books and fundraising. Schools that implement Google Apps can save up to 90% on their IT costs. In addition to lower costs, below are 7 reasons why Google Apps rocks:

  1. Google Docs – The word processing application gives students the chance to work on the same document at the same time from anywhere in the world. No more USB keys! Docs also includes spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and more.
  2. Gmail – An elite email service for free
  3. Calendar – The class calendar can be accessed from anywhere at anytime.
  4. Google Sites: Which let you build Internal Wikis / Sites for Fundraising / Information Sites to communicate with Boards, Donors, Parents
  5. Security and Privacy– Google takes these very seriously
  6. Easy to use – Almost no installation
  7. Students Love It – Gmail and Google Docs make learning fun for students. Check out this video to see why.
  8. Help Resources – Check out the Google Apps for Education community group .
Old School Infrastructure Cost : $41,500 ++ ( many of the costs reoccurring)  / New School Infrastructure Costs: $ 0
When we had to make technology choices starting the new company the first cost we saved tremendously on was email. By migrating to Google Apps Professional edition we could maintain my websites URL within my email domain instead of using gmail. Our  preference was to have our web site URL not  “gmail” attached to the end of our emails as GMAIL does not give the professional image we want for the business. Thus we use the professional edition which costs a whopping $50 per user!
To be fair, Steve Ballmer and crew still exact their pound of flesh from us as we still use Microsoft Products & Apple Products, however this is by choice not by necessity. A non profit or small nursery school that sweats out computer repairs, software license e.t.c. can do away with all of this. Further by bringing everything to the cloud you no longer have to maintain any of it. You get to focus on your business and not fight with technology. That was the biggest advantage for us.
Further our employees can easily work from home or remote sites without hiring a tech to build a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
If you have a legacy system  and data you need to deal with we recommend  hiring a tech to help you migrate all of your data and do the set ups with Google, especially if you will go with the Pro Edition. If you are a new Non Profit, Nursery School, or small business and starting essentially from scratch this is the perfect platform to begin your new venture. Your internal cost structure will ultimately be a fraction of your competitors which is ultimately a key driver of your success.
We will in subsequent articles feature and profile new tools to help you achieve your goals at a fraction of the cost. Why do you ask would I do this as we are “insurance people”? Excellent question grasshopper! Our goal as an organization is to help our clients efficiently and most cost effectively deploy their resources so they can compete better in their native markets. Assessing, managing risk, buying insurance at the lowest  cost point possible  are all consistent with the company objective at Metropolitan Risk Advisory.

Whether you are a day care, a nursery school, or even a college, using a tool like Google Apps can save you money and improve your efficiency. Here at Metropolitan Risk Advisory we practice what we preach as we use Google Apps to run our business. We hope you found this article useful. If you found this valuable please leave a comment to inspire us to keeping writing and sharing. On behalf of the staff at Metropolitan Risk Advisory, thank you for putting others first!

Related posts:

  1. Hot Tips On Finding Public Money For Your Non Profit Or For Profit Business
  2. Quick Tips On How To Compete In The Nursery School Day Care Space