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AWS for NonProfits 1

AWS for Nonprofits
A Comprehensive Guide 

Dev eWayCorp December 2, 2022 15 MIN READ


AWS for NonProfits 1

Hundreds and thousands of nonprofits and NGOs worldwide are using AWS for Nonprofits to build highly scalable websites or manage donor outreach programs, as well as fundraising efforts while keeping their mission centric.  

It will not be wrong to say that nonprofits and non-governmental organizations from all around the globe are slowly increasing their association with AWS.  

AWS for Nonprofits: Making AWS Available for Nonprofits  

There is no denying that nonprofits struggle with outdated IT technology and limited funding. Fortunately, to deal with these issues the cloud proves to be of significant help. In fact, Amazon AWS for nonprofits is designed to help nonprofits get the most out of their IT infrastructure and upgrade their computing operations to go ahead with the mission.  

To start their AWS for Nonprofits journey, programs like AWS Nonprofit Credit Program are available. With this kind of program, nonprofits can deal with the costs of implementing cloud-based solutions. Similarly, there are other programs that we will discuss in the rest of the blog post.  

What is AWS? 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud service platform that comes with great computing power, content delivery, database storage, and other functionality that helps businesses to scale and grow.  

Long ago, Amazon Web Services Inc. announced that they would be helping nonprofit organizations with free cloud computing products and services. AWS has produced several types of grants and programs through which it aims to help organizations of all sizes to overcome all possible barriers and adopt cloud technology.  

Types of Grants and Programs  

A wide range of programs are available for nonprofits organization to help them overcome the barriers to technology adaptation while ensuring scalability and movement towards their mission.  

Let us look into some of the grants and programs tailored for Amazon Web Services for Nonprofits.  

1. What is AWS Imagine Grant Program  

The AWS Imagine Grant Program is a public grant opportunity. The program allows nonprofits to receive unrestricted funding up to $150,000 USD. This program is open to 501(c) registered nonprofit organizations within the US that use technology for going ahead with their mission.  

This program is divided into two categories. However, each category has something to offer to the nonprofits but in a different manner. This is done to help organizations achieve their goals.  

2. What is AWS Nonprofit Credit Program  

Do you have any idea about AWS Credits Program for Nonprofits? No! If you are a nonprofit organization then you should have a proper idea about this program.  

This program offers access to AWS promotional credits that help nonprofits to implement cloud-based solutions and easily meet their mission goals. The best part of this program is that there isn’t any need for the organizations to make any upfront investment in the physical infrastructure.  

3. What is Tech Action Program  

Another program that can be availed through AWS for Nonprofits is TechAction Program. Irrespective of the size and scope or experience of the organization in using AWS, the Tech Action Program offers the right kind of resources to nonprofits. It is suitable for donors who want to improve donor and member engagement, at the same time, develop a compelling digital experience.  

4. What is Amazon Research Awards  

The Amazon Research Awards (ARA) comes with unrestricted funds and AWS Promotional Credit for supporting the research initiatives of the nonprofits. The ARA program allows Amazon AWS for nonprofits to advance in areas like groundbreaking science. This program allies with scientists to fund research, encourage innovation, and share knowledge.  

5. What is AWS Disaster Response  

The AWS Disaster Response is available under Amazon AWS for Nonprofits. AWS allows disaster response organizations to access the cloud services at the edge even in harsh conditions. Basically, through AWS, the AWS Disaster Response Action Team lets customers pay attention to critical mission issues, while AWS will supply critical data and applications, transport hardware to the operation base, and will also implement deployable infrastructure depending on the customer’s need.  

Basically, the AWS Disaster Response program takes the help of AWS and works with customers and partners that build software solutions that will eventually help governments and nonprofits to stay prepared in response and recovery capabilities. It uses AWS Open Data Program to make data openly available. This, in turn, helps to improve the resiliency and effectiveness of the disaster response community as they can analyze the data on a large scale.  

6. What is Open Data on AWS  

We all know that data is invaluable for organizations and when it comes to nonprofits, the facts remain the same.  

Through the Open Data Sponsorship Program, data can be shared on AWS. This allows users to build and analyze data sets using compute and data analytic tools. Some nonprofits who qualify for the Open Data Sponsorship program can truly benefit from it. This covers data storage costs for cloud-optimized, high-value data sets.  

Organizations that are considered eligible are those who:  

  • Encourage community development using data  
  • Develop new cloud-native data techniques, formats, and tools  
  • Democratize access to data on AWS  

7. What is Momentum to Modernize Award  

Having a proper idea of the Momentum to Modernize Award is important for the Nonprofits who come under the AWS for Nonprofits category. It is a known fact that digital transformation calls for some significant investments. Since large to mid-sized nonprofits face revenue reduction and shortages, this lessens their chance to boost their core mission operations based on cloud technology. Similarly, beneficiaries also miss out on the rewards.  

So, while migrating to the cloud or modernizing the applications, this award is known to fund and even support the transformational digital infrastructure of the Nonprofits that have not yet been able to make the most use of the technological advancement. Usually, eligible nonprofits are awarded:  

  • AWS Promotional Credit worth up to $10,000  
  • AWS marketing promotional opportunities  
  • Unrestricted financial support worth up to $30,000  
  • Project implementation guidance from AWS technical specialties  

These are some popular programs designed for all those nonprofits who want to be a part of the AWS for Nonprofits. Apart from the above programs, AWS is offering up to $5000 for AWS Project Resilience Promotional Credit. This is to offer support to government, nonprofit, multilateral, and educational institutions with their business continuity plans within the cloud.  

AWS for Nonprofits: Why Nonprofits Are Relying on Cloud Strategy  

It is a known fact that nonprofit organizations play a key role in our society. They offer various kinds of tailored services to communities that need them. In fact, services and programs justify their main purpose of operation or for adding any new department to the organization.  

By department, we mean IT and Innovation. With the right infrastructure, any organization can move toward its mission statement.  

Also, nonprofits need to present themselves in the right way to donors and stakeholders. Well, nonprofits need to maintain complete transparency on every dollar that is coming and going out from their account. While operational expenditure is bound to happen, but at the same time, the expenditure should indicate how it is influencing their work.  

Studies have shown that donors and stakeholders get inspired to donate again when they feel connected to the cause and see it is having a personal impact.  

When an organization makes use of the right technology, it becomes easy to justify the continued investment. To ensure long-lasting success, nonprofits are using technology for areas like management of operations and donors, displaying results and mission impacts, increased impact without increasing the overhead costs, etc. Likely nonprofits are relying on cloud computing, AWS.  

Accurate Data Is Very Important  

Nonprofits must track their mission progress from time to time. For this, they need to rely on accurate data. With a clearly defined mission, there are clear labels that the organization is looking to change. With AWS, accuracy in data can be ensured.  

Other Reasons for Using AWS for Nonprofits  

There is no denying that AWS services can bring some major changes to society by supporting non-profits in advancing in their mission. As a matter of fact, AWS for Nonprofits is already helping more than hundreds and thousands of non-profits and NGOs to make some impact on society.  

In fact, Amazon AWS Nonprofit is empowering nonprofits to leverage the limitless capability of AWS. Since Amazon Web Services offers tremendous opportunities, nonprofits should not miss them out.  

1. Narrow Your Focus  

It is a known fact that running an NGO, or a nonprofit is not that easy. It involves a lot of work; starting from finding out a cause in a society that needs immediate attention, coming up with a strategy for raising funds, implementing the funds for the cause, and so on. All these workloads leave no room or little time to focus on IT operations and infrastructure.  

However, by shifting to AWS for Nonprofits, nonprofits can easily reduce the pressure related to usual day-to-day tasks related to IT concerns. This allows the nonprofits to focus on their key concern area.  

2. Enhance Research  

Nowadays, research institutions are cashing in on AWS to make effective use of data, such as storing and analyzing huge data pipelines to innovate advanced research with emerging and transformative technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Moreover, Nonprofits can easily access the datasets to improve their data research further.  

3. Strengthen Community Services  

Why do Nonprofits rely on Amazon Web Services for Nonprofits? Or what makes a Nonprofit so dependent on Amazon AWS for Nonprofits? The answer to these questions is simple.  

AWS offers cost-effective, scalable, fully manageable, and secures IT infrastructure. This helps nonprofits come up with mission-critical applications which reinforce the service delivery and support.   

Whether there is a need to support individuals or communities, AWS allows Nonprofits to bolster their community services with improved resources and capability than before.  

4. Improve Financial Services  

When a nonprofit deals with large sums of money from fundraising or donation or grants, it is important to ensure that the financial services should be up to the mark. A secure and resilient infrastructure is required so that it accommodates present financial requirements and supports the financial plan.  

This calls for building a financial infrastructure on AWS which will eventually allow nonprofits to remodel their financial infrastructure and develop as per the expectation of the beneficiaries.  

5. Accelerate Mission  

Finally, using AWS for Nonprofits can help nonprofit organizations to accelerate their mission statement. Although every nonprofit organization has a separate mission statement, they share the same goal, i.e., to make the world a better place.  

However, from politicians to economists or society to the community’s point of view – the world is seen in black and white. Hence, the execution of the mission needs to be evolved. for this reason, nonprofits should operate from a platform that is flexible, agile, and scalable.

Since AWS Cloud offers the last three qualities, Nonprofits find Amazon AWS for Nonprofits ideally suitable for modernizing their delivery methods and ensuring longevity within their efforts.  

Nonprofits face a lot of challenges. They are not only forced to cut their budget, but they also need to deal with less time, money, and resources. All these factors hinder their mission progress. However, after switching to AWS for Nonprofits, nonprofits now get access to a wide range of tools and services that help them to stick to their efforts.  

ASW for Nonprofits Some Case Instances  

In the event, you are wondering how nonprofits and NGOs are using AWS Cloud or associated services offered by Amazon Web Service, then you need to look into some case instances.  

Case 1: AWS Helped Hello Sunday Morning to Increase the Scalability & Support of Daybreak 

More than 100 million people suffer from alcoholism. However, the efforts of an organization like Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) are worth taking note of. Well, HSM, a nonprofit organization based in Australia is playing a significant role to help people in dealing with their alcohol consumption habits.  

1.1. HSM Helping with Alcohol Issues  

As a non-profit organization, HSM has been helping individuals to recover from alcohol dependency and lead a clean and sober life. They are offering alcohol users the right kind of health and community support, so that they can get over their alcohol habit.  

Community support is extremely important for people who want to overcome their alcohol habit. HSM came up with an application called Daybreak that offers professional health and community support to alcohol users so that they can get over their alcohol habits.  

With the Daybreak app, Australians can anonymously seek professional help and personalized support on their mobile devices at zero cost.  

1.2. How does their App help  

This application allows any alcohol user to access the online community and share their sobriety journey with other members of the community. Plus, the user can have a one-to-one interaction with the health coaches present in the app’s chatrooms.   

1.3. The App Helping Users During COVID Pandemic  

In early 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak led to a global lockdown. During this time, there was a steep increase in the alcohol consumption rate.  

According to a national poll commissioned by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, 25% of adults drank more than they used to.  

During the lockdown, HSM witnessed a steep increase in the use of the Daybreak app in Australia. Why is it so?  

The lockdown restrictions prevented alcohol support groups from conducting any in-person meetings regularly. The only way out was to offer virtual support to the support group. This is when Daybreak proved to be helpful as it offered face-to-face support to users who wanted to deal with alcohol-related problems.  

Thanks to digital advancement and accessibility, the app saw a 15% increase in active daily users.  

While it is good to see that nonprofit organizations through their apps like Daybreak are helping support groups and online communities to deal with alcohol issues. But you might be wondering about the roleplay of AWS in this app.  

To understand the role of AWS in Daybreak, one needs to understand the app’s challenges.  

1.3.1. The Challenges with the App  

There is no denying that to recover from alcohol or to overcome alcohol, a keen sense of community support is particularly important. Since in-person support was not available during the pandemic, most people resorted to online help and support from various groups.  

Daybreak offered that support to alcohol users who wanted to come out clean.  

Since Daybreak witnessed a huge user demand during the pandemic and lockdown, it required increased scalability and support. Meeting that huge level of scalability and support was not possible by other cloud service providers.  

HSM having prior experiences with AWS knew that switching their entire IT setting and applications to the AWS cloud will increase their scalability opportunities. Plus, by availing services like AWS for Nonprofits, HSM obtained more insightful data that were needed to serve their customers even better.  

1.3.2. The Need of AWS  

Basically, HSM used to run its workloads across different CSPs.  

So, when the cloud-native app was introduced, developers at HSM found that it lacks integration across different Cloud Service Providers. This not only caused a disruptive app maintenance process but also gave rise to scalability issues.  

As the major concern for HSM was the app’s scalability, they decided to take their entire setup to AWS Cloud. Since they have experience with AWS services, such as Amazon Athena, for this nonprofit organization, the complete migration to Amazon AWS for nonprofits appeared to be a seamless one.  

Moreover, using Amazon AWS Nonprofit cloud technology will not increase their operational costs. Plus, it will allow them to explore more services from AWS, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning for identifying posts made by any app user that might indicate the need of intervention or quick response from medical professionals.  

Hello Sunday Morning also knew well that by using Amazon Web Services for Nonprofits, scalability will not be an issue for them even if the app faces a huge demand. Since AWS offers scalability, offering increased support to the users will not be an issue for them through AWS for Nonprofits cloud technology.  

Case 2: AWS Helped Fred Hutch to Unlock Siloed Data to Further Cancer Research  

It is a known fact that nonprofits rely on Amazon AWS for nonprofits to further their mission. In this regard, let us see how Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch) came up with a single, user-friendly, and browser-based solution, Motuz by using AWS and open-source software.  

Motuz aims to simplify and streamline the upload of a large amount of data. In fact, because of Motuz Fred Hutch is now able to integrate data from disparate sources and make the data accessible and shareable.  

2.1. The Need to de-silo Data  

In the past, researchers of Fred Hutch faced a lot of challenges. Most of the challenges came from inconsistent processes for data migration and multiple storage platforms.

Isolated data hinders the research progress and restrains the necessary collaboration to speed up scientific discovery.  

Organizations at Fred Hutch used various processes and approaches for sharing data between disparate systems causing the data to be isolated. The research team was required to run large batch data uploads that ranged from 10 to 30 terabytes at a time and the files were as large as 500 gigabytes. all these tasks were carried out via command line tools that came with complicated UI (User Interface).  

The unfriendly UIs (User Interface) led to the loss of valuable time to organize, ingest, and decipher which platform data must be extracted. This resulted in diminishing the effective collaboration and gaining meaningful insights from the data.  

In other words, poor UI affected productivity and efficiency. It Also detracted Fred Hutch from its mission. For this reason, Fred Hutch felt the need for improved tools that will simplify the movement of high-speed data between teams, labs, and external collaborators. They wanted a tool that would not only streamline the work process but also allow them to focus on new therapies and cures. In other words, the tool apart from streamlining the work process will also increase research collaboration, de-silo data, etc.  

2.1.1. AWS to Rescue  

It is a known fact that cloud-based technology is offering support to healthcare organizations and governments in many ways. Right from offering teleconsultations to reviewing data through the process of data analytics, AWS has proved helpful.  

In this line, it can be said that AWS for Nonprofits helped Fred Hutch to store and analyze the data. Along with AWS, Fred Hutch used services, like:

Fred Hutch came up with a user-friendly UI for facilitating fast uploads of a large batch of datasets within the hybrid cloud environment.

Motuz being an open-source tool allows the distribution of datasets on a real-time basis with hundreds of researchers within the organization. The best thing about this Motuz tool is that it contains less than 10,000 lines of code (LOC). Moreover, there is no code to connect to the cloud storage. Rather, Rclone, an open-source cloud data moving tool is used for copying the data.  

According to Fred Hutch, after working with AWS, they got access to high-performance tools and services. Also, they are now able to offer high-scale and cloud-based experiences for their research.  

Nonprofits Are Getting Benefitted Through AWS for Nonprofits 

A wide range of services are available for nonprofits. Another interesting service Amazon Smile is perfect for AWS for Nonprofits. This allows people willing to donate to any organization to add a ‘Smile’ before ‘Amazon’ on the Amazon.com website. This will entitle a part of the item cost to be directed toward the organization. However, the organization needs to be enlisted as a Nonprofit for receiving donations from customers through Amazon.  

To be eligible for the Smile program, nonprofits must create an account for their organization, sign certain agreements, and carry out some email verifications. Bank information about the nonprofit organization needs to be provided. This is because nonprofits must show that their claim to be a nonprofit organization is fully correct.  

Once an organization gets listed under the Nonprofit category in Amazon Smile, it can start to gain money from its supporters from time to time.  

Similarly, charitable organizations that are already a part of the AWS for Nonprofits will just need to register themselves by visiting the Amazon Smile Org Central Page. Once the Register Now is complete, the EIN number related to the organization will be automatically reflected.  

The nonprofits must ensure that their supporters are well-informed about the available options to support them. Or else, they might find it hard to show their support. This in turn might affect the nonprofits to leverage Amazon AWS for Nonprofit and fulfill their mission.  

AWS for Nonprofits: Readiness for the Cloud  

Nonprofits who are planning to shift their IT model or infrastructure to the cloud can do it easily without any worries. All they need to do is to use the AWS Cloud Adoption Readiness Tool (CART). This tool will assess whether the nonprofit organization is well-prepared for making their move to the cloud.  

Other Benefits of Availing AWS for Nonprofits  

Nonprofits and non-governmental organizations can greatly benefit from AWS for Nonprofits, or better be said AWS in multiple ways. They are:  

  • Organizations can easily manage AWS cloud services, applications, platforms, and systems from one console.  
  • Amazon Web Services help nonprofits to widen their reach and easily deliver their solutions wherever needed.  
  • Saves the IT costs as there is no need to invest on physical infrastructure.  
  • Provision only for those resources that are needed by the cloud infrastructure.  
  • Easily analyze the big data pipelines and share the acquired data with the collaborators.  

AWS Nonprofit Pricing: Things to Know  

Having a proper idea about AWS Nonprofit Pricing is especially important for nonprofits and non-governmental organizations. As such, there is no definite AWS Nonprofit pricing or any sort of AWS Nonprofits discounts for using AWS.  

Rather, the cost depends on the services that the nonprofits are using and based on their usage amount. However, one should not forget that by using various credit programs or grants, any nonprofit can get a certain discount on the total cost.  

AWS for Nonprofits: In a Nutshell  

Nonprofits, whether they need to run an application or support their website for a wider outreach or just need to run any critical operations within their organization, will need a flexible and low-cost IT infrastructure. With Amazon Web Services, Nonprofits can get the right cloud-based infrastructure that would support their website or database management. At the same time, it would help them with fundraising.  

However, to optimize the technology solutions on AWS, searching the right AWS Partner Network for AWS for Nonprofits is mandatory. They would help any nonprofits to host their core business on the cloud and focus on their mission statement. At the same time, Amazon AWS for Nonprofits will help any non-profitable organization to manage fundraising and other efforts.  

Take Professional Assistance for AWS Services  

If you are a nonprofit organization that wants to scale your business to the cloud, eWay Corp can help. As an Amazon Web Services Consulting Partner, we are committed to offering best-in-class infrastructure and managed hosting services. Our professionals use AWS’s infrastructure that meets even the strictest standards of availability, durability, reliability, and security.  

Wrapping Up  

Each day nonprofits from around the world are improving the lives of millions of people with resourcefulness, ingenuity, & compassion. They are using AWS for Nonprofits either to build scalable websites or to host their core business on the cloud. The main reason for using Amazon AWS for Nonprofit is to have greater outreach and manage their fundraising efforts.  

As AWS Partners, we are helping nonprofits to design an ideal ecosystem that would meet their mission requirements. For any kind of assistance on this matter, feel free to contact us today!