Digital Strategy

Zoom for Nonprofits: Boost office communication and collaboration

August 10, 2021 Nonprofits Decoded Team
virtual meeting via Zoom

The coronavirus pandemic saw businesses and organizations close as governments imposed lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the disease. As a result, companies had to adapt to a work-from-home environment to manage teams and productivity.

The shift in the workplace left a gap in team communications and collaboration. Zoom was one of the darling apps of the pandemic, helping organizations communicate and collaborate through its virtual platform.

The company saw huge success, with its IPO launching on the Nasdaq exchange in April 2020. Zoom (NASDAQ: $ZM) exceeded expectations on its opening day. The share price debuted at $36, reaching highs of $62 on IPO day, raising $15.9 billion.

Zoom’s user-friendly interface and tools made it a good fit for companies, with Zoom experiencing mass adoption in just a few months. The platform offers organizations the communication and collaboration tools they needed to navigate remote work environments.

Zoom continues to be an invaluable resource for companies and nonprofits, especially in an ever-changing work environment. Whether for virtual board meetings, hirings or regular staff communication, most organizations can benefit from Zoom. This post unpacks everything you need to know about Zoom for nonprofits.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a communications tool offering cloud-based virtual conferencing and collaboration tools. With Zoom, you can get in touch using voice or video calls, all in real-time. Record your sessions and view them later, or use them as training or marketing materials.

More than half of all Fortune 500 companies started using Zoom in 2020, experiencing a tremendous 227% growth on the year.

Some of the useful tools Zoom offers organizations include the following.

  • Person-on-person video or voice meetings.
  • Free plans for basic Zoom tools.
  • Group video conferencing with up to 500 participants.
  • Screen sharing capability.
  • Screen recording.

Zoom’s top competitors include Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans and Amazon’s Chime.

How does Zoom work?

Zoom rose to fame thanks to its user-friendly interface and convenient tools. With Zoom, you can chat one-on-one with team members or create a conference call with your entire team. Zoom changes the landscape for many business functions, including webinars and training sessions for your team, prospects, and donors.

Zoom has a free plan, letting you test the platform without committing to a subscription.

The user-friendly interface with Zoom is one of the hallmarks of the online service, contributing to its success. If someone invites you to a Zoom meeting, all you need to do is click the link they send you over email, and the program pulls you into the session.

Zoom offers a direct download and installation process to any device. Whether you conduct operations over your PC, laptop, or mobile device, Zoom allows you to connect with your team using any platform. Setup of your Zoom account is free, and there’s no charge for using the basic plan.

After registering for Zoom, you can start joining meetings. With the basic free plan, Zoom gives you free calls up to 40-minutes in length, and you can have up to 100 participants on each call. There’s no limit on the number of meetings you can set up, and you get options for voice and video calls, all for free.

The free package from Zoom comes with impressive functionality, including screen recording, video sharing, and a selection of chat tools. While the free package is suitable for smaller nonprofits, Zoom offers subscription plans for larger organizations.

Free vs. Paid Zoom plans for Nonprofits

Zoom’s free plan offers you unlimited one-on-one conferencing, but you have a limit of 40-minutes for the call, and you get a maximum of 100-participants per session.

If you have a larger organization, you’re going to need to opt for one of the paid Zoom plans, starting at $15 per month. You have four pricing plans when signing up for Zoom’s paid services.

Zoom Pro – $14.90 per month

This package gives nonprofits additional functionality over the free plan. Create meeting IDs for Zoom Meetings, and record your meeting in the cloud or on your device.

Zoom caps the length of your meetings at 24-hours with this plan.

Zoom Business – $19.99 per month

This plan lets you publish your branding on your video calls and your vanity URLs. You also have transcripts of all your meetings available for distribution to your team or donors.

You get cloud storage for calls and transcripts, and you get a dedicated support line for troubleshooting and problems.

Zoom Enterprise – $19.99 per month

This plan is suitable for nonprofits with more than 1,000 employees. You get unlimited cloud storage for your meeting recordings, a discount on the webinar and Zoom Rooms packages, and a dedicated customer success manager for your account.

Zoom Rooms – $49 per month

Zoom offers you a free 30-day trial of Zoom Rooms. If you decide to keep the service, they’ll charge you in the second month. If you want to use the webinar service, it will cost you $40 per month.

Is Zoom the best option for Nonprofits?

Zoom is a great choice for nonprofits looking for effective communication and collaboration tools to boost overall organizational health. Some of the key features nonprofits will find useful include the following.

User-Friendly and Affordable

Zooms free plan makes it attractive for many small businesses and companies. If you run a small nonprofit, it’s all you need to keep in touch with your team and your donors.

The ease of use offered by Zoom makes it simple to navigate for people that have no experience working with these systems.

In-Call Functionality

Zoom meetings come with plenty of user functionality, accessible to everyone on the call. Turn off your camera or mute your mic at any time during the session.

There’s no buffering or crashing when utilizing these features, keeping your call live. Zoom also has tools to prevent people from talking over each other in meetings, making it easy to manage a large conference of speakers or team leaders without creating chaos and confusion on the call.

Zoom Rooms

Zoom Rooms gives you additional functionality for hosting the largest sessions with thousands of users if you need extensive conferencing capabilities. It’s ideal for conferences or live events.

Remote Control and Screen Sharing

Zoom comes with remote control, allowing admins to troubleshoot and adjust users’ settings on the call. You get screen-sharing functionality for displaying images, documents, and presentations.

Excellent Video and Call Quality

Before the introduction of Zoom, Skype was the preferred communication platform for business.

However, Skype’s terrible call quality and frequent drops frustrated users, especially during conferences with many participants. Zoom offers excellent call and video quality, with no drops and no buffering.

Administrator Tools

Admins can view and control all aspects of meetings on the platform. Zoom also provides you with in-meeting statistics to help you troubleshoot connectivity and call quality issues.

Intuitive Navigation

Zoom provides you with an easy-to-use platform for communications and team collaboration. It’s a straightforward interface, and there’s no need for extensive training or tech support when using the app.

The Verdict

Zoom revolutionized the online conferencing space with its innovative platform and user-friendly tools. However, it’s not the only option available for nonprofits.

Microsoft Teams and Google Meet are worthy alternatives, and they’re potentially accessible through your existing subscriptions with these services.

Does Zoom offer special Nonprofit pricing or a nonprofit discount?

Yes, Zoom offers discounted pricing for nonprofit organizations. Many charities can benefit from using the free plan, and it will cover the vast majority of your communications needs.

However, organizations with a larger audience, staff, or the need to host online events will need to move to one of the premium plans.

Zoom partners with many organizations like TechSoup to act as intermediaries between the company and its users. TechSoup verifies your nonprofit status, allowing you to purchase the discounted Zoom plan. Visit the TechSoup site to find out how much your nonprofit can save on your Zoom subscription.

Zoom United is a package offering nonprofits excellent value. Zoom United bundles Zoom phone and video meetings and Zoom Chat in one easy-to-navigate interface for an affordable price.

How can a nonprofit use Zoom?

Fundraising

Schedule online fundraising events with your donors, with the capacity to host thousands of attendees.

Also, use Zoom for one-on-one donor outreach and engagement in your fundraising and nonprofit development.

Volunteer and Staff Training

Video calls and webinars are ideal for the largest training events, and employees or donors can watch recordings of training sessions.

Manage Remote Teams

Connect and collaborate with your team in any environment, from any device.

Save with Cloud Phone Systems

Save on your phone bill using Zoom Phone services to reduce your monthly operating costs.

Remote Hiring

Zoom is great for hiring staff or volunteers, allowing for better time management and scheduling for HR representatives.

Is Zoom the best choice for nonprofits?

As we move deeper into the digital age, more companies are undergoing digital transformation to the way they do business, and nonprofits need to follow suit if they want to survive and thrive.

Curious about digital transformation for nonprofits? Learn the basics of digital transformation and how to begin the journey here.

Zoom offers your organization a great option to help boost your office communication and collaboration and is key to a digital workplace.