Beyond Videoconferencing – Part 2

In Part 1, we talked about the current realities of groupwork, and how it could be the starting point for a new way of collaboration for your club. In part 2, we’ll talk about some of the platforms available to you and how you can integrate them into your club’s management structure.

All the platforms we’ll talk about operate “in the cloud.” Documents and conversations are hosted remotely by the company providing the service. There is no local storage, and very little local setup. The obvious benefit is that anybody can work on anything at any time. Other benefits include better document version control, and the ability to maintain your institutional knowledge within the club, instead of on a myriad of personal computers located who-knows-where.

With this in mind, let’s look at some of the major teamwork platforms and what they offer.

G Suite

This is a fully featured computing platform powered by Google. It features tools and services that many of your board members and volunteers may already use daily.

The service includes:

  • G-Suite productivity tools such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Enterprise-grade email and calendaring services built on Gmail and Calendar
  • 30GB of online personal storage per user on Google Drive, and a shared drive for organizational storage
  • Google Hangouts Chat and Meet for text and videoconference collaboration
  • Access to other non-profit programs like Ad Grants and YouTube for Non-Profits.

More info: G Suite by Google

Microsoft 365

This is another suite of tools like G-Suite, created by Microsoft and based on their Office productivity software. Its another platform that features tools that your board may already use on a daily basis.

Microsoft 365 includes:

  • Web versions of Microsoft Office software like Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Enterprise-grade email and calendaring built on Outlook and Microsoft Exchange
  • Microsoft Teams for text and videoconference collaboration
  • The ability to host online meetings of up to 10000 people
  • 1TB of personal storage per user using Microsoft OneDrive
  • Microsoft SharePoint for document storage, sharing and collaboration

More info: Microsoft 365


Slack is primarily a collaboration tool and doesn’t feature productivity apps like G Suite and Office 365.

Slack offers:

  • Unlimited “channels” for collaboration
  • Unlimited integration with tools you may already use, such as Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Video calls of up to 15 people
  • Guest access
  • 10GB of personal storage per user.

More Info: Slack

Workplace from Facebook

Like Slack, Workplace is oriented towards collaboration first and is meant to integrate into an already established office environment. Its tools would be familiar to anybody who currently uses Facebook.

Workplace offers:

  • Groups for team-based discussions
  • Live video broadcasting
  • A corporate news feed
  • Integration with tools you may already be using such as Office, G-Suite, Dropbox, etc.
  • Workplace chat – based on Facebook Messenger
  • Voice and Video calling

More info: Workplace from Facebook

As you can see, there are collaboration tools for every size of organization – but what about budget? If you’ve already started investigating these tools, you’ll see they often are priced at a monthly, per user charge.

What if, however, you could leverage your status as a non-profit organization, and take advantage of these corporate collaboration tools at no cost? You can, and we’ll help you start the process in part 3.