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Cloud Technology and the NGO Community

Cloud Technology and the NGO Community

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In 2012, TechSoup Global, in collaboration with our partners around the world, conducted a survey of nonprofits, charities, NGOs, and social benefit organizations around the globe.

We wanted to better understand the current state of their technology infrastructure and their future plans for adopting cloud technologies.

With more than 10,500 respondents in 88 countries, we’re pleased to add this data to our ever-evolving resources for nonprofits, NGOs, foundations, and those who support them.

What Did We Find?

NGOs are using the cloud. 90 percent of respondents worldwide indicated using some type of cloud technology, from "lightweight" services like email and social networking to "heavy weight" services like databases and web conferencing.

There are barriers. Our survey found that lack of knowledge is the biggest barrier to additional cloud adoption, cited by 86 percent of the global respondents. Lack of knowledge was consistently reported as a barrier across geographies and organization sizes.

We also found that:

  • 79 percent of respondents said the biggest advantage in adopting cloud technologies is administration-related, followed by cost savings and improved opportunities for collaboration.
  • 53 percent of respondents reported they plan to move a significant portion of their infrastructure to cloud-based systems and services over the next few years.

How does your NGO compare? In the report, we examined what cloud applications NGOs are currently using and plan to use in the future, on a global and regional level.

If you’re wondering if your fellow organizations are using cloud-based tools like office and accounting programs and collaboration software, our report has the answers.

And more! Read more about our key findings. Learn about the current state of cloud computing at NGOs around the world, what these organizations see as the challenges and advantages of cloud technology, and how your own organization’s technology stacks up.

Read the Report 

Why We Conducted the Survey

We had three objectives in mind when we conducted this survey:

  • Gauge how NGOs are responding to cloud computing in terms of current use
  • Measure what NGOs perceive as the barriers to, and advantages of, cloud computing
  • Better understand these organizations’ plans for adopting cloud technologies

In short, our hope is that understanding NGOs’ perspectives on the cloud will not only provide insights for NGOs but will also help TechSoup Global and others better support nonprofits and NGOs in making informed decisions about whether cloud solutions are right for them.


Patrick Duggan | TechSoup Digital Marketing Manager

  • I am interested in how many Cloud Tech company that has gone out of business?  Did their customers get all their information? Plus what was the extra cost to transfer the stored information? Are all Cloud Storage Company have the same technology? Was it easy to transfer storage inforomation to another Cloud Storage Company?  

    Your report was very informative. Thank you


  • Hi yepintl, I spoke with Jim Lynch, our resident authority on green technology and cloud computing. Here's what he had to say:

    "I couldn't find anything about the number of cloud companies that have gone out of business, but some definitely have.

    The largest and most famous of them to date was the case of the US Federal Government shutting down Megaupload. All their data (and assets) were seized and impounded and customers were (and still are) not able to get it back. Find a good article on that with an interesting discussion at:

    There's another interesting more general discussion on cloud companies going out of business at:

    It talks about the case of a small cloud service call Newsberry that shut down in early 2012 and managed to move their customers to another email marketing company with no data loss.

    There are lots of instances of people losing data when a big cloud provider disables or changes an account or many accounts without notice. Here's a case involving Google Gmail:"