Your organization might be able to save money on its phone service by switching from a plain old telephone service (POTS) to a hosted VoIP service through one of TechSoup's partners.

Don't worry if no one at your organization is familiar with VoIP, which stands for the somewhat scary-sounding "voice over Internet protocol."  VoIP is an Internet-based phone service that replaces a traditional phone service by transmitting incoming and outgoing phone calls over a high-speed Internet connection. Depending on your organization's needs and access to reliable data services, VoIP services can be more affordable than some landline services. Many VoIP plans include traditional features like three-way calling and caller ID, as well as features exclusive to these services: voicemails in your email inbox (and by phone), options to forward calls to other phone numbers (including your mobile phone), and the ability to place and receive calls anywhere over the Internet.

If your organization is a nonprofit based in California, you may be eligible for additional discounts on VoIP services through the California Teleconnect Fund.

Check out the table below to compare VoIP offers available through TechSoup and decide which might be best for your organization. To learn more about VoIP and other ways to improve your organization's communication, see TechSoup's Communicate and Collaborate articles and how-tos.

BetterWorld Telecom

TechBridge

npTalk

Donation program on TechSoup BetterWorld Telecom Donation Program TechBridge Donation Program Tech Impact Donation Program

Monthly rate per seat through TechSoup

$31.95 (Cisco phones) or  $36.95 (Polycom Phones)

$24.99

$19.95 (standard features) or $21.95 (premium features)

Setup fee

Waived (normally $300)

$100 – $400 depending on number of extensions

Waived (normally $895)

Eligible for additional 50% savings on monthly rates with California Teleconnect Fund (CTF)?

Yes, for certain California nonprofits.

No

No

Available to all TechSoup 501(c)(3) org types and libraries?

Yes

No; see Rules, Eligibility, and Restrictions.

Yes

Phones included?

Yes, one Cisco or Polycom donated phone per seat included in monthly rate

Not included; Cisco phones available at 50% discount

Not included

Continental U.S. and Canada outbound minutes included

Effectively "Unlimited" (3,000 minutes per seat/extension per month with total minutes shared between all seats)

Unlimited

Unlimited

Minimum seats/extensions

Five

One

Five

Contract

Two-year minimum

Month-to-month

Three-year minimum

Support offered

Phone, email, training

Phone, online

Phone, email, online, training

Admin portal

Yes

Yes

Yes

Anonymous call rejection

No

No

Premium only

Auto attendant (virtual receptionist)

Yes

Yes

Available for additional fee

Call announce

Yes

Yes

No

Call continuity

Yes

Yes

Yes

Call forwarding

Standard

Standard

Standard, Busy, Selective

Call hold

Yes

Yes

Yes

Call logs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Call park

Yes

Yes

Yes

Call pass

Yes

Yes

No

Call screening

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Call transfer

Yes

Yes

Yes

Call waiting

Yes

Yes

Yes

Caller ID

Yes

Yes

Yes

Caller ID block

Yes

Yes

Yes

Caller ID, dynamic

Yes

Yes

Yes

Caller ID, set

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cell phone integration

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Click to call me

Yes

Yes

No

Click to dial

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Cloud storage space

Up to 2 GB; additional space available for additional fee

Up to 2 GB; additional space available for additional fee

No

Custom tagging

Yes

Yes

No

Dashboard

Yes

Yes

Premium only

DID (direct inward dial, meaning phones can be reached by callers directly at their extension)

Yes

Yes

Available for additional fee

Directed call pickup

Similar features available for additional fees

Similar features available for additional fees

Yes

Directory assistance (411)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Do not disturb

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Emergency assistance (911)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Follow me

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Group directory

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mobile apps

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Multiple devices on one extension

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Music on hold

Yes

Yes

Yes

Never miss a call

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Number porting

Yes

Yes

Yes

Outlook/Office integration

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Push to talk

No

No

Premium only

Selective call acceptance

No

No

Premium only

Selective call rejection

No

No

Premium only

Seven-digit dialing

Yes

Yes

No

Simultaneous ring

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Speed dial 100

No

No

Premium only

Three-way calling

Yes

Yes

Yes

User portal

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Unified messaging

Yes

Yes

Yes

Voice messaging

Yes

Yes

Yes

Voicemail

Yes

Yes

Yes

Voicemail to email

Yes

Yes

Yes

Work from anywhere

Yes

Yes

Premium only

Additional features available for a fee?

Yes

Yes

Yes