Google Apps is a powerful productivity platform but can be costly for charities. In the US Google offer this freely to non profit organisations but the same provision in not available in the UK.
Google Apps is available free to any organisation with under 10 users. This means it is a great option for small charities. However, as charities increasingly draw in the support of volunteers, even small charities can quickly hit the 10 user ceiling.
Charities needing more than 10 users must move up to 'Google Apps for Business'.* This costs £3.30 per user per month. So the yearly cost for a small charity with 20 users would be £792 and a larger charity with 100 users would pay £3,960. While this is not exhorbitant and a service that we still recommend to our clients, we have found that due to the squeeze currently being put on the charity sector in the UK even this cost is prohibitive.
In the US, charities with between 10 and 3,000 users can use Google Apps for free and charities with over 3,000 users are eligible for a 40% discount.
With charity donations down 20% this year from £11bn to £9.3bn (CAF survey) we are representing our clients and other small charities to reach out to Google to extend their preferential treatment of the non profit sector from the US over to the UK.
UK page listing pricing for all UK organisation - http://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/enterprise/apps/business/pricing.html
US page listing details of Google for Nonprofits - http://www.google.co.uk/apps/intl/en/nonprofit/index.html
CAF report on donation - http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/sites/default/files/uk_giving_2012_full_report_1211.pdf
* UPDATE: Since launching this petition Google has announced the complete withdrawal of the free version of Google Apps for up to 10 users.