SANGONeT – South African Non-Government Organisation Network – in partnership with Microsoft South Africa Philanthropy, invited NGOs in Port Elizabeth to a morning workshop to empower them to better understand the latest Microsoft Cloud Offerings and product  donations available to non-profits.

Sangonet hopes to link civil society and the NGO sector through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Sangonet’s Arnold Netshambidi, who heads the Sangotech division, an online technology donation and discount portal, presented the workshop to show NGOs in the Bay the benefits of using technology.

The Sangotech portal is a partnership between Sangonet and TechSoup Global, a San Francisco-based NGO which also aims to help NGOs to use technology efficiently to deepen the impact of their work.

AEC deputy chair Gillian McAinsh attended for AEC on Tuesday, 8 November, and said it was most useful.

For example, if AEC needs Microsoft Office  software, it can purchase this via Sangonet  for a fraction of the retail price, in that instance instead of R2 300, it would cost around R290. Although many of the offerings would be of more use for a larger organisation, it is clear that there are many opportunities to make more use of technology.

Gillian has registered  AEC so we are now on Sangonet’s database, and also signed up with Microsoft  Philanthropy. There are several versions available, for example, of Office 365. The drawback is that the free version of Office 365 is cloud-based, ie, online and therefore restricted to a wifi environment. Gillian is also signing up for Google for Non-Profits, which will give AEC access to free Goodle adverts online.