Malaysian not-for-profits to get a Google leg up
By Edwin Yapp July 21, 2015
- Access to a bevy of Google products for free or at reduced rates
- SOLS 24/7 first in Malaysia to benefit; eligibility criteria below
GOOGLE Malaysia has launched a programme that it said would enable not-for-profit organisations in the country to better serve their respective causes by making use of some of the company’s tools for free or at “highly discounted” rates.
Google Malaysia managing director Sajith Sivanandan said the ‘Google for Nonprofits’ scheme has helped thousands of not-for-profit organisations find new donors and volunteers, and also empowered them to work more efficiently by using Google’s online productivity tools.
Google for Nonprofits covers tools such as the Google Apps suite, YouTube, the nonprofit edition of AdWords, Google Earth Outreach, Google+ and Google Analytics, he told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Citing statistics from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Sajith said approximately 20.1 million Malaysians actively access the Internet.
He also noted that there are about 53,000 active not-for-profit organisations in Malaysia, according to the Registrar of Societies.
“Malaysia is a connected society and when not-for-profit organisations make their appeals, they reach the online community easily,” Sajith said.
“Our mission is to help them reach out to volunteers, get people together, and aid them to work better.
“For me, to get the 20 million Malaysians who are connected online this way is incredibly exciting,” he declared.
First launched in the United States in 2003, the Mountain View, California-based company's nonprofit programme is now available in more than 55 countries and regions around the world, with over 20,000 grantees globally, Sajith said.
Others include Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, he added.
Recipients range from not-for-profits that work in spheres such as education, public and societal benefit, the environment and animals, arts and culture, human services, youth development, volunteerism and health.
One of the first beneficiaries of Google for Nonprofits in Malaysia is SOLS 24/7, a social enterprise and an organisation that serves, educates and empowers poor and underserved communities.
According to its chief executive and founder Raj Ridvan Singh, SOLS 24/7 dabbled in open source technology before Google had such programmes for not-for-profit organisations, mainly because it was free.
But the open source path had its challenges too – technical support was lacking and it was tough to integrate all the technologies together for the benefit of the organisation, Raj said.
He said SOLS 24/7 found out about Google’s earlier programme for educational establishments called Google for Education, which offered the Google Apps suite for free, and began using it.
“We had been on Google for Education for some five years already before Google for Nonprofits came about,” he said. “Now with this new programme, things are going to get even better.”
For example, with Google for Nonprofits, SOLS 24/7 can now use video as a means to reach its people through YouTube, and will also have access to the Google’s AdWords programme and some grants to place advertisements to reach out to potential donors and volunteers, he said.
With Google for Nonprofits, eligible organisations can get free access to the Google Apps suite including Gmail, Google Calendar and 30GB of Google Drive storage.
They also get a free, enriched version of YouTube just for nonprofits; the nonprofit version of AdWords; Google Ad Grants of up to US$10,000 per month in ‘in-kind AdWords’ advertising to promote their missions and initiatives on Google.com; and the ability to create customer maps and host geospatial data online, as well as publish polished maps on the Web.
Other tools include Google Analytics which gives insights into website activity, and Google+ as a way to connect to other not-for-profits.
To qualify, not-for-profit organisations must hold current and valid charity status in Malaysia, acknowledge and agree to the application’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination, and donation receipts. It also must have a fully functioning website with “substantial content.”
Organisations must be classified as one of the following: Non-governmental organisations and institutions eligible for deductible gifts according to the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (LHDN) pursuant to Sections 44(6) and 44(7) of the Income Tax Act (ITA) 1967.
Also eligible are other organisations operating on a not-for-profit basis for the public benefit or incorporated by statute as a society or as a company or approved by a recognised authority (as applicable), which may include the following:
- Societies registered with the Registrar of Societies pursuant to the Societies Act 1966;
- Companies limited by guarantee registered with the Registrar of Companies pursuant to Section 24(1) of the Companies Act 1965; and
- Organisations established under an Act of Parliament.
All organisations must also be currently registered with TechSoup Asia, TechSoup Global's regional arm. TechSoup Asia has been appointed to assist Google to verify and proactively reach out to Malaysian not-for-profits.
These not-for-profits can register and become Google for nonprofits grantees after they receive a TechSoup verification token.
For more information, go here.
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