hands on a laptop keyboard, on the screen four faces in a video conference

Understanding the Videoconferencing Tools Available to Your Nonprofit

With the world going more remote by the minute, the importance of connecting with people across oceans and time zones continues to increase. TechSoup has a variety of offerings for nonprofits looking to invest in videoconferencing tools, and choosing the right one for your needs can be confusing. Here's an overview of the products you can get on TechSoup's marketplace to help you find the perfect tool for your organization.

drawing of person at conference table meeting with four others shown on the wall screen

Zoom: Meetings Made Easy

Zoom provides its users with a reliable cloud platform that can be used for remote video- and audioconferencing, as well as chat and collaboration. Zoom connects via desktop computers and mobile devices, as well as conference room systems and telephones. This makes it a great option for organizations that need a flexible system that enables users to connect across variations in available technology. Note that this offer might not be the best value option for you if you only require one or two Pro licenses, since it's only available as a 10-license bundle through TechSoup.

Zoom can be used for meeting with donors, volunteers, and partners as well as people within your organization. You can record your meetings in video, audio, and text formats and share your screen with others in a meeting. You can also use a free plug-in for Chrome and Outlook to schedule Zoom meetings easily.

Optional add-ons allow you to

  • Hold webinars with up to 50 panelists
  • Conduct meetings in hardware-equipped conference rooms
  • Use Zoom Rooms software for one-touch meeting and calendar integration
  • Hold meetings of up to 500 people

Zoom is likely to suit your organization if

  • You often need a reliable way to meet remotely with colleagues, partners, or others inside or outside your organization.
  • You need to train employees or volunteers remotely.


TeamViewer: Fast Remote Troubleshooting

TeamViewer has more of a focus on managing IT requests remotely than hosting large meetings. It enables users to easily manage support requests from employees, featuring service queue capabilities and the ability to conduct and record (at an extra cost) online meetings with up to four other remote users.

Without requiring a VPN or any network configurations, TeamViewer enables easy cross-platform remote access to computers, mobile devices, servers, and other network machines. Secured by 256-bit end-to-end session encryption and two-factor authentication, TeamViewer can aid your organization in compliance with both HIPAA and GDPR, protecting sensitive data.

TeamViewer is likely to suit your organization's needs if

  • Your organization needs a framework to provide IT support to remote workers, or your IT team members themselves are remote.
  • Your teams work across different time zones, requiring 24/7 access to computers, servers, or mobile devices.
  • You want to collaborate with other technicians, colleagues, or partners in remote support sessions to troubleshoot and resolve issues.

Microsoft Teams: Simplicity and Integration

Microsoft Teams is a true collaboration tool, designed for document sharing, management, and communication while integrating seamlessly with other Microsoft cloud products. It also allows you to host online meetings using audio and video with anyone within or outside your organization. Features are available that allow you to share your screen, benefit from scheduling assistance, and record meetings. It even includes a translation feature for when you are working across different languages.

The "live events" feature allows you to hold webinars, presentations, and large meetings with up to 10,000 attendees. A global dial-in number and integration with hardware from Microsoft partners gives flexibility for your remote employees or partners all over the world to join your meetings in whatever way is most convenient to them.

To learn more about making the most of Microsoft Teams, check out the Teams for Nonprofits courses from TechSoup.

Teams is only available as part of Office 365 Enterprise or Microsoft 365. With this in mind, it might suit your organization if

  • You already use other Microsoft products and value the easy integration with Outlook, Microsoft Office, and other elements of the Microsoft packages. It's also great if you're looking to cut costs and use fewer tools in your day-to-day operations.
  • You need the capacity to host very large online events or meetings.
  • Certain groups of people in your organization meet regularly. Notes and recordings can be saved and accessed in one meeting thread.

Google Hangouts: A Frictionless and Flexible Solution

Google Hangouts — comprising Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet — is part of Google's G Suite. Hangouts Meet is the videoconferencing element. It's fully integrated with G Suite and requires no extra plug-ins, so your colleagues, partners, and volunteers can easily join simply by clicking a link. Meetings can include up to 30 people, who can join through any device from a mobile phone to a conference room system.

Android and iOS Meet apps are available, and a meeting-specific dial-in number is offered in the Enterprise edition of G Suite. You can get access to G Suite and other elements of Google for Nonprofits through the TechSoup marketplace.

We'd recommend giving Google Hangouts a try if

  • You already use G Suite or other Google products in your organization.
  • You often need to host mid-sized meetings of up to 30 people.
  • It is valuable to have your meetings be accessible from the vast majority of devices, with no need to download any apps or plug-ins.

Videoconferencing Tools: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Tool Cost Through TechSoup Max. Meeting participants Accessibility Integration Capabilities Other Features
Zoom $65 admin fee for access to discounted rates on Zoom Meetings Pro. With this discount, you'll pay Zoom $74.95 per host. See "Other Features" for add-ons available at a discount. Zoom Meetings Pro allows for up to 100 meeting participants, all on video. Meetings are accessible via desktop computers, mobile devices, conference room systems, and telephones. Free plug-ins provide access to scheduling assistance in Chrome and Outlook.

Add-ons are available at a 50 percent discount. These include

Zoom Webinars allows for 50 panelists and up to 10,000 participants. Zoom Webinars also allows for polling, practice sessions, and more.

Large meetings with up to 500 participants.

Zoom Rooms application for one-touch meeting and calendar integration. 

Zoom H.323/SIP Connector for rooms that satisfy H.323 or SIP standards.

TeamViewer $10 admin fee for access to a 60 percent discount on TeamViewer's cloud-based remote access and collaboration service, or a $5 admin fee for access to a 60 percent discount on the cloud-based IT management service. 4 Meetings can be accessed via desktop. Remote access to computers can be gained without a VPN. Integrates with Salesforce, Zendesk, and other partner apps. One solution combining remote access and videoconferencing.
Microsoft Teams Only available as part of Microsoft packages. 10,000 (through the "live events" feature) Meetings are accessible through a global dial-in number, hardware from Microsoft partners, or web browsers. Easy integration with other Microsoft products, as well as hardware from Microsoft partners. Translation feature when working across multiple languages.
Google Hangouts Only available as part of Google for Nonprofits. 30 Meetings are accessible from any browser, mobile device, or conference room system. Easy integration with other Google products.  

Choosing the Videoconferencing Tool That Is Right for Your Organization

All of these are great tools for organizations that need to host meetings with remote workers, external partners, or volunteers. To make an informed decision on which is right for you, examine what is lacking in your current systems, determine how each option would integrate with the other tools used by your employees, and use free trials where they are available to thoroughly explore the best option for you.

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