Vodafone NZ has announced they are ending their email service on 30 November 2017. This includes all the other email services they have scooped up over the years. You won’t be able to send emails but you can have incoming emails forwarded.
That means if your email address ends in any of these then you need to find a new provider:
So what’s a NonProfit to do? Fortunately there are plenty of options but don’t delay making a decision; the sooner you take action the better.
The answer involves finding a new email provider – there are plenty of them out there and some are free. But rather than jump to another domestic arrangement why not take this opportunity to improve your security and name recognition?
There are many advantages to a custom domain but the most persuasive one for me is asking – would you trust an email from email@example.com to be from your bank? If not why would your clients or donors trust firstname.lastname@example.org?
Using a custom domain name (like our own @connectsouth.org.nz email addresses) separates your email address from the service that provides it, meaning you can change provider and keep the same address – like we can now do with phone numbers.
The domain name can be used for a website too so if you’re already using a domain for your site you don’t need to buy another.
A custom domain costs around $40 a year to buy. You can often find sign up deals for the first year. The Domain Name Commission maintains a list of registrars who can sell you a Kiwi domain at www.dnc.org.nz/registrars.
If you don’t want to use a custom domain it is easy enough to visit gmail.com, outlook.com or myriad others and sign up, forward your old emails to the new one and start replying from the new one then email everyone on your address book to tell them you’ve got a new email address. Keep an eye on emails continuing to arrive at the old address – you might need to offer a personal reminder to change.
If you are switching to a custom domain you need to find a provider. If you are buying hosting for your website you might already be paying for email addresses – you can check that out with your supplier.
If not, Google and Microsoft both offer free email to registered charities.
You verify your eligibility through techsoup.net.nz in both cases.
Google’s free offer is through G Suite for Nonprofits it also includes contact syncing, calendars, online storage, online office apps and more – there’s even free online advertising!
Microsoft’s free offer is through Office 365 Nonprofit and it too includes contact syncing, calendars, online storage, online office apps and more.
If you need under 25 users Zoho Workplace is free too and you don’t need to be a charity. You might have heard about Zoho recently when The Warehouse signed up with them. If you have more than 25 users they’ll cut the price for you if you drop them an email.
None have adverts – these are business services provided for free. Other email services are out there but at a cost.
In all cases you sign up, provide a code from TechSoup (Google and MS only), verify you own the domain and start adding email addresses. Office 365 is more customisable (to a dizzying degree), G Suite is simpler and probably complex enough for all but the biggest NonProfts and probably most of them too. You can have thousands of email addresses through either scheme for free – possibly more!
You can transfer existing emails to the new service and for some emails that’s going to be absolutely necessary. How you achieve this depends on a few factors – POP3 vs IMAP, local vs hosted how many users and emails – it’s an article in itself – possibly several!
Vodafone has a forwarding service and you can download all your messages – you can find out more at https://www.vodafone.co.nz/email/ – there are tidier ways of doing this if you know how – give Rob a call on 03 471 6177 and he’ll talk you through some options.
You might want to take the time to see how any change affects your policies and procedures. You’ll want to check IT and privacy policies definitely.
The Ministry of Health has good up to date guidelines on using ‘cloud’ services with personal information. Cloud means any digital service that is provided outside your premises so the Vodafone email counted as a cloud service too. www.health.govt.nz/our-work/ehealth/digital-health-standards-and-governance/cloud-computing-and-health-information
Both Google and Microsoft offer two step verification meaning you need to have something more than your password to get access – for instance you might need to get a text to a phone number. This is a chance to increase your security.
There will undoubtedly be some pain in the move but the sooner you move and the more of the opportunities you take up the slicker it will be.
If you have questions Otago NonProfits can get free support from Connect South. Just email email@example.com or call 03 471 6177.
Outside Otago we’re still available but the support would be chargeable. In either case we can undertake the work for you for a fee.