A newer offering from Google is G Suite / Google Workspace for Nonprofits, which offers a variety of google services for free, for approved nonprofit organizations. Today I will be discussing integrating Google’s VoIP service, Google Voice for nonprofits, and I’ll share the benefits of using both Workspace and Google Voice at your organization.
It’s no secret that when it comes to providing online services for businesses, Google is a top contender. With applications and packages such as Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), both large and small businesses have many different options to choose from in terms of pricing plans, storage, and individual applications that will help make day to day operations much easier.
And Google offers even more to support beneficial organizations and schools, including Google Cloud for nonprofits.
Google Workspace for Nonprofits
First, we need to answer the question: what is Google Workspace for Nonprofits, and how does it work with Google Voice?
As mentioned before, Workspace for Nonprofits is exactly what it sounds like, the full suite of Google’s productivity apps but for nonprofit organizations.
To access this service, a nonprofit organization would submit an application under the Google Workspace for Nonprofits site. If the application is approved, then Google provides its services to Nonprofit organizations with up to 2,000 users for free.
This package includes most of the features of Google Workspace, such as Gmail, 30GB of storage in Drive, and more. The add-ons, however, are features such as ad help and google maps visibility.
While Google Voice is not packaged under Google Workspace for Nonprofits, it’s a great add-on to have. It integrates perfectly with G Suite / Workspace and all other Google applications, which is why I’m mentioning Workspace – if you get one (either Google Voice or Google Workspace), the other product dovetails nicely with it.
Google Voice for Nonprofits
Google Voice is a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service offered by Google at different pricing plans per month.
Users are given their own internet phone numbers through Google. They are allowed a certain amount of numbers and domain reach depending on the pricing plan they choose. There are three plans to choose from:
- the Starter plan,
- the Standard plan, and
- a Premier plan.
I’ll share details about each one below.
Google Voice Starter Plan
The Starter plan costs $10 per month per user. This plan supports up to 10 users at 10 different domestic locations, but does not support international locations. However, this plan supports free calling to the US from any country, and free calling to Canada from the US.
Additionally, this plan supports features such as unlimited SMS in the US, voicemail transcription, Google Calendar and Hangout integration, service level agreements, call forwarding, and 24/7 support.
Google Voice Standard Plan
The Standard plan costs $20 per user per month. It has all the same features of the Starter plan, and more. Instead of 10 users and 10 domestic locations, the Standard plan offers unlimited services.
In addition to all the features of the Starter plan, the Standard includes features such as a multi-level auto attendant, desk phone support, and eDiscovery for calls, voicemails, and SMS records.
Google Voice Premier Plan
The Premier plan costs $30 per user per month. This plan has all the same unlimited features as the Standard plan, but also supports international locations. Aside from all the other same features as the Standard plan, the Premier offers advanced reporting and data regions.
Google Voice for Nonprofits: The Benefits
Just because Google Voice does not come included with G Suite / Workspace for Nonprofits, doesn’t mean it isn’t cost efficient or that it does not have its own list of benefits.
From savings, to flexibility, to ease of use, the list of benefits go on when using Google Voice, especially as a nonprofit organization.
How Much Will Google Voice for Nonprofits Save You?
As shown above, Google Voice is very affordable with their three different pricing plans. In general, Google Voice offers the best value for its different services in comparison to competing VoIP’s. This way, you can choose the best plan for the size and nature of your nonprofit organization.
What’s more, if your NPO gets approved for Google Workspace for Nonprofits then all you will need to pay is the monthly cost for Google Voice as you enjoy the benefits of Workspace for free.
The Flexibility of VoIP
Google Voice offers a great deal of flexibility with just its pricing plans alone. From here, users are able to choose the best plan for the nature of their business. NPOs can make their choice depending on their organization size, required phone numbers, and whether or not they will need international calling and voicemail services.
As a VoIP, there are no extra installation steps required. Simply purchase your plan, download the apps, connect to the internet, and you’re good to go from any location.
Another benefit of Google Voice’s flexibility is its ability to integrate with other Google services. Google Voice integrates perfectly with services such as Gmail, Google Meet, and Google Calendars.
This way you can schedule your calls, conference calls, and be alerted to your Gmail account.
With the advancements of technology and changing working protocols, working from home has become increasingly common. With Google Voice, you can take your work on the go. One app, one login, and you are able to access all your calls, messages, and voicemails from all your devices over the internet. This makes for higher productivity and better collaboration among team members.
Getting Started: Setting Up Google Voice
Setting up your Google Voice account is very simple, especially if you already have Workspace. It is possible to use Google Voice on its own, but as an NPO that has been approved by Google, it makes more sense to use it with Google Workspace.
Step One: Adding Google Voice to Workspace
The first step is to add Google Voice to your Google Workspace subscription. For this you will have to login using your Administrator Account, then under Apps, add services and then add Google Voice. It is important to remember that you must be using a business account and not an individual account for this to work.
Step Two: Register Your Location
After you have added Google Voice, you will then have to register the location of your primary address for your organization. This step must be done before you can assign phone numbers. You can find this setting under Service Management, and Add Locations.
From here, you will need to fill in key information such as your NPO’s street address, city, state, country, and in some cases your NPO’s tax ID.
Step Three: Assign User Licenses
The last step before assigning phone numbers is to assign user licenses. This is so that each user will have a phone number assigned to their license.
This is also done through the admin panel.
Simply go to Users and select the emails of the users you will be assigning licenses to. Verification can take up to 24 hours.
Step Four: Assigning Voice Numbers
After your users’ licenses have been verified, the last step is to assign their phone numbers. This can be assigned by the admin, chosen by the users, or randomly assigned by batch. Each user is only allowed one number at a time and that number will be registered under their license.
Managing Google Voice as a Nonprofit Organization
After your licenses and numbers are all set, there are a few different ways to manage and get the most use out of your Google Voice subscription.
For starters, you can configure your voice numbers with desk phones for the office. You can do this by entering the MAC number in Google Voice settings.
You can also manage your Google Voice account through mobile apps and browser access. Google Voice is compatible across all browsers, iOS, and Android devices.
For additional assistance with migrating accounts, adding, and porting numbers from other carriers, Google’s Customer Service is available 24/7 and always happy to help with your Google Voice and/or Workspace related concerns.
All in all, using Google Voice as a NonProfit Organization is one of the best decisions you can make. The solutions are affordable, accessible, and best optimized with a G Suite (now Google Workspace) account.
Having an online platform where you can connect and access all your applications in one go makes for smoother day to day operations and allows you to focus on running your organization both efficiently and effectively.
4 thoughts on “Google Voice for Nonprofits (a guide)”
Is it possible, using the recommendations you discuss, to have just a single phone number and have it forwarded to different people at different times?
I believe so, Nathan – I’m sure a Google Voice support rep could help you with this. Good luck!
We are a non-profit that is a parent organization responsible for setting up programs for teen moms across the united states. We have been giving each program their own google voice number, but we are running out. Isn’t there a way we can continue to pay $10/mo per voice account once we have more than 10 programs?
Great question. So I took some time this morning to look into this, and I haven’t been able to find an option like the one you describe. It looks like if you upgrade to the Standard plan ($20/user/month), you’ll be able to have unlimited domestic locations/numbers (you’d need to go up to $30/user/month for unlimited international numbers if you need that), but I recognize that this would double your expenditure, so that may or may not work for you or your organization.
I’d recommend reaching out to Google Voice directly to see if they can offer you a discount or something custom. You can ask your question in the help community right here and someone from their team should get back to you quickly (though my guess is it may take longer right now with Thanksgiving coming right up).
If you have Google Workspace for nonprofits and have a contact through that, you may make more progress going through that channel if the above community link doesn’t prove fruitful.
And if you just don’t think that Google Voice is viable for you as you scale, Phone.com might be a viable alternative. You can add unlimited users to their plan, but you can also get unlimited extensions for each number, which may make it a good fit to equip everyone in each of your offices with their own line at no additional cost (you would basically pay per location, and could outfit your entire team in each location with separate VoIP extensions under that main number). You can click through this affiliate link and get a coupon code they’ve offered my readers (20% off your first 3 months) if you decide to give them a try.