We are thinking of using Cloud Computing services – including accounting software – but are concerned about privacy issues as we will be putting our donor database into the cloud. Do you have any advice for charities in this respect? 

Many charities that use, or have used, personal computers for charity/club business have run into difficulties when (for example) the office holder changes, moves away or dies. Data can be lost and there may be duplicated copies of the data. which is the correct and up to date one?

Cloud computing offers a solution as there is one version of the data which can be accessed or worked on by various authorised officers.

In terms of Privacy Issues, the Privacy Commissioner has issued some advice to businesses. The principles are valid for non-profits.

Careful recording of access codes and passwords (perhaps in a sealed envelope in a  central location) will save a lot of angst!

Connecting Up have also published some advice:  Key Considerations for Cloud Adoption by NGOs (see also sidebar links on that page).

Infoodle is a cloud based database solution for churches and not for profits. Developed and supported in NZ.