Storage Improvements for Google Workspace for Nonprofits   

The Take Home Message 

Google is finally rolling out storage limit updates to its Google Workspace for Nonprofits tier of service. The shared storage limit for each nonprofit tenant is now 100 TB. The upgrade was promised “within the year” in the spring of 2023; Community IT is now seeing the change reflected in clients’ Google Admin Portals. The upgrade is very welcome. 

Google Workspace for Nonprofits 

Many nonprofits use Google Workspace, especially new nonprofits that find the ease of initial setup and the fact that the nonprofit tier is free to be very compelling. Google makes setting up your office yourself extremely intuitive and manageable, so it is no surprise that many new nonprofits take advantage of their free and low-cost offerings. From Google:  

If your organization qualifies for Google for Nonprofits, you can get Google Workspace for Nonprofits at no charge. Google Workspace for Nonprofits is a set of productivity tools and apps for email, shared calendars, online document editing, video meetings, and more. For more features and administrative controls, you can upgrade to Google Workspace editions at a nonprofit discount.

Learn more about Google Workspace offers for nonprofits.  

The Previous Storage Problem 

Previously, the free nonprofit tier offered only 30 GB of non-shared storage per user account, which was a significant limitation. Both files stored in Google Drive or attached to email and stored in the inbox were counted against that total.

Google did allow users to buy additional storage for their individual accounts at a reasonable price, but that option was discontinued about 18 months ago. When a user reached their 30 GB storage limit, their account lost significant functionality. The biggest concern reported by Community IT clients was the account’s inability to send and receive emails, a huge concern to state the obvious.  

Other restrictions when an account is over storage limits include: can’t add new files or images to Google Drive, and can’t create new files in collaborative content creation apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms, and Jamboard. Until they reduce storage use, nobody can edit or copy their affected files or submit forms owned by the user. Users can’t add any photos and videos to Google Photos, or record new meetings in Google Meet.

Organizations with users bumping up against the 30 GB limit could potentially remediate the issue by moving files stored in the affected user’s Google Drive to an organization-owned Google Shared Drive. Shared Drives were exempt from the storage limits. But that migration can be difficult and the strategy only works if the impacted end user was making significant use of file storage in Google Drive.  

For users who had used up their 30 GB limit primarily through email storage, the only solutions were to either mass delete old emails or painstakingly search out and delete specific emails with large file attachments (after saving those attachments to a Shared Drive). It is easy to understand that either solution was unattractive to busy nonprofit staff members (especially organization leaders with long tenures and therefore large mailboxes) who view old email as a critical source of institutional information.  

The Solution: Storage Improvements for Google Workspace 

Thankfully, Google is now rolling out a change to Google Workspace for Nonprofits storage limits. Each organization using this tier of Google Workspace now has an automatic organization-wide limit of 100 TB of shared storage.

This shared storage is collectively used for all email, all Google Drive and Google Shared Drive files, as well as storage used in other Google Workspace services like Google Sites.

While the subtraction of unlimited storage in Shared Drives seems like a step back in benefits, the amount of storage that a 100 TB limit represents is so large that considering it a limit is probably inconsequential for small/medium nonprofit organizations. A TB is 1000 GB, so an organization with 50 users that were each potentially bumping up against a 30 GB individual limit could now share 100,000 GB of storage among those 50 users, or 2000 GB per user (a lot more than 30!).

That storage is shared and flexible in its assignment, so if 20 of those users are relatively new and haven’t used even 10 GB each (yet), that leaves even more shared storage among the remaining 30 staff.

How to Implement Storage Improvements in Google Workspace

Your organization does not need to take any action. Our experience is that the new storage limit just shows up.

After it’s “just shown up,” a Super Admin in the Google Workspace Admin Portal will see it under the Storage node in the left-side navigation pane. 

This is a storage limit change that impacts the Google Workspace for Nonprofits tier of service – not any other tier.

Ready to get strategic about your IT?

Community IT has been serving nonprofits exclusively for twenty years. We offer Managed IT support services for nonprofits that want to outsource all or part of their IT support and hosted services. For a fixed monthly fee, we provide unlimited remote and on-site help desk support, proactive network management, and ongoing IT planning from a dedicated team of experts in nonprofit-focused IT. And our clients benefit from our IT Business Managers team who will work with you to plan your IT investments and technology roadmap, if you don’t have an in-house IT Director. 

We constantly research and evaluate new technology to ensure that you get cutting-edge solutions that are tailored to your organization, using standard industry tech tools that don’t lock you into a single vendor or consultant. And we don’t treat any aspect of nonprofit IT as if it is too complicated for you to understand.

We think your IT vendor should be able to explain everything without jargon or lingo. If you can’t understand your IT management strategy to your own satisfaction, keep asking your questions until you find an outsourced IT provider who will partner with you for well-managed IT.

Google Workspace Management As You Grow

Many MSPs find it challenging to support clients using Google. Unlike many outsourced IT providers, we have a dedicated team providing support to nonprofits who have outgrown their ability to manage Google Workspace in house as their IT needs have grown more complex. If you are ready to move into better IT management and security and want to stick with Google Workspace, let’s talk.