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SharePoint for Your Nonprofit

If your nonprofit is already using Office365 in the cloud for email, then you may be interested in leveraging SharePoint, the platform’s capabilities for document sharing, a component of Office 365 also available to nonprofits through donated licenses from Microsoft.

  • Are you using SharePoint as a file storage library?
  • Is your file sharing set up so that your staff are using it with ease?
  • Do you have some confusion or frustration with sharing files and collaborating using SharePoint?
  • Learn highlights from Community IT Innovators’ user trainings provided in SharePoint implementations.

Community IT now supports “forklift” migrations from file servers to SharePoint, which is just about what it sounds like. By leveraging the OneDrive sync client, using SharePoint is about as easy as using Dropbox. 

A lot has changed since our last webinar describing SharePoint’s file storage and file collaboration functionality. The platform is easier to implement and use than it used to be. Please join our resident expert Steve Longenecker to walk through what SharePoint can do for your nonprofit.

Steve has directed many SharePoint implementations and trainings with our clients. This new and updated webinar incorporates material from recent trainings.


photo of Steve Longenecker

As Director of IT Consulting, Steve Longenecker divides his time at Community IT primarily between managing the company’s Projects Team and consulting with clients on IT planning. Steve’s appreciation for working at Community IT Innovators is rooted in respect for the company’s dream and vision, and for the excellent colleagues that that dream and vision attract.

Before coming to Community IT in September 2004, Steve was an 8th grade science teacher at Takoma Park Middle School, and – though that was a long time ago now – he still draws on lessons learned in that first career. Steve is MCSE certified. He has a B.A. in Biology from Earlham College in Richmond, IN and a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Tufts University in Massachusetts.

Slides covered in webinar:

  1. SharePoint and Your Nonprofit Webinar Series June 2019
  2. Presenter Steve Longenecker Director – IT Consulting
  3. About Community IT Advancing mission through the effective use of technology. 100% Employee Owned
  4. Agenda SharePoint Implementation Overview End User Training: The Basics End User Training: Advanced
  5. SharePoint Implementation Overview
  6. SharePoint Implementations: Past vs. Present Past Present We planned to use a browser for most of our SharePoint access. Rich integration with OS folders (through sync client), Office Desktop Suite, AND browser provide multiple ways to access SharePoint files/folders.
  7. SharePoint Implementations: Past vs. Present Past Present Using a browser for access required that we build SharePoint libraries with a flat file structure. Integration with OS folders (through sync client) allows easy navigation of traditional folder hierarchies.
  8. SharePoint Implementations: Past vs. Present Past Present The flat file structure of SharePoint libraries required the extensive use of metadata tagging for files to be findable. Integration with OS folders (through sync client) allows easy navigation of traditional folder hierarchies.
  9. SharePoint Implementations: Past vs. Present Past Present Implementations are costly due to design hours required to replace traditional folder hierarchies with new flat structures and to produce custom metadata tagging taxonomy. Integration with OS folders (through sync client) allows easy navigation of traditional folder hierarchies. Forklifts are preferred. Implementations are less expensive.
  10. SharePoint Implementations: Past vs. Present Past Present Implementations are hard because users need to learn to use metadata tagging (and don’t want to). Change management is not insignificant, but 3-5 hours of training goes a long way.
  11. SharePoint Implementations: Keys to Success • Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus • Email is already in Office 365 Exchange Online • Relatively clean and intuitive existing folder/file structure • Clear wins for users (not just “we need to replace our file server because it’s old”) • Support from leadership
  12. End User Training – The Basics
  13. What is Office 365 File Sharing? Office 365 file sharing primarily takes place in the following contexts: • SharePoint • OneDrive • Teams Your files are stored on Microsoft-owned servers in Microsoft-owned data centers. You can access the files anywhere you have Internet.
  14. O365 File Sharing Advantages • Effective sync • Versioning • Robust search functionality • Tight integration with Microsoft Office. • Shared Office documents can be co-authored. • 1 TB of data capacity per person • Secure (lots more on this…) • Works well with mobile apps
  15. Start with the Browser • Getting to SharePoint in a browser – We like to build a front page at with links to key libraries. • Note that OneDrive is always at • Uploading files to a SharePoint library in a browser • Opening SharePoint files from a browser
  16. The Browser Layout • Every view is a unique URL. Bookmark at will. • The i with the circle around it on the far right of the toolbar stands for “information.” • Columns can be sorted. • The funnel in the toolbar helps you find documents through filtering. • The search is better than it should be. • Note the Sync button in the middle of the toolbar.
  17. OneDrive is a special case of SharePoint
  18. The OneDrive Sync Client • The OneDrive Sync Client syncs a copy of your OneDrive and/or SharePoint files – or actually just a copy of their metadata – to your local computer’s hard drive. • This makes interacting with Office 365 files easy. You just interact in File Explorer (or Finder on Macs) like you’re used to. • Like Dropbox. • The name is a misnomer – it syncs all Office 365 file services, not just OneDrive.
  19. Sync Client Magic On Windows 10 computers, the Sync Client includes an option for “Files on Demand” functionality. The files themselves are not synced to your local hard drive – just the information about the files (the file metadata).
  20. More Sync Client Magic Windows knows the sync’d folders are special. Right-clicking on files/folders in a sync’d folder provides additional SharePoint/OneDrive choices in the context menu. You can: • Share (more on this next training) • View online (opens the file location in the browser view) • Manage the “Files on demand” sync
  21. Still More Sync Client Magic The Office Desktop Suite also knows the synced folders are special. Double-clicking a .docx, .xlsx or .pptx file in your sync’d folders will open the document in Microsoft Office. But (assuming the latest version of Office Suite and that you are online), after the document opens, Word/Excel/PowerPoint seamlessly shifts from the local synced copy and “streams” the authoritative cloud version. • Autosave is on • The cloud version history is available • Co-authoring is possible
  22. End User Training – Advanced Sharing and Desktop Suite Integration
  23. SharePoint Sharing One of the ways Office 365 is superior to a file server is its sharing functionality. • Files or folders can be shared with colleagues within your organization or (if your organization’s sharing policy allows it) with external contacts • When you share a file, the people you share it with are accessing the source document in Office 365. It is not like an attachment. • There is a lot of granularity and control of how sharing works. This does make it a little complicated to learn.
  24. SharePoint Sharing Sharing occurs through “share links.” • A shared file has a long/complex URL (webpage address/link) associated with the share. • A default share (one you don’t adjust) will have a URL that works for anyone in your organization and allows editing. • Because shared files start out as URL’s, they are initially accessed in a browser (the “Online” version of Word, Excel, etc.)
  25. Office Online vs. Full Desktop Version • Desktop Version is more featured. For example, Desktop Word has track changes, footnotes, etc. • Desktop Version has different fonts. Online Version converts unavailable fonts to something similar. Be aware. • Desktop Version requires you to be signed in with an account with access to the file. You’ll find that you are prompted to do this the first time you open a document from the Office 365 cloud in a Desktop Version application.
  26. Sharing with the “Copy Link” button In the browser, when you select a document, the tool bar changes to include a “Copy Link” button. Clicking it produces a popup containing a “sharing” link.
  27. Share from Windows Explorer In a synced library, you can right click on a file and select the OneDrive cloud icon “Share” option. It opens a window like the Copy Link button in the browser.
  28. Sharing from Outlook Clicking “Attach File” in Outlook 2016 offers list of recent files. Office 365 files can be attached as share links.
  29. Sharing from Word/Excel/Etc. Click the File menu to see a Share option. Or, on some versions of Office, look for a share button in the upper right.
  30. Different Kinds of “Sharing” Links The default link provides access to anyone with an Office 365 account from your organization. Other options include “Anyone” and “Specific People” Specific people requires you to enter email addresses, and the share link ONLY works for people with those email addresses. For external contacts a rigorous validation process is required.
  31. Office 365 Sharing Details “Anyone” share links only work in a browser. There is no “Open in Word” (or Excel, etc.) button available, even for colleagues within your organization. Similarly, external contacts have in the past only been able to edit/access documents in a browser when you’ve shared with them specifically – not using the “anyone” link. But this has recently changed, sort of. If you’ve chosen the “Specific People” share link, external contacts IF THEY ARE ALSO OFFICE 365 CUSTOMERS are now able to edit shared files in the Office Desktop Suite. If you’ve shared a file with someone, they can always download it. But then they are no longer working on the source material, but rather on a copy. A downloaded copy is more like an attachment. “Anyone” share links include the option for an expiration date.
  32. Office 365 Sharing Tips Choose anonymous (“anyone”) links for sharing outside your organization unless there’s a real security need. It’s just easier for external people not to have to authenticate first to access your linked document. Asking for comments rather than edits works better for some types of collaboration. There’s nothing wrong with old-fashioned attachments.
  33. Connecting Office to Office 365 If you don’t see your organization’s OneDrive and Sites in the File > Open menu, click on “Add a Place” and choose Office 365 SharePoint. Enter your Office 365 credentials. Go ahead and say yes to “Use this account everywhere on your device” If it’s your personal computer, you may uncheck the “Allow my organization to manage my device” first.
  34. The Recent Node in Office In the most modern versions of Office, the “Recent” node offers the option to “pin” folders. We recommend pinning your most-used OneDrive folders. First open the files from OneDrive, then look for the folder in the Recent node and hover over it. You’ll see a pin appear on the right that you can click.
  35. Other Office Integrations • Notice “AutoSave.” All your changes are streaming to the Office 365 cloud. Streaming allows co-authoring. • Notice that in the top right of Desktop Suite applications, you can see the Version button and Share button.
  36. Questions Demos Contact Steve slongenecker at
  37. Upcoming Webinar Server 2008 and Windows 7 End of Life – Three Things you need to know Wednesday July 17th 3:00 – 4:00 PM EST