Learning to adapt and pivot quickly
Prior to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, Cahoots ran more than 80 in-person camps and weekly workshops for young people living with disabilities or facing exceptional challenges. The Australia-based small nonprofit then found itself in a precarious position: The organization saw a greater need because so many others had been forced to halt their programs but couldn’t continue to lead face-to-face activities. So, what did Cahoots do? It sought new ways to help customers with Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Planner.
Launching a new service amid the pandemic
Cahoots decided to launch a new service called Cahoots Connects to support customers in a safe manner. According to Jess Karlsson, CEO of Cahoots, Cahoots Connects served as “an accessible and free shopping delivery service where qualified professionals conduct wellness checks in addition to delivering and unpacking groceries” because customers “weren’t being served well by shopping delivery services.”
To support the launch of Cahoots Connects, Cahoots turned to Teams to help team members stay connected while the organization lobbied for support from government officials. Ultimately, this effort resulted in Cahoots securing a million-dollar contract, which not only made up for $500,000 of lost income stemming from camp cancellations but also enabled Cahoots to hire more employees to grow Cahoots Connects. Additionally, the nonprofit bolstered its bottom line and saved 41 percent of its annual revenue using Microsoft tools like Teams to help save on travel costs, meetings, and trainings.
Strengthening an accessible workplace with technology
To ensure that the nonprofit championed an accessible workplace, Cahoots took advantage of the interoperability of Teams in combination with other Microsoft 365 productivity tools like Planner. This enabled Cahoots team members to remain organized during weekly Cahoots Connects sprints by utilizing technology creatively to support employees with disabilities. For example, Cahoots leveraged Planner to help supervisors and team leaders break down a large and complex task into more manageable pieces. They also utilized talk-to-text in combination with video functionality in order to run more accessible meetings.
How to use Teams like Cahoots
Small business owners and nonprofits can check out the resources below to learn how to make the most out of Teams, even with no IT background.
- Welcome to Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft Teams innovations designed for hybrid work
- Get more done with Microsoft Planner
To thrive rather than just survive amid these unprecedented times, we encourage small business owners and small nonprofits alike to get creative with technology like Cahoots. Hear more about Cahoots’ journey with Teams as a small nonprofit.
Other creative features for businesses or nonprofits like Cahoots
Here are a few more Teams features a small business or nonprofit like Cahoots can use:
- Utilize Teams channels to organize files associated with different departments under one location. Channels are also great for sharing announcements across departments quickly and efficiently.
- Along the lines of having separate channels per department, enabling a Channel Calendar allows for small business owners to set up quick or recurring meetings with clients or employees.
- Assuming that a meeting is being recorded and transcription is on, adding a Meeting Recap will consolidate the meeting agenda—if one existed—and the meeting notes all in one place.
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