Getting Started on AWS for Nonprofits and Educational Institutions

Your cloud innovation journey starts here

This web resource guides you through common cloud questions and tools you can leverage to prepare your organization for the cloud.

First, walk through common cloud questions and how to prepare your organization for adopting the cloud. Finally, your last stop on this journey will be selecting a workload as a place to start. Qualified customers are encouraged to take advantage of the AWS Partner Guided Onboard Program (GO Program), a no-cost engagement that gets you acclimated with AWS services, stands up a basic cloud workload, and shares the basics of cloud architecting.

1. Cloud considerations

While every path to the cloud will be unique, there are common considerations that most organizations have around internal skills gaps, paying for cloud, and security in the cloud. Let’s address these considerations head-on.

  • Security and compliance
  • Training
  • Budgeting
  • Security and compliance
  • Raise your security posture with AWS infrastructure and services.

    Nothing is more important to us than protecting your data. As an AWS customer, you will benefit from a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security sensitive organizations.

    The AWS Cloud allows you to scale and innovate while maintaining a secure environment. AWS infrastructure is custom-built for the cloud and is monitored 24x7 to help protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our customers’ data.

    Security and compliance

    This education-specific guide represents current AWS security and compliance product offerings and practices.  

    An overview of the data protection, identity and access management, infrastructure protection, and compliance and data policy services.  

    Review the global and regional compliance programs that AWS meets.  

  • Training
  • Advance your skills and knowledge.

    Public sector customers often have concerns over skills gaps and hiring talent when it comes to IT expertise in the cloud. However, many education IT professionals discover they’re cloud experts—they just didn’t know it yet. Connect with our AWS Training and Certification experts today to complete an internal IT skills assessment and identify available training options.

    AWS Training and Certification helps you build and validate your cloud skills so you can get more out of the cloud. Our content is built by experts at AWS and updated regularly to keep pace with AWS updates, so you can be sure you’re learning the latest and keeping your cloud skills fresh.

    Learn with hundreds of complimentary, self-paced digital courses on AWS fundamentals. 

    Deepen your technical skills and learn from an accredited AWS instructor—virtually or in person.

    Validate your AWS Cloud skills and enhance your credibility with an industry-recognized credential.

  • Budgeting
  • AWS provides rapid access to flexible and low-cost IT resources.

    With cloud computing, organizations no longer need to make large upfront investments in hardware or spend time and money on managing hardware. A pay-as-you-go model puts money back into your organization to support your business objectives. 


    Estimate cost savings when using AWS and create a detailed set of reports you can use in executive presentations.

    Configure a cost estimate that fits your unique business or personal needs with AWS products and services.

    Connect with experts from our cloud economics team to walk through the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator.

2. Cloud preparedness

Now that you’ve addressed the most common questions organizations have when adopting the cloud, it’s time to get yours prepared. In this step of your journey, we’ll connect you with your AWS team and share tools to help you get prepared for cloud adoption success.

  • AWS Cloud Readiness Tool (CART)
  • Virtual executive briefings
  • How to buy
  • AWS Cloud Readiness Tool (CART)
  • The AWS CART tool helps organizations of all sizes develop a plan for cloud migration and adoption.

    Answer 16 questions to generate a downloadable report that rates your cloud adoption readiness across business, people, process, platform, operations, and security. Each report features recommendations to help advance your cloud journey.

    Access CART »

  • Virtual executive briefings
  • We’ll help you inform and gain alignment with key stakeholders.

    We know it is critical to gain alignment with key stakeholders, especially when contemplating a major shift in your institution’s IT infrastructure. That’s why we offer institutions virtual executive briefings hosted by the AWS Public Sector Executive Briefing Center (EBC) Program. We’ll work with you to customize the agenda so that it is reflective of your institution’s needs.

    Connect with your AWS team and learn more about how this briefing could support your institution’s cloud goals.

    Virtual executive briefings
  • How to buy
  • Uncover partners and contract vehicles available to organizations for cloud procurements.

    When it comes to cloud computing, the purchase process can seem daunting. Fortunately, AWS can help.  

    Public sector customers have the option of initiating a direct agreement with AWS or purchasing indirectly from one of our AWS Partner Network (APN) Partners. APN Partners offer a broad portfolio of cooperative, competitively bid public sector contract vehicles, managed services, technical expertise, as well as deep knowledge of legacy on-premises hardware and software solutions.

    View a comprehensive list of the AWS partner contract vehicles available to you.

    Talk to a member of our contracts team for support.

3. AWS Partner Guided Onboard Program (GO Program)

By this point, you’re ready to move your first workload into the AWS Cloud. It’s time for you to learn about the GO Program, a starting point for organizations that are new to the cloud.

The GO Program is a no-cost APN Partner-led engagement for qualified customers. The program gets you acclimated with the AWS Management Console, familiarizes you with the basics of cloud architecting, stands up a basic cloud workload, and includes a half-day whiteboarding session to identify different migration scenarios for moving forward.

We offer several workloads for your organization to choose from.

 Nonprofits | Higher Ed | K12

With Amazon AppStream 2.0, users access the applications they need through any computer. It doesn't matter whether they're using Macs, Chromebooks, or PCs, or whether they're in the classroom, the office, a cafe, or at home. AppStream 2.0 streams your applications from AWS to any computer.

Get started »

Nonprofits | Higher Ed | K12

Amazon WorkSpaces provides a full, persistent desktop that staff members or students can use while Amazon AppStream 2.0 lets course instructors quickly deliver specific applications for their class. Used together, you can simply build the learning environment your students need and make sure students have what they need. 

Get started »

Nonprofits | Higher Ed | K12

Chances are your organization has an ever-increasing need for storage. AWS Storage Gateway is a hybrid storage service that enables your on-premises applications to seamlessly use AWS Cloud storage. You can use the service for backup and archiving, disaster recovery, cloud bursting, storage tiering, and migration.

Get started »

Nonprofits | Higher Ed | K12

We’ll help you deploy a WordPress or Drupal based content management system leveraging best practices for high availability, scalability, and security of AWS. AWS can alleviate concerns about your ability to scale in response to unexpected events—such as winning a championship—or to protect yourself in the face of a distributed denial of service attack.

Get started »

Nonprofits | Higher Ed | K12

Identity management is a crucial first step in developing a cloud strategy. This includes both hosting your identity management system in the cloud for high availability and federating authentication with AWS for single sign-on.

Get started »

Nonprofits | Higher Ed | K12

Moodle is a learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators, and learners with a single robust, secure, and integrated system to create personalized learning environments. Deploy a Moodle based learning management system leveraging best practices for high availability, scalability, and security of the AWS platform.

Get started »


Many K12 school districts are adopting the Ed-Fi Data Standard to aggregate data produced by multiple disparate technology solutions. Leveraging the Ed-Fi Data Standard alongside an Ed-Fi technology implementation districts are able to identify trends, measure results, and analyze data across multiple sources from within a single location.

Get started »

Ready to get started? Let's make sure you qualify

Qualified customers are organizations that have not used AWS before or have used it minimally and meet the requirements of the program. The program may not be available to customers in all regions.