As part of Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), Microsoft Office is free for up to 10 users at eligible nonprofits. There are also other ways to get Microsoft Office online for free. Since its launch in 1990, Microsoft Office has become foundational to operations at many organizations. But the minimum cost of $150 per person to download Office with a current license can be outside the price range of many nonprofits.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium is free for up to 10 users at each nonprofit organization. If you need more than 10 users, each additional account can be added for $5 per user per month ($60 per user annually).
In addition to the Office suite, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Microsoft 365 encompasses other business and productivity tools. Microsoft Teams is a virtual collaboration platform, and Microsoft Outlook is an email client. For PC users, the design software Microsoft Publisher and database management system Microsoft Access are also included. It’s important to note these are the desktop versions of these applications, not the web versions, meaning the software will be directly installed on the computer of each employee.
Part of the service CIM provides to our partners is helping a nonprofit identify the opportunities to use all the features of Microsoft 365 to make life easier and more efficient. If you don’t know what some of these additional programs are or if they would be useful to you, we can help!
Qualifying for Microsoft 365 Business Premium free as a nonprofit is different in every country, based on how that nation certifies and tracks the legal status of its nonprofits. Microsoft nonprofit eligibility in the United States is as simple as being certified as a 501(c)3 under the IRS tax code. In other countries, organizations must have whatever legal status of tax exemption is equivalent to a 501(c)3.
Eligible nonprofits create an account on Microsoft’s website, sharing information about the point of contact and the organization as a whole. You will need to provide documentation of nonprofit status, whatever that looks like in your country. Creating an account will also connect you to other Microsoft offers for nonprofits.
However, keep in mind your registration review may take up to 7-10 days. Microsoft works with a partner, TechSoup, who may reach out to your organization’s point of contact for more information during this time. Many organizations use this waiting period to complete training on the new software and fine-tune any processes.
Learn more from Microsoft about their most popular offers for nonprofits, including Microsoft 365.
The easiest way to get just Microsoft Office for free is to use the website Office.com. Office apps for the web are not the full desktop versions, but they have the basic editing and formatting commands you may already be familiar with. Documents and files created in Office Online must first be saved to OneDrive before they can be downloaded to the PC desktop. Similarly, if someone sends you a document, presentation, or something else to edit in Office, it will have to be on OneDrive before it can be edited through Office.com.
Additionally, you could explore free Microsoft Office alternatives, including the Google suite, Apache OpenOffice, FreeOffice, and LibreOffice. Since these free solutions are hosted in the cloud, you should use them with information security in mind to protect your organization’s sensitive data like financial information and personal information of donors.
CIM is a nonprofit created with the mission to help other nonprofits align affordable technology solutions with their missions and goals. We bring a servant’s perspective to our relationships and partnerships, helping our partners assess the gaps in their tech stack and choose the software to fill current and future needs. Then, we go beyond advice to action, helping our partners install new software, migrate data from old systems, and assess hardware to see if new equipment is needed. CIM also consults on security monitoring and planning, disaster recovery and can even work as your help desk or tech support.
We work as an extension of your team to put IT expertise on your side. If you’re trying to determine how to get Microsoft Office for your nonprofit or aren’t sure if Office is the best tool for you to begin with, we can help with that and any other IT questions on your mind. Contact CIM today to discuss your mission and tech needs, and let us help with the strategy to connect the two.