Technology can make your work life easier and more streamlined, but the necessary software and computing power needed for larger projects tend to be out of the budgetary range for most nonprofits. The work that nonprofits do is vital to many communities and organizations all over the world. Therefore, technology services for nonprofits work with the constraints that many nonprofits have. In this blog, we will cover the pricing structure that Microsoft has for nonprofits with regards to a variety of their products.
Is Microsoft 365 Free for Charities?
We are excited to share that Microsoft 365 Business Premium is now available for free for nonprofit organizations. This service allows your team to connect with customers and other coworkers using Teams, Exchange, and Outlook. You also get access to 1 TB of cloud storage on OneDrive per user. If your organization has never used software like this before, fear not, Microsoft also has a crash course e-book that will teach you all of the ins and outs of how to best use the software to meet your specific organization’s needs.
Once you have Microsoft 365, you need to take advantage of Microsoft Teams for nonprofits. In our modern world, video calls are more of a necessity than a convenience. Luckily, as a Microsoft 365 subscriber, you can access one of the best video call platforms available, Microsoft Teams. This platform is perfect for getting your team together no matter where you are located. Teams allow you to record meetings, share documents, and have the ability for someone to dial into the meeting if someone outside your organization needs to meet with members of your team.
Microsoft Nonprofit Eligibility
To be eligible for nonprofit status with Microsoft, your company must be a non-governmental or nonprofit organization with legal status in their respective country equal to 501(c)(3). Microsoft has slightly different parameters for libraries: “Public libraries may qualify as an eligible nonprofit organization without charitable status only for on-premises software donations and only where such software is made accessible to the general public.” Furthermore, there are formal requirements that an organization must meet. They must:
To gather specific information for the pricing for everything that Microsoft can offer your nonprofit, you will need to register and confirm your eligibility with them. The process can be broken down into three steps. Step one is where you will confirm your eligibility with Microsoft. The second step of the process is where Microsoft will evaluate all of the information you have sent them about your organization. The third step is where you gain access to the software.
Does Microsoft Give Discounts to Nonprofits?
Microsoft offers a variety of discounts to nonprofits for software like Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, on-premises software, and digital skilling. It is also important to note that not every single program is available in every country. Along with this software, some organizations are also in need of hardware that is able to work with the aforementioned software. Unfortunately, at the moment, Microsoft is not offering any grants for hardware. Microsoft and its partners do work to provide low-cost computers and hardware to eligible nonprofits, however.
Microsoft Nonprofit Support
If you choose to partner with Microsoft for your organization’s software needs, you will not have to worry about being left in the dark. Back in 2016, Microsoft purchased the professional networking platform LinkedIn. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, launching thousands of people into unemployment, Microsoft started to launch free skills training programs via LinkedIn.
Microsoft Grants for Nonprofits
Grant licenses are different from discounted software licenses for nonprofit organizations. A granted software license is only available to paid employees or unpaid executive staff of an organization. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft pledged to distribute $20 million to nonprofit organizations. The bulk of this money is going to nonprofit organizations that are working to help those who lost their job due to the virus. The pledge is not specifically for software licenses, but the many can be used to acquire them.
Microsoft Azure for Nonprofits
Azure is a cloud platform that consists of more than 200 cloud services and products created to bring new solutions to your organization. 95% of Fortune 500 companies put their trust in Azure. What might be most beneficial for nonprofits is the pricing model that Microsoft has chosen to implement for Azure. There is no up-front cost. Rather it is a pay-as-go system, where they provide flexible options. There is also a free trial available if you want to see if Azure is right for your team.
If your company already has an established foundation with other apps and services you may be hesitant to switch over. Microsoft Azure supports open source technologies so you can use whichever application your team is more comfortable with. Here is a list of Microsoft’s open-source partners.
Is SharePoint Free for Nonprofits?
Before we dive into the benefits of SharePoint, let’s answer your question. Yes, Microsoft offers this software for free or at a heavily discounted price for nonprofits. This price (or no price) will depend on the specific plan you elect to go with.
It is quite common for nonprofits, especially smaller organizations, to have most if not all of their email accounts through a 3rd party source like google. With SharePoint, all of the sensitive documents that you send can be located in one place.
Nonprofit organizations have unique problems that SharePoint is equipped to help with. For instance, nonprofits are often not able to have a fully-staffed HR department. This means that unless your organization has some great marketing, it can be quite difficult to hire quality talent for your team. SharePoint HR portal has you covered by providing resources for new and existing employees. SharePoint can also send your team updates on upcoming events or projects to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
SharePoint can also aid your organization with training and development. Nonprofits are constantly training new employees or volunteers, and SharePoint can ease some of that workload for your team. Creating a SharePoint learning portal will allow your organization to create content for teams to view as well as discussion boards where your team can communicate on all kinds of topics.
The topic of payroll can become a sensitive subject for some nonprofits. With regulations changing, it can be difficult for nonprofits to remain compliant and still effectively pay their staff. This does not have to be the case, as SharePoint document management can aid your team in keeping accurate and up-to-date records for all your payroll needs.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator
Dynamics 365 is able to eliminate data silos, which can be detrimental to any organization. If you have not come across this term before, a data silo is essentially a collection of data that is easily accessible to one group within an organization but is not fully accessible to another group within the same organization. Data silos actively get in the way of collaboration, so the sooner they can be removed the faster your team can get back to working in unison. Microsoft’s nonprofit accelerator offers expansive features to its partners and nonprofit organizations.
A Simplified IT Future with Computers in Ministry
Our team at Computers in Ministry strives to bring a unique touch to the world of IT support for nonprofits. We know that the work you do is vital to your communities, and we want to help take any headaches away so that you can focus on your amazing work. CIM does not want to take over or invade the progress your organization has made. We work to be an extension of your team.
One way we are able to achieve this is through our shared IT services model. This model is designed to deliver reliable IT services to our partners by giving organizations full access to multiple skilled teams with expertise that can surpass the abilities of an in-house IT team.
We want your organization to get the most out of what Microsoft is offering. Even if you get the software for free, there is great potential for your team, and you will not have to worry about having someone on your team that knows the software in and out. If you have any questions or want to connect with us, please feel free to head over to our contact page.