a computer keyboard and a cup of coffee in a nonprofit office

Changes to the Microsoft Program

What your nonprofit needs to know

On April 4, Microsoft announced a number of changes to its nonprofit discount and donation program. The reason for the shift is a desire to optimize its offerings to better serve smaller nonprofits. The shift also reflects a larger, global trend to move IT infrastructure to a cloud-based model.

This shift has affected what TechSoup offers to nonprofits. Generally speaking, three key changes are significant:

  • Microsoft cloud product licenses are now available directly from TechSoup.
  • Our donated product catalog has been streamlined to better serve the needs of the smallest nonprofits.
  • Discounted software offers have been added to our Microsoft program.


It's also important to note that the 50-license limit remains the same for select donation products. Also, program eligibility will still be determined by an organization's nonprofit status and mission.

We remain committed to our core mission to help organizations gain access to affordable technology that helps increase their impact in the world. Let's take a look at how each of these areas might affect your nonprofit.


TechSoup's Microsoft Cloud Offerings

illustration of a person holding a monitor and a cellphone in their hand, representing Microsoft cloud-based products for nonprofits

Today, many organizations (including TechSoup) are choosing to migrate at least part of their IT infrastructure to the cloud. Although it might not be for everyone just yet, there are a number of benefits associated with making the switch. Those benefits include the reduction of cost, increased security in most cases, and easier opportunities for collaborative and remote working.

Additionally, a subscription-based licensing model allows for greater flexibility in terms of only paying for the software you need. For example, if an employee using Office 365 leaves the organization, you can simply discontinue that license.

Here is an at-a-glance view of donated and discounted Microsoft cloud offerings now available through TechSoup.

Nonprofit Pricing for Microsoft Cloud

Office 365 Business Essentials (Donation) Business Premium ($3) E1 (Donation) E3 ($4.50) E5 ($15) Add-Ons:
Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection: $0.60
Office Pro Plus: $3
Enterprise Mobility + Security       E3 ($2.50) E5 ($6)    
Microsoft 365 (O365 + Win10 + EMS) Business ($5)     Enterprise E3 ($8) Enterprise E5 ($23)    
Power BI   Power BI Pro ($3)          
Microsoft Azure Public and Hybrid Cloud
$5,000 annual credit towards any Azure workload published by Microsoft

The majority of TechSoup members that shift to the cloud will likely do so by adopting Office 365 in place of Office Professional Plus. We often see that a hybrid model of licenses works best for nonprofit organizations. Office 365 E1 can provide basic licenses with functionality such as

  • Email access
  • File-sharing capabilities (SharePoint)
  • Video conferencing (Skype for Business)
  • Internal social network (Yammer)

However, for staff that may require more mobile access, increased security of their data, and access to desktop and mobile applications, we recommend Office 365 E3 licenses. Organizations can choose any combination of licenses, and there are many other solutions that can help increase your nonprofit's productivity and success. Those solutions include business analytics tools through Power BI, Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Microsoft 365.

We are happy to help you navigate these choices and help recommend the right solution for you. Contact us, and we can get started!

Currently, cloud offerings are requested through TechSoup using this intake form. Once you enter in your information and let us know what your specific requirements are, we'll help craft the right cloud software package for you.

We're also aware that additional assistance is often needed as new technology is adopted. Learn more about the Office 365 support services we offer to our members. For ongoing, general support, be sure to check out Managed IT at TechSoup.

Changes to Our Donated Catalog

Currently, the following Microsoft products are still available as donations to eligible organizations.*

  • Access
  • Dynamics 365 for Customer Service (on-premises) User CAL
  • Dynamics 365 for Sales (on-premises) User CAL
  • Dynamics 365 for Team Members (on-premises) User CAL
  • Exchange Server Standard (plus User CALs)
  • Office for Mac
  • Office Standard
  • Project
  • SharePoint Server (plus User and Device CALs)
  • SQL Server Standard, Server/CAL Licensing (plus User and Device CALs)
  • Visio Standard
  • Visual Studio Professional with MSDN
  • Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN
  • Windows Operating System Upgrade
  • Windows Full Operating System — Get Genuine
  • Windows Server Essentials
  • Windows Server Standard (plus User and Device CALs)

 *Qualified TechSoup members are also eligible to receive donated and discounted products through Microsoft.


Existing TechSoup members will notice a shorter list of donated products available (notably that Office Professional Plus is no longer included). However, organizations can still acquire up to 50 licenses across any of the products listed above. Organizations are no longer restricted to 10 product families, allowing for more flexibility.

The process for acquiring donated Microsoft products through TechSoup also remains unchanged.

If your organization has traditionally received a donated version of Office Professional Plus through TechSoup, this change may seem daunting. However, it's worth taking a look at the specific functionality you need from programs like Office Professional Plus. Mission-critical software can often be combined to effectively get everything you need at your organization done.

For example, many teams use Office Professional Plus for its business productivity applications (Word, Excel, etc.) and employee email provided through a Microsoft Exchange server or database functionality through Access. If this is the case, a combination of Office Standard, Access, and Exchange Server Standard can be combined to enable these IT capabilities.

If your organization requires more than 50 licenses, you can now purchase additional software licenses through our new discount program. And in some cases, products offered only through our discount program or cloud offerings may be what's appropriate.

Discounted Microsoft Products from TechSoup

In order to address the needs of the wide variety of TechSoup members, we still offer Microsoft products no longer available for donation, as well as additional licenses above the donation limits. However, the pricing of these items has changed, as they are now available at a discounted rate — typically 60 – 70 percent below commercial price tags.

Below you'll find a handful of products now available at discounted rates.

Examples of Some Discounted Products as of April 3

  • Exchange Server Enterprise (plus User and Device CALs)
  • Office Professional Plus
  • Project Professional
  • Project Server (plus User and Device CALs)
  • Publisher
  • Skype for Business Server
  • System Center Data Protection Manager Device Client License
  • Visio Professional
  • Windows Remote Desktop Services (plus User and Device CALs)
  • Windows Server Datacenter (plus User and Device CALs)

Please note: all products that are on the TechSoup.org website as donated products will also be available as discounted products.

TechSoup members request discounted Microsoft products through a different process than for donated items. However, members can fill their carts with a mixture of donated and discounted products.

To receive the Microsoft software discounts you've requested, you need to register at Microsoft's nonprofit portal. You will then use the portal to send TechSoup a certificate that validates your organization's eligibility for discounts.

Once TechSoup confirms your eligibility, you'll return to this portal and enter TechSoup's reseller information. We will then send you a final email with instructions on how to obtain your requested offers.


Additional Resources: the Microsoft Software Donation Program for Nonprofits