Changes to the Microsoft programme

On 4th April, Microsoft announced a number of changes to its non-profit discount and donation programme. The reason for the shift is a desire to optimise its offerings to better serve smaller non-profits. It also reflects a larger, global trend to move IT infrastructure to a cloud-based model.

This shift has affected what Charity Digital offers to non-profit organisations. Generally speaking, three key changes are significant:

It’s also important to note that the same license limits remain the same for select donation products. Also, programme eligibility will still be determined by an organisation’s non-profit status and mission.

We remain committed to our core mission to help organisations gain access to affordable technology that helps increase their impact in the world.


Charity Digital’s Microsoft cloud offerings

Today, many organisations 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 organisation, you can simply discontinue that license.

The majority of Charity Digital 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 organisations. 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. Organisations 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, you can request your Microsoft cloud offerings through Charity Digital’s Microsoft Cloud Manager service here.

If you are already registered on the Charity Digital Exchange network, your charity can start benefiting from the features of Office 365 straight away.

Changes to our donated catalogue

Currently, the following Microsoft products are still available as donations to eligible organisations:


Existing Charity Digital members will notice a shorter list of donated products available (notably that Office Professional Plus is no longer included). However, organisations can still acquire up to 50 licenses across any of the products listed above.

Organisations are no longer restricted to ten product families, allowing for more flexibility.

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

If your organisation has traditionally received a donated version of Office Professional Plus through Charity Digital, this change may seem daunting. 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 organisation 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.

You can also now purchase additional software licenses through our new discount program. And in some cases, products offered only through our discount programme or cloud offerings may be what’s appropriate.



This article was originally written for TechSoup US under Creative Commons license