Frequently asked questions

Learn more about our nonprofit product donations and discounts

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Q. How can Microsoft help my organization?
Microsoft offers donated and discounted products through three programs for eligible nonprofit organizations. These programs include cloud services like Office 365, Azure and Dynamics 365, on-premises software, and volume software discounts. Local Microsoft offices also regularly hold training events to help nonprofits better use technology and learn how technology can deepen the impact of their organizations. Please note that not every program may be available in every country.

Q. What programs are available for my nonprofit organization?
Visit the eligibility page to determine which programs are available to your organization.

Q. How do I apply for the nonprofit programs available to my organization?
First, review our eligibility guidelines and then get started by applying for a product donation or discount.

Q. Who is TechSoup?
TechSoup and its international network of 65 other partner organizations help Microsoft in facilitating software donations for nonprofits, charities, and NGOs in 236 countries and territories. This includes quickly and reliably verifying an organization's nonprofit status. Serving as a dynamic bridge between civil society and corporate donor partners like Microsoft, TechSoup provides transformative technology products, knowledge, and services that enable people to work together toward a more equitable world. Learn more about TechSoup.

Q.How do I get help installing and using my Microsoft software?
Microsoft encourages you to work with a partner in your country whose mission is to serve other nonprofits in building organization and technology capacity, such as nonprofit partners TechSoup and Tech Impact.

Q.What training is available to learn how to use Microsoft software that I have received through a grant, downloaded online, or already have installed on my PC?
Microsoft product groups provide numerous training and support options. Also, local Microsoft offices regularly hold training events to help nonprofits better use technology and discuss how technology can help improve their organizations.

Q.Does Microsoft have a hardware donation program?
Currently, we do not have a hardware donation program. However, the resources below show how Microsoft and our partners provide low-cost computers and hardware to eligible nonprofits.

Program eligibility

Q. What are the eligibility requirements for the Microsoft nonprofit programs?
Nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations must:

  • Hold recognized, legal charitable status as defined in their countries;
  • Operate on a not-for-profit basis;
  • Have a mission to benefit the broader community;
  • Attest to Microsoft's anti-discrimination policy.

Please visit the eligibility page for more details.

Q. Which persons affiliated with the nonprofit organization are eligible to receive donated or discounted user licenses?
Licenses and subscriptions are intended for employees of eligible nonprofit organizations. Members or beneficiaries of the nonprofit organization are NOT eligible for nonprofit licenses or subscriptions. The only exceptions are volunteers who have significant fiduciary or managerial responsibilities for the organization, such as members of the organization's Board of Directors, AND who meet ALL THREE of the following criteria:
  1. The volunteer is accountable for specific activities and results within the nonprofit organization that are defined in a written description of the volunteer position.
  2. The volunteer's role with the nonprofit is a year-round ongoing role or is a seasonal or part-time role that reoccurs annually.
  3. The volunteer will not use the license for personal use that results in income to the volunteer.

Q. How is eligibility for these programs determined?
Microsoft has partnered with TechSoup to validate nonprofit organizations. As part of the process, TechSoup reviews your organization's mission and activities. TechSoup uses publicly available and locally relevant information as well as information you will provide during registration and compares it with the eligibility criteria for Microsoft's offerings to nonprofits.

Q.How long does it take to receive eligibility validation?
We strive to make eligibility determinations as quickly as possible, and the process can take up to 20 business days. This timeframe can vary depending on nonprofit responsiveness to requests for additional documentation and country requirements.

Q.How long does eligibility last?
Once a nonprofit organization is validated as eligible, this status will be in effect for a two-year period. At the end of this period, your organization must be revalidated to retain eligibility.

Q.Can a nonprofit submit an appeal if denied?
Please review the eligibility guidelines for your country. If you still have questions, contact a local TechSoup country partner.

Q.What is Microsoft's anti-discrimination policy?
Microsoft values and respects individual and cultural differences and is committed to providing an inclusive environment that is welcoming and free from discrimination.

Therefore, organizations are not eligible to participate in the Microsoft nonprofit giving program if they have a policy or mission of discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training or services, promotion, termination, and/or retirement based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, political affiliation, union membership, or veteran status.The only exception to this policy is for religious organizations that are exempt from laws that prohibit such discrimination.

Q.Is my organization required to provide evidence of compliance with Microsoft's anti-discrimination policy to be eligible to participate?
Microsoft expects organizations to honestly and accurately certify the anti-discrimination statement during the eligibility validation process. Microsoft does not require nor collect evidence of compliance with the anti-discrimination policy, nor does Microsoft make legal judgments of the accuracy of the certification or applicability of anti-discrimination law to your organization's practices. As always, however, Microsoft reserves the right to grant or deny an organization's application or participation at any time, for any reason.

Q.We are a religious organization, but we do not know if we are exempt from laws that prohibit discrimination. How can we know for sure?
The laws or exemptions that apply to your organization depend on your organization and its practices. Some commonly considered issues include hiring based on religious affiliation or beliefs (under Title VII to the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and the U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding same sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges.) If you are uncertain about how federal anti-discrimination laws may or may not apply to your organization, we suggest contacting an attorney to request a legal opinion.

Cloud Services

Q.How do I access Office 365, Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility, and Power BI?
Nonprofit organizations that have been validated as eligible can go to the Nonprofit Portal for instructions on how to purchase the nonprofit offers and assign users in the Office 365 admin center.

Q.Where do I go for support for cloud services?
Nonprofit customers should use the standard support channel for Office 365. Details on Office 365 support options are available here.

Q.Is Yammer included in Office 365 Nonprofit?
Yammer is included in the Nonprofit E1, E3, and E5 offers, and in the Nonprofit Business Essentials and Business Premium offers. All of the features and software services included in the Enterprise and Business offers are also in the Nonprofit offers, with the exception of dual access rights.

Q.If I'm approved for cloud service offers, can I still purchase commercial offers?
Yes. A nonprofit that has become eligible for Office 365 Nonprofit offers can purchase both commercial and nonprofit offers going forward.

Q.How do I access additional E1 seats?
In order to purchase additional E1 seats at a discounted nonprofit price, please contact a reseller to discuss options in an Enterprise Agreement.

Microsoft Azure

Q.What Azure services can I utilize with the $5,000 (USD) credits?
Nonprofits can use the Azure credits to purchase all Azure workloads created by Microsoft (excluding Azure Active Directory, which is licensed under EM+S). You can view the whole list of services here.

Q.Can I choose where my data is hosted?
Yes. However, there may be a select few regions that are unavailable for this offer. For more details on locations within each region, please visit the Azure regions page.

Q.What happens after this credit runs out?
Your subscription will convert to a “Pay-As-You-Go” offer, meaning you pay for what you use. See more details here.

Q.Is this an annual credit?
Yes. As long as your nonprofit remains eligible, you can reapply each year.

Q.How do I renew the Azure Credit each year?
30 Days from your expiration date, you will receive an email with renewal instructions. Note: If you exceed the $5,000 cap, after your complete the renewal you will need to put in a support case to move your subscription back to the sponsorship. Otherwise you will continue to be billed.

Q.Can I apply this credit towards other Microsoft Products?
No. The credit can only be used towards Azure services published by Microsoft.

Q.Is the $5,000 (USD) credit split up over 12 months?
No. You can use the $5,000 (USD) at your discretion over 12 months.

Q.What is the best way to request support?
  1. If you have an Azure Subscription, submit a case via the Azure portal.
  2. If you can’t access the Azure portal, submit a case here.
  3. If your question is related to eligibility, submit a case with TechSoup.

Q.What happens at the end of the year if I have not used up my $5,000 (USD) in credits? Do they rollover to next year?
No.

Q.Does the credit cover taxes?
Yes.

Q.Is it a cash grant?
No. It is an Azure credit, not a monetary donation.

Q.Is support included?
“Developer” Azure support is included. For substantial or significant mission critical workloads, it is recommended that organizations purchase a more advanced support plan.

Q.Why are you asking for a credit card?
We need a credit card on file in case you go over $5,000 (USD.) The card will not be charged if you stay under $5,000 (USD.)

Q.How do I validate that my usage is being billed towards my $5,000 (USD) credit from Microsoft, and not my credit card?
Go here and select "Check Your Balance."

Q.Is ExpressRoute covered?
No. ExpressRoute is not an Azure workload but a means to connect into Azure. You will need to work directly with one of our ExpressRoute partners.

Q.Can I purchase Azure Active Directory Premium with this credit?
Azure Active Directory comes in four editions: Free, Basic, Premium P1 and Premium P2. The Free edition is the only one that can be used with this credit.

However the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite, which contains the other versions can be purchased at nonprofit rates through our nonprofit portal.

See edition overview here.

Q.If we have already purchased Azure, can we apply the credit to that agreement, or will we need to have a separate subscription?
  • Credit card – Yes. You can merge the subscriptions through a support case. Contact Azure billing support once both subscriptions are in place.
  • Enterprise Agreement (EA), Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE), Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), Open Volume License Program, EAP/ECI – No. You cannot merge the subscriptions.
However, while you will not be able to apply the funds to an existing subscription of this type, you can connect services deployed in your existing subscriptions to those deployed to your new subscription. This connection can either be made over public endpoints, or for services inside a virtual network via a private VPN connection.


Q.Do I need a Microsoft Account?
Yes. If you have an existing work or organizational account, please use it to sign up for the offer (can be the same one you use for Office 365). See instructions below:
  1. Important: Create or select an organizational account that will be used for your subscription. We recommend using an account that multiple people can access to (i.e azureadmin@nonprofit.org)
  2. If using an existing organizational account, ensure it has been registered with Microsoft, or register it with Microsoft here.
    • You cannot use an account already being used on a separate licensing agreement (EA, CSP, etc.)
  3. Follow the instructions on the Nonprofit Portal.

Dynamics 365

Q.What is Dynamics 365?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications in the cloud. Microsoft 365 unifies CRM and ERP capabilities by delivering new purpose-built applications to help manage organizational functions, including Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Operations, Project Service Automation, Financials, and Marketing through Adobe Marketing Cloud (sold separately.)

Q.Do I have to purchase all of the apps under Dynamics 365 or can I choose what I need for my organization?
You can just choose what you want. A single application, a plan that covers multiple applications or Team Member licenses that give limited rights across all applications.

Q.Is there nonprofit/charity pricing available for support?
No. But you can evaluate support options here.

Q.What is the path to Dynamics 365 for existing online and on-premises customers?
Dynamics 365 is the next release for Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX (‘AX7’) customers. The next update will be a seamless move to Dynamics 365 with a similar process to prior updates.

On-premises customers will have a similar experience. Dynamics CRM on-premises will continue to get new updates, which will bring them to Dynamics 365. AX2009 and AX2012 upgrade paths and timelines are consistent with what was communicated in the roadmap for Dynamics AX that remains in effect for how to get to Dynamics 365.

Q.Where can I get more info?

Software

Q.How can I get free or donated Microsoft software?
Microsoft donates software primarily through our partner, TechSoup. Visit our eligibility page to view eligibility guidelines and then apply to get started with your donation.

Q.What if my organization is not eligible for a software donation or discount? What are our other options?
Organizations that do not meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to explore our many software licensing options.

Q.Is there a limit on how much software my organization can receive?
All eligible nonprofit organizations can receive up to ten software titles (up to 5 of which may be server products) and up to 50 access licenses per title group within a two-year period. Please check with your local TechSoup affiliate for additional program details in your country. Note that these limits do not apply to our cloud services.

Q.What is the TechSoup admin fee?
TechSoup charges a nominal admin fee to cover costs to operate and maintain the donation program. This nominal fee directly supports TechSoup's free informational and training content and resources available to nonprofits.

Q.Does Microsoft provide software donations internationally?
Yes. Microsoft provides software donations through TechSoup to nonprofit organizations in 236 regions and territories. Visit the eligibility page to determine which programs are available for your organization.

Q.Does Microsoft provide grants for the full versions of Windows operating systems?
Microsoft offers eligible nonprofits Windows operating systems as upgrade versions. For existing computers in your organization that may have mis-licensed or mis-versioned operating systems, we offer a one-time donation of Windows Get Genuine offering to bring your inventory into compliance and allow future upgrades. Full operating systems are also available for donated or refurbished hardware through a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher.

Volume software discounts

Q.How can my nonprofit organization access volume software discounts?
First, review our eligibility guidelines and then get started by applying for a product donation or discount. When your nonprofit organization is validated as eligible, sign in to the Nonprofit Portal, view your available offerings, and click on the icon for volume software discounts to send a Microsoft certificate of eligibility to a reseller. This will provide the reseller information needed to offer nonprofit pricing.

Q.How has the process changed from the previous charity sales site?
With the new volume software discounts process, resellers no longer manage the eligibility review process. The process is now managed for Microsoft by TechSoup. Nonprofit organizations should visit the eligibility page to review our guidelines and apply for validation. Once validation is confirmed, sign in to send a Microsoft certificate of eligibility to a reseller. This will provide the reseller information needed to offer nonprofit pricing.

Q.Is the volume software discounts program available in my country?
Visit the eligibility page to see if your country is currently supported by the volume software discounts program. We continue to expand our program to include additional countries.

Q.Will nonprofits that are currently eligible need to register and send the reseller a new eligibility verification approval email?
If a reseller has the current Arvato eligibility verification approval on file, that reseller can keep using that Arvato email to sell to that same nonprofit. When the original verification expires, the nonprofit will need to go through the process to issue a new eligibility verification approval email. Should the nonprofit choose to work with a different reseller, the nonprofit will need to provide a new eligibility verification approval email to that reseller so an order can be submitted on the nonprofit’s behalf.

Q.What happens if I lose my status as an eligible nonprofit organization?
If an organization loses its status as an eligible nonprofit organization after licensing products, it may continue to use the products for which it is licensed, but it may not submit a new order for licenses at the pricing levels Microsoft offers to nonprofit organizations. The organization may renew expiring Software Assurance for licenses purchased while it qualified as a nonprofit organization by submitting orders for Software Assurance under any other Microsoft Volume Licensing programs for which the organization qualifies as of the order date.

Q.Is there anything keeping a reseller from submitting an order without having the eligibility verification approval from the nonprofit?
No. However, if a Microsoft compliance audit is performed on a Reseller for sales to a nonprofit agreement, and if there is no proof that the nonprofit was eligible to receive the discounted pricing, then the reseller's ability to sell future Microsoft products could be negatively impacted, and there may be negative effects on the end customer. It benefits both the reseller and the nonprofit to have proof of eligibility before doing any business together.

Q.Does a reseller need to do anything different to submit/process an order for a validated Nonprofit?
No. Resellers will still submit orders/sales in the same way as done today.

Unilateral license

Q.What is a unilateral license?
For nonprofits and small independent media organizations in 12 countries with special circumstances, Microsoft provides limited, non-transferable, royalty-free licenses.

Q.Where is unilateral license available?
Microsoft will provide Unilateral Licenses in the following countries until January 1, 2020:


Q.What are the terms of the unilateral software licensing program?
The unilateral software license covers Microsoft software already installed on the personal computers (PCs) of eligible organizations. The unilateral software license is valid and available until January 1, 2020.

There is no fulfillment of any software by anyone under the unilateral license, nor does the unilateral license permit an eligible organization or anyone else to import, export or resell any covered software, or provide any right to transfer any software to or from an eligible organization.

If an eligible organization would like more Microsoft software than is already installed on their PCs, fulfillment will be provided through the existing Microsoft licensing programs, including retail, volume licensing, and software donation programs for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other organizations.

Q.What are the eligibility criteria for the unilateral software license program?
Eligible NGOs must operate on a not-for-profit basis and have a mission to benefit the local community. Eligible organizations may also include small, independent media or others that hold a public communications license, are members of a local media association, or are recognized by an international media organization.

Details of the eligibility criteria for the unilateral software license are listed within the documentation posted together with the unilateral license certificate.

Q.How is eligibility for the unilateral license program verified?
Eligibility criteria for the unilateral license are listed within the documentation posted with the unilateral license certificate. The printable certificate of license constitutes evidence of an organization's license.

Q.Why has Microsoft established this program?
We are making the unilateral software license available in countries where our current NGO software donation program is in place but the benefits are not yet widely known or understood.

By offering the unilateral software license in countries with this set of criteria, we are hoping to cut through some of the communications and logistical clutter that organizations may have encountered and provide clear legal assurance for the NGOs and small, independent media in those countries currently using our software.

Q.Are government-owned media enterprises covered?
Media must be less than 10% owned by a government entity to qualify for this program.

Q.What products will be covered by the program?
The unilateral software license covers all Microsoft software already installed on the PCs of eligible organizations.

Q.How should an NGO or media organization enroll?
There is no enrollment process. The printable certificate of license constitutes evidence of an organization's license.

Q.What if an NGO or media organization would like additional software?
If an NGO or media organization would like more Microsoft software than was already installed on their PCs, fulfillment would be provided through the existing Microsoft licensing programs.

Q.Does the unilateral license have retroactive force?
The unilateral license applies as of the date the program was announced. That said, we are eager to engage with eligible organizations on related matters that arose prior to that date.

Q.How long will the unilateral license program last? What's next?
The unilateral license is available and valid until January 1, 2020. Eligible NGOs may apply for software donations now and beyond that date through our standard software donation program. We will work with eligible media on alternative solutions.

By January 1, 2020, we anticipate that all eligible organizations will have had time to meet their software licensing needs through our standard Microsoft licensing programs, including retail, volume licensing, and software donation programs for NGOs - which provide perpetual software licenses.

Cash grants

Q.How do I get a cash grant from Microsoft?
We provide monetary grants to eligible organizations whose missions and activities align with our core programs. Our cash grants are limited and typically result from an invitation to apply for a grant. Most of our grants to nonprofits are in the form of software, which we make broadly available to eligible organizations. Please visit our eligibility page for more information on how to apply.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

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