Microsoft 365 is an all-in-one solution for an operating system, Office 365, and next-level mobility and security features. And for nonprofits, there are a number of licensing options.
It's a great first step toward becoming a truly digital organization. This cloud-based solution allows you to collaborate with your colleagues, utilize secure document storage, and manage operating systems on your machines.
Microsoft 365 can also support and increase your ability to use data to make decisions — with your beneficiaries, within your organization, and with fellow changemakers in your community. It's important to understand that a switch to Microsoft 365 is more than just a shift to cloud-based software. Using shared systems offers a number of exciting possibilities in terms of gaining insights into your internal efficiency, your productivity, and your impact. Here's what you get:
Eligible nonprofits and charities can receive donated and discounted Microsoft 365 small business and enterprise licensing. And because nonprofits come in different sizes and have diverse technology needs, there are four licensing plans, from which you can "mix and match" according to your specific requirements. We'll go over those plans in a moment, but first, let's take a look at some of the benefits that Microsoft 365 has to offer.
Benefits of Microsoft 365
The first thing you need to know is that Office 365 is included in a Microsoft 365 plan. And with Microsoft 365, you also get an always-up-to-date Windows operating system and a number of other great features. If you already rely on Microsoft for individual software solutions at your organization, it makes sense to bundle all of these into one solution. Here's a rundown of just a few things you can do with your Microsoft 365 plan.
Share and Collaborate
Manage Updates and Devices
And all of this is scratching the surface in terms of what's possible with Microsoft 365. Now, let's look into which plan is the best fit for your nonprofit.
Choosing the Right Microsoft 365 Plan
Microsoft offers four different Microsoft 365 plans for nonprofits:
Choosing the right plan depends on the size and type of your organization, the services it needs, your budget, and a number of other factors. However, with a cloud subscription, you can modify your subscription as your needs change. In other words, you can upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time.
Microsoft 365 Business
Microsoft 365 Business is optimized for small- to mid-sized organizations. It includes the Windows 10 Pro operating system, and there is a 300-license limit. The plan also includes downloadable desktop versions of Office 365, and devices that can be managed from a simple admin console.
Nonprofits can receive 10 free Microsoft 365 Business licenses.
Microsoft 365 F1
Microsoft 365 F1 is targeted toward "firstline" workers. These include employees and volunteers working in the field, staff manning phone lines, and other such individuals who are only in need of extremely basic computing needs. This version is significantly more affordable. It uses the Windows 10 Enterprise operating system but only includes web-based applications of Office 365.
Microsoft 365 E3 and E5
Microsoft 365 enterprise nonprofit plans (E3 and E5) are best for organizations that have more than 300 employees (there's no subscription limit). These plans include the Windows 10 Enterprise operating system and downloadable Office 365 E3 and E5 desktop applications. E3 and E5 licensing options are important for organizations looking for additional security features, such as email encryption, or those handling sensitive information covered under HIPAA.
A Feature Comparison of the Microsoft 365 Nonprofit Plans
|MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS||MICROSOFT 365 F1||MICROSOFT 365 E31||MICROSOFT 365 E51|
|Cost||First 10 licenses are free; 5.00 per user per month thereafter||$2.50 per user per month||$8.00 per user per month||$23.00 per user per month|
|Windows Edition||Windows 10 Pro with Windows 10 Business add-on||✓|
|Windows 10 Enterprise||✓||✓||✓|
|Office Desktop Applications||Word, Excel, PowerPoint||✓||✓||✓|
|Office Web-Based Applications||Word, Excel, PowerPoint||✓||✓2||✓||✓|
|Email and Calendar||Outlook, Exchange||✓3||✓||✓|
|Chat-Based Workspace||Microsoft Teams||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Voice, Video, and Meetings||Skype for Business||✓||✓4||✓||✓|
|Audio Conferencing, Phone System||✓|
|Social and Internet||SharePoint, Yammer||✓||✓5||✓||✓|
|Threat Protection||Windows Defender Antivirus||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, Device Guard6||✓||✓||✓|
|Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, Office 365 Threat Intelligence||✓|
|Identity and Access Management||Azure Active Directory Plan 1, Windows Hello, Credential Guard, DirectAccess6||✓||✓||✓|
|Azure Active Directory Plan 2||✓|
|Device and App Management||Single Console to Manage User and Device Settings||✓|
|Fine-Tuned User Experience, Windows Analytics Device Health||✓||✓||✓|
|Information Protection||Windows Information Protection, BitLocker||✓||✓||✓|
|Office 365 Data Loss Prevention, Azure Information Protection Plan 1||✓||✓|
|Azure Information Protection Plan 2, Microsoft Cloud App Security, Office 365 Cloud App Security||✓|
|Advanced Compliance||Advanced eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox, Advanced Data Governance||✓|
|Power BI Pro, MyAnalytics||✓|
1Productivity Server Rights — SharePoint, Exchange, and Skype for Business productivity server rights for Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers.
Office Professional Plus — Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 customers will receive one copy of Office Professional Plus for each.
2Only web versions of Office apps. No core commercial Office mobile apps (does not include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote). Includes Microsoft StaffHub.
32-GB inbox. No commercial Outlook app or integration. No voicemail.
4Meetings are join only; 1:1 audio/video calls are supported. No desktop or app sharing.
5Cannot be site administrators. No site mailbox. No personal site. Cannot create form.
6Not available on Windows 10 Enterprise E3 in S mode.
The Microsoft Digital Skills Center
For your staff, we have courses that are developed to address nonprofit-specific challenges. The Microsoft Digital Skills Center provides both free and paid courses for nonprofit professionals to learn and to refresh their skills so organizations can become more efficient and more secure as a whole.