What You Need to Know About Microsoft Office 365 Nonprofit

Microsoft Office 365 landing page screenshot

Discover the benefits of moving to Office in the cloud

Microsoft Office 365 Nonprofit gives you the full capabilities and secure environment of installed software along with the collaborative, anywhere, anytime availability of the cloud. If you have some questions about whether you should go completely online, read on.

Eligible nonprofits and charities can receive donated and discounted Enterprise and Small Business versions of Office 365. All versions include powerful features that can help you run your nonprofit more efficiently, securely, and less expensively. And because nonprofits come in different sizes and have diverse technology needs, there are four plans to choose from.

Benefits of Office 365

Office 365 frees up IT staff time. You will no longer need to worry about email maintenance, software upgrades, and insecure information storage. Office 365 also deepens the word processing, data analysis, communication, and productivity features of the traditional Office suite that your staff is already familiar with.

Here are some of its key benefits.

  • Hosted email. With Microsoft Exchange Online, you no longer need to manage an in-house Exchange server or set up a VPN or remote access to your office. You can access your email, shared calendars, and contacts from your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet. Office 365 provides each user with 25 GB of mailbox storage with attachments up to 25 MB each.
  • Security and privacy. Along with built-in spam and malware protection for your email, your data will be protected in the cloud. Your IT staff can manage and customize your organization's security options in a single console (a web-based administration center).
  • Office Online (previously named Office Web Apps). Imagine that you're on your way home from the office and realize that you forgot to update an important document. What would you do? With Office Online, you can edit documents right from your browser (Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari) on your home computer or mobile device. Your staff can use Office 365 on up to five of their own devices, so they have the flexibility to work wherever and whenever they need to.
  • The ability to share documents. Easily share documents with your colleagues with SharePoint Online, Microsoft's cloud-based file-share tool. You can even edit documents simultaneously with others, with no need to email the files back and forth.
  • Web and voice conferences. Skype for Business is an all-in-one tool for video calls, web conferences, instant messages, and voice calls. With high-definition (HD) video conferences, you can meet and collaborate with out-of-office staff and volunteers. Skype for Business also includes a real-time notes feature so you can keep track of ideas and notes from your meetings.
  • A social network. All versions of Office 365 Nonprofit come with Yammer, Microsoft's internal social network for organizations. Yammer can help you connect, collaborate, and share with volunteers, staff, and stakeholders.
  • Support 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Do you operate without an on-call IT staff? Office 365 provides 24/7 professional-level support for critical issues (for other issues, your response time depends on the plan your organization has).

Five Office 365 Nonprofit Plans to Choose From

Nonprofits and charities vary in staff size and technical needs, so there isn't a "one-size-fits-all" Office 365 plan. Microsoft offers two fully donated plans and three deeply discounted plans.

The two free donated plans are

  • Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials
  • Office 365 Nonprofit E1

These free plans do not include the full installed versions of Office applications (such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). To supplement these free Office 365 plans, you can request Office suites through TechSoup. Office Standard and Office Professional Plus are available through TechSoup's Microsoft Donation Program. Both will work seamlessly with the free Office 365 plans.

Microsoft also offers three discounted paid plans to eligible organizations. These plans offer the desktop Office applications and additional features. Your staff can use the installed versions of the Office applications on up to five devices per user. The discounted plans are

  • Office 365 Nonprofit Business Premium ($2 per user per month)
  • Office 365 Nonprofit E3 ($4.50 per user per month)
  • Office 365 Nonprofit E5 ($10 per user per month)

Please note that you can't install the Office applications from one of these discounted plans on the same device as Office products obtained through Volume Licensing. This applies to all Office products available as donations through TechSoup, including Skype for Business, Visio, and Project. You'll need to uninstall any Office products that you've received as donations through TechSoup before installing the applications provided through the discounted plans.

A Feature Comparison of the Office 365 Nonprofit Plans

Features

Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials

Office 365 Nonprofit Business Premium

Office 365 Nonprofit E1

Office 365 Nonprofit E3

Office 365 Nonprofit E5

Price

Free

$2.00 per user per month

Free

$4.50 per user per month

$10 per user per month

Number of users

Up to 300 users

Up to 300 users

Unlimited users

Unlimited users

Unlimited users

Subscription to desktop applications (such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) for up to five PCs/Macs per user

 

X

 

X
(plus Microsoft Access)

X
(plus Microsoft Access)

Hosted email

X

X

X

X

X

File storage and sharing (1 TB storage per user)

X

X

X

X

X

Online meetings, HD video conferences, and instant messages

X

X

X

X

X

Online versions of Office (to view and edit Office files in web browsers)

X

X

X

X

X

Office for Tablets and Smartphones (view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents with iPad, iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, Windows Phone, and Windows tablets)

 

X

 

X

X

Intranet site for your teams

X

X

X

X

X

Active Directory integration: manage user credentials and permissions

   

X

X

X

Yammer social network

X

X

X

X

X

24/7 technical phone support for critical issues

X

X

X

X

X

Advanced security for your data that helps protect against unknown malware and viruses and provides better zero-day protection to safeguard your messaging system

       

X

Analytics tools for personal and organizational insights with Power BI and Delve Analytics

       

X

PSTN conferencing to allow invitees to join Skype for Business meetings by dialing in from a landline or mobile phone

       

X

Cloud PBX for cloud-based call management to make, receive, and transfer calls across a wide range of devices

       

X

Advanced eDiscovery with Predictive Coding and Text Analytics

       

X

This information was accurate as of the publication date. For the most up-to-date comparison of features, visit Microsoft's Office 365 Nonprofit plans and pricing page.

Maintenance of Office 365 and Migration to It

Office 365 is designed to make IT tasks as simple as possible so you can focus on your organization's mission. For nonprofits without IT staff, the Office 365 administration portal lets workers with limited technical knowledge configure settings and customize user licenses, permissions, and services according to their staff's needs.

How to Get Office 365 Nonprofit

To find out if your organization is eligible to receive donated and discounted versions of Office 365 Nonprofit, visit Microsoft Office 365 Nonprofit.

To determine if your organization is eligible to receive one of the Office 365 Nonprofit offers, see Microsoft's Who's Eligible.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.

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