Microsoft has done a “really good thing” with their “Free for Nonprofits” program that provides Office 365 subscriptions (across all of the subscription plan models) for free or for a significant discount to qualifying non-profits. I really want to focus on the “for free” wording as it is very significant.
Many vendors provide discount pricing to non-profits and charities through venues such as TechSoup.org and I commend all of them for doing so. It is hard enough to keep a non-profit or a charity running day-to-day without facing large software bills. Non-profit and charity pricing programs help to soften the blow and Microsoft has long been in that space with licensing programs and offers that are tailored to non-profits. But the Office 365 program truly raises the bar!
If you have ever worked with a non-profit or a charity you will probably be painfully aware of how hard it is to raise funds for infrastructure. It is one thing to find money for software, it is quite another to find it for hardware for the software to run on. Budgets just never seem to line up the way they need to. So many non-profits and charities stumble along on ancient, outdated and even unreliable gear. It’s sad, really. That’s why I’m so excited about this offering from Microsoft.
Non-profits and charities can reap all of the advantages of the Cloud including NOT having to lay out money for hardware AND possibly qualify for truly “free” licensing through the program. Honestly, I can’t understand why there isn’t a stampede to Microsoft’s door on this one.
The information about the program is available here, it is well worth your while if you are a non-profit or a charity (or you know of one that could benefit) to check out the offering. Every once in awhile the big corporate guys do something that is truly worthy and I think this program is one of those worthy things. Good on you, Microsoft, well done!