During these unprecedented times, not only are businesses facing difficulties with cash flow, but there is another sector that is probably in even more dire straits.

That is, the non-profit sector.  As its name directly implies, these kinds of businesses are not designed to make a net profit; rather, their ultimate goal is to provide charitable services.  Because of this, these kinds of businesses are primarily dependent upon grants and donations to help them to do what their specific mission statements mandate.

One area  that is starting to be a big hurdle for the non-profit sector is that of being able to adopt the latest technologies at a much lower cost than normal.  This is the focal point of this article.

What Are the Technology Hurdles?

Here are some of the top challenges that most non-profit agencies face today:

  1. Data security:
    Unlike the corporate sector where strict password policies are usually set in motion, the nonprofit suffers quite the opposite.  For example, many of them do not use Two Factor or Multifactor Authentication (2FA and MFA, respectively), because they cannot afford to hire a dedicated, full time security staff to enforce a rock-solid password policy.  Very often, volunteers are called upon to do this specific task, and since they are not being paid, they may not have the complete skills or time to enforce such policies on a continual basis.
  2. Unsupported software applications:
    Because non-profits usually have extremely tight budgets, many of them still use outdated software.  Prime examples of these are Windows XP, Windows 7 and 8, etc., which are no longer supported by Microsoft.
  3. Usage of open source software:
    Because open source applications are free to download and use without any restrictions or licensing issues, they have not been tested for any kind of security weaknesses or vulnerabilities that they may possess.  Therefore, since the non-profits are heavily dependent upon these kinds of platforms, they have become a prime target for the Cyberattacker, because of the many backdoors that are embedded in the code.
  4. Maintaining an adequate technology budget:
    As previously mentioned, nonprofits are heavily reliant upon external funding in order to keep their cash flow moving.  Because this can be a wildcard to predict, many organizations fail to plan what their future technology needs will be, because of the inherent uncertainty that is involved.  As a result, many old and obsolete hardware devices are still being used, without the required software patches and upgrades being installed onto them.
  5. The use of a Cloud based infrastructure:
    At the present time, only 15% of nonprofits make use of the Cloud for their charity or donation programs, let alone using this kind of platform in which to transfer their On-Premises IT infrastructure into.  These organizations still do not fully realize the strategic advantages and price affordability that the Cloud has to offer; but Microsoft is making tremendous headway into making them aware of this, as is described in the next subsection.

(SOURCE:  1).

The Various Microsoft O365 & Licensing Options

For the smaller to medium ranged Non-Profit Organizations

PLEASE NOTE:  To be eligible for the following programs, you must be a registered 501(c)(3)

organization. If you are, KAMIND IT can help you apply for non-profit status with Microsoft.

The following matrices review what Microsoft currently offers for those nonprofits that are deemed to be on the scale of small to medium sized:

The Donation Program – O365

Pricing Free, it is all donated
Office Apps Included Only Web & Mobile versions of Word, Excel, and Power Point
Included Services Exchange, One Drive, SharePoint, Teams

 

The Standard Program – O365

Pricing $3.00/month/user, requires an annual sign up
Office Apps Included Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook, Publisher & Access (only PC based),
Included Services Exchange, One Drive, SharePoint, Teams

 

Note:  For more details on the Included Services, click here.

For the large Non-Profit Organizations

For those nonprofits that are deemed to be large in scale, the following are also offered by Microsoft:

                                                    The Donation Program – O365, Non-Profit E1 Licensing

Pricing Free, it is all donated
Office Apps Included Only Web & Mobile versions of Word, Excel, and Power Point
Included Services Exchange, One Drive, SharePoint, Teams

 

The Standard Program – O365, Non-Profit E3 Licensing

Pricing $4.50/month/user, requires an annual sign up
Office Apps Included Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook, Publisher & Access (only PC based),
Included Services Exchange, One Drive, SharePoint, Teams

 

                                                         The Standard Program – O365, Non-Profit E5 Licensing

Pricing $14.00/month/user, requires an annual sign up
Office Apps Included Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook, Publisher & Access (only PC based),
Included Services Exchange, One Drive, SharePoint, Teams

 

Note:  For more details on the Included Services, click here.

Other Licensing Programs from Microsoft

In addition to the above, Microsoft also currently offers the following licensing models as well, as reviewed by the following matrices:

Licensing for On Premises Solutions (aka “Open Charity Licensing”)

Pricing Organizations can pick out 11 SKUs from a total list of 25 available SKUs, valid for a two-year period
Applicable Discounts 60%-75% off

 

Enterprise based Licensing

Pricing Available through the Enterprise Agreement (aka “EA”)
Applicable Discounts Are available for organizations which have > 250 end users or employees

 

Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Licensing

Pricing Available through the CSP, these are deemed to be non-profit SKUs
 

 

Applicable Discounts

Dependent upon the CSP; but the following applications do have discounts:

 

*O365;

*M365;

*D365.

 

NOTE:  SKU = Stock Keeping Units

It should also be noted that at the present time with M365, Microsoft is offering the first 10 licenses completely  free, and the remaining are available at a 75% discounted rate.

Finally, Microsoft is also offering its award-winning Cloud platform, Azure, at a substantial price discount for the nonprofit sector.  For example, you can get up to $3,500 in credits on an annual basis for your organization.  This program is known as “Azure Within Reach”.

With it, you get Power BI and Dynamics at greatly reduced prices, as well as a whole host of analytical, Web & Mobile based apps, networking, computing, and storage services.

Conclusions

Are you a nonprofit needing help and expertise in deploying these kinds of solutions from Microsoft?  Well, look no further.  At KAMIND IT, our area of expertise is Microsoft licensing, and we also have a stunning portfolio of nonprofit clients that we already serve.

Contact us today for more information!

Sources

https://lansystems.com/cloud-computing/azure-for-nonprofits/