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Important Changes to the Microsoft Software Donation Program on TechSoup Canada

Technology Planning

April 13th, 2018 Update:

The Microsoft premium products that are moving to the New Discount Program will be removed from the catalogue on April 2nd, 2018. The New Discount Program is expected to launch on our website soon*Stay informed about the product launch and any changes. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to customerservice@techsoupcanada.ca.

*Please note that the previous launch date of April 16th has been delayed.


Today we’re sharing news from Microsoft and an update on planned changes to their program on TechSoup Canada:

  • A blog post from Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact group recently laid out improvements and changes to their nonprofit offers and donation model, and
  • Some of these changes will impact the current Microsoft Software Donation Program on TechSoup Canada, and may be of interest to your nonprofit or library.

The recent blog post from Microsoft Philanthropies’ Tech for Social Impact group shares their vision and commitment to ensuring that nonprofits, and those they serve, are not left behind as technology advancements accelerate.  Microsoft’s longstanding software donation program on TechSoup Canada is evidence of their commitment to the sector. TechSoup Canada is engaging with Microsoft and more than 30 other technology providers to expand the ways we support access to technology solutions and services for nonprofits and libraries to help ensure you can affordably adopt and use the most effective technology to deliver your mission.

We’ve summarized below the Microsoft changes announced in their blog post that may influence your TechSoup Canada experience.  Please take a few minutes to review, so that you can plan effectively for your technology needs. We are interested in your feedback and questions and wish to support you well during this transition – contact us at customerservice@techsoupcanada.ca

How will the current Microsoft Software Donation Program on TechSoup Canada change on April 1st?

Product Selection

Microsoft is optimizing its ‘on-premises’ product donations on meeting the needs of smaller organizations.  Standard versions of all Microsoft “on-premises” products will continue to be available as donations to eligible nonprofits and libraries through TechSoup Canada.  Premium versions of Microsoft on-premises products will no longer be available as donated offers on TechSoup Canada, but will be available with the same eligibility at a nonprofit discount.  There are no changes to donated cloud offers available from Microsoft.

Choice across all Donated Products on TechSoup Canada

Starting April 1st, you can now choose among any Microsoft donated products for your licensing without being limited by 10 title groups.

Program Rules and Eligibility Stay the Same

Microsoft eligibility for donated offers through TechSoup Canada remains the same.  These same eligibility rules are standardized across any source of Microsoft nonprofit discounts.  Donated license limits available over a 2-year cycle remain the same through TechSoup Canada.

Assistance Learning About & Accessing Options

Microsoft’s improvements and changes offer nonprofits a range of donations, discounts and licensing options.  TechSoup Canada is committed to helping you understand the best options for your needs – whether donated or discounted, ‘on-premises’, cloud or hybrid.  Where possible, we will provide direct access in one easy place.

New and Noteworthy at microsoft.com/nonprofits

In case you missed it in the blog post by Microsoft, we’re ‘calling out’ these exciting new direct offers for nonprofits you can get from Microsoft -- an Office 365 volunteer SKU, an expansion of Microsoft 365 with E3 and E5 offers, and Microsoft Surface to 10 new markets.

Thank you for all you do for your communities.


Microsoft Program Changes FAQ

  1. Why is Microsoft making these changes?
    Microsoft’s goal is to enable even more nonprofit organizations to have an even great impact. However, it takes a new philanthropy model to sustainably scale software donations in a subscription (or cloud) model. Microsoft’s new Tech for Social Impact team is organized as a social enterprise where profits will be reinvested into providing more support for nonprofits.
     
  2. Is Microsoft changing eligibility requirements for its donated products?
    No, eligibility for donated offers through TechSoup Canada remain the same. Microsoft maintains one of the broadest definitions of eligibility of all technology donors. Unfortunately, there are still organization types that would like to request a donation but do not qualify. For these organizations, we hope that other offers on TechSoup Canada may be helpful. Rest assured that we inform all of our donors about who else is eager to find an affordable way to use their products.
     
  3. Will there be eligibility requirements for the discounted products? If so, will they be the same as for donated products?
    At this time, our understanding is that the same eligibility requirements used for donated products will apply to organizations seeking discounted products.
     
  4. Will libraries continue to be eligible for Microsoft donations and discounts through TechSoup Canada?
    Yes, libraries continue to qualify for Microsoft nonprofit donations and discounts as well as a host of other offers and resources on TechSoup Canada.
     
  5. Can you explain the change being made to Microsoft “title group” restrictions?
    A title group consists of all products that essentially serve the same purpose. For example, all Windows operating system products are in one title group. Currently, eligible organizations can request up to 50 licenses per title group from a maximum of 10 title groups. There are more than 35 title groups
    Starting April 1, 2018, eligible organizations can choose among all of the Microsoft donated products without being limited to 10 title groups. Unless otherwise stated, you can request a maximum of 50 licenses of each product within a two-year period. Server products continue to have product specific license limits.
     
  6. What is the difference between “standard” and “premium” products?
    Premium products are usually referred to as “professional” or “enterprise,” such as Office Professional or Visio Professional. Standard products are usually referred to as “standard,” such as Office Standard or Visio Standard. 
     
  7. What is “on-premises” software?
    “On-premises” refers to software products that are installed on a computer versus products that are offered as “software as a service” by subscription.
     
  8. I cannot use cloud-based products at this time. Will I still be able to get Microsoft on-premises software on April 1?
    Eligible organizations will still be able to request donations of standard on-premises Microsoft products, for example Office Standard 2016 and Visio Standard, through TechSoup Canada after April 1.

    Premium on-premises Microsoft products, such as Office Professional Plus 2016 and Visio Professional, will be available as discounted products only, starting April 1. TechSoup Canada will be launching discount programs to provide you with the full range of offers.  We aim to make these discount offers available to you as soon after April 1 as possible.  
     

  9. Is the donation program being phased out?
    No. Microsoft will continue donating technology to nonprofits for the foreseeable future. Over the last three fiscal years, Microsoft has donated over $1 billion each year in cash and services to nonprofits. That commitment is unchanged. In fact, Microsoft hopes to triple the number of nonprofits it reaches over the next three years by providing a broader range of licensing options.

    TechSoup Canada works with many donor partners that remain committed to collaborating with us to offer donations and deeply discounted offers to nonprofits. We're always expanding what we offer to better meet the needs of nonprofits. We don't intend to let up.
     

  10. What if I need more on-premises software licenses?
    If you need more on-premises software licenses than are available to you as donations through TechSoup Canada, or if you need products that are no longer available as donations, you will be able to request discounted software licenses for those same products through TechSoup Canada soon after April 1. You can also get licenses for those same products from other authorized charity resellers or directly from Microsoft.
     
  11. Do these changes mean that TechSoup Canada will be closing down?
    No! We remain committed to connecting nonprofits with the resources they need to fulfill their missions. TechSoup Canada works very closely with all of our donor partners to ensure that we continue to support their philanthropic programs as they evolve with the changing tech landscape. Our business model and our programs must also keep evolving in order to fulfill our mission.

    You will see new programs and services offered by TechSoup Canada to better support you. We will look for new ways to bring value to nonprofits and to technology providers, and we will continue to keep the fees for our services as low as possible. 

Comments

Clarifications

Hi. Significant parts of this post are about the changes related to "premium" offerings. I'm just curious, where is that discussed in MS's source article? Maybe you contacted them for more information or did some serious reading between the lines?

When MS says 75% off "commercial" pricing, do you know what that word means? Are they referring to straight retail pricing, which in the case of Office 2016 Pro is north of $500CAD, or the standard volume pricing, which while cheaper is still going to be way up there? Either way, this seems a clear way to get people off perpetual licenses, since ProPlus is offered in multiple Office 365 plans.

Great questions!

The changes related to "premium" offerings are discussed in the sections "Predictable pricing with standardized discounts" and "Focusing program to improve small nonprofit support". MS doesn't explicitly state 'premium products are moving away from the donation program', however they've made it clear that the focus of their donation program is to support nonprofits with 50 employees or less.

As for the "75% off commercial pricing", to my knowledge, this means straight retail price/market value instead of volume pricing. That said, this understanding may change if and when we receive more updates.

I hope this helps! If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Account Management team at customerservice@techsoupcanada.ca

Joyce Hsu,
Communications Manager

WIll Office 365 subscriptions be affected?

Will Office 365 subscriptions be affected? It doesn't sound like they will, but our client would like to have definitive confirmation fo that if possible.

Thanks, Jason.

No, Office 365 subscriptions are not affected

Hi Jason,

To confirm, this program change will not affect Office 365 or other Microsoft donated cloud offerings (i.e. Azure grants, etc.)

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Account Management team at customerservice@techsoupcanada.ca

Joyce Hsu,
Communications Manager

System Center Client Licenses

Are the System Center Client Licenses considered 'Premium'?

I am specifically referring to Service Manager and Data Protection Manager User CALs.

Yes, they are premium

To our knowledge, System Center Client Licenses would be considered premium, including Service Manager and Data Protection Manager user CALs.

Hope this helps! If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Account Management team at customerservice@techsoupcanada.ca

Joyce Hsu,
Communications Manager

Does this affect the Windows OS upgrade donation?

The Windows OS upgrade license currently allows us to upgrade a Pro version to Enterprise, which brings with it some very useful remote access features. Will this still be available?

Good question!

We expect the Windows OS Upgrade licenses to remain in our catalogue as donations after April 1st, and that the feature to upgrade to Pro or Enterprise to remain as is.

Hope this helps! If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Account Management team at customerservice@techsoupcanada.ca

Joyce Hsu,
Communications Manager

List

No thats not all that helpful, any chance we can get a list? Considering this happens in a few weeks?

Apologies!

Unfortunately, we’re unable to provide a full list of Microsoft software that will change from a donation to a discount model. We can provide a general guideline to help you differentiate between standard and premium versions (e.g., premium products are usually referred to as ‘professional’ or ‘enterprise’ and the standard products are usually referred to as ‘standard’). Examples would include: Office Professional vs. Office Standard, or Visio Professional vs. Visio Standard.

Sorry that we aren’t able to be of further assistance. Please feel free to contact our Account Management team at customerservice@techsoupcanada.ca should you have additional questions or concerns, and we will answer them to the best of our ability.

Joyce Hsu,
Communications Manager

Server software and licenses

Does this change impact the donation of Server software and licensing? Would we still be able to purchase say Windows Server Standard, or Sharepoint Server?

Thanks,

Brian

Great question Brian!

This update will impact server software and server licensing, since some servers have standard and premium versions. For example, Sharepoint Server Standard will remain in the donation program, however Sharepoint Server Enterprise will move to the nonprofit discount model, since this version is considered a premium product.

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Account Management team at customerservice@techsoupcanada.ca

Joyce Hsu,
Communications Manager

Can you define "premium version"?

Is it "Pro" vs. "Standard"?

Great question!

Apologies for the delayed response, but yes, premium products are usually referred to as “professional” or “enterprise,” such as Office Professional or Visio Professional. Standard products are usually referred to as “standard,” such as Office Standard or Visio Standard.

Hope this helps!

Joyce Hsu,
Communications Manager