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Microsoft Product Licensing Changes For Canada’s Non-Profits, Charities, and NGOs (Questions/Answers)

Were you shocked to learn when Microsoft announced significant changes to their Non-Profit donation and discount program back in April? That shift affected Windows, Office, Office 365, Azure and Server operating systems that Canada based not-for-profits are using. But more importantly, your Canadian organization’s future purchases of Microsoft licensing has also changed and where you go to get them.

How Will Microsoft Product Licensing Changes Affect Canadian Non-Profits, Charities, and NGOs?

Back on April 4, 2018, Microsoft made a major announced about changes to its non-profit donation and discount programs. The reason for the change is to provide the most effective use of its offerings, to serve smaller nonprofits with better choices too. The shift also reflects a broader, global trend to move all IT infrastructure to a cloud-based model.

On Microsoft’s, Frequently Asked Questions webpage for Non-Profits, they are now directing all not-for-profit organizations, charities, and NGOs, outside of the United States, to TechSoup’s website for assistance. According to Microsoft not every program is available in every country and is recommending any not-for-profit organization, charities, and non-government groups such as libraries to seek out the partner in their country.

Here is Microsoft’s statement:

TechSoup and its international network of 65 other partner organizations help Microsoft in facilitating software donations for nonprofits, charities, and NGOs in 236 countries and territories. That includes quickly and reliably verifying an organization’s nonprofit status. Serving as a dynamic bridge between civil society and corporate donor partners like Microsoft, TechSoup provides transformative technology products, knowledge, and services that enable people to work together toward a more equitable world.

Who Is TechSoup Canada and Do They Help Canadian Non-Profits With Microsoft Product Licensing?

When you land on TechSoup’s website, it defaults to the United States visitor. At the top of their page, on the left-hand side, it will show “TechSoup United States” and a down arrow icon. Click on that icon and a long list of country names appears. Scroll down that list and when you select another country, i.e., Canada you are taken to TechSoup Canada’s non-profit site.

In 2009, TechSoup Canada formed and came from the efforts of The Centre for Social Innovation, TechSoup and the Information Technology Association of Canada. Ever since then TechSoup Canada has helped save Canadian Non-Profits over $362 million on technology investments. Its membership has over 31,000 Non-Profits, Charities, and Non-Government Organizations and still growing.

What Are The Product License Changes Canada Based Not-For-Profits Need To Know?

With the recent Microsoft Product Licensing changes for Canadian not-for-profits, charities, and non-government organizations, TechSoup Canada is the volume license provider you will be directed to see.

This shift has also affected what TechSoup Canada offers to Non-Profits. Generally speaking, three fundamental changes are significant:

  1. Microsoft cloud product licenses are now available directly from TechSoup.
  2. Added to their Microsoft program, were discounted software offers.
  3. Thier donated product catalog has been streamlined to serve the needs of the smallest nonprofits better.

With those new limitations, there is one critical piece of information you will want to know moving forward. Microsoft is continually optimizing its ‘on-premises’ product donations. For instance,

  • Microsoft “on-premises” products, the Standard Versions, will remain available as donations, but only to eligible nonprofits and libraries through TechSoup Canada.
  • Microsoft on-premises products, the Premium versions, are no longer available as donated offers on TechSoup Canada.
  • They will, however, be available with the same eligibility but now at a non-profit discount.
  • There are no changes to the donated cloud offers available from Microsoft.

So, as you move forward, look closely at the products you are using. Contact TechSoup Canada if you are not sure what your volume license status is, or if your products have switched from donated to non-profit discount.

Will Your Microsoft Product License Changes Affect Your IT Services Vendor?

Quite often when software changes take place, we might overlook those individuals or IT companies that maintain and monitor our systems. If your outsourced IT provider is unaware of software changes, including licensing, it will affect your records.

  • If your Canadian non-profit, charity or non-government organization has compliance laws and regulations you must follow, you will want to update the IT firm in charge of your IT systems immediately.
  • If your country’s regulatory officials do perform audits, on not-for-profits like yours, you will want your records to reflect that the IT company was updated, and the information was well documented.

If all of what has been discussed here today, is news to you, contact TechSoup Canada or your IT Services provider in charge of your information technology systems.

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