Important Microsoft Changes: 5 things your nonprofit needs to know

In case you have not heard yet, there are important changes to TechSoup’s catalogue of Microsoft desktop/on-premise licenses this coming April 4, 2022.

What are these changes? How will these affect your organization? Moreover, what does this mean to licenses you received before? Let’s dive right into these one-by-one!

1. What’s changing?

By April 4, 2022, the donated on-premise/desktop licenses from Microsoft will no longer be available through TechSoup for minimal admin fees. This change aligns with Microsoft’s growing shift towards a cloud-first strategy and one that would echo in its philanthropic programs as well.

2. Wait, what are donated desktop licenses again?

To fully understand the implications of this, we first need to understand the 3 different kinds of licenses nonprofits can access through TechSoup:

  • Donated licenses are basic desktop titles such as Windows Get Genuine and Office Standard. These are purchased for minimal one-time admin fees and are subject to allocation limits of 50 per title every 2 years.
  • Discounted licenses (or products marked with ‘Discounted’) are basic and enterprise-grade desktop titles whose one-time fees reflect a charity discount (est. 60-75% of commercial rates). While they are relatively pricier than the donated counterpart, they are not subject to allocation limits.
  • Cloud subscriptions, finally, are free and/or discounted nonprofit subscriptions for cloud suites such as Office 365 and Microsoft 365. While they primarily offer cloud applications (i.e. OneDrive, Teams, Exchange Online, etc.), some packages may also include subscription-based licenses for desktop apps such as Office and Windows.

3. What will happen to my existing licenses that I already received from Microsoft?

The changes will primarily affect future access to donated desktop licenses. That said, it will have no impact to licenses you already received. That goes for donated, discounted and cloud subscriptions. They are all fine and will continue to be usable and valid.

However, the brunt of the impact will be felt in your tech planning. If you have an ongoing need or are in the process of planning to procure more desktop licenses such as Windows OS, Office Standard, Windows Server, etc., it would be in your best interest to start securing those before April 4, 2022. Once the changes take effect, the lower price points brought to you by the donated license catalogue will no longer be available.

4. What happens if I need additional desktop licenses after the changes take effect?

Revisiting question 2, it’s worth noting that TechSoup offers 3 different kinds of Microsoft licenses. While the donated licenses will no longer be available by April 4, 2022, the discounted counterparts will remain accessible to all eligible nonprofits through TechSoup. Additionally, depending on your needs/goals, TechSoup’s experts can also help you map your needs to free or discounted cloud subscriptions as well. Additionally, Windows Pro OS will remain available under the donated catalogue even after the changes take effect on April 4, 2022.

5. Is there anything we should do in the meantime?

Plan. Assess your needs and let’s start planning. What you want to ensure on or before April 4, 2022 is that you have a clear understanding of what your potential need for additional desktop licenses would look like. Can any of these be replaced by cloud subscriptions or are you strictly limited to using desktop licenses?


What you want to ensure here is that you have some level of reserved licenses in case that need comes up down the line. You don’t need to stock up, just have some readily available if in case cloud subscriptions aren’t applicable. Alternatively, if you can shift these to the cloud, it would be highly recommended you start that conversation internally to start planning for it. Our experts are here to help as well, if need. What’s important is you start having that conversation.


All in all, I do hope this helped you make sense of the changes ahead. While drastic, TechSoup’s here to help you navigate these. So, as mentioned, do start having that conversation with your team – and us.

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