Recently, Wipfli/Brittenford joined Microsoft Philanthropies own Jeremy Pitman to present a webcast covering the things that nonprofits need to know about Microsoft’s announcement of a $5,000 credit for nonprofit organizations.
A recording of this is available here, but today, we would like to cover the basics—who are the key players, why Microsoft is offering this credit, where this is available, when you can sign up, what services are available, and how to get started.
Who are the Key Players?
There are three major players in the Azure credit, Microsoft Philanthropies, its partner in approving nonprofits TechSoup, and the nonprofit who will be applying for and using the credit.
Microsoft has been working with the community for decades. Initially called Microsoft Citizenship, the company’s community-focused entity, Microsoft Philanthropies will have donated $150MM in cash, and will be hitting $1B in cloud donations within the next three years as part of its Public Cloud for the Public Good program.
Microsoft Philanthropies focuses on four key areas: Technology (including cash and cloud donations), Community Investments (includes its STEM Training program called Youth Spark), People (providing high value help in philanthropy), and Voice (supporting data privacy and other civil liberties). Philanthropy is “part of our culture,” said Mr. Pitman in the webcast.
TechSoup is a nonprofit-focused organization whose mission is to build a dynamic bridge that enables design and implementation of technology solutions for a more equitable planet.
TechSoup and its worldwide network of partner organizations help Microsoft distribute its product donations to nonprofits across the world. This includes quickly and reliably verifying an organization’s nonprofit status. In addition, TechSoup helps nonprofit organizations access the technology resources and knowledge they need to leverage the donated or discounted products for maximum impact.
Eligible Nonprofits (You!)
Eligible nonprofits are those who meet the organization, mission, and anti-discrimination requirements set forth by Microsoft and TechSoup. You are a 501(3)(c) (or other local equivalent), that is not a hospital or school and complies with Microsoft’s anti-discrimination policy:
“Microsoft […] is committed to providing an inclusive environment that is welcoming and free from discrimination. Therefore, organizations are not eligible to participate in [nonprofit giving program] if they have a policy or mission of discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training or services, promotion, termination, and/or retirement based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, political affiliation, union membership, or veteran status. The only exception to this policy is for religious organizations that are exempt from laws that prohibit such discrimination.”
For more information on the eligibility requirements, click here. The program is available to nonprofit organizations of all sizes, and larger organizations going over $5,000 will have the first $5,000 billed to Microsoft and any additional fees paid by the nonprofit.
What is Being Offered?
The $5,000 credit is available for any cloud product published by Microsoft, providing access to 78+ workloads. The goal is to get nonprofits into the cloud, adding to its former set of donations and now providing both Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings, allowing your nonprofit to consume, host, and build in the cloud.
For more information on the services available to nonprofits, one of our earlier blogs covers the apps and tools available.
Where is this Available?
The $5,000 credit is available to nonprofits in 138 countries, excluding Yemen and China.
An additional note, the Azure servers will be localized to one of the 38 datacenters near your country, avoiding issues.
Why is Microsoft Offering This?
As mentioned earlier, philanthropy is part of Microsoft’s culture, as demonstrated by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and embraced by current CEO Satya Nadella.
When Will this be Available?
According to the blog, Bringing More Cloud Power to Serve Nonprofits, those who apply will be able to take advantage of the credit as soon as approved. Following the
However, the webcast mentions that nonprofit organizations should first develop a roadmap to implementation and to kick the tires on needed services with a free, 30-Day, $200-Value Trial Account.
How to Take Advantage of the Offer
The only way to officially receive the credit is to register directly with Microsoft at Microsoft.com/nonprofits.
Another note, “Developer” Azure Support is included. For substantial or significant mission critical workloads, it is highly recommended that organizations purchase a more advanced support plan.
Again, the webcast recommends that nonprofits develop a roadmap before signing onto any of the services to avoid spending money on superfluous tools, to calculate pricing to move current applications using Microsoft’s Assessment and Planning Toolkit or Azure calculator, and to get informed by reading this whitepaper on the total economic impact of Azure for nonprofits.