Changes to Microsoft software donation programme

Microsoft are ending their donation programme for on-premises licenses on 25 March 2022.  Charities using on-premise Microsoft software should take action before then to maximise donated licenses.

If your organisation uses on premise products such as Microsoft Windows Server, SQL Server and associated client access licenses you’ll probably have been using the Microsoft donation programme which offered software for a small administration fee.

Charity Digital administer the Microsoft donation programme in the UK and they are encouraging charities to “maximise your donated licenses until you’ve exhausted your cycle allowance”

Existing on-premise license agreements will be remain until they expire so if you intend to continue to use on-premise Microsoft software then following Charity Digital’s advice could help to delay the inevitable price increase. 

If you’re registered with charity digital you need to login to your account on and purchase the products you need.

In future on-premise products will be priced at commercial rates with discount for charities rather than donations.  This will likely lead to significant price increases. 

Microsoft Solution Provider, Endeavour IS have said that:  

The highest cost increase will be for organisations that have a high usage of on-premises Microsoft licensing running their internal systems, especially those that utilise technologies such as Windows Server, Remote Desktop and Microsoft SQL Server.  Once those types of licenses become non-compliant and need to be renewed, the pricing will increase anything from 3-5 times more compared to the current donation programme method and will have a real impact on ICT budgeting.

Office365 and Cloud licensing

Many organisations have shifted to cloud services such as Microsoft’s Office 365 and Dynamics 365.  The removal of the Microsoft donation programme for on-premises software does not directly impact on these but there are likely to be price changes on cloud products.   Endeavour IS recommend that organisations should review and monitor the licenses that are needed to manage and minimise costs. 

If you’re regularly managing your Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions then you should be able to tweak as needed however if it’s not something you regularly look at it can be challenging to work out what you need.   In that case you might be best speaking with an IT provider / Microsoft Solutions Partner.   

For more information and an FAQ check out Charity Digital’s article and advice from Endeavour IS

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