M365 Donation Licenses

Hi Everybody,

This is just a quick note that you should be able to activate 10 donation licenses of M365 Business in your nonprofit O365/Azure tenant if you have not done so already. This is alongside your unlimited O365 E1/300 Business Essentials donations and 50 EMS E3 donations. As with other donation licenses, they are usable by staff members or lay leaders (like elders/deacons). M365 basically includes O365 Business Premium, most of the EMS E3 features, O365 ATP, and Windows 10 Business (which upgrades any version of Windows Pro from 7 through 10 to kind of an “Win 10 Enterprise lite” state). This is a real boon to the small churches out there, so be sure to pass the word around. :wink:


The language about the 50 EM+S E3 seems to be disappearing. We are currently unsure if the 10 free M365 Business are replacing that benefit, or if they are just making a bigger deal about the M365 seats. Since the M365 SKU is the future direction for MS it would not surprise me if they are replacing it.

Thanks for the heads up! We’re happily using several of Microsoft’s donations, but I missed hearing about this one. I just updated my licenses and this should save us a few bucks!

Yeah, I’ve been wondering about that one myself given the overlap that O365 E1 + EMS E3 provides; then again, the EMS E3 donations were always a bit low key in that they used to come with the Azure benefit (back when the Azure benefit itself was reduced). I’m hedging that they won’t remove it as a donation benefit, but, given it’s quite a technical product, aren’t going to push it and rather leave it for those who know what it is and how to use it. Hopefully they leave it around because it’s great for pulling elders/board members/deacons/lay leaders into the tenant to work with PII and doing DLP, but time will tell. :man_shrugging:

This is good news, however I am very unfamiliar with Microsoft’s portals. Can you point me to some detailed instructions on how to go through this process? I am always in our Azure portal, but am much less familiar with the Office Portal. Once I get into the portal, how would I go about claiming/activating these licenses?

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There are a couple ways to do it:

  1. If you have a relationship with a Microsoft CSP partner, they can now deploy donations for you much as they would deploy other subscriptions they handle for an organization.

  2. Go to portal.office.com and into the admin section as you usually would to deal with O365 configuration. From there go to Billing → Purchase Services. From there you can browse through the various stuff available for nonprofits.

As an aside, if you haven’t already, log into nonprofit.microsoft.com to enable the azure benefits (which do still include EMS E3 as well).

So, just a quick follow up, curiosity got the better of me and it appears that you can end up with 10 licenses through the portal AND 10 deployed via CSP partner. One of my church clients is sitting on 20 M365 donations. I’m shooting an email off to my distributor to see if that’s legitimate and working as intended or if it’s an exploit and falls outside licensing. :thinking:

EDIT: My CSP distributor’s licensing team went off and did their licensing compliance thing. They confirmed that you can get 10 licenses donated direct and 10 via your CSP partner and have all 20 be legitimately licensed. Pretty cool.

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I hear InTune is included now also. Anyone using that? How do we subscribe for that?

I used it back in the day, but dropped off when it started getting expensive. I’d like to look into it again.

Yes, InTune is also included. I started using it a few months ago to manage a couple of iPads and a couple of PCs.

I don’t exactly remember how I subscribed to it, but I think I just configured it from the Azure portal. There’s an InTune category under “All Services.”

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Oh man, you mean just open the management console and it’s there. Why didn’t I try that?

I think I’m in. Thank you, kind stranger! I’ll have a go at this. Is the classic management console still available, or is it all done through the Azure portal now?

EDIT: REMOVED: Thanks, and yeah, when I click on that it just takes me to a “Sign up” page, but it wants me to sign up for Azure. I already have it, so when I try to “sign up” it logs me back into the Azure portal. eye roll

I’ll take another swing at it. I had to open a support ticket last time I wanted to add a service. :man_shrugging:

So I was planning on adding Office 365 Pro Plus (Nonprofit Staff Pricing) to our users next year to add full Office products. If I get the 10 free business, can I still add Pro Plus to remaining users to get them Office as well?

Yes, you can mix and match your licensing so that you can deploy M365 Business to some users and also have other users on O365 E1 + EMS E3 + a discount purchased Pro Plus license. Technically, you can apply EMS E3/E5 and/or O365 E1/3/5 on top of M365 Business as well. It’s all quite flexible.

Intune is part of EMS or M365 licences, have you got those assigned to any users in the tenant?

If you register with www.techsoup.org or www.charitydigitalexchange.org, you can get access to virtually all Microsoft products in their donation programme. There are a lot of other software vendors also supporting charitable sector organisations in the same way that are likewise accessible via these web sites.

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Isaac, thanks for the follow up. We are currently G-Suite Users for
productivity products, but with our non-profit sponsorship credit I would
like to explore what we can do with Microsoft. However it is a little
daunting, even for an IT pro on what all these options mean. I appreciate
your help.

Hey Paul, there’s an M365 self-paced lab that helps a little bit. If I remember right, it does assume you’re using system center at points so you may want to skip any of that you run into:

But really, the M365 setup wizard will take you pretty far; I’ve found a couple of the default settings not to my or the end-user liking, so you’ll want to set it up and fire up a virtual machine until you get the Intune settings right (especially if you get into autopilot). A lot of the rest is setting your conditional access policies (start with the templated ones, especially MFA enforcement and blocking legacy authentication), adding a few key flow rules to exchange, then poking through the secure score to look for recommendations you might have missed.