New Church Plant Office365 Non-Profit Validation Process

We are helping a new church plant that our main church is supporting. One topic that I don’t know the best process for it setting them up for a Office365 Nonprofit when they are just getting started.

They are already purchasing the domain name that they want, but is it best to let them wait thru the validation process with TechSoup/Microsoft to begin using their new domain name email and just use a personal Gmail for conducting business until then?

One used to be able to use a trial until the approval went through, but I haven’t been through the process recently.

I did see older references to that on TechSoup’s site, but have not been able to find anything on it being still a viable option. At least if it exists the link is not easily found on Microsoft’s Office 365 Nonprofit page anymore.

I know of a person who recently bounced a newly established non-profit through various trial SKUs for almost a year while waiting on their 501c3 paperwork. Start with the standard trial, extend it for another 30 days, then try an E3 trial for 30 days and then extend that for 30 days, then try E5… you get the idea. There’s more than enough SKUs to keep you running for a bit.

I just did one for a missions organization a few weeks ago. Sometimes they are really on the ball and you get confirmation within a week here. One thing that Techsoup looks for is having a website up on the same domain, Techsoup will glance sideways when you don’t have a website or the website is using a different domain than the email (I know, it’s weird, but there are some organizations out there that insist on doing that). Definitely don’t use anything to contact Techsoup other than an email address using their registered domain. Granted, this was APAC Techsoup and the organization has a Singapore nonprofit status so it will be interesting to see how long it takes in the USA. :man_shrugging:

And yes, you can still start off with a trial within the tenant and you can cycle through all the various M365 and O365 products if it really did run into a snag.

UPDATE: Last week (November 2019), an IT service provider I know in the USA made application on behalf of a synagogue and it only took 2 days to get verified. It took longer to convince the Rabbi that they were eligible for donations than it took to get verified for the donations. I’m pretty sure that anybody that goes longer than 4 weeks is an outlier rather than the norm.