A guide to Microsoft 365 for Charities

In the charities sector, resources are limited. When every penny counts, you need to use your IT budget wisely by spending it on the technology that maximises your efficiency without diverting money away from your core fundraising ambitions.

Microsoft 365 is an excellent choice for nonprofits, charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Staff skill levels in charities can vary widely, often influenced by leadership. The 2023 Charity Digital Skills Report found that 57% of the charities they asked reported that digital understanding and support from the board is low or could be improved.

Given this, it’s crucial to choose technology that is both accessible and familiar. Microsoft 365 is widely used and is easy to set up. It enables effective collaboration for organisations, primarily if they function remotely or across several sites, and it provides robust security for your sensitive donor and employee data.

With a wide-ranging suite of applications, Microsoft 365 will empower your charity with first-rate communication, collaboration, project management, planning and analytical tools. Right now, Microsoft is helping charities enhance their digital capabilities by offering free licenses, discounts and grants to registered charities, NGOs and nonprofits. Read on to find out about these offers and how to take advantage of them:


Features and pricing for Microsoft 365 for Charities

There are five different Microsoft 365 for charity plans.

For small and mid-sized organisations, there is a choice of three plans:

  • Basic: Microsoft 365 Business Basic is free for up to 300 users. The usual business price for this package is £4.90 per user per month, so this is an excellent saving for nonprofits. It comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Outlook, Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint.
  • Standard: Microsoft 365 Business Standard costs £2.50 per user per month and adds Access and Publisher to the Basic package.
  • Premium: Microsoft 365 Business Premium is free for up to 10 users and costs £ 4.50 per user per month. It adds Intune, Purview, and Defender for Business to the applications with Standard.

For larger nonprofits, there are two further Microsoft 365 plans:

  • E3: Microsoft 365 E3 is £8.30 per user per month and comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Outlook, Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint, Intune, Access and Publisher.
  • E5: Microsoft 365 E5 costs £21.00 per user per month and adds Purview to the applications with the E3 plan.

Here’s a comparison of the business and nonprofits pricing:




Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Free for up to 300 users


Microsoft 365 Business Standard



Microsoft 365 Business Premium



Microsoft 365 E3


£31.00 (no Teams)

Microsoft 365 E5


£50.30 (no Teams)


All monthly prices are per user, excluding VAT and requiring an annual commitment. Some applications differ between the business and non-profit plans.


Eligibility for Microsoft for nonprofits

To take advantage of the nonprofit pricing, your organisation needs to be one of the following:

  • A nonprofit or non-governmental organisation with recognised legal status. For the UK, this would be a registered charity or an HMRC-exempt charity or church;
  • A public library that provides free services to all those living in a certain area
  • A museum – whether publicly or privately owned – that is open to the public and which exhibits physical items with the aim of education, cultural preservation or simply for enjoyment purposes.

Your organisation must also aim to benefit the local community, and it must be non-discriminatory.

If you are unsure whether your organisation is eligible, you can check the full details on the Microsoft website.


How nonprofits can get started with Microsoft 365

Getting Microsoft 365 for charities is simple. Follow these four steps:

  1. Confirm your operation’s eligibility on the Microsoft website.
  2. A nominated individual from the organisation should then apply for an account. You will need to supply:
    1. Your organisation’s legal entity identifier (LEI). This is a 20-character alpha-numeric code – it is not your charity registration number;
    2. Your organisation’s physical address;
    3. Your organisation’s contact information.
  3. Microsoft will check your application. Validation is usually complete within 20 business days.
  4. Once you’re officially approved, speak to us at Texaport, and we will help you decide which options are right for your charity or nonprofit.


Key features and tools of Microsoft 365 for Charities

These are the key features and benefits of each of the leading Microsoft tools available when you secure Microsoft 365 licenses as a charity or nonprofit.

Communication: Outlook and Teams

Microsoft Outlook is an email and calendar application that helps you organise and prioritise your communications with donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders. With sharing functionality,  the calendar lets you schedule your meetings, events, and fundraising activities. Your staff can track to-do lists and project deadlines and manage their own and shared contacts.

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that integrates chat, video calling, and file storage. The chat and messaging features allow for instant communication between staff and volunteers, and file sharing gives staff access to important documents. You can easily meet with external providers and host webinars and virtual fundraisers using videoconferencing.

With Teams and Outlook, you’ll benefit from streamlined communications, improved responsiveness, smooth-running events and heightened team productivity. Information access and collaboration are easier and more efficient.


Collaboration: SharePoint and OneDrive

Microsoft SharePoint is a collaboration and document management platform that provides a central place for storing documents, files, and information. You can create multiple sites with pages and document libraries for different teams or fundraising projects. SharePoint has customisable workflows that allow you to automate processes such as document reviews and approvals.

Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud storage service. Files are stored securely, and individual files and whole folders can be shared with internal colleagues, external partners, and stakeholders. Documents synchronise across devices, allowing for remote working or access while on the move.

OneDrive and SharePoint simplify sharing for improved collaboration. Plus, with backup and synchronisation, there’s no risk of data loss.


Project Management: Planner

Microsoft Planner is a task management and project planning tool. It helps you organise your events and fundraising activities, allowing you to create and assign tasks within projects. Visual Kanban-style task boards allow you to track progress, set deadlines, and receive reminders to ensure you effectively manage your project deadlines.

Task management and project tracking are simpler and more efficient. With timely updates and reminders, you’ll stay on track, and through visual planning, you can monitor progress and identify bottlenecks.


Fundraising and Management: Excel and Power BI

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application that helps analyse and manage data. Your fundraising teams can track donations and budgets, while finance and accounting teams can prepare financial statements and perform more sophisticated budgetary, cash flow and expense analyses.

Functions and formulas are easy to use and set up, helping you perform complex calculations and data analysis. Charts and graphs help you visualise campaign performance and track fundraising trends.

Microsoft PowerBI is a business analytics tool that provides interactive data visualisation and reporting. You can create dynamic dashboards and custom reports that allow you to monitor key metrics, even bringing in data from multiple sources for a comprehensive oversight of your operation and its performance against KPIs.

With your financial information and campaign data organised and visualised, you’ll gain a better understanding of how your charity is performing. Metrics can be tracked in real-time, informing your decision-making and guiding your strategies and tactics.


Training and resources for Microsoft for nonprofits

Microsoft provides several resources to help your staff to get up to speed with its applications.

On-demand training

On-demand training is available to access at any time from any internet-enabled device. There are free courses for all the major applications, plus more general training, such as for improving project management or data analysis skills. These will help your teams to enhance their skills and become more accomplished users of Microsoft 365 software.


Microsoft Digital Skills Centre

The Microsoft Digital Skills Centre includes paid courses offered in conjunction with a third party. This self-paced training also helps staff and volunteers maximise their understanding of key Microsoft 365 technology tools.


Nonprofit community

Microsoft provides an online nonprofit community as a resource where charities can connect, learn and share best practices and tips. There are discussion boards, blog posts and events listings. Plus there is a range of group hubs, dedicated to a different nonprofit sector.


Case studies

Texaport has been helping charities and nonprofits benefit from Microsoft 365, enhancing collaboration, improving data security and streamlining day-to-day operations.


For our client VOCAL, we implemented Microsoft 365 services to make it easier for the charity to help unpaid carers access support and services to help them live full and enjoyable lives. We moved the organisation’s data, files, and business applications to SharePoint so that its 50 employees and 60 volunteers can easily access everything they need from anywhere.

We also implemented Teams as a unified communication hub that allows staff to make and receive calls on their company devices and headsets, whether they are working in the office or remotely.


Hey Girls

Hey Girls is a social enterprise that tackles period poverty by donating sanitary products to women on low incomes.

We implemented Microsoft 365 to standardise the organisation’s outdated and unsupported Microsoft applications, which were causing performance and compatibility issues. Using Teams and shared Outlook mailboxes, Hey Girls can now communicate more readily and with a more consistent approach.



It’s clear that Microsoft 365 offers a comprehensive suite of tools for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of charitable organisations. From streamlining communications and enhancing collaboration to facilitating project management and boosting fundraising activities, Microsoft 365 provides the digital infrastructure that will support and grow your charity in achieving its mission.

If you're ready to maximise your efficiency, the free and discounted licenses for Microsoft 365 for charities will ensure that your IT budget is wisely spent.

Contact one of our consultants today and we'll be happy to guide you through the setup process and talk you through your options so that your charity will soon be operating more smoothly, collaborating more effectively and ultimately making a greater impact on the community you serve.

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