Run a Charity? Get Office 365 for Free

There are thousands of email platforms out there, some better than others, but one that consistently comes out on top is Microsoft’s Office 365 email hosting. Given the number of variations and different contextual uses of the phrase ‘Office 365’ you’d be forgiven for not knowing what it is, so to simplify things we’ll summarise:

  • Office 365 is platform that covers the Microsoft Office software suite (Word, Excel, Outlook etc) as well as offers cloud-based email hosting (based on Microsoft Exchange)
  • Office 365 comes in two main varieties, ‘Home’ and ‘Business’
  • Home is generally quite similar to Business, but generally speaking only Business contains Microsoft Outlook
  • Although called ‘Business’, it may be easier to think of this as ‘Non-home’, as it’s not strictly just for businesses
  • Office 365 is subscription-based, so you pay a cost each month based on the number of users you have
  • You can use Office 365 to provide your Office software, your email hosting, or both
  • If you use Office 365 to download your Microsoft Office software you will get the latest version (Office 2016) and always be able to upgrade to the latest version whenever it is available
  • If you use Office 365 purely for email hosting you can use most modern email software (known as a client), including Office 2010/2013, Mozilla Thunderbird and Airmail

If you are looking to use Office 365 as a non-home user, chances are you will need one of three editions:

  • Office 365 Business – this provides the latest version of the Microsoft Office software suite but no email hosting (£3.80 per month per user)
  • Office 365 Business Essentials – this includes email hosting (as well as OneDrive) but not the Microsoft Office software suite (£7.90 per month per user)
  • Office 365 Business Premium – this includes both the Microsoft Office software suite as well as email hosting (and OneDrive) (£9.40 per month per user)

If you own, run or work for a charity, you may be interested to know that Microsoft offer a very generous discount for non-profit organisations (up to a maximum of 300 users). They offer the non-profit version of Office 365 Business Essentials (known as ‘Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials’) completely free of charge, and offer the non-profit version of Office 365 Business Premium (known as ‘Office 365 Nonprofit Business Premium’) at a substantial discount (£2.30 per month per user).

Offering 50GB mailbox storage, industry-leading deliverability rates (i.e. not being marked as spam) and 99.9% update, Office 365 is easily one of the best email platforms in the world. The per-user pricing structure can get expensive for some organisations, so for some businesses it isn’t the right model. However, for charities eligible for Office 365 Nonprofit Business Essentials, it offers the best of both worlds and may even reduce your current email hosting cost.

If you are interested in migrating to Office 365, we can carry out the entire process for you with no email downtime, and fully transferring of all your current emails to the Office 365 platform. We can take care of all the domain updates for you, and going forward you will be able to manage your own users/permissions in-house.

If you would like further information on moving to Office 365, whether as a non-profit or a for-profit organisation, please get in touch.