Office 365 for Nonprofits: Don’t Forget TechSoup

Written by Tim Haight

I'm VP of Technology Services for CGNET. I love to travel and do IT strategic planning.

April 21, 2014

Office 365 logoBy Tim Haight

Office 365 for Nonprofits is such a good deal that it’s possible to forget that you can pay more than you have to in some cases. In particular, I’m talking about getting Microsoft Project or Microsoft Visio. In a way, though, it applies more broadly.

You get so much in Office 365 for Nonprofits that you may forget that using your Office 365 subscription to add Project or Visio can cost you a lot. After all, you’ve just gotten Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Outlook, Lync and InfoPath downloads as part of your Enterprise E3 subscription for $4.50 per user per month. Plus, you have access to all of the online and tablet versions of those, as well. And Exchange, Lync and SharePoint Online!  But don’t assume that all this largesse extends directly to Project and Visio.

If you sign up for those apps within your Office 365 application, Project will cost you $25.00 per user per month, with an annual commitment, and Visio Pro will cost $13.00 per user per month, also with an annual commitment. These subscriptions will allow you to download the latest versions of Project 2013 and Visio Pro 2013. If you get the desktop Project and Visio Pro apps through TechSoup, a nonprofit that distributes software to nonprofits from many vendors, including Microsoft, you will pay a one-time price of $36.00 for a copy of Project and a one-time fee of $29.00 for Visio Pro. Assume, for purposes of comparison, that you commit to the subscriptions for the minimum annual commitment of one year. Buying the Project subscription would cost $300, compared to $36, and Visio Pro would cost $156, compared to $29.

Most savvy IT managers already know what a good deal TechSoup is, not only for these products but for lots and lots of others. And only the most nerdy among us may use Visio or Project as much as I do. The moral of this story, however, is not to trust the “Purchase Services” link inside your Office 365 administration center as the best way to get stuff, even if the rest of Office 365 is a tremendous deal. Don’t forget TechSoup.

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