27 July 2021

Microsoft 365 donated licence policy change

Is your organisation a not-for-profit who has Microsoft 365 or Office 365 donated licences?

Techsoup is letting their technology community know that a recent policy change means that Microsoft now requires organisations to have at least 85 percent of free/donated licences in active use.

"Active use" means that licences are assinged to individuals within your organisation, and that those individuals have used at least one Microsoft cloud service in the last 90 days.

These cloud services include: Exchange Online, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft 365 Apps.

Note: the use of perpetually licenced Office apps such as Office Standard or Office Professional does not factor into active usage metrics. 

What does this all mean for you?

Here's an example: If you have 20 donated licenses, you need to assign at least 17 of them to individuals within your organisation. Those 17 individuals have to have used at least one Microsoft 365 or Office 365 cloud service within the last 90 days.

If you have not met this 85 percent minimum usage threshold, you may lose all your donated Microsoft cloud licenses, whether or not they're in use. Paid licenses would not be affected.

Assign and Use Your Licenses as Soon as Possible

If you haven't already, you need to assign your donated licenses to individuals within your organisation and begin using them immediately. For new subscriptions, quickly activate and start using the licenses.

If you have more licenses than you need, you may also adjust your Office 365 or Microsoft 365 subscription and reduce the number of licenses that you hold.

To assign your donated licenses to staff members, or to remove users, follow these instructions or watch this guided simulation. To learn more, see Microsoft's donated licenses FAQ sheet (PDF).

Techsoup offers support if you have questions and need to assign or use licences - accountmanager@techsoup.net.nz or phone 09 8870 291.

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