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OFFER UPDATE: Nonprofit EMS E3 donation offer

The EMS 50 seat donation offer has been retired as of September 1, 2019. Please see the following guidance for managing different nonprofit customer scenarios.


Scenario 1: Existing EMS customer who has provisioned EMS 50 donated seats prior to September 1, 2019.

Customers who have provisioned EMS donated seats prior to September 1, 2019 can continue to use up to 50 donated seats, in perpetuity. These customers are not impacted by the September 1, 2019 retirement.


Scenario 2: New customers who do not have EMS 50 seat donation in their tenancy.

For customers who want to leverage a donated security offer, the Microsoft 365 Business for Nonprofits offer provides up to 10 free seats. The offer brings together both productivity of Office 365 and security workloads. This is a great way to demonstrate the advanced productivity and security features for the Modern Workplace. To download the M365 Business Partner Readiness and Sales Plays, please visit aka.ms/m365Nonprofit.


Please note, aka.ms/m365Nonprofit is a gated group so you'll be required to join / sign in (top right corner of the browser) in order to access the content.

Visitor 1

This is really poor Microsoft, why take away something that is intended for non profits and replace it with a product that only gives 10 free seats. The only other benefit with Microsoft 365 is the windows 10 upgrade which most people dont need anymore.


Clearly all about the money again, I find it hard to belive that Microsoft are short of money. This is a massive kick to the teeth for all charities.




I completely hear your frustration. When taken in isolation, it can seem that these offers are simply being reduced or removed. The reality is that majority of nonprofits around the world each have less than 10 employees. These are often local community organizations on the frontlines of saving lives, providing critical education support in underserved communities, protecting the environment and wildlife, delivering meals to those who need it most, and so many other critical missions.


Small nonprofits are at the greatest risk of being left behind in the digital world. Their size, funding and infrastructure do not always accommodate purchasing the latest technology, training their employees on how to use it, employing designated IT staff, or investing in resources to keep their organization secure. In fact, a study from Microsoft found that 60 percent of nonprofits report having no organizational digital policy to manage cybersecurity risk, and 74 percent do not take critical security steps to ensure email accounts are not compromised. Due to limited capacity, outdated solutions are often deployed that offer limited security, leaving small nonprofits — and their beneficiary and donor data — vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks from hackers who see them as an easy mark. The consequences of this are real: If nonprofits don’t have cybersecurity practices in place, their data is at risk, especially for nonprofits based in high-risk areas where factors such as war and geo-politics are at play.


As a result, many small nonprofits are missing out on modern collaboration tools and operational efficiencies in the cloud that can create greater value. For smaller nonprofits to make the greatest impact on their missions, they must have easy access to technology and the ability to effectively utilize it. These smaller nonprofits were not accessing the EMS donation but they are now accessing M365 Business donation and benefiting from its integrated security capabilities. Hopefully you know some of these small charities that could benefit from Microsoft 365 Business and you can help them to get access. Meanwhile larger nonprofits can still make use of discounted EMS licencing to secure their environment.

Microsoft Philanthropies has donated millions in products and helped nonprofits further by providing substantially discounted products. All profits made from the nonprofit discounted licences goes back into funding additional support and donations, or other Philanthropic investments that benefit societal impact within the nonprofit sector (e.g. AI for Humanitarian Impact).

Level 1 Contributor



Can you tranfer a tenant who has 50 free and have them keep their free seats? Or would the free seats be lost?


Hi Marie,


When you say "transfer" can you expand on what you mean by that please?

The EMS E3 donation SKU is no longer listed in the CSP pricelist so you wouldn't be able to procure it against a tenant that isn't already using it.

Level 1 Contributor

Our client has their tenant with a Microsoft authorized distributor. We are transfering their tenant to another Microsoft autorized distributors who we do business with so we can manage the account. Currently, they fall under your statement made in this thread "Please note, any existing customers already using the 50 free EMS seats can continue to use them, as long as the license was procured prior to 9/1"


We want to know does the 50 free EMS seats our client procure prior to September 1st will stay with the client when transfeing the tenant to another Microsoft distributor. 




@MarieGFrom a technical perspective the tenant is not transferred, the tenant will stay as it is. The new distributor will establish a new, additional CSP reseller relationship. Then the old distributor can remove licenses he provisioned and remove the reseller relationship if he wants to and/or if the customer requested/agreed for this - if he does this the offer would not be available for provisioning by the new distributor.

Both distributors can have relationships to the same customer (tenant) and each provision their own licenses.


Kind regards,
Get consultations form Technical Presales & Deployment services team via https://aka.ms/technicalservices
Visitor 1

So what happened here was that first Microsoft gave the nonprofits $5,000 to use towards Azure services, and then subsequently reduced the sponsorship to $3,500 and gave 50 EMS E3 licenses, and now they have gone back again and reduced the benefits again to only 10, what is next?  What is the point of giving this and then taking it away?  As I see it, it is to lure in donation dependant nonprofits to use the services, and then take it away after they have invested hundreds of man hours to get it configured, which is by far the worst business practise out there.  I hope this changes soon, as there are other (AWS, Google, etc.) who want the nonprofits to be able to provide services to their respective communities without having to go through this.


Hi Louis,
I completely hear your frustration. When taken in isolation, it can seem that these offers are simply being reduced or removed. However, in order to serve our nonprofit customers most effectively, we're streamlining the solutions i.e. M365 Business offer so the customer benefits from all the features available as part of the offering.

Please note, any existing customers already using the 50 free EMS seats can continue to use them, as long as the license was procured prior to 9/1.

On tomorrow's community call (you can download the ics file at aka.ms/SocialImpactCommunityCall) we will be providing a more detailed update on both points you raised. We'd love for you to join us if you can make it.


Visitor 1

I think Louis, and the rest of us, understand that nonprofits who are already signed up for the EMS donation will get to keep the licenses. The concern is that in a few short years, Micro$oft's touted yearly $5,000 Azure credit donation has dwindled first to $3,500 Azure credits + $1,500 EMS E3 licenses, and then to $3,500 Azure credits + $600 M365 licenses ($5.00 license [NPO price] x 10 licenses x 12 months).
What really stings is those of us that brought on new nonprofit clients with the promise of making remote access cheaper and more secure with the free EMS E3 licenes they weren't yet signed up for, only to find out we couldn't sign them up! This annoucement was too little too late and the first that I could find after several searches.
If Micro$oft is going to rescind potential donations to nonprofits in the future, at least make an annoucement ahead of time.


Hi Amos (and everyone else),


We definitely hear you on that. And we (the Tech for Social Impact Team) will do our best to bring you updates as soon as we possible can.

Be sure to check this Community space (the forums and the group) regularly to make sure you get the latest notifications. Or you can subscribe to make it even easier to find out first!


Thanks for sharing your feedback. You're helping shape this community so it serves you in the best possible way.