Microsoft offers new incentives and products to help nonprofits accelerate their tech journey. This gives CSPs the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a highly rewarding, but long-neglected, industry.
What is Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact initiative?
Tech for Social Impact is a key part of Microsoft Philanthropies, the business’s charitable wing. It provides technology grants and discounts to nonprofit organisations all over the world.
To help nonprofits harness the potential of technology to transform productivity and collaboration, ensure greater flexibility and scale, improve efficiency and protect the security and privacy of donor and program participant data.
Or to put it another way: They want to give nonprofits the same opportunities and power offered by tech that the corporate sector has enjoyed for years.
To meet this goal, they’ve given out $2.5bn in tech grants in the last year. And now they’re ready to scale things up into the cloud.
From April 2022, they’re launching a cloud-first grant programme. These new grants span the full portfolio of Microsoft cloud solutions, including:
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium
- Power Platform
- Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise
- All Microsoft Azure solutions and services
They’re also simplifying their licensing options, offering eligible registered nonprofits up to 50 granted licenses with the option to purchase additional licenses at a discount through Microsoft partners.
Things are looking bright for nonprofits in 2022. But Microsoft knows that to turn their philanthropic vision into a reality, they need more partners to get involved.
What’s in it for CSPs?
There’s a view among some partners that the market is getting saturated. Most of the new business being acquired has been stolen from a competitor. This is because so many CSPs focus on the high value corporate and commercial sectors.
Microsoft is trying to help change the perception of the cash-strapped nonprofit to make them a profitable and rewarding customer for partners.
But it’s not all spin – the nonprofit market presents a huge opportunity:
In the US alone, nonprofits annually invest $37bn in software and $5bn in business applications and fundraising. And for every large international nonprofit (with annual expenses of $5bn+), there are thousands of smaller, grassroots organisations.
Nonprofits benefit just as much from digital transformation as any other organisation. For example, digitally mature charities are 28% more likely to report an increase in funding than those that aren’t.
The old perception was that, for a CSP, there’s no money in nonprofits because they have no budget and don’t want to invest. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The benefits of tech to improve service delivery and fundraising efforts are clear for all to see. And it’s naïve to think that just because nonprofit’s focus on their end-user, not their bottom line, they don’t want to invest in themselves.
But now, Microsoft has made the question of cost much easier.
To help partners tap into this opportunity, Microsoft has put together a variety of resources and support. Over the last 12 months, Microsoft launched unique cloud offerings for nonprofits and other industries to provide specialised capabilities for partners. And during Microsoft Inspire 2021, they announced new changes for partner offers and incentives for those working in those industries.
Nonprofits have the same challenges as everyone else
We’re proud to say that we’ve worked with several nonprofit organisations as a CSP. In our experience, nonprofits have the same challenges as any other organisation. We’ve found that they often lack:
- Technical knowledge
- Digital strategies
- In-house IT capacity
- Cloud-ready applications
These challenges are common across all industries, so the average CSP should have no trouble working with a nonprofit.
In smaller nonprofits, we’ve found that the IT department is often just one person with a background in tech. So, if they really want to drive digital transformation in earnest, they need the support of a dedicated partner who can guide their vision and manage the day-to-day.
Take advantage of Tech for Social Impact
In our experience as a CSP, when Microsoft turn their hand (and their wallet) to a venture or industry, partners should take notice. But making the decision to jump into a new market can be daunting. Fortunately, with the right Indirect partner, you can build new products and a Go-to-Market strategy that can bring you long-term success.
The door has never been open wider for CSPs willing to step through and support nonprofits in their digital transformation. And it’s not just a great business opportunity – it’s a chance to make the world a better place.