Microsoft offer Office 365 E1 as a donation to non-profit organisations and is well known. Exchange Online is a popular feature of Office 365. Running your own e-mail system in 2018 is a chore. The service limits are way and above what most people need.
What is less well known is that there’s an opportunity to benefit from $5000 USD of Azure credits per year for non-profits, too.
This can be enjoyed by following this URL and applying for the credit;
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/nonprofits/azure and go forward from “Azure plans and pricing”.
You will be asked what your tenant ID and Microsoft will add a subscription to your account which can be monitored by visiting http://microsoftazuresponsorships.com
This is all brilliant and empowering. But I offer a word of caution. Beware that not all services can move subscriptions.
It’s a little like in the old days, you called a test Human Resources application server
hr-test.company.internal for example, both as it’s hostname and it’s hypervisor name.
Then some combination of events end up with the system going live and you’re looking at a box with “test” burnt into the name. It makes you sad, it confuses contract staff and is an all round fail.
What I’m getting at is that you’re likely to test some services and perhaps even make them live. But at some point you will probably start running out of that $5000 USD and have to move the resources onto a different subscription to allow them to contine functioning. Beware of creating services that aren’t able to be moved to a subscription that you can’t maintain or re-hydrate with funds.
I’m feeding back to our Microsoft account manager this week to suggest a different model for the donation. One where MS ask for an existing subscription like a credit card Pay-As-You-Go subscription or an EA subscription. Then, at least, there’s a parallel billing mechanism that you can support the resources allocated to that subscription.