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Microsoft Donation Program — Eligibility and Allotments

Learn more about the Microsoft Software Donation Program's guidelines for eligibility, requesting software, and returning donations.

Organization Types Eligible for Microsoft Donations

Products offered through the Microsoft Donation Program are available to eligible nonprofits, charities, and to public libraries. Some types of nonprofits are not eligible, such as educational institutions, political organizations, healthcare networks, and nonpublic libraries. You can use our Eligibility Check to find out whether your organization might be eligible to receive donations from Microsoft.

Organizations that engage in discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training or services, promotion, termination, or retirement on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, political affiliation, union membership, or veteran status, other than as allowed by law, are not eligible to participate in this program. Organizations must be willing and able to attest that they do not discriminate on any of these grounds in order to receive products.

Special Rules for Public Libraries

Public libraries may request Microsoft products through this program for public access computers only. Donated software is available only for use on public access computers or computers used directly in the management of the public access computers or the library's public access program.

Participating libraries must also make their collection and basic services available to the population of their legal service area without charges to individual users (excluding incidental fees such as printing charges). If they choose to do so, libraries may impose charges on users outside the legal service area, and they may provide products and services (beyond basic services) to the public at large, with or without individual charges.


Quantity and Frequency of Microsoft Requests

Microsoft provides nonprofits, charities, and libraries with an allotment of product donations that can be requested per two-year cycle. Your organization's first donation request after July 27, 2011, marks the beginning of its recurring two-year cycle. Within a two-year cycle, each eligible nonprofit or public library may request

  • Up to 50 of each desktop or license-only product
  • Up to 25 of each server product that uses core-based licensing
  • Up to five server products that do not use core-based licensing; the five products can be the same product or a combination of different products

There is no limit to the number of times an organization can make a Microsoft donation request within the two-year cycle as long as they have not used up their full allotment. After two years, a new cycle begins, and the allotment is reset.

About the 50-Product Maximum for Desktop and License-Only Products

This limit applies to

  • Products that run on an individual computer (such as Office or Windows)
  • Client access licenses (CALs), management licenses (MLs), and other licenses that provide for connection to or management of a server application

The 50-product allotment usually allows an organization to install a particular type of product on up to 50 computers. However, organizations that run multiple Windows operating systems on a single computer generally can install only as many instances of the product as they have licenses. For more information, see the Product Use Rights section of Licensing Details for Microsoft Products.

About the 25-Product Maximum for Server Products That Use Core-Based Licensing

This limit applies to server products that use core-based licensing, such as Windows Server Standard or Datacenter.

About the Maximum Allotment of Server Products That Do Not Use Core-Based Licensing

An organization can request a maximum of five donated server products that do not use core-based licensing altogether within a two-year period. These five server products can all be the same product, or they can be any combination of different server products.

For example, an organization may request donations of one Windows Server Essentials product, two Exchange Server Standard products, and two SQL Server (Server/CAL) products during its two-year cycle. If the organization needs additional server products that do not use core-based licensing, it can place a request for any number of discounted products.

Some servers require MLs or CALs in order to work with their network of computers. CALs are separate items and have a 50-product maximum.

About the Two-Year Cycle

Your organization's Microsoft two-year donation cycle begins when your organization places its first request for Microsoft product donations. If your organization requested any Microsoft donations prior to July 27, 2011, its cycle was reset, and its new cycle began on the date of its first Microsoft donation request after July 27, 2011.

Your organization's cycle will run for two years from this initial start date. It will then be immediately reset and run for another two years, and so on. For example, if an organization's first cycle starts on October 12, 2017, its new cycle will begin at 12:00 a.m. Pacific time on October 12, 2019, at which point the organization has a new allotment.


Refunds and Returns

If you want to return or exchange the Microsoft donated products you've received, you will need to return all Microsoft products in the request and place a new request for the Microsoft items you want.

Since all Microsoft products are download-only, returns will be accepted only if none of the software has been installed and if you received the product no more than 60 days previously.

If you want to return or exchange your Microsoft software product, please contact TechSoup Customer Service.

The donation limits on your account will normally be reset within eight business days after a return is complete.

Note that products available through the Get Genuine Windows Agreement for Small and Medium Organizations have different policies than products available through the standard Microsoft Donation Program. Read more about Get Genuine products.