Important Changes to the Microsoft Software Donation Program on BigTech as of April 1, 2018

posted  by Anonymous -  Thu, 22/02/2018 - 12:52  

The following changes to this program will come into effect as of April 1, 2018. Please review these changes so that you can incorporate them into your technology planning. These changes allow Microsoft and NASSCOM Foundation to continue to provide nonprofits with the technology they need to achieve their missions.

What Will Change?

o    Certain on-premises software products from Microsoft will no longer be available through NASSCOM Foundation’s BigTech program as donated products. However, these products will soon be available through BigTech as discounted products for eligible nonprofits and libraries.

o    Eligible organizations will no longer be limited to requesting donated products from a maximum of 10 title groups during their two-year cycle. Instead, organizations will be able to simply request up to 50 of each donated product and up to 5 donated server products that don't use core-based licensing per two-year cycle.

What Won’t Change?

o    The most popular on-premises software products from Microsoft will still be available as donated products to eligible nonprofits and libraries.

o    Request limits for donated products will still be reset every two years.

o    All other program rules, eligibility, and restrictions will remained the same.

 For more information, see the Microsoft Software Donation and Discount Program – Eligibility, Allotments, and Returns page.

For questions and feedback, please contact us at 

tags:  Microsoft

Excel 2013: Create Professional-Looking Spreadsheets, Faster

posted  Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:15  
Ginny Mies
Written on: 
March 12, 2013

Whether you're a novice or an advanced user, you'll find many of Excel 2013's new features useful at your nonprofit, foundation, charity, or library. The changes between Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 are subtle, so your staff should have no problem transitioning into the new version. Most of Excel 2013's updates are designed to make crunching numbers and analyzing data faster and easier.

Eligible nonprofits, charities, foundations, and libraries can now request Office Standard and Professional editions through the Microsoft Software Donation Program at TechSoup. To learn more about the new Office, read TechSoup's Microsoft Office: What Your Organization Should Know.

Updated Look

Like the rest of the new Office suite, Excel 2013 has undergone a light, minimalist makeover. With less clutter, it is easier to find the menus and tools you need to get started on your projects. If you're working in a spreadsheet for a long period of time, your eyes can sometimes get fatigued from looking at endless columns of data. Excel relieves this with subtle animations that make it easier to track your cursor between cells.

When you start up Excel, you'll see a new landing page with your most recently opened projects as well as a variety of templates to choose from (you'll find similar landing pages in other programs in the new Office). If you aren't sure how to format a fundraiser budget or where to start to make a volunteer calendar, Excel's expansive library of templates can get you started on the right track.

Built to Help You Save Time

Flash Fill is a handy new feature that can help you reformat and rearrange your data. Excel will learn and remember your data entry patterns and auto-complete the remaining data with no formulas or macros required. One way Flash Fill can be of assistance is if you have to import a large chunk of data into another spreadsheet.

Flash Fill can predict your data entry — before you type it.

For example, say you need to copy and paste volunteer names into a spreadsheet from a list. You prefer to have the last name and first name in separate cells, however, so you can list the volunteers alphabetically. When you start typing the last names into a separate column, Excel will recognize this pattern and automatically fill in the rest of the data. To see Flash Fill in action, watch a replay of our webinar Take a Tour of the New Microsoft Office, which includes a demo of this feature.

Visualize Your Data

A number of new, useful tools will appeal to Excel novices and advanced users alike. The new Quick Analysis function helps you convert your data into a chart, table, or Sparklines (small graphs that you can show alongside your data. See our article on How to Use Sparklines in Excel 2010 to see examples.) To do this, you select the cells you wish to analyze and click the Quick Analysis button that appears to the bottom right. You can preview different visual formats for your data (like a pie chart, bar graph, and so on) so you can swiftly choose the best format.


Excel's Recommend Chart feature helps you pick the best format for your data.

If you already know that you want a chart to illustrate your data, you can jump to the Recommended Charts tool by selecting it from the Insert tab on the Ribbon (click Insert > Recommended Charts). You'll see different charting options that might work for your project, such as pie, line, and bar charts.

A small, but useful enhancement in Excel 2013 is chart animation. When you adjust data associated with a chart, Excel will animate the change to show how the new numbers affect the overall graphic.

The Recommended Chart feature can help you discover new ways of visually presenting your data.

Recommended PivotTable is another new feature you'll find under the Insert tab. The PivotTable feature lets you create an interactive table that automatically extracts, organizes, and summarizes your data (for more on Pivot Tables in Excel 2010, read TechSoup Canada's Data Analysis Is for Everyone! A Short Intro to Pivot Tables). When you select a group of cells, you can see a preview of how your data would look in a variety of tables using different pivots.

Sharing and Collaboration

As with the rest of the new Office suite, it is easier to share and collaborate in Excel with your colleagues. Your workbooks are saved to SkyDrive (Microsoft's cloud-based storage service) or SharePoint by default. SkyDrive will even save your place in a spreadsheet so when you come back it, you'll be in the cell you were previously working on — even if you're accessing it from a different device. You can also save workbooks to your computer if you prefer to save files locally. Want to share a particularly interesting chart or graph with your audience? Excel 2013 lets you share selected portions of your spreadsheets on your social networking pages directly from the application.

You can also show off your charts in a PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint 2013 lets you insert Excel charts (as well as tables and graphs) into a slide without losing any of their formatting or functionality.


The new features in Excel 2013 can help anybody create professional-looking charts, spreadsheets, and tables — regardless of their skill level. If your staff is already comfortable working in earlier versions of Excel, they should have no trouble getting started. 

Microsoft Office: What Your Organization Should Know

posted  Thu, 07/02/2013 - 16:53  
Written on: 
February 7, 2013

Microsoft Office 2013 is an overall improvement from previous versions, with new features and a refreshed user interface. The productivity suite has also been optimized for touchscreen devices, such as tablets and all-in-one PCs with touch monitors. Eligible nonprofits, charities and public libraries can now request donated Office software through TechSoup (for more information on how TechSoup’s Microsoft donations work, see our Overview of the Microsoft Donation Program .

There are many new features sprinkled across the software within the Office suite. While it would be nearly impossible to list all of the changes, we'll address those that are most useful to nonprofits, charities and libraries. Additional articles in this series will go into more depth about specific programs within Office.

Working with Windows 8 and SkyDrive

The latest version of Office 2013 clean and optimized-for-touchscreens design complements Windows 8. Like the Windows 8 Start screen, Office has a minimalist, flat look with bolder text and fewer buttons and icons. The redesign reduces the extra flourishes in favor of improving your ability to focus on the task—or tasks—at hand.

Office 2013 is also compatible with all versions of Windows 7, but it will not run on any versions of Windows Vista or XP. Organizations running these older versions of Windows might consider upgrading to a newer version of Windows to run the latest software. For more information on Windows 8, see TechSoup's Should You Upgrade to Windows 8?

Microsoft's cloud service, SkyDrive, is integrated throughout the Office  suite. When you install Office, you will be prompted to type in your Microsoft account information, which is linked with your SkyDrive account. You will then be able to upload files to your SkyDrive web account directly from Office. SkyDrive is now the default location for saving new files, but you can easily change that to save to whichever location you prefer: locally, to an external drive, or to a network drive. 

When you activate Office, you will be asked to link it to your Microsoft account

Working across multiple devices is much easier with Office and SkyDrive integration. After saving to SkyDrive, you can access your documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other Office files from different PCs, or from your Windows Phone or tablet. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint will also save in the last location where you were working before you saved. For example, if you are working in a spreadsheet cell and need to close Excel to work on another project, the program will save your place in that cell. Your bookmarked place will even be synced across devices, whether you return to a file on your PC, Windows Phone, or tablet. The SkyDrive app is available for iOS and Android devices, so you can also open files across different platforms. 


In terms of appearance,  Microsoft Word 2013 is not radically different from word 2010. The text and icons are a bit larger and spaced farther apart, resulting in an easier-to-read, more modern interface. Word  also feels much faster and smoother when you're scrolling through a document and while typing. 

When you start Word, you're greeted with a new landing page that shows your most recent documents, various templates, and the option to open a blank, new document. The Ribbon, introduced in Office 2010, is still present, but you can minimize it to increase your workspace. There's also a new tab on the Ribbon, the Design tab, which incorporates formatting and page background tools as well as new themes and templates. 

Word  is much more flexible when it comes to embedding different types of media into documents. For example, you can now embed videos directly into Word documents and play them. Photos from your organization's Facebook and Flickr accounts can also be inserted into documents from Word without leaving the application. The new alignment guides (tools that pop up when you click on a piece of media) make it easy to quickly position your images or video with your text.
Alignment Guides in Word help you format images more easily
One of the most useful new additions is the ability to edit PDF files in Word. In past versions of Office, you could save a Word document as a PDF file, but you couldn't edit PDFs without converting them first. Now, you can simply open up a PDF in Word and start editing right away, without losing any of the PDF file’s formatting and structure.
Word also has a few features that can help you more easily coordinate workflow among your staff. If you need to work on a document collaboratively with a group of people, for example, you can save it on SkyDrive or SharePoint and then send everyone a link to the same file along with their viewing and editing permissions.


Like Word, Excel 2013 has undergone a light, minimalist makeover. There are a number of new useful tools that will appeal to Excel novices and advanced users alike. Recommended Charts can help you wade through the many charting options Excel provides. If you select your data and click Insert > Recommended Chart, Excel will call up different charting options that might work for your project, such as pie, line, and bar charts.

Excel's Recommend Chart feature helps you pick the best format for your data.
Fast Fill is a handy new feature that can help you reformat and rearrange your data. Excel will learn and remember your data entry patterns and auto-complete the remaining data with no formulas or macros required. For example, if you're entering volunteer phone numbers and formatting them in a certain way, Excel's Flash Fill will recognize the pattern and format them for you.
Another useful tool for novices and advanced Excel users alike is the Recommended Pivot Table feature. When you select a group of cells, you can see a preview of how your data would look in a variety of tables using different pivots.


PowerPoint also follows the "less is more" principle with fewer extraneous buttons and colors, creating more canvas space to design slides. It features new themes and templates that you can choose from, as well as color variations for certain themes. Similar to Word, PowerPoint's alignment guides can help you format shapes, text boxes, and other graphics with text to help your slides look more professional.
Alignment Guides work the same way in PowerPoint as they do in Word.  
PowerPoint's new Presenter View has a navigation grid that can help you keep your slides organized while you're showing them. It also has a new feature that lets you zoom into a slide by tapping or clicking on an area.


Of all the programs, Outlook's design update is the most drastic. But the changes are for the better: Its less cluttered interface makes it easier to find important information in your inbox or calendar. Outlook 2013 functions and looks similar to web mail programs—for example, by allowing you to reply to an e-mail within the main window. In previous versions, a separate window popped up for replies. You can opt to pop out a separate window if you wish, but this slight change makes Outlook all the more efficient. The Social Connector feature, introduced in Outlook, lets you integrate your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts into your inbox and see updates from your contacts. It can also sync your Facebook email, Twitter direct messages, and LinkedIn requests and present them in one single inbox. If you are responsible for handling social media at your organization, this feature could save you an enormous amount of time.

There's also a new feature called "Peeks," which gives you a quick glance at your calendar or appointments while you're writing an e-mail, without needing to switch windows.


Like the other programs in Office, OneNote  is designed to sync across multiple devices. Notes created in OneNote are accessible across multiple devices: Windows 7 or 8 tablets and PCs, Windows Phones, and iOS and Android devices with OneNote apps. You can also open notes in your browser via Office Web Apps. 

OneNote also adds some touch-friendly elements, such as the ability to draw and swipe within the application. You can also embed files into your notes, such as images, videos, documents. And, like the rest of Office, you can sync OneNote  with your SkyDrive account.

Office  adds many useful new features for nonprofits, charities and libraries, but the changes aren't so drastic that your staff will be required to re-learn the software. One or two brown-bag sessions to highlight the new features might be all it takes to get started with Office. 


Donations of Office 2013 Are Now Available!

posted  by Anonymous -  Fri, 25/01/2013 - 12:19  

The latest version of Microsoft Office is here! Eligible NGOs, charities, and libraries can now request Office Standard and Professional editions through the Microsoft Software Donation Program at BiGTech Donation Program


Microsoft Office offers a number of new features and benefits over Office 2010, including direct integration with SkyDrive, new graphics options, the ability to open and edit PDFs in Word, and to sync across several devices. This means you can start working on a document on your desktop and then continue where you left off on another computer, laptop, or tablet because Office saves your work in the cloud as you go.

If you have received a donation of Microsoft Office through BiGTech Donations Program that included Software Assurance (and it is still current), you can upgrade to the latest version of Office at no additional cost. 


What’s New in Office?

One of the most interesting new features of Office is its integration with the cloud. Microsoft’s Office Web Apps let your staff and volunteers create, edit, and share documents online. For example, you can add comments to a Word document, and colleagues can respond to them directly within the document or via email or Skype. Plus: You can start working on a document on your desktop, then continue right where you left off on a different computer or tablet.


   One addition to Word that you’ll notice right away is its treatment of   PDFs. For the first time, you can open a PDF in Word, and its paragraphs, lists, tables, and other content will act just like Word content. 

Word includes new templates and design tools, plus it automatically remembers your location in the document as you work. This means you can close a document and come back to it later, continuing your work at the same spot, even on a different computer. And Word now includes the ability to reply to comments within a comment


  The latest version of Excel helps you explore    your organization’s data in a more intuitive and visual way. Excel recommends charts and graphs for you based on the data you’re trying to display, and it allows you to display selected workbooks collaboratively via Lync. Plus: Excel learns and recognizes your patterns and auto-completes your remaining data without macros.


    As you build your slideshows, PowerPoint  suggests variations on   your color scheme and  template while you are working and    includes new tools to help develop and align text, graphics, and imagery. This updated presentation tool also includes an improved Presenter View and a PowerPoint web app that allows coauthoring of presentations by several people inside and outside of your organization.


   Your OneNote notebooks are now built to move with you, thanks to the new cloud integration. The notes you take on your desktop or laptop will be accessible from any other computer, as well as your tablet and smartphone. You can use OneNote Mobile apps on Windows Phone, iOS, and Android phones. And if you are using a browser, just open the OneNote Web App. 

OneNote now also allows integration of pictures, video, and Excel spreadsheets into your notes. Plus: include links, webpages, maps, and sketches into your note taking as well.



   Outlook features new and improved ways to handle your email accounts, coordinate staff and volunteer schedules, manage your    social networks, and keep yourself organized through to-do lists. The new version of Outlook also includes “Peeks” — which let you take a quick glance at your schedule — as well as a calendar sharing function so others can see when you’re available.

Another neat new addition to Outlook is the weather bar, which lets you view the forecast right within Outlook, helping you plan your day and any upcoming travel.




Office is Optimized for Windows 8

    Eligible organizations can also request  donated upgrades of Windows 8 Professional and Windows 8 Enterprise. With a new mobile-friendly design that features sleek tiles in the place of conventional icons, Windows 8 is a complete rethinking of the Windows environment. It keeps some aspects of what we are all used to from Windows 7. But it drops the “Start” button in favor of a new app-integrated look and makes it easier to sync with cloud-based services. 

Learn more about Windows 8. 

tags:  Microsoft

Just In: Donated Licenses of Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits!

posted  by Anonymous -  Tue, 25/09/2012 - 11:03  

Increase productivity, reduce costs, and simplify your NGO’s IT management with Microsoft Office 365. Available through Microsoft to qualifying organizations, Office 365 provides you and your staff with web-based access to Office applications and your documents from anywhere. Visit Microsoft Website for details Microsoft Office 365 for Nonprofits


posted  Thu, 01/10/2009 - 19:42   Microsoft is pleased to partner with BigTech Program to donate a wide variety of software products to nonprofit organizations and public libraries. Hundreds of professional and enterprise Microsoft products are available. BigTech Program charges a small administrative fee to donation recipients to enable us to offer our services to you.

Organizations must meet all of the Microsoft rules, eligibility, and restrictions guidelines to be able to receive software donations through this program

Learn More About the Microsoft Donation Program
BigTech Program encourages organizations to visit our Overview of the Microsoft Donation Program. There you can learn about the quantity of products an organization can request, special rules for software installed by public libraries, and specific procedures to follow for returns. This page also provides an overview of the benefits and rules of the Microsoft Volume Licensing program, through which the donated products are made available, along with links to help you find additional information at both BigTech Program and Microsoft. Please click here to look at the Microsoft software licenses available for donation.

GDPR Takes Effect in May 2018 — Is Your Nonprofit Ready?

Tue, 24/04/2018 - 11:05 - Anonymous

A new data privacy law may affect your nonprofit: what to do about it

What is GDPR? The General Data Protection Regulation is Europe's new privacy law.

It raises the bar for the protection of personal data, which is any data that can be linked to an individual.

What does this mean to the average person or organization in simple terms? The GDPR imposes new rules on companies, government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations. It imposes those rules, regardless of location, on organizations that offer goods and services to people in the European Union (EU) or that collect and analyze data tied to EU residents.

The average person will have more explicit rights under GDPR to know who stores, processes, and has access to their personal data. Under GDPR, EU residents can request access to, rectification of, and deletion of their data.

Organizations need to review their data governance practices, get rid of legacy systems that store unnecessary data, and delete data not collected as prescribed under the new GDPR rules. They also need to document appropriate technical and organizational measures and work only with reliable vendors or face high financial and reputational risks.

How will GDPR impact my organization based in the U.S.? Many organizations in the U.S. do not operate or have business in the EU or process information of individuals in the EU. For them, the GDPR will not have an immediate impact. However, many other countries around the world are looking at the GDPR to be a basis for their own privacy laws and regulations. Microsoft believes compliance with the GDPR standard can be a best practice in data management of personal information.

Why did the EU put GDPR into place? In Europe, privacy is a fundamental right, and the EU is dedicated to protecting it. The EU's operational philosophy is built on the concept that personal data belongs to the individual. This is different than how the United States operates, where information collected on an individual is seen as the property of the organization that collects it.

Data breaches have become part of our everyday life. And Europe wants to lead the way internationally to require companies to be more principled and transparent around data use and invest in security and data protection. Any company or agency collecting or utilizing personal information may do so only if they have a lawful basis to process the information.

Will other countries follow the EU and put similar regulations in place? The GDPR applies to anyone who provides goods or services to residents in Europe. Other countries are considering similar laws with some variations, as some countries consider GDPR overly prescriptive.

Who will monitor GDPR compliance? The Data Protection Authorities in the member states, as well as the European Data Protection Board, will monitor GDPR compliance.

When does GDPR take effect? It takes effect May 25, 2018. It has been made clear that there will be no enforcement grace period, as companies received two years' notice to prepare for the new regulations.

What are the main requirements of GDPR? The GDPR requires enhanced security, data protection, appropriate technical and organizational measures, transparency, record keeping, accountability, and supporting data subject requests. It also requires a 72-hour personal data breach notification by data controllers to the authorities. Responsibility for data protection will be shared within organizations and with vendors, establishing a shared responsibility model.

Organizations must know what and how personal information is collected and processed in their internal systems. Conforming to this rule will require executive awareness of how information collection and processing takes place and cannot be considered an IT or legal issue alone. Internal awareness and training will be key.

How do I know if GDPR applies to my organization? What are risks to my organization if it doesn't comply? GDPR applies to any organization that operates within the borders of the European Union or processes the personal data of any person in the European Union. Failure to comply will expose the organization to legal and financial penalties from privacy regulators in the EU plus legal claims from individuals.

Can Microsoft help us meet the requirements of GDPR? The final responsibility for GDPR compliance lies with the organization. It's up to nonprofits to determine what data will be collected, how it will be used, and who the people in the organization are who are responsible. It's also up to nonprofits to figure out how individuals can request their personal information and request rectification and deletion.

However, Microsoft does provide a suite of tools to assist with meeting requirements. Our Azure cloud infrastructure has been designed with GDPR in mind and has the systems in place to assist in GDPR compliance. Our Office 365 E3 and E5 licenses allow for ease of data tagging and automatic identification of sensitive information even if the user does not know it to be. Finally, we have launched a GDPR compliance dashboard that can be used by organizations to monitor their own compliance.

You can also visit the GDPR web page on our new Microsoft Trust Center website to learn more about how the features and functionality of AzureDynamics 365Enterprise Mobility + SecurityOffice 365, and Windows 10 will enable you to meet the GDPR's requirements.

What next steps I should take? Start by reviewing our Nonprofit Guidelines for Cybersecurity and Privacy white paper. From there, decide internally who will be responsible to assure compliance and the steps needed. GDPR compliance will not happen overnight with a final endpoint; it's a continuous journey.

Additional Resources on GDPR for Nonprofits

About the Authors

 As the Microsoft Philanthropies humanitarian response manager, Cameron has the responsibility for coordinating across the company the provision of resources to external agencies providing humanitarian relief during sudden onset humanitarian disasters. As with others on the team, he also has a portfolio of other engagement areas with nonprofits to include awareness on data privacy and cybersecurity issues.






Andrea Simandi was appointed to the role of European data protection attorney for Microsoft in February 2017. As part of Microsoft's European commercial legal team, she supports the company's enterprise customers in complying with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation and accelerating their digital transformation. 





This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License. 

tags:  Microsoft

Important Program Changes as of April 3, 2018

Thu, 29/03/2018 - 14:10 - Anonymous

Important Program Changes as of April 3, 2018

Microsoft has updated the product offerings and rules for participating in this program. This change allows Microsoft and NASSCOM Foundation to continue to provide nonprofits with the technology they need to achieve their missions.

What Has Changed?

·      Certain on-premises software products from Microsoft are no longer available through NASSCOM Foundation as donated products. However, these products will soon be available through NASSCOM Foundation as discounted products for eligible nonprofits and libraries.

·      Eligible organizations are no longer limited to requesting donated products from a maximum of 10 title groups during their two-year cycle. Instead, organizations can simply request up to 50 or 25 of each donated product and up to 5 donated server products that don't use core-based licensing per two-year cycle.

What Hasn't Changed?

·      The most popular on-premises software products from Microsoft are still available as donated products to eligible nonprofits and libraries.

·      Request limits for donated products will still be reset every two years.

·      All other program rules, eligibility, and restrictions have remained the same.

For more information, see the Microsoft Software Donation Program – Eligibility, Allotments, and Returns page.

The Microsoft Software Donation Program at NASSCOM Foundation provides a wide variety of software to nonprofits, charities, and public libraries throughout India.

The program is one of NASSCOM Foundation most popular resources. You can choose from hundreds of professional and enterprise Microsoft products for your organization.

Which Versions of Microsoft Software Are Available?

The names of products in the Microsoft program don't include version numbers. When you receive a product, you can choose to download the current version of the software or the previous version. You can find out which version is the current one on the Current Versions of Microsoft Products page. In addition, you can download the software in any language that's available.

Eligibility and Restrictions

Consult the eligibility and restrictions page to review your organization's eligibility to participate in this program.

Microsoft provides nonprofits and libraries with a maximum allotment of product donations that can be requested per two-year cycle.

For detailed explanations of the quantity of products you can request, special rules for public libraries, and specific procedures to follow for returns, see the Microsoft Software Donation Program – Eligibility, Allotments, and Returns page.


tags:  Microsoft
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