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case you haven’t heard, 501(c)(3) private
foundations are now eligible to receive Microsoft donations through the Microsoft Software
Donation Program. Microsoft has made several exciting updates
to its software donation program to make it more convenient for all nonprofits
to request software donations.
To learn more about the Microsoft
Software Donation Program, visit our Overview of the Microsoft Software
You can also review Microsoft’s detailed eligibility guidelines here. Together with Microsoft, we’re excited to help foundations understand the
donation program and how it can benefit your organization and the communities
addition to the Microsoft’s program there are many other donation programs on
TechSoup that are open to private foundations. Use the TechSoup Check Eligibility Quiz to find out which of
our many product donation programs your foundation is eligible for.
with all organizations registering at TechSoup, you must register first as an
individual and then register your organization. For a thorough overview of this
process, visit our How to Use TechSoup page or watch our Getting Started with
part of the organization registration process, you will be asked to choose an
Organization Type and Sub-Type. For
Organization Type, private foundations should select "Other Purposes and
Activities" from the drop-down menu.
Then chose one of the three available subtypes: Private Grantmaking
Foundation, Private Independent Foundation, and Private Operating Foundation.
To understand which of the three private foundation subtypes you should select, below are definitions of each.
of private grantmaking foundations would be the Alcoa Foundation, the BP
Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust.
grantmaking foundations are usually, but not always, funded from principally
one source, such as a for-profit business. Any grantmaking private foundation
that does not fall under private independent foundation (explained below)
should be classified as a private grantmaking foundation.
independent foundations are often family foundations, such as the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and
the Li Ka Shing Foundation.
private independent foundation is a private foundation where most or all of its
funding comes principally from one source, such as one individual or family,
and often in the form of an endowment.
often, private operating foundations are organizations which operate museums
and theater/arts centers, although any other charitable activity conducted
directly by the foundation can qualify.
of the more well-known private operating foundations are the J. Paul Getty Trust,
which operates the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California and the Wikimedia
Foundation, which operates Wikipedia.
grantmaking foundations (community foundations like the Silicon Valley
Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, and the New York Trust) should not
be classified as private grantmaking foundations, because these are considered
public charities. These organizations rely on the public or multiple sources of
funding. If you are a public foundation, the correct subtype is most likely
"Gifts, Grants, or Loans to Other Organizations" or
you've registered your foundation, you'll need to submit a completed Qualification Checklist (PDF 51 KB) and other documents to verify tax
exempt status and other information. Qualification generally takes one to two weeks
after document submission. You can check your organization's qualification
status through your member profile.
Once you're qualified, you can start to request the donated software, hardware, and services that your organization is eligible to receive!
Becky Wiegand is the Interactive Events Producer at TechSoup.org
@bajeckabean on Twitter