Nonprofit Technology

4 Useful and Affordable Office 365 Alternatives For Your Nonprofit

Published by in Nonprofit Technology

Remember when you bought your first computer?

For me, in order to have an office suite that was compatible with everything in school, I had to pay for the entire Microsoft Office package.

Office 365 Nonprofit

Of course, this was years ago, before the creation of cloud-based software and before most people were aware of the existence of open-source software alternatives. There really weren’t any Microsoft Office alternatives to turn to, let alone ones I could afford.

Now there are so many options to choose from it is hard to determine which office suite is best for your nonprofit. And since you’ll probably choose an office suite before transitioning to more tailored nonprofit software, selecting your starter toolset can directly impact your nonprofit’s success.

How do you choose the right office suite software for your nonprofit? I’ve got you covered.

Useful and affordable Office 365 Alternatives

Microsoft’s Office 365 is the newer cloud-based version of their office suite software. It comes with a word processor, spreadsheets, presentations, publishing, and email services.

They offer these programs in a tiered pricing system determined by the needs of the buyer, starting at $6 per month per user ($5 if paid annually) and reaching as high $15 per month per user ($12.50 if paid annually).

But what if there are programs that you aren’t fond of in the Microsoft Office suite? Well there are plenty of other competitors to choose from!

I selected these following software options based on whether they were of equal price or cheaper than Microsoft Office 365, had similar features, and were compatible with Microsoft Office file types and formats. Software options are listed in alphabetical order.

This article looks at four Office 365 alternatives. See the full list of Office 365 alternatives here.

1. Apple iWork

Whether you have a Mac or PC, Apple’s iWork suite is free.

The only requirement for access to Pages (word processor), Numbers (spreadsheet creator), and Keynote (presentation software) is an Apple ID (which you likely already have if you use iTunes or an iPhone).

The iWork suite is automatically installed on every Mac, iPhone, or iPad. This means you won’t have anything to download and all updates are sorted out with every MacOS update. iWork suite is also iCloud enabled so any work you do on these programs is automatically available when accessing these programs through the iCloud website.

As for PC users, the iWork Suite is available on the iCloud site, no installation necessary. What’s more, all project formats are compatible with Microsoft Office equivalent programs.

This software is perfect for nonprofits that prefer Apple software, who opt for added security due to the Touch ID feature available with Apple hardware, and for nonprofits looking for easier guidance in project creation through pre-made templates.

Price: Free


  • Microsoft Office compatibility
  • Online collaboration
  • Cloud storage and accessibility
  • Mobile capabilities
  • Password and Touch ID security

Compatibility: MacOS, Windows, and Linux

2. Google Suite

Gmail is already the most popular and widely considered the best email service available today, and now Google offers an entire online office suite to complement the rest of the services they provide.

Google Suite includes their own word processor, spreadsheets, and presentations programs.

Their package doesn’t end there. They also include business email through Gmail, video and voice conferencing, smart calendars, mobile access, and cloud storage. Just like iWork, Google Suite is available on any machine due to its cloud-based software type and can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection.

The cloud-based nature of this software makes it perfect for nonprofits with multiple collaborating offices or who deal with many field operatives working closely with staff at headquarters.


  • For individual users: Free
  • Basic (for organizations): $5 per user per month
  • Business: $10 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Negotiated with Google


  • Microsoft Office compatibility
  • Cloud storage
  • Online collaboration
  • Mobile capabilities
  • Online chat
  • Business email
  • Video conferencing
  • Calendar

Compatibility: MacOS, Windows, and Linux

3. Softmaker FreeOffice 2016

Softmaker FreeOffice 2016 is a free Windows, Linux, and Android compatible office suite complete with a word processor, spreadsheets, and a presentation program. According to their website, the 2016 edition has added many new features, such as 4K resolution support, near full compatibility with Microsoft Office, new and improved file exports (EPUB and PDF) and many others.

What drew me to this relatively lesser-known office suite was the attractive user interface and features typically found on more expensive suite bundles. In the past, open-source office suites would come with the barebones fonts and simple functions. Now, sometimes it is hard to distinguish the open-source projects from the traditional paid software.

This software is perfect for nonprofits looking for a free installed office suite software, rather than an online suite. Installed software stores all of your data on your local systems, which is perfect for sensitive donor information.

Price: Free


  • Microsoft Office compatibility
  • Mobile capability with Android
  • Graphics editing
  • 4K monitor support
  • Free technical support

Compatibility: MacOS, Windows, and Linux

4. Apache OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice is a free and open-source office suite that offers many different tools and features created by the developers or others who contribute to the Apache source code. OpenOffice includes programs for word processing, spreadsheets, graphics creation, databases, and many other functions covered by OpenOffice extensions.

OpenOffice is an on-premise Office 365 alternative, so, like Softmaker FreeOffice, this software is best for nonprofits that require the extra security provided by on-premise software. However, if your organization is looking for tons of native features and functionality, Apache provides a flexible platform that can mold itself to your needs through the endless list of templates and extensions.

Price: Free


  • Microsoft Office compatibility
  • Open-source customization
  • Extensions library
  • Source code access
  • Graphics editing

Compatibility: MacOS, Windows, and Linux

Other nonprofit software alternatives

We at Capterra are all about educating nonprofits about all of the different choices they have out there to make and giving them the tools to make those choices. Here are a few other alternatives lists you will need to make an informed decision about your technological choices:

Have you used any other office suite providers that you feel like should’ve made this list? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below!

Looking for Nonprofit software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Nonprofit software solutions.

About the Author

Nick Morpus

Nick Morpus

Nick Morpus is a former Capterra analyst.


Comment by George Peterson on

Very nice list of free alternatives, but… I have also found this online office suite packed full of free online web apps and even an office suite:

Very useful and also runs directly in your web browser. No cloud logins or accounts to create! Great Stuff…

Comment by Ronny Wuisan on

Honestly, there are lots of better and cheaper (and free as well) alternatives to Office 365. And it’s not Google Docs only. Just to mention iWork which is absolutely free and lots of other Office 365 alternatives. Here are some insights and comparisons on what you get with Office 365 and other cloud office tools.

Comment by Laura Sommer on

The most affordable alternative that comes with high encryption and many features is Brosix. We have been using it for about 3 years and it is a great product. You should definitely mention it the next time.

Comment by Greg Foaley on

I use Brosix and honestly love it. It is easy to use, with many features and highly-secured. You should definitely include it in the list next time.

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