IMPORTANT: Unannounced Atlassian Community Licensing Changes

Bryan Guffey April 6, 2022

Hello all!


It has come to my attention that Atlassian have changed their Community License terms without notifying their Community license holders. This may affect hundreds of nonprofits who may be stuck paying for tens of thousands of dollars of Atlassian software they have been receiving for free or for a very deep discount without warning. 

We are a small 501(c)7 non-profit social queer fraternity that has had Community licensing for 15 years. As an fully-volunteer and remote organization with a total budget of just under $100,000, with which we serve over 7000 LGBTQIA+ individuals, the Atlassian suite of products has been crucial to our ability to maximize effectiveness and keep costs down while keeping all our members and volunteers engaged and ensure our students are our focus. 

We have never had any issue renewing our Community licensing, until this year when we went to renew our licensing. We were told, without any previous announcement, that Atlassian and their partner, Percent, will only allow 501(c)3 organizations to receive Community licensing going forward. Again, there was no announcement, no warning, nothing. Just suddenly being told that the tools we have been using for free and had been counting on continuing to be deeply discounted as we moved to Cloud, would now cost just up to 70-80% more, which could suddenly consume nearly 15-20% of our budget. 

I have spoken with Support, and even opened a CEO ticket. I have received nothing but excuses like "we have to protect the integrity of our EULA" and "we are trying to streamline our support processes." I understand these things, but does Atlassian not care about its small nonprofit Community license clients such that it wouldn't even tell us in advance so we could prepare, with some sort of graduated timeline, or offer us a grandfathered community licensing solution? For a company that prides itself on "Open Company, No Bullshit," the lack of transparency related to this change is astounding and disappointing. 


I am bringing this to the community because I am hoping that all of us together can lift our voices to get attention within Atlassian so they don't leave the nonprofits they claim to support with their 1% program behind without as much as a "by the way, get ready for a change." Please help me lift this up to Atlassian leadership so they can consider reversing this change or providing some long-term solutions for small nonprofit orgs like Delta Lambda Phi. 


Thank you!!!


Bryan Guffey
Volunteer CEO, Delta Lambda Phi


Mark Reading
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
April 7, 2022

Bryan, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Please accept my apologies for the frustration you’ve been experiencing.

Until seeing your message a few hours ago, it had always been my understanding that the US non-profit registration criteria we had applied to assess eligibility for a Community License was whether the organisation had 501(c)(3) registration. Consequently, we did not believe there was any change to our eligibility criteria when we moved from manually processing Community License applications to partnering with Percent and I did not realise we'd created any issues for you or other similar non-profits.

I will take responsibility personally for ensuring we come up with the right approach, both in the long term and in the interim, in line with Atlassian’s values (in this case, particularly Don’t #@!% the customer, Build with heart and balance and Open company, no bullshit).

I’m based in Australia. I don’t currently have a detailed understanding of the intricacies of the US 501(c) legislation. It will take some time for me to obtain the necessary understanding.

In terms of the long term, we need to determine the most appropriate 501(c) registration eligibility criteria and the extent to which grand-fathering for existing Community Licensees, if any, who are not eligible is appropriate/feasible.

In the interim, I want to ensure we do our best to look after you and any similarly affected customers.

It will take me a little time to determine next steps. Please bear with me.

Thanks for your understanding.

Mark Reading
Head of Atlassian Foundation

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Rami Khader December 7, 2022

Hi @Mark Reading ,

I am Atlassian administrator in my organization which is part of United Nations we've been using community licenses for Jira/Confluence for years and even last year we obtained a data center one. However today I tried to request a community license for cloud products (Jira/Jira service/Conflunce/Bitbucket) to start moving our instances to the cloud but after few hours I received an email saying we are not qualified. The form for requesting the license doesn't work with us since our organization is not registered in a country and we don't have a registration forms like non profit organization!


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December 12, 2022

Hi @Rami Khader 

I tried replying to your post from my Atlassian account, however I was having difficulties, so I'm now replying from my personal account. I'm a non-technical boomer ;)

Due to a number of United Nations (UN) entities not having a unique and specific ID (eg tax reference number or charity number), the team from our validation partner, Percent (, have been working with UN lawyers to have them compile a list of all UN entities around the world. Once provided, the list would be used by Percent to manually add each entity to the Percent database.

Percent hasn't yet received the list. In the meantime, we've put in place a temporary manual over-ride of our usual system for your organisation. Hopefully everything is now working smoothly for you.

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Rami Khader December 13, 2022

Hi @Mark_Reading 

Thanks for your reply. The support team got back to me and now the approval is in the process.




Mark Reading
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
April 11, 2022

Bryan, to ensure Delta Lambda Phi  is not disadvantaged while we work through everything, we’ve renewed the Delta Lambda Phi cloud license until 28-Apr-2023 with the same user tier as you are on currently. It's been done in a way that will give you a free license during this period.

The more I dig into the 501(c) legislation, the more I am coming to realise how complex it is.

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Bryan Guffey April 16, 2022

Hi Mark - Thanks! Can you shoot me an email with your contact info so I can reach out to you directly? We are in the process of migrating to Cloud, so I want to have the opportunity to discuss that with you. I really appreciate your assistance, and I'm sorry that I didn't see this until now. 

If you need my email, you can reach me at bryan dot guffey at dlp dot org

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Mark Reading
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
April 18, 2022

Hi Bryan

I've emailed you.

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Osama Obeidat May 12, 2022

Sure, anything to help


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