Shared mailbox or MS 365 Groups

Secretariaat TV Wolfsbosch 20 Reputation points


I represent a Non Profit Tennis Club. Our organisation consist of a small core team of volunteers and a lot of volunteers who occasionally support us in for example organising tournaments. We are considering to implement MS 365 Non Profit. For this I need to understand how many licenses we need. For each tournament we currently use unique e-mail addresses. I am trying to figure out how we can prevent that we need a separate license for each volunteer who helps us with the tournaments. I understand that there are two options for a mailbox per tournament: Shared mailbox and MS 365 groups. I, however, cann’t find which of these support the following functions, nor which other solution might support it:

  1. Temporary access for the temporary tournament volunteers as guest (not requiring a license) to a common tournament mailbox for sending and receiving e-mail to/from external e-mail addresses.
  2. E-mail sent and received must remain in the tournament mailbox but can be handled by each of the temporary tournament volunteers.
  3. Folders can be defined for the mailbox.
  4. Temporary tournament volunteers can access (CRUD) Tournament files in a (sharepoint) directory.

Can anyone help me out on this

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  1. Faery Fu-MSFT 18,526 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi @Secretariaat TV Wolfsbosch ,

    To address your query regarding the implementation of MS 365 Non-Profit for your tennis club, here's what I found:

    1. Temporary Access for Volunteers: Microsoft 365 Groups have a guest access model for external collaboration that shared mailboxes do not. This means you can add temporary tournament volunteers as guests to a Microsoft 365 Group, which would allow them to send and receive emails to/from external email addresses without requiring a separate license.
    2. Email Handling: Both Shared Mailboxes and Microsoft 365 Groups allow multiple users to manage emails. Emails sent to Groups and shared mailboxes are preserved for historical reference, unless deleted by a use.
    3. Defining Folders: Shared mailboxes can have sub-folders in the mailbox, whereas Group mailboxes can’t. This means if you need to define folders for the mailbox, a shared mailbox would be a better fit.
    4. Access to SharePoint Directory: Microsoft 365 Groups can have associated SharePoint Team Sites. This means if you use a Microsoft 365 Group, the temporary tournament volunteers can access (Create, Read, Update, Delete) Tournament files in a SharePoint directory.

    In conclusion, a combination of Microsoft 365 Groups and Shared Mailboxes might be the best solution for your needs. You can use Microsoft 365 Groups for temporary access and SharePoint file management, and Shared Mailboxes for defining folders and handling emails. Please consult with your Microsoft 365 administrator or support for the best practices in your specific case.

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  1. Vasil Michev 100.2K Reputation points MVP

    There is no good solution that fits all the above requirements. Shared mailboxes do not have a Sharepoint site associated with them, so #4 is not possible. Nor they can be accessed by guests. On the other hand, M365 Groups have limited support for folders, and again cannot be directly accessed by guests.

    If you are OK with guests receiving the messages directly in their own mailboxes, Microsoft 365 Groups fit all the other requirements (but again, limited support for folders), and are probably the best solution here. Otherwise, use a combination of shared mailbox and SPO site.

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