Special Deals for Churches
August 22, 2011
Updated February 27, 2014
2 comments 900 views
Who doesn't love a good deal? There's that shirt you found hidden on the clearance rack or the coupon you used at the restaurant for dinner. In the same way your church can get deals on technology services and software. Is your church taking full advantage of all the available discounts and freebies that it can?
In the past I've highlighted several discounts you can receive including those related to Mail Chimp and Salesforce. Techsoup.org has a great list of software that coordinates discounts and offers. Some of these include Microsoft products, and Intuit (Quickbooks).
These deals don't just apply to software, but also to services like web hosting, domain registration, and internet connections. There are really too many to list. So, when buying something take a moment to look around for special deals. If you don't see any, just ask. Many times, companies don't have published deals but will give you discounts just because you've asked. In fact, these strategies don't apply to just technology items, but to any product or service that your church might use.
What have you gotten at a discount for your church? What deals have you gotten that surprised you or that greatly reduced a part of your church budget?
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Good suggestion but Techsoup requires that you be a 501C3 registered organization which many if not most churches are only an implied 501c3. There is a way around it but to date I have not been able to make it work. Since the local congregation is a "branch" of the parent denomination "CRC", they can use their 501c3. The CRC has a subscription to Techsoup (according to Techsoup) but the CRC office does not know the account number or how to access so those CRC congregations that could be using the great resources of Techsoup can not because they can't get access without going through the long and usually costly process of obtaining their own 501c3. If you know how to get the info from the CRC offices in regard to Techsoup and can share it with our congregation, please do.
I checked with our CRCNA IT department, and here's what I found...
First of all, some of the big-name vendors that most churches are interested in (e.g. Adobe, Microsoft) can't be purchased at a non-profit discount through TechSoup's purchasing program (see their list for religious organizations). So it may be better to use TechSoup for information, but then check on the vendor's website or through a local reseller to see if you qualify. Or, just check some of the big-box stores to see what the pricing is like there.
If you do want to purchase through TechSoup AND you have your own 501c3, go for it. But, as you point out, many churches don't have their own 501c3 because they can all fall under the CRCNA's umbrella (as I understand it at least). While it would be technically possible to associate the CRCNA's TechSoup account with that of individual churches, the benefits are mediocre at best. Not only because of the issue above, but because many of the vendors further restrict purchasing to organizations below a certain $ threshold (e.g. Sage is under $500,000 so the CRCNA account doesn't qualify). And other vendors restrict the number of licenses an organization can get (one license among all the CRCs won't go far!). And we'd need to think about how the payments would be handled (does payment/invoice info get saved with the organization profile?). Our IT department is on the lookout for deals they can extend to churches, but they've judged that this one has too many limitations to make the benefits worthwhile.
Having said all that, if there's a specific software that, after doing your research, you find fully qualifies for purchasing under the CRCNA TechSoup account and is not limited to a single license and can save your church big bucks...send me a direct message through The Network and we can see if we can make it happen for you.
Even without using their purchasing program, the TechSoup website is a valuable source of information for churches. So check it out even if you don't use the purchasing side of it.
Hope this helps!
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