When I first started volunteering my technical skills for nonprofit organizations, I didn’t know where to find discounts. I knew many companies offered discounts or donation level offerings, but finding them was a mostly unicast process. This article will help present what I learned to hopefully save you time in your research.
First, many USA vendors offer discounts, but many times only if you ask. The key is, don’t be afraid to ask. The worst they can say is ‘no’. When I hear a no, you might consider whether you want to support a company that doesn’t offer support for 501c3 nonprofit organizations. Asking vendors may help in current situations, but it doesn’t help much in planning or long-term support.
If only there was a ‘clearing house’ for technology discounts for nonprofits.. Good news, there is! A nonprofit organization itself, TechSoup.org was founded in 1987 and works to match nonprofits with discounts from their partners. They have many discounts and donation level options available, all available at a small fee. The fee is used to help TechSoup continue their organization and cover their expenses.
In addition, some major vendors use TechSoup.org as their non-profit validation vendor, such as Amazon and Microsoft.
Who are their partners?
It’s a long list, but here are some of the major ones:
- Microsoft – offerings in Azure, Office 365, Operating Systems, Office Packages and more
- Adobe – offerings for Creative Cloud, Acrobat, and others
- VMware – vSphere, Fusion Pro and Workstation Pro
- Intuit – Quickbooks local install and subscription offerings
- Amazon Web Services – qualifying nonprofit organizations can get $2,000 in AWS credits each year
- Hardware vendors, such as Cisco, Lenovo, Mobile Beacon, Dell and more
How do you get started?
The first thing to do is get your paperwork ready. You’ll need your EIN and nonprofit documentation ready to upload to TechSoup. Next, fill out the application and follow the application process. You will find a place to upload your organization documentation. The application process will take a few days, but it is worth the wait.
So, many organizations do provide discounts, but I’ve found most are USA organizations that can use those discounts for tax deduction purposes. It never hurts to ask for discounts, and be sure to check out TechSoup’s offerings as well. IT4NP is not affiliated with TechSoup, nor do we receive any benefits from pointing them out.
Hope you found this article helpful!