Do you want to know one of the reasons why churches are hesitant to use the latest technology? Because it’s expensive. But you already knew that. Just look at your shoe-string budget. But wait—there’s good news for cash-strapped churches who are still ready to upgrade their technology. Most tech services offer discounts to nonprofits, including churches. You don’t have to pay full price to get the best online tools and resources. And that’s all in exchange for doing all the good work your church was going to do anyway.
What are the best online tools that offer these tasty discounts? We scoured the web and found nine of our favorites for you right here.
The world’s largest search engine offers quite a few different programs for nonprofits.
- Google grants: Get $10,000 worth of ad credit to promote your church on Google search. It comes with a few strings attached and takes some work to use but it’s still a huge benefit that all churches should take advantage of.
- GSuite for nonprofits: GSuite is Google’s collection of online office tools, like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive. Best of all, the starting tier is free for nonprofits. Even the upgraded accounts are still affordable.
- YouTube for nonprofits: Video is the new king of content. And YouTube is where most people go to watch your videos. So get some free tools and training to leverage this massive platform at your church.
#2 – Canva
If you’re new to graphic design and need some help, Canva might just be your best friend. Even if you have a professional designer on staff, it’s still helpful to have an easy-to-use tool that even your volunteers can jump into to create flyers or social graphics.
Canva’s basic account is free for anyone to use. However, nonprofits can upgrade their account for free. That Pro account is usually $10 per month per user. The free upgrade offers you big savings. And also gives you access to some great features, like easy access to your church brand, one-click resizing of images, and the ability to customize templates.
#3 – MailChimp
Just like most email marketing services, MailChimp’s pricing is based on your email list size—the larger the list, the more you pay. But they also have a forever free account option for lists with less than 2,000 emails (which fits most churches). Even still the free account is limited in some features, so it may be worth upgrading just for the custom template and branding options.
Considering a more robust email and CRM option? HubSpot is another great tool for this, which also offers nonprofit pricing. In general, they are more expensive than MailChimp, but they do offer more features and options.
#4 – Buffer
Posting manually to social media takes time. So scheduling some of your content in advance can be a huge way to save time and be more strategic with your church’s social strategy.
One of my favorite social media scheduling tools is Buffer. Like Canva, they have a limited free option. But you can get a lot more valuable features (like adding more social platforms) when you upgrade to a premium account.
Thankfully for a nonprofit like your church, Buffer offers a generous 50% discount on those upgrades. So that Pro account goes from $15 per month to a manageable $7.50 each month. Or save even more by paying annually for another 20% discount.
Not a fan of Buffer? Hootsuite is another social media scheduling alternative that also offers 50% off of their price for nonprofits.
#5 – Linktree
Instagram has a lot going for it. But it can be frustrating that the social media platform doesn’t allow you to include links directly in any posts. The only one you get is that infamous “link in bio.”
Want to make the most of that one link for your church’s Instagram account? Use a service like Linktree that creates a simple page with multiple other links. And for a basic account, Linktree it’s 100% free. Which isn’t a bad option for some churches.
However, you may want to upgrade with some premium features like custom backgrounds and expanded analytics, and scheduled links. Normally, that’s $6/month—but it’s free for qualified nonprofits. And free is a price most churches can afford.
#6 – Adobe Creative Suite
The Adobe Creative Suite is the best resource out there for creatives of any variety. Tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are easily best-in-class for design and content work. As you’d expect with that level of quality, it can also be pricy (about $60/month for all of the tools).
While that’s still worth paying for the power that Adobe gives you, nonprofits can enjoy a steep discount on that price. This is offered by Adobe in partnership with Tech Soup. There are a lot of other great tech discounts you can get through this program too.
You have to create a Tech Soup account and apply for the discount. But once you do, you can get an entire year of the Adobe Creative Suite for just a nominal administrative fee. That’s worth it no matter what your level of design experience.
#7 – Trello
There are way too many project management tools out there. They all have different features and looks, but they’re also very similar at their core. So it’s hard to recommend just one.
For churches who are just getting started with project management, I usually recommend Trello because it’s simple and user-friendly. There are certain limitations, but it’s a great place to get started. Plus, they offer 75% off for nonprofits wanting to upgrade their account.
#8 – Dropbox
Everyone needs a place to save and store files online. Technology today offers plenty of options for doing so, including Google Drive as a part of the GSuite. However, Dropbox is also recognized as the leader in the area of cloud file sharing.
Dropbox offers free accounts with a small amount of space (2 GB), but that’s usually not enough if you’re trying to use this for business use. So it’s worth upgrading to a few more gigabytes or a team account. And luckily you can get about 30% that price as a nonprofit.
To get this discount, your team admin has to contact one of Dropbox’s customer service representatives. But that should be easy enough to get a big break on their business plans, which start at $12.50 per user per month.
#9 – Typeform
Forms and surveys are an important tool in any church leader’s toolkit. Just like with any software type, there are limitless options when it comes to building forms.
One of my favorites is called Typeform—it’s one of the cleanest looking interfaces and has some powerful options, especially when you upgrade your account. And they also offer discounts for nonprofits and educators.
Nonprofits like your church can get a 25% discount on a monthly plan with Typeform. Or if you’re willing to pay annually, you get an impressive 40% discount on the pro account. Just sign up for an account and fill out this form to request the price break.
# 10 – Grammarly
Do you use words at your organization? What kind of question is that—of course you use words. And if you want to use the right words, then it helps to have proper grammar. That’s where Grammarly comes in. It’s one of the best tools out there for catching those pesky mistakes.
A basic Grammarly account is free for anyone. But did you also know that your nonprofit can get a premium account for free? That’s right—Grammarly gives away their Business level service away to nonprofits (not including government entities or educational institutions) completely free.
In addition to the grammar and spelling mistakes with the basic version, this gives you access to tools for readability, vocabulary enhancement, and a plagiarism detector. Plus, this allows you to give your entire team individual access all within one admin account.
#11 – Workplace From Facebook
If your team is big enough, you might have looked into a staff intranet. That’s like the internet, but a central hub of communications for everyone within your organization. These are great for staying on the same page, especially if you’re suddenly a remote team.
Two huge barriers to entry for nonprofits getting into the intranet game are: price and usability. Intranets can be difficult to set up and/or expensive. Thankfully, there’s a solution that makes that decision slightly easier—Workplace.
This is actually a product from Facebook, so the user interface is really familiar for… well, nearly everyone. Workplace has a ton of great features, including text or video chat, groups, a knowledge base, and a solid mobile app. Best of all, they offer it completely for free for most nonprofits.
The Digital Discount Churches Don’t Get
There’s another nonprofit discount I wish I could add to this list. Most nonprofits get a free upgraded account on Slack, which is the premier chat and quick communication application.
However, Slack’s nonprofit discount program does not apply to churches or religious organizations. To be fair, it’s also not available to schools, hospitals, lobby organizations, or government entities. So it’s not like churches are being singled out.
But it’s still disappointing because that’s a very valuable upgrade. There is a free version, but with limited features. And paying for the upgraded account can get pricy at $8 per month per user.
- How To Save Money: Your Nonprofit’s Guide
- The Best Software Discounts for Nonprofit Organization’s
- Nonprofit Discounts – Online Apps at Discounted Rates for Nonprofits
- 24 Cool Companies with Nonprofit Discounts
- 10 Free Resources To Power Your Church Or Nonprofit
- Get a Nonprofit Discount With These Companies