Charities guide: How To Save on Software & Digital Products

Post by Dani D Picture of Dani D
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If you’re running a charity, chances are you’re so busy trying to drive donations, volunteers and awareness that you don’t have time to research software products and licenses - or find the best prices for those many digital tools that we need in today’s world - things like email, IT hardware, anti-virus, email marketing, hosting, and other digital products. 

In January Dan, our Digital Strategy Director spoke with an organisation that gave some insights as to how they help charities tackle these sorts of issues - so what better incentive than to share this nugget of gold with you as we hopefully start to move out of lockdown in the coming months!

Your Doorway to Savings and Free Software

Dan had a call with Seema from Charity Digital and learnt about their service and how they can help our charity clients as well as other charities. 

This can come across as a really daunting task when managing a charity's spending habits because you want to be able to use everything you can to go towards your cause. However, it turns out it couldn’t be easier to find money saving methods and freely available software for your organisation.

Here’s what we found out:

It’s really simple, and takes no time at all! 

You need to visit the Charity Digital exchange website and follow the simple steps to gain access. 

Charity Digital Exchange gives eligible UK charities access to major technology companies' donation programmes, including Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, Google, Symantec and Adobe.

The system will then show which discounts and free licenses you are eligible for. 

There is always a telephone service (020 7324 3390) if you want to ask the Charity Digital team for any further help or advice but the system is fairly easy to use.

tip jar by sam dan truong

Two Programmes Available

There are two main programmes:

  1. Donation programme (where software providers donate licenses for free)
  2. Discounted programme (where providers offer discounted rates on software licenses for charities)

Sometimes small admin fees need to be paid to Charity Digital to take advantage of the discounts and free licenses, but the fee is usually nominal in comparison to the savings.

This is worth bearing in mind because Charity Digital are a not-for-profit themselves who help other charities and non-profit organisations to increase their digital skills and understanding, access discounted and donated software, find digital talent and take advantage of bespoke charity email marketing and payments services.

Charity Digital are also a cloud service provider for Office 365 so they can help you with provisioning this in your organisation. Acting as an exclusive validation service for a number of providers such as Google and Microsoft, in the UK.

So if you're a charity and thinking of going with the Microsoft Office Suite, you'll need to obtain a 'token' from Charity Digital to validate you are a charity and take advantage of the not for profit pricing.

Eligibility

Each software provider and offer has different eligibility criteria, for example with Semantic if your turnover is above £6 million then you won't be eligible. But there are lots of things you will be eligible for, so don't worry.

Usually, a charity will need to be set up on the registered charity commission but if you're a charity that turns over less than £500k it might be that you're only registered with HMRC as tax-exempt.
If that's the case you'll need your certificate which should start with XR or XN.

It really is that simple to sign up to gain access to the generous discounted rates. 
Charity Digital is an amazing organisation who work hard to find these discounts for charities to access and use to push for their own marketing and fundraising agendas. 

We hope this helps you in your marketing endeavours as non-profit organisations and allows you to invest more in your worthy cause!

Hands in a circle by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

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