Free Resources for Non-Profits (including churches!)
Is your church missing out on over $150,000 in resources per year? Here at CMU, we want to help you get the best results from your time and money spent so we asked our Church Marketers community to help us round up some discounted and free resources for non-profits (including churches.) They delivered! Read on to discover how your church can get thousands and thousands of dollars of resources each year – for highly discounted, or even FREE prices. Our estimates in this article are based on having a team of 5 members.
Google Resources for Non-Profits
Google Ad Grant
Across the world, people make over 350 billion Google searches every single day. People are constantly searching for answers, how-to, help, and resources. Wouldn’t it be great if your church showed up at the top of those search results?
The good news is you can, and it won’t cost you a dime — with Google’s FREE Ad Grant!
Here’s the deal: Google offers $10,000 a month (you read that right, the $10,000 renews every month!) of free advertising money to registered nonprofits. CMU offers a course devoted to this grant, as well as a team of Google Grant Certified professionals who can run, or help you run your grant account. So, if you’re currently missing out on this fantastic outreach tool, learn more here:
Google Workspace (formerly called GSuite)
Google also offers discounts on its Workplace (previously known as GSuite) package for nonprofits, which give you access to awesome stuff like additional storage and an email address with a custom domain name. The Business Starter equivalent is free for nonprofits, saving you $72 per user per year, and Business Standard, Business Plus, and Enterprise equivalents are all steeply discounted (75%, 72%, and 70%+ off, respectively).
YouTube Nonprofit Program
Google’s YouTube Nonprofit program offers nonprofits the following features: Link anywhere cards, YouTube giving, and nonprofit-specific Creator Academy courses.
Finally, Google offers a Maps for Nonprofit, so organizations with multiple physical sites can help people find locations near them.
Technology Discounts and Resources
Techsoup Software + Hardware Discounts
A TechSoup account opens a world of opportunities for nonprofits. Offerings vary by country, but for U.S. users the offerings include Microsoft, Adobe, vmware, Intuit, Cisco Meraki, Lenovo, New Relic, Amazon Web Services, Techsoup Courses, and Asana. Some of these offers, such as Microsoft donated cloud offers, have very specific usage requirements, while others such as Norton Lifelock exclude religious organizations in their eligibility requirements. Some companies, such as Adobe, require participants to provide information for case studies, surveys, or testimonials.
Techsoup isn’t just for software deals, it has discounts on the physical components of tech as well. Check out the Hardware tab in the product catalog to browse new or refurbished products like tablets, monitors, internet hotspot beacons, and computers from major brands like HP, cisco, Dell, and Samsung all available at steep discounts.
It’s hard to say exactly how much you can save here–the admin fee varies by product and organizations are at the mercy of what is available–but hypothetically let’s say you requested and received the five brand-new HP laptops available at the time of this writing. You would save $2,000 over buying comparable laptops from traditional retailers!
Microsoft 365 comes in three flavors, Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic normally costs $5.00 per user per month, but nonprofits can apply for a grant that makes it free for the first 300 users.
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard is normally $12.50 per user per month, but the nonprofit version is just $3.00 per staff member.
- Business Premium normally costs $20 per user per month, but nonprofits get free access for the first 10 staff members, and only pay $5 a month per additional member.
These discounts mean a team of 5 staff members could save up to $1,200 per year. Click here to compare offers and here for terms and conditions. (If you want volunteers to be able to use it too you’ll have to contact Microsoft and inquire about a discount).
A $3,500 (USD) per year credit toward Azure products and access to all Azure cloud services is available through the Microsoft Azure grant. If your church’s resident geek is interested in improving the security and efficiency of your data and documents, this could be the tool for them. Click here for more information and to find training resources.
Apple Non-Profit Discount
According to this article by iMore, Apple exempts nonprofits–including places of worship–from paying sales tax. We called Apple customer service and were told that there is a form that charitable organizations can fill out at the time of purchase to apply to be exempted from paying sales tax. Unfortunately, the customer service representative we spoke with was unable to direct us to any further information, so we’re not sure what the exact eligibility requirements are or if it is available in every state. However, if you buy any new Apple products, be sure to inquire about this (slightly mysterious) perk.
Graphic Design and Photography Resources
Word on the (church marketers) street is that Canva is easier to learn and use than Photoshop. As if that alone isn’t enough of a blessing, organizations with a 501(c)3 designation can apply for access to Pro membership for free. This allows you all the time saving features of Canva Pro without the $119.99/year fee. More information here.
Ministry Designs Free Church Graphics
Ministry Designs’ free resources for non-profits include their graphic library. This library offers solutions to all your church media needs — from worship backgrounds, motion backgrounds, stock photos, high quality sermon series bundles, graphics for your social media posts, church marketing materials or flyers for your church, you’ll find it here. And they’re continually adding new materials monthly so it never goes out of style.
SEED Sermon Series Graphics
SEED provides churches with professional sermon series graphics and marketing materials. Simplify your mid-weeek and Sunday planning with SEED. By our calculations, SEED will save 800+ hours a year in planning, asset creation, meetings, collaboration, team communication, revisions, team re-communication, quality assurance and implementation. Learn more about SEED here.
Unsplash is free for everyone (not just non-profits), but it’s such an amazing resource that we couldn’t help but mention it! On Unsplash, you’ve got access to over a million photos under the Unsplash license—which makes them free to do-whatever-you-want with.
Digigiv by Ministry Designs – Digital Giving
DigiGiv by Ministry Designs provides churches with powerful data, robust reporting systems, and interactive giving options that will skyrocket your church’s giving. With industry-low transaction rates and world-class support, DigiGiv’s powerful suite of tools is sure to not only increase giving and generosity but also save you time. Processing for credit and debit cards are 2.5% + $0.30 per transaction. ACH transfers fee is just 1% + $0.30. There are no monthly, annual, or set up fees. Sign up for Digigiv for free here.
Marketing and Communication Resources
Church Marketing University
Is your church under 200 in attendance, a church plant, an international ministry, or hit with financial hardship due to COVID-19? If so, you may qualify for a Church Marketing University scholarship. With this scholarship, you will receive access to all of Church Marketing University’s kits, conferences, and courses – including the Foundations course, which will help you get your foundations in place to see new visitors every week.
Even if you aren’t struggling financially, you can still get access to Church Marketing University at a discounted rate. Learn more about the CMU scholarship program and pricing here
Grammarly Premium for Non-Profits
Save $150 a year on improved communication! Through December 31, 2021, Grammarly’s premium-level features are free to qualifying nonprofits with teams of three or more people. If you’ve already paid for a Grammarly subscription sometime after January 1 2020, it’s not too late! Contact Grammarly Support with an explanation, proof of purchase, and documentation of your nonprofit status for a refund. More details here.
Omega Website Builder
Do you have a website that accurately reflects your church, looks current, and is super easy to edit? If not, check out the Omega Website Builder. It was voted #1 by Worship Leader magazine and has helped hundreds of churches reach more people. Sign up for Omega here:
Linktree for Non-Profits
Charitable Linktree users who fill out the correct form and provide proof of not-for-profit status can receive a free Linktree Pro account. The Pro account allows greater customization, more integration with other apps, link scheduling, and performance tracking. That’s a $60 savings per year!
One-By-One by 4imprint – Promotional Products
There are no guarantees with this one, but 4imprint may be able to help you out with some promotional products. Apply for a grant at least two months before your special event and tell the company how your church is making a difference in your community and how you would use the products you are requesting. If you are one of the few accepted, you will receive $500 worth of customized promotional products for your event. Apply here.
Click-Up Non-Profit Discount
Clickup helps you manage your people, projects, and other software tools in one integrated app. They offer a free plan with 100MB Storage, Unlimited Tasks, Unlimited Members, and Two-Factor Authentication or a paid plan with Unlimited Storage and a few additional unlimited features, such as integrations. Clickup’s site is noncommittal about which nonprofits qualify for a discount, but some nonprofits receive a 35% discount. That’s a yearly financial saving of $21 per team member plus more time in your schedule. Explore more here.
Naeir is a subscription service that allows nonprofits to request items from an ever-changing assortment of office supplies, tools, crafts, clothes, shoes, toys, toiletries, books, party décor and more. Members request everything they think they can use and Naeir ships it for a small shipping/handling fee (described here). The most basic membership level costs $59 per year, and their premier membership costs $529 per year. However, Naeir estimates that premier members receive an average of $18,000 worth of supplies per year, for an average annual savings of $17,471. Check it out here.
Similar to Naeir, Good360 grants nonprofits access to physical goods (like office supplies) for a minimal fee. Unlike Naeir, membership to Good360 is free. Make sure you read the terms carefully–there are strict rules about how you can dispose of supplies you don’t need, so think things through before you order. Get the details here.