Use this page to find the best ways to get discounts from the software industry. Lots of support is available for registered charities and sometimes you can even get discounts for community groups and community interest companies.
In order to make the right choices when you buy software or sign up to use free software you need to spend some time thinking about exactly what you need.
If you’re not sure where to start, follow our step by step guide to choosing new software or tools.
Once you start to understand what you need, you can take one of three next steps to finding discounts.
This is an online collection of discounts specifically for charities, from a range of providers. Some discounts are also available to organisations that are not registered charities.
These are all genuine discounts, negotiated by Techsoup who work globally, and partner in the UK with Charity Digital. The site helps you check if they offer what you need, whether your organisation is eligible for this discount, and then takes you to a link you can buy from.
To get the best deals you need to ensure you are working with the right people, with the right knowledge, partnerships and plans in place.
You can work with a partner (sometimes called a software broker) who will find deals for you.
They can do the following.
You do need to make sure you have found a trustworthy and reliable partner. They will not usually charge you for the service. They make their money from their arrangements with the software companies.
Warning signs to watch out for include:
It's always fine to walk away if something is not right for you.
Challenges when working with a partner:
To find a good partner, use Google and follow our advice on avoiding scams.
Phoenix Software offers special rates to NCVO members and have been supporting the voluntary sector for over 30 years.
Contact the Phoenix charity and not-for-profit sector team for advice and support.
Large software companies (often called vendors) often have dedicated teams to support charities. These teams tend to be called 'non-profit' support if the company is based in the US.
Some smaller companies may not have a well-advertised programme but will still offer discounts to charities. You can find these in three ways.
Try this if:
The larger companies will often have forms that require a registered charity number. Some of them will want to see your annual review or ask for a request on headed notepaper. Smaller companies may be more flexible and prepared to support other groups and organisations.
If someone makes you an offer make sure to check the terms and conditions carefully.
Whether you are looking for a partner or going direct to a software company, don’t get caught up in dodgy downloads or scams. Knowing which links are genuine and there to really help you relies on a little bit of knowledge around how the web works and trusting your instincts. The old phrase of ‘something seems too good to be true’ is still true.
First skip past the adverts. You want to be viewing the links that Google trusts most. That’s the top links after the ads in your search return listings. Then if something seems to be extremely cheap or free ask yourself a few questions before clicking.
This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 02 March 2021
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