These resources listed below are organizations that UMITA members have used and/or recommended. Some of these organizations may provide free or discounted software and hardware for United Methodist organizations. Also, included on this list are several United Methodist Services provided by the general church. Local UM churches with questions about getting connected with the services below can contact the designated IT support staff of their Annual Conferences.
UM Shared Services
A central hub for services provided by GCFA. These services include Meeting Registration services, Statistics (EZRA), Hosted Financial Software for Annual Conferences (Microsoft GP), Online Donation Collection (VANCO), Online Apportionment Collection (Donor Direct) among other services.
A WordPress-based church website hosting platform that provides easy-to-use and cost-effective websites for UM Churches.
Group Ruling Documentation for UM-Affiliated Organizations
Instead of having to apply for their own 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the IRS, UM-affiliated religious organizations are covered under a group ruling covering most of the divisions (from General Agencies through local churches). This documentation is available online at the UM Group Ruling website, and once downloaded, can be used to apply for many of the discounted (or free) resources available to nonprofits, such as those through TechSoup (see below).
Google for Nonprofits (G Suite, formerly Google Apps)
Google offers nonprofits a free enterprise email system at the organization’s custom domain. This program also includes free streaming through YouTube and other Google services. In order to apply, each organization should first join TechSoup (using the downloadable 501(c)(3) documents available at the UM Group Ruling website above), obtain a “token,” and then apply for Google for Nonprofits.
Office 365 Nonprofit
Microsoft offers the E1 level (Enterprise) of Office 365 accounts to nonprofits for free, and discounted prices on plans to download the Office suite of apps. See UMITA’s Office 365 page for further details.
Techsoup is a clearinghouse for software and service donations from many major technology companies. For a low processing charge or in some cases free, you can receive donations for your organization. There are restrictions and lots of fine print, but Microsoft is one of the major companies that donates their software for prices that are much lower than the already reduced charity pricing while also including software assurance.
CDW is a vendor that provides a full catalog of charity and discount priced software and hardware from almost any vendor. They have an extensive team of sales and support staff that can answer any technical questions you may have. You will need a user account to view discounted pricing when browsing the site. Call toll free 877.811.5749
Dell has teamed up with United Methodist Churches “to ensure that UMC affiliates receive the best proving on all products from Dell.” Dell provides heavily discounted hardware and services and can provide software, though it is not their specialty. Contact Dell by phone or email using the link above.
CCB Technology (formerly Consistent Computer Bargains) provides a well-rounded catalog of charity and discount-priced software and hardware from many vendors.
Apple provides the Western North Carolina Conference and its churches with a 5% discount for equipment and software purchased by the church, for church use. If you are interested, please contact your local store, to set up a business account and arrange for your discount. Find your local Apple store at http://www.apple.com/retail/storelist/