There are many faith-based charities and nonprofits, and TechSoup offers a variety of resources for those organizations. This article will provide an overview of the TechSoup product donations and learning resources that can help your faith-based nonprofit get the most out of its technology.
High-Quality Discounted Technology Products
TechSoup is probably best known for distributing donated and discounted software and technology products to eligible nonprofit organizations. Each of TechSoup's product programs has specific eligibility guidelines set by the donor, and faith-based organizations are eligible for many of these programs.
In September 2013, Microsoft expanded their donation program with TechSoup to offer donated technology products to more faith-based organizations. Previously, faith-based nonprofits were eligible for Microsoft donations only if they had a non-religious primary mission. Now faith-based organizations are eligible for the Microsoft donation program, even if they have a religious primary mission. Review the full Microsoft program eligibility requirements and restrictions to confirm your organization's eligibility.
For many other TechSoup donation programs, your faith-based organization's eligibility for product donations varies based on whether your primary mission is religious or non-religious. If a faith-based organization's primary mission is to provide nonreligious services to people regardless of their beliefs and if the organization does not propagate a belief in a specific faith, it will likely be eligible for additional donations. See the section on Registering with TechSoup below for additional details on registering for the correct organization type.
You can review the full list of TechSoup technology donations for faith-based organizations (including Microsoft donations!) on our Faith-Based Organizations page. You can also take our Program Eligibility Quiz to see which software and hardware donations your organization may be eligible for. The Eligibility Requirements and Donor Partner Restrictions page provides further details on each program's requirements and restrictions.
A few things to keep in mind:
- As of September, 2013, faith-based organizations that have a 501(c)(3) designation are eligible for the Microsoft donation program.
- Companies like GrantStation that create products specifically for nonprofits will often have fewer mission-based restrictions.
- If your organization does not qualify for a specific TechSoup donation, be sure to check out A Quick Guide to Discounted Software Programs for other software discount and donation programs.
Learning Resources for Faith-Based Organizations
All of TechSoup's learning resources are free to any organization, including faith-based organizations, regardless of organization type. They include:
- Detailed Articles and How-Tos on technology topics, written for a nonprofit audience. Topics range from upgrading to the latest version of Windows to website design basics to tips for protecting your computers from viruses. These articles are written with an "accidental techie" in mind, meaning someone who is interested in technology but is not a full-time IT professional. So the articles are instructional, but they're not overwhelmingly technical.
- Resources and toolkits on specific technology topics like using mobile for your mission and disaster planning.
- The TechSoup blog, written for a nonprofit audience. This is a great source for nonprofit technology news, information, and resources.
- Free online technology seminars that can help you better understand and utilize your technology. These seminars let you learn anywhere you have a computer and Internet access. Many of the webinars are also archived, so you can view them anytime, anywhere, at your convenience.
Join the Conversation in the TechSoup Forums
The TechSoup Forums are a great place to ask (and answer) technology questions. There are more than 20 forums, on topics like Security and Tech Planning and Policies.
Nonprofits face many of the same technology challenges, like having limited time, budgets, and resources to support and maintain their technology. So if you're facing a technology problem, the odds are good that another organization might have the same question or know of a great solution. Each forum is moderated by a friendly volunteer host and TechSoup staff, and your questions are always welcome.
You can also search the forums to see if a topic you're interested in has already been addressed.
Keep Up with the Latest TechSoup News
Want more TechSoup? You can get the latest TechSoup news delivered right to your inbox. We send out a variety of email announcements and newsletters, including:
- By the Cup, a weekly alert on new TechSoup nonprofit technology articles, forum discussions, resources, and events (plus a delicious soup recipe).
- New Product Alert, a bi-weekly email that highlights new technology product donations available to nonprofits through TechSoup.
You can also follow TechSoup on Twitter (@TechSoup) for technology news and resource updates.
Registering with TechSoup
To receive product donations, organizations must join TechSoup, register their organization, and submit qualification documents. For more information on registration, qualification, and options for faith-based organizations, visit our How to Get Donations page and check out our Account Management 101 blog posts.
If your organization is faith-based, but has a primary mission that is nonreligious, you may be able to register with an organization type that allows you to be eligible for additional programs. If you are registering with an organization type other than Religious Activities, follow the steps described below.
If you are registering for the first time:
If you are not already registered, register now. Select the organization type and subtype that most closely matches your organization's primary mission.
At the end of the registration process, you will be asked to submit verification of your organization's 501(c)(3) status. In addition to any other documents requested, you must also submit the Secular Clarification Survey (SCS).
If you are changing your organization type designation from a religious type to a type that better describes your mission:
- If you are already registered and want to change your organization subtype, do so now. See Joining TechSoup for general instructions.
- After you make these changes, you will be asked to submit verification documents. In addition to any other documents requested, you must also submit the Secular Clarification Survey (SCS).
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