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How do technology discounts work?

SUMMARY: United Methodist Communications’ technology discounts are a gem for United Methodist organizations – and their budgets. Become your finance committee’s best friend while keeping your church outfitted with the latest technology available with deeply discounted software from major suppliers like Microsoft and Adobe. Settle in with a cup of Joe and take a tour learn more.

Inquiring minds like to know 
United Methodist Communications is the technology lifeline for United Methodist churches. Through shop.umc.org/technology, United Methodist Communications offers United Methodist churches and organizations significant savings on software, website design and hosting, hardware and related peripherals such as printers, projectors, projector screens, Flip cameras, etc. Typically, customers receive 50-80% off retail prices. We work with distributors to ensure the best pricing on software titles from brands like Microsoft, Corel, Apple, Adobe, McAfee, Symantec, Quicken, QuickBooks and MediaShout.

Worth the wait?
Are you willing to wait 7-10 business days for your product if you can save more than $350? In order to receive major discounts, United Methodist Communications uses volume licensing. For example, to save as much as 80% off Microsoft’s retail pricing, Microsoft requires that every customer order be verified for non-profit entity status. This usually requires a wait of 7-10 business days (sometimes as little as two business days, depending on the time of year) before you receive your licensing information.

If you seek instant gratification, you can pay $500 for Office 2010 rather than $87 at at shop.umc.org/technology or you can try this approach: Most products offer a free 30-60-day trial period that you can use during the 7-10 business days that your order is being processed. Need to know how to use the trial period? E-mail us at techshop@umcom.org, and we’ll point you in the right direction!

What else do I need to know?

1. You must be a United Methodist church or organization to purchase discounted computer hardware and software. While we’d love to outfit individuals with discounted software, our manufacturers won’t let us. Sorry – no exceptions!

2. There is a difference between License only and License + DVD! If you want to save a little money, you can purchase the license only on some software titles. This means that you must go online and download the software yourself, which can take hours as the files are large. If you are downloading software onto one computer, and you have time and a high-speed connection, it is feasible to do it yourself. However, if you’re downloading software onto more than one computer, I highly recommend getting the installation disc. Also, if you’re not a member of the “Tech Savvy Club,” buying and using the installation disc will save you from a headache…or two. If you choose License + DVD, you will receive an installation DVD with the software on it, ready to be installed as soon as you receive the licensing information via e-mail.

3. Five can be the magic number. Microsoft requires customers to purchase a minimum of five licenses on an initial order, every two years. That’s the price to pay for deep discounts! However, we does not require you to purchase five of the most expensive licenses to fulfill this demand! We have $4 “filler” licenses just for this reason. After you have fulfilled the five-license minimum, each additional purchase during the next two years can be one or more. You do not need to purchase five licenses on each order.

4. The e-mail address you use when you order is the e-mail address where your licensing information will arrive. For example, if the e-mail address used when you ordered from United Methodist Communications is firstchurch@mychurch.org, your licensing information will be delivered to firstchurch@mychurch.org. Even if this is not the primary account you use, our system will still send it to firstchurch@mychurch.org.

5. Your licensing e-mail will come from cdw.com, because we use CDW to fulfill our software orders. It will not come from someone at microsoft.com, adobe.com or apple.com. When you place an order, check your spam filter or junk box to ensure your licensing e-mail has arrived.

6. There are three ways to order.

  • Visit our website, shop.umc.org/technology
  • Order by phone with a call to our fantastic Customer Service department at (888) 346-3862.
  • Fax your order to (615) 742-5460.

Now, aren’t you glad you shared that cup of Joe with me? And, please, don’t keep this valuable information to yourself! Every United Methodist church needs to save money. With United Methodist Communications, if you can wait a few days, you can save a lot of money!

Adapted from an original article by Tracy Wood, former Product Marketing Coordinator, United Methodist Communications. Tracy has been known to be the first in line – requiring her to wait overnight – for discounted concert tickets!