Art of Being Cheap: Saving on Software

When my youngest, Gus, was about four years old, he gave me two pennies to go to Papa Murphy’s to buy him some cookie dough. Guess what. I took pity on him and bough him the cookie dough. What does this have to do with being cheap and saving on software? Sometimes being pitiful can get you software for cheap. That’s probably not a good rule to live by for a church, but it might be helpful in the area of office and administration.

Since many see the need for churches and nonprofits to save in the area of software, here are the first places to look for savings:

  • Free Version: Many software companies offer free or lite versions of their software. Their hope is that they can eventually entice you to buy the full or pro version. Don’t fall for it! If free works, stick with it!
  • Freeware: There are number of companies or open source communities that provide free software. Some of them do this to stick it to the man (usually Microsoft). Some of them have other reasons. I linked to a few of these below.
  • QuickBooks: It was common for many churches to use special church accounting software. A lot of church accounting software is great…except pretty much no one has ever been trained on it. This steep learning curve and lack of user community increase the overall cost of church accounting software compared to QuickBooks.
  • TechSoup: TechSoup’s mission is basically to help those organizations that most benefit society have access to great technology. Translation: cheap software for churches and other nonprofits. I’m sure they do other great things too, but…they had me at cheap.

Useful Links

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