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Non-Profit Pricing from Adobe

May 24, 2006 by

When it comes to graphic design software, Adobe’s Creative Suite is pretty much the industry standard. But it doesn’t come cheap ($900 list price).

So ChurchMedia.net has started a petition asking Adobe to offer religious non-profit pricing. (link via DJ Chuang)

Update: It seems Adobe is already exploring the non-profit options. There’s a new non-profit Adobe blog, a PDF about the Open Options Nonprofit Licensing Program and a list of non-profit authorized resellers. So I think that means you can now score some non-profit pricing on Adobe products.

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Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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21 Responses to “Non-Profit Pricing from Adobe”

  • hale-yeah!
    May 24, 2006

    maybe, i’ve heard great things about the adobe crew, but that’s a lot to ask. the religious community is a economical force now. there’s a lot of people making big bucks off the church, just look at sound and production.


  • michael
    May 24, 2006

    It somewhat bothers me that churches and religious always look for discounts and cheaper alternatives. On one hand, we wanted to be treated as professionals and we want to conduct business in an organized manner, and on the other hand, we’re always looking for free and cheap stuff.
    when churches go to buy something, too many ask “how much is it” before truly evaluating a products merits. The cost of something should not be the only determining factor.
    Personally, i think we should pay the standard price and not always do christianity on the cheap.


  • Greg D. Elson
    May 24, 2006

    Actually, it was just announced a day or two ago that Adobe HAS non-profit/educational pricing now… and it is pretty significant. My software rep (from CCBNonProfits.com) just informed me of it & sent me the new pricing chart.


  • Holy Cow!
    May 24, 2006

    Here’s the big problem. It’s not about CS2 at a discount, it’s about who CS2 is being bought for. Too often it is being bought for the office staff and *POOF* they’re designers.
    Hats off to the office staff that take this on, but it’s just not fair to anyone across the board. It’s funny to me that a church can spend thousands of dollars on landscaping and lawnmowers…but then turn around and doing things on the cheap in terms of communication.


  • Andrew
    May 24, 2006

    You can pick a retailer for non-profit pricing here: http://partners.adobe.com/resellerfinder/na/education.jsp?nav=npa
    The rates are great–under $700 for the full Adobe/Macromedia suite.


  • Chuck
    May 24, 2006

    I posted about this today. I have a good friend who works closely with Adobe Non Profit. Basically this came about because the Macromedia people prevailed over the Adobe folks internally. You can read more by clicking on my name below.


  • Brandon Meek
    May 24, 2006

    I would say at $900 creative suite is already at a nice discount.
    We spend too much time trying to get “the deal” and not enough time doing what we should be doing.
    This has been cried about at churchmedia.net for a long time. Adobe doesn’t owe the church anything and I find it interesting that churches want to be treated as professional, but they want student pricing when it comes to buying stuff.
    I think all the whining and petitioning just reinforces how big of babies some people in the church can be. Another question you have to ask, by reducing it to $700 how many more people can now buy it that couldn’t buy it at $900? I’d say it doesn’t change much, so we’re griping because we feel we’re entitled.


  • dan
    May 24, 2006

    I don’t think the griping is over whether or not there was non-profit pricing. There already was.
    The griping was that there was non-profit pricing, but it excluded churches.


  • Anthony D. Coppedge
    May 24, 2006

    You know what, for those office staff types, there’s Adobe Photoshop Elements for $89 or less. If you can’t afford Photoshop CS, you don’t need it, because you won’t have the print or multimedia gear to appreciate the difference anyway.
    $700 from $900? $200. Looking like cheapskates to world already convinced where a cheap imitation of ‘real life’. Priceless.
    Whatever happened to 1 Timothy 5:18? (A workman is worthy of his wage). Pay up, and while you’re at it, pay staff what they’re worth, too.
    You know what, for those office staff types, there’s Adobe Photoshop Elements for $89 or less. If you can’t afford Photoshop CS, you don’t need it, because you won’t have the print or multimedia gear to appreciate the difference anyway.
    $700 from $900? $200. Looking like cheapskates to world already convinced where a cheap imitation of ‘real life’. Priceless.
    Whatever happened to 1 Timothy 5:18? (A workman is worthy of his wage). Pay up, and while you’re at it, pay staff what they’re worth, too.
    <– stepping off of soap box.


  • kevin
    May 24, 2006

    Wow, I opened up quite a can of worms, didn’t I? ;-)


  • Joel
    May 24, 2006

    We were only asking for the same discount being offered to other non-profits. Churches were being discrimanted against by Adobe policy.
    Now, to Adobe’s credit, that has been reversed. Churches can now purchase Adobe products at the non-profit discount.


  • Jeff K
    May 25, 2006

    Anybody know of other companies that provide non profits discounts? Does Macromedia? Apple?


  • D Cho
    May 25, 2006

    Adobe non-profit licensing has been available for some time. You have to look through the right channels. If you go to CDW (CDW.com), you can get a killer discount on the Creative Suite. This is only true for those with legitimate non-profit status with the IRS.


  • Gene Mason
    May 25, 2006

    I know that Apple has a special church rate available through the Willow Creek Association. Saved significant dollars–several hundred on my last computer purchase.
    There was a post at the top of this thread that kinda came down on churches for looking for special rates and cheaper alternatives. I want that person to talk to my Stewardship Ministry Committee. Anytime I can find a good deal on any purchase for the church, that’s just good stewardship. I wish every supplier I worked with had non-profit or church pricing. As long as the service and support is not compromised, that’s always a good thing.
    Who would WANT to pay more for anything than they absolutely have to, church or not? Thanks for the tips on Adobe non-profit pricing, BTW–I actually have to order a copy of CS2 for a new employee and found a discount thanks to this thread…


  • Alex Asay
    July 10, 2006

    All I know is this new policy by Adobe saved the multimedia budget for my church of 1100 in the middle of Nebraska. I personally spend about 10 to 40 hours a week volunteering my services and before I’ve been forced to use Elements there.
    I know there was a comment earlier about how if you can’t afford it you don’t appreciate it, this is not always the case. In cases like mine, there is only one full time multimedia position and the a few others like me that volunteer. All of us that volunteer are graphic design professionals. I definitely know the difference from printing an RGB instead of CMYK.
    The concept of having decent graphics, web sites, videos, commercials, and the like is so new to a lot of churches and they just have no idea what costs are involved. There is something to be said about how churches make money. At my church this is not the case nor does any one person make any money off the church, besides the obvious like Sam Walton over at Wal*Mart.
    Personally I give Adobe mad props for making the world a better place by helping further the kingdom of God. Thank You


  • jc
    July 24, 2006

    Thank you so much. Our church is a small but creative body of people. This discount will be appreciated by all.


  • Fay Rhodes
    September 11, 2006

    Are you kidding? We shouldn’t look for discounts, because it makes us look like cheapskates? Do you know that attendance at the average Protestant church in 2003 was 89? Think about that!
    Here in New England, the cost of living is very high and most of the churches are very small. Half of our congregants are (legal) immigrants who work in low-paying jobs while supporting themselves and family members in their home countries.
    Can you seriously believe it is unbecoming for those of us who are giving sacrificially of our treasure, time and talents to always look for the lowest prices on products and services? I call it good stewardship.


  • Brandon
    September 12, 2006

    Fay, what makes churches look like cheapskates isn’t looking for deals, its crying about not getting them, and then griping when someone does throw you a bone.
    Why is it that churches feel they should get the very best when they are only serving, in your example, 89 customers? In business, you make decisions based on what you can afford, not what you are owed.
    Is it a good thing for churches that adobe is offering the discount, probably, but make no mistake, the church isn’t owed this. What really kills me is that when many churches want something, they act like they are all big business, then when they don’t get the treatment they want, they cry about how they can’t do this or that.
    When you factor in that only a small percentage are paying (tithing) customers, that church of 89 probably equates to little more than a home based side business, in the eyes of the corporate world, and I just don’t know that its fair to expect them to bend over backwards for that audience.


  • Fay Rhodes
    September 12, 2006

    I guess I don’t circulate in the same circles, since I haven’t heard people whining or demanding discounts for churches. (I’m rather new to CMS.)
    As a group, Americans tend to act entitled to whatever it is they want; on the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with asking for the discount. The purpose of a petition is usually to communicate that there is a significantly large group who would act positively with a favorable response. In this case, the company is given an idea of how many would make a purchase if the price was reduced.
    Though the average church is small, there are a LOT of them. If companies, like Adobe, can still make a profit, they’re cultivating a market they would not otherwise profit from. Companies do this all the time.
    Christians with bad attitudes are just plain bad news. There is no excuse for that, whatever the issue.


  • Brandon
    September 13, 2006

    Fay I should have clarified, there hasn’t been a lot of whining here, but another church media site I used to frequent.
    I find it annoying when Christians take the attitude of, “You owe me this because I’m doing it for God.”
    For the business, in this case adobe, the churches that can buy and that are good customers were probably already buying. Smaller churches aren’t going to upgrade the way that adobe would like (most likely) so I just don’t think selling XX,XXX copies extra every 3 or 4 years means that much.
    What I do think happened is that the macromedia team convinced them to give it a shot. I’m glad they did because it will help out churches that wanted it but couldn’t quite afford it. It doesn’t solve the problem of lame church marketing though, we still have that to deal with. :)


  • Preston Vickrey
    March 20, 2008

    To give churches a discount or not?
    Well if one non-profit gets a discount, why not another, the issue for Adobe and other software companies is that the cost of making an additional product is just a few dollars, the cost is in programming the program, so lowering the price for students, schools, non-profits, and yes even Churches means they are still making $100’s that the often wouldn’t have without a price drop. $100’s in profit from a non-profit, how sweet, everyone is happy.



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