How to Save Your Digital Ministries Some Money During the Holidays
The holiday sale season has begun in earnest, and ads for Black Friday (Nov. 29) and Cyber Monday (Dec. 2) have likely been filling your mailbox and inbox for days. Spending some much-needed time with your family and friends is hopefully on your agenda for the holiday weekend, but you may wish to keep in mind that it can be a great time to save your church some money on the tech you need.
Below you’ll find a list of some web-related tools and hardware you might want to look for. My own method for finding deals is simply to search for the product I’m looking for followed by the words “Black Friday sale” or “Cyber Monday sale” and the year. For example, I often look for domain names I’ve had in mind. I just search for “domain names Black Friday sale 2019” and find all of the places that are offering domain registrations for about $1. There are several apps devoted to finding great holiday sales, along with price-checking plugins for your browser that are worth exploring to see if that deal really is a good one after all.
A Few Holiday Deal Warnings
Warning #1: Avoid “Shiny Thing Syndrome”
A confession: My hard drives and closets have plenty of software, training courses, graphics, books, and subscriptions I was certain I would use but quickly forgot about, misplaced, or misfiled. Maybe you do as well. Shiny Thing Syndrome is a common affliction among church tech staff and team leaders.
It’s easy to be wowed by the offers and think, “Hey, I’m saving (my church) so much money!” However, unless there’s an almost immediate use case for something you’re considering, think twice (maybe even tree times) about the purchase. Be the best steward of your church’s limited resources that you can be.
Warning #2: Read the Terms Closely
Those sale prices on domain names, web services, graphic memberships and so on are frequently for a limited, non-renewable term. Unscrupulous domain name sellers, for example, might charge $1 for the first year but $30 or more for renewals–a ridiculous fee considering .com and .org websites are widely available for under $15 a year. Just be sure to read the fine print, then mark on your calendar a date a week or so before the expiration so that you can (if you need to) cancel the membership or transfer the domain.
Warning #3: Some Deals Might Not Be Great Deals
The tech products in many sales ads are low quality items, particularly when it comes to laptops, desktops, and TVs. You’re likely better off avoiding the major retailers and heading for some of the online-only stores.
Warning #4: Sales May Be Better Later or Return Again
Let’s face it…the holiday shopping season lasts until the start of the New Year. If a product you really want isn’t on sale yet, be patient. It just may drop in price later.
Software & Service Deals
- Domain names
- Website hosting (of course, our lifetime pricing is really the only deal you need!)
- Stock photography and graphics website memberships
- Internet marketing services, training and products
- Social networking services
- Video tools, such as video ad software
- Digital planners
- Graphic design and photo editing software
- Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud, and other similar office suites
- Online courses (web design, WordPress, SEO, Google Adwords, social media training, graphic design, etc.)
- Church Management Software
- Password protection software
- Web filtering and monitoring software
- Online giving tools
- Photo and video digital conversion services
- Photo sharing websites
- TVs (for classrooms, worship spaces, meeting spaces, hallways…)
- TV wall mounts
- Sound bars
- Desktop or laptop computers
- Backup drives (remember this quote: “When it comes to backups, 2 is 1 and 1 is none.”)
- Routers, access points, and DSL/cable modems
- Digital camera & zoom lens
- Gimbals, tripods, backdrops, lighting, and other video equipment
- Memory upgrades
- Tablet computers
- Streaming media boxes and devices (e.g. Roku, Chromecast)
- Adapters (e.g. Mac to VGA)
- Video & pico projectors
- Cables (HDMI, networking etc.) and adapters
Tech-related Books for Churches
Your favorite book retailers will undoubtedly have coupons and sales. Use those discounts to snag some great new books on social media, SEO (search engine optimization), online marketing, web design, graphic design, church communications, and other tech-related topics.
Don’t Miss These Limited-time Deals
Some of our personal favorite places to get deals include:
- AppSumo (which specializes in terrific lifetime software deals)
- MightyDeals (design, software, web deals, and training bundles)
- InkyDeals (digital design assets)
- Envato (website themes, plugins, and other tools)
- Pitch Ground (newly-launched web apps with limited-time terms and pricing)
Got a Hot Tip to Share?
Do you know of a great holiday-time sale on technology for churches and other faith communities? Add a comment below.