Technology purchasing is so much more than buying computers ...

Non-profit organizations can better serve their mission when they use technology and connectivity to
increase efficiency and improve communications among their clients, other non-profit agencies, and the
general community. 

Before purchasing resources, it is critical that each organization examine its current capabilities and future
vision in order to develop a technology plan which will meet its short- and long-term needs. 

It is essential that the plans incorporate the following: 

  • Computers appropriate to each user's needs; 

    • Standardized software throughout the organization (e.g., Microsoft Office); 

    • Essential peripherals, such as printers, multi-function units, and scanners; 

    • Appropriate networking; 

    • Connectivity; 

    • A disaster-ready back-up system; 

    • Training for all users; 

    • Technical support; 

    • Policies for use; and 

    • An on-going funding plan (incorporating software upgrades and a 3-5 year hardware replacement plan) to cover expenses as the organization's technology and connectivity needs grow.

  • The Resources Sub-Committee of the Project Connect Advisory Council has developed guidelines to assist non-profit organizations obtain the most appropriate, cost-effective resources to fulfill this purpose.

    The Computer Purchasing Guidelines for Non-Profit Organizations covers these topics in detail and is available in the 2000 White Paper Series. (Click here for an order form.) For more information, contact Project Connect at 330-762-5627 or . 

    Computer Purchasing Program ...

    As part of our Computer Purchasing Guidelines for Non-Profit Organizations, these vendors have agreed to offer special pricing for computer equipment. 


    To participate in this program, you must identify your organization as a participant of Project Connect and have a 501(c)(3) determination letter. 


    These vendors have been screened for service and support. Project Connect cannot guarantee or warrant their services; however, other participants have highly recommended them.

    If you are a vendor who would like to participate in this program, please contact Project Connect at 330-762-5627. Recommendations from 3 non-profit organizations are required for participation.


    BCG Systems, Inc. 
    Contact: Mark Goodson 
    1735 Merriman Rd 
    Akron, OH 44313 
    Special Project Connect Pricing: 
    Amos Data Systems 
    Contact: Gary Amos 
    1530 West Market St 
    Akron, OH 44313 
    Microcenter, Inc. 
    Contact: Chuck Hutchinson 
    Eastgate Shopping Center 
    1349 S.O.M. Center Road 
    Mayfield Heights, OH 44124 
    For United Way Affiliated Agencies Only: 
    IBM, Inc. 
    800-426-7235 x4147 
  • There are also reputable internet-based vendor websites recommended by participants:

    Software purchasing options ...

    The Project Connect Advisory Council recommends that non-profits standardize on Microsoft Office Professional for the following reasons: 

    Microsoft Office Professional contains a comprehensive set of programs which can meet the computing needs of non-profits: 

    • Outlook (e-mail, calendar, contact tracking, etc.) 

      • Word (word processing, mail merges, basic newsletters, etc.) 

      • PowerPoint (presentations) 

      • Excel (spreadsheets, charts, and data analysis tools) 

      • Access (databases) 

      • Publisher (desktop publishing) 

      • For website development, add Microsoft FrontPage 

      • For organization charts, add Microsoft Visio Standard 

      • For virus protection, add McAfee (stand-alone systems) or NAI Total Virus for Networks. 

    The components (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) work well with each other, simplifying data transfer from one program to another. 
    • The Office suite is widely used among non-profits, which expedites file-sharing among organizations. 
    • Project Connect offers extensive training in Microsoft Office software.
  • Microsoft Software Purchase Options for Non-Profits 

    Complete a grant application for Microsoft's Giving Program:  If your organization is within the Great Lakes Region, visit  Otherwise, visit
  • Purchase the software from discount vendors such as CompUSA or

    $485 for each initial Microsoft Office 2000 Professional version (licensing discounts begin after 5th software purchase) 
    • $275 for each upgrade from Office 95-97 
    • $125 for each initial FrontPage 2000 
  • If you need 11 copies or less: Purchase the software from CompuMentor ( (political organizations, k-12 schools, or religious organizations not eligible)

    $55 for the initial Microsoft Office 2000 Professional 
    • $25 for up to 10 single-user licenses 
    • $40 for FrontPage 2000 

    If you need 5 or more copies, purchase the software from a Microsoft Open Charity Reseller, such as Provantage ( or CDW (call an account representative at 800-800-4239, extensions 78068 or 78072 or 78066): 

      Buy a license (5-user minimum) of Office Professional 2000 for $55.98 (e.g., $279.90 for 5 users; $559.80 for 10 users). 
    • No maximum allowances (agencies can order hundreds of licenses). 
    • When new staff are added, agencies can purchase single-license copies at the open license rate for a 2-year period (which can be renewed as long as the program continues). 
    • Unlike the CompuMentor program, religious organizations are eligible. 
    • After you have received the confirmation letter with the authorization numbers, call Microsoft at 800-248-0655 and order the CD disks with the software on it. (Cost is $23 per disk.)
    • After you get the CD(s), call Microsoft at 888-652-2342 to register the media get the product number so that you can install the software. 


    What are the Computer Purchasing Guidelines?
  • Computer Purchasing Program
  • Software Purchasing Program
  • 2000 White Paper Series