Working with buying groups can help your charity cut costs on a wide range of goods and services
There are a surprising variety of options to look at when considering purchasing products and services for your charity.
Purchasing networks operate on the basis that they can negotiate volume discounts with suppliers and then pass these on to charities, in return for a small percentage of the price. Some organisations offer discounts with suppliers as a benefit of membership. Be aware that anybody can call their company a "buying group" and claim to provide items at discounted prices.
Some of the organisations which offer discounts to charities are listed below. (Listing implies no endorsement of the products or services offered.)
The Charities Buying Group
The Charities Buying Group is a dedicated service operated and owned by the charity Leonard Cheshire. Charities can sign up for free. The Charities Buying Group offers savings on a range of purchases including: - Gas and Electricity cost reduction programmes - CBG Employee Benefits package, which offers employees discounts on major High Street brands - Free Chip and Pin Terminals - Free software (subject to a nominal administration fee) - Stationery - Telecommunications - Tailored Insurance programmes.
The National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
The NCVO is a membership organisation for charities. As part of its offer to members, the NCVO negotiates discounts and preferential arrangements on products and services for members. Services available include: - Insurance - Telecoms - Energy - Photocopiers - Stationery: NCVO members can set up an online account with Office Depot to access savings on stationery and office products.
The Cost Detectives
The NCVO is currently working with a service called The Cost Detectives. This service offers to go through your organisation's bills and advise on savings to be made. You can access their service via NCVO, or you can visit their website.
Website: The Cost Detectives
In Kind Direct
In Kind Direct redistributes surplus goods from manufacturers and retailers to UK charities working at home and abroad. In Kind Direct’s service is open to charities and not for profit groups in the UK. Charities within the network are vetted and contractually agree that items received must be used solely for charitable purposes. Charities join the network and request goods via the online catalogue and the orders are delivered to their doors.
OGC Buying Solutions - now called Crown Commercial Service
Buying Solutions was renamed Government Procurement Service and then renamed the Crown Commercial Service. It is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office. Its priority is to provide procurement savings for the UK public sector as a whole. Any UK public sector contracting authority, as defined by the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, or any service provider acting on its behalf, can use the framework agreements set up by the service. The agreements cover energy, travel, fleet, office solutions, professional services, ICT, eCommerce, communication services and property & facilities management, saving customers time and money.
Entec Novare provides discounted software for education (students and staff at colleges, schools and universities) as well as charities, voluntary sector and not-for-profit organisations. They also provide hardware and services including relocation, training and computer disposal.