What Does Adobe’s New Subscription Model Mean For Your Church?


Last year I wrote a post letting you know how you could get non-profit pricing for Creative Suite 6 and the newly unveiled Creative Cloud. This year Adobe made a predictable but no less unprecedented move by going to a subscription only model for almost all of their software.

What does this mean?

Adobe has made it clear that CS6 was the last creative suite they will release. From now on you can get a subscription for individual programs or everything Adobe makes.

The Pros

  • Always have the latest version
  • Access to every program, no limitations of suites
  • Access to old versions of programs
  • Cloud Storage

The Cons (A Big One)

  • Once your subscription ends you no longer have access to the software (tied in for life)
  • See the end of the article for one solution to this problem


As I wrote about in my past article their are a few different versions of the Creative Cloud: Individual and Team Editions. You can get student pricing on both and non-profit pricing on the team edition.



Non-Profit Pricing

The non-profit pricing is pretty much the same as the educational team pricing you see on Adobe’s Site. This team edition includes 100GB’s of storage, admin controls and centralized billing. However, you can’t buy the non-profit version from Adobe.

To buy the non-profit edition of the cloud you will need to use a reseller and I would highly recommend CDW.com. You will need to call and set up an account to prove your non-profit status, the easiest way to do this is to call Dave Nozar the Non-Profit Account Manager @ 877.667.0833.

The cost is $480 billed annually, if you are getting more the 5 seats (users) you start to get some price breaks so make sure to ask what is best for your situation.

Don’t want to get sucked in the subscription plan?

I have seen ton’s of people complaining about the subscription model and how unaffordable it is for their church, but their is an alternative!

You can still buy Creative Suite 6 from CDW at a non profit price. This will not have any support or updates and you can’t buy a upgrade guarantee but you can use this software for the rest of your life (or until your computer doesn’t support it).

So if your organization is light on funds and you can’t make a subscription plan work you should look at buying now before this option is gone. Check out the pricing of that below:

Design & Web Suite: $565 (regularly priced $1,899)
Production Suite: $565 (regularly priced $1,899)
Master Collection: $950 (regularly priced $2,599)

14 Responses


Also http://www.academicsuperstore.com/products/Adobe/… has student and non-profit pricing $19 Thanks Brad! I always find your blogs informative. Hope to meet you one day.



you have to prove you are a non profit, however pruduction premium is currently out of stock.


Our ministry was holding out upgrading until CS7 was released… but with the introduction of Creative Cloud we've made the decision to get CS6 before it's gone (the re-salers I've spoke with have NO confidence that Adobe will continue to offer a perpetual licensed version of CS6 for a lot of time after CS7 is released).

Our decision was based on two things… cost… and commitment.

It cost us $593 CDN to buy Production Premium CS6. Upgrading our Adobe CS software traditionally gives us at least three years of work before another upgrade is needed.

If we moved to Creative Cloud, it would have cost us $360 in year 1… and $600 in each following year. Thus, 3 years would cost us $1,560.

After thee years we can make a decision whether to move the Creative Cloud or not (who knows what Adobe's software offerings and options will be after that length of time). And if we don't, by having CS6 I'll still be able to work and create media even if the ministry has NO money to subscribe to Creative Cloud.

I realize we won't have all the bells and whistles of CS7 and beyond… but we've managed to survive without upgrading to the latest and greatest versions for quite some time now.


"The cost is $480 billed annually, if you are getting more the 5 seats (users) you start to get some price breaks so make sure to ask what is best for your situation."

Is this price just for 1 seat?


Thank you for this invaluable information.

I know that being forced into a subscription for the Adobe software that I use every day isn’t a cost effective option for us. The idea that if we don’t pay the subscription we won’t have access to the software that we’ve been paying for each month is an appalling thought and I’m not looking forward to Adobe taking away options instead of providing options. I hope that they will continue to offer their software in a downloadable form instead of only making the software only available through subscription.

I’ve been working with CS4 since 2008. It took a few months to convince the boss that the software was an important and very necessary tool for me to have if he wanted to elevate the level of graphic design to something that looked reasonably professional. I have stretched that software purchase for almost five years and thankfully the boss is willing to allow me to upgrade to CS6 before the non-subscription versions go the way of the dodo bird. Maybe six or seven years down the line we will be forced into the subscription in favor of the newest upgrade, but for what we are doing now, I believe that CS6 will be more than sufficient.

And just a plug: Dave Nozar at CDW is extremely helpful. I recommend working with him if you’re looking for some non-profit software – not just Adobe products.


Great and nice info for me. thanks for sharing.


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