One of the blessings of walking together as a synod is that there are some things we can do better as a group than as individuals. Purchasing is one of those things. Because of the volume that we represent to potential vendors, many are willing to offer discounted prices on their products or services. This makes good “business” sense, but it is also wise stewardship as we all seek to be the best stewards we can of all of God’s resources.

ShopWELS is a cooperative buying program that offers a directory of approved partners in the ShopWELS Program that can benefit our churches (about 1300) and schools/pre-schools (about 500). The relationship of the ShopWELS partner and the church, school or individual is initiated through the program. ShopWELS is the handshake between partner and customer. No negotiations, contracts, invoices or payments are routed through the program once the connection has been made.

Here are the program requirements:

  1. The partner is required to provide some kind of unique value to our constituents in the form of discounts, specialized services, customized specials, or preferred pricing.
  2. The partner is required to have a national presence or be able to service all domestic locations.
  3. The partner is required to offer a single point of contact for simplicity.
  4. The partner is required to share quarterly reports. The detail of the reports may vary depending on type of service or product offered.
  5. The partner is required to have WELS approve promotional communications to ShopWELS customers.

The partners that are part of ShopWELS have the trust of WELS churches, schools, organizations, and individuals. With that trust, the partner has the ability to promote their products and services to a wide audience. Promotional content is distributed through regular emails, website articles, and other communications from WELS to its member organizations.

If your organization is interested in partnering with ShopWELS, contact us.

For sales tax exemption:

The church, school, or WELS organization will need to request a copy of the WELS 501(c)(3) and then go to the website of the state and fill in the appropriate forms.  All states requirements vary.

For purchases made by areas of ministry at WELS Center for Mission and Ministry, contact financial services regarding sales tax exemption.

A copy of the WELS 501(c)(3) can be requested at Request 501(c)(3) letter from Financial Services

Note: Individuals are not charitable entities and will need to pay any applicable sales tax.

With some vendors an agreement has been signed that requires the vendor to rebate a percentage of purchases back to the synod for use in the administration and promotion of the program. As a result the ShopWELS Purchasing Program is able to operate without the need of synod operating budget dollars.


Why does the synod need a purchasing program like ShopWELS? Find answers to your questions in the ShopWELS FAQ section.


If you want to customize an order or don’t see the product you need, please use our form.