In case you didn’t know I am a big fan of Google.
I like where they are going as a company. I like that they are trying to make the internet more accessible to more people, even if it’s so that more eyes can see more Google ads, the benefits of people having more access to information is great.
Ok, this guy is a bigger fan than me.[/caption]
For ministry I have found the Google office suite of Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive to be indispensable when people know how to use them effectively. I have even begun offering these classes to churches in a four hour program developed with my good friend and founder of thecsr.org, Robbin Whittington.
You may already be using the personal versions of the Google suite, but did you know as a non-profit your church or ministry can receive the business grade version of all this for free. With that you get:
- Ease of collaboration among your office.
- An app store that you can add services just for your business.
- Administrative control over your team’s individual’s accounts.
- Your domain name as your email address across your ministry team. For example: firstname.lastname@example.org can be the Google email address of all of your employees.
It is pretty easy to sign up:
1. Get listed with Guidestar.org
This is easy. I received these instructions from a online chat with one of their representatives.
Please forward a copy of your organization’s listing in a religious directory (i.e. Kenedy Directory, Lutheran Directory, state letter for churches) or the URL for the web site of the directory where your specific organization is listed, Employer Identification Number (EIN) issue letter or any federal document with the EIN pre-printed, and the year the organization was established. You may fax your information to GuideStar at 757-229-8912.
I received a copy of this by contacting our Diocesan Administrator and then they contacted the denomination office.
2. Once listed you can search Guidestar to find out what name they used for your company.
This is important, as when you apply for your Google Apps Non-profit account you want to use the name exactly as they have typed it. You’ll see the search for Guidestar on their homepage.
3. Apply for your Google Non Profit’s account here. http://www.google.com/nonprofits/join/
That’s it. Now wait up to 30 days to see if your account is accepted. It took 24 hours when I applied.
Once you have your account set up you will find many tutorials on getting started. Here is a simple youtube video for setting it up.