Google Apps in the Church

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Parishes, apostolates, and ministries must do everything they can to keep expenses to a minimum.  Information technology expenses are no exception.

What if there was a way to have the latest technology for free?  Yes, free.  Shouldn’t we all jump on board?

Google-Apps-in-the-Church

Google Apps offers a unique solution for nonprofits: high quality information technology infrastructure (email, cloud-based file sharing, a web-based office suite, and a host of other tools) at zero cost.

Even the smallest websites and bloggers can benefit from this, as well.  Google Apps is not just for businesses and nonprofits.  For a small fee, anyone can use this wonderful tool.

Of course, I’m not a nonprofit organization, so I am required to pay a small fee of $5 per month – per user, or $50 for the entire year.  In the overall scheme of things, this is a minimal expense for such a robust product.

Imagine:  instead of having the [email protected] address, you can actually change it to [email protected], which helps add a touch of professionalism to your online ministry.

I have been a big fan of Google Apps for years and have been a regular user ever since.  If I am looking to set up email for a new domain, I look no further than Google Apps.

What comes included with Google Apps?

  • An email system that functions just like Gmail
  • A calendar that quickly syncs with all devices
  • Cloud-based file storage (access your files anywhere)
  • Web-based office products (Docs, Sheets, etc.)
  • Quick creation of collaborative websites
  • Integration with other Google products like Google+, Adwords, Blogger, and other tools

Whether you are helping a parish make technology decisions or a blogger who wants a more robust, personalized email system, Google Apps is worth a try.

Nonprofits can begin by clicking here, and the rest of us can click here.

Embracing new technology only helps our evangelization efforts.  With so many free resources out there, like Google Apps, we’re running out of excuses not to.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2013 Chad R. Torgerson

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6 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more how great of a solution Google Apps is for a lot of parishes. We’ve been using it for business for several years, and more recently set our parish up with the nonprofits version. The application process and wait time wasn’t too bad, but it did take a few weeks.

    I’m very interested to see where they go with Google+ Premium that is included for free (through 2013) for the nonprofit version. It adds a few benefits like leveraging the social network for internal messaging, up to 15 people in hangouts compared to 10, and some organization controls.

    The nonprofit YouTube version also adds some nice additional features like the ability to add a donation button alongside videos (goes through Google Checkout of course) and a few other little extras.

    The last part is the ease of set up with mobile especially for Android users.

  2. Users who, for their own reasons, might not want to use Google Apps could check out Zoho at https://www.zoho.com/. They offer the same services and include some other apps. There are free and really cheap plans available for individuals and groups. And they even have a way to integrate with Google Apps and Sharepoint.

    Not saying it’s better or worse, just a viable alternative, parts of which I’ve used for years.

  3. Katie O'Keefe on

    Thanks for the tip, Chad. We’re trying to improve our web presence at our parish. I’m going to check this out to see about it being an intermediate step.

    • Katie,

      Google Apps isn’t really about “web presence”. It’s a platform for communication and collaboration internally. It can create an environment that is more “open” and connected. In many ways it’s a perfect fit for parishes. And it is a great way for a parish to begin honing it’s web strategies that will eventually (and naturally) branch out beyond your parish walls.

  4. Excuse my gate-crashing, but I found this article really helpful as our church is considering Google Apps right now. I just started applying when I hit what might be considered a potential road-block?

    What do you make of this sign-up clause on the application:

    “The program benefits will be designated for service programs open to all persons regardless of religion and will not be used for religious instruction.

    How would you read that?

    Would you take that to mean that it cannot be used for administration, but for public service programs only, that do not promote faith?

    So for example, it could not be used to share documents discussing last Sunday’s sermon?

    Hope you can help

    thanks

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