Google Apps, Google+, YouTube Available for Churches Use

Written by  //  March 19, 2012  //  Church Mobile  //  11 Comments

Google Apps is a great solution for church and nonprofts, and is now free (again). Last year, Google opened up its Apps solutions to nonprofits, but then refused to make these solutions available to houses of worship; now, they’ve changed their minds and Google for Nonprofits is now a “go” for any kind of nonprofit, including churches.

Google has taken the offering a step further and integrated Google+ for church and nonprofits, along with an update to the YouTube Nonprofit Program.

Google Apps is a great product that can be used to set up your domain – if your church’s web address is FirstBaptist.org, for instance, email for your church staff can be set up at this domain – pastorbob@firstbaptist.org, etc. All church email along with any other personal email account can be routed all to one Gmail login.

Google Apps can be used in many different ways within your church to enhance productivity. Share and edit documents with Google Docs, get exclusive products and resources such as:

  • Free or discounted version of Google Apps for your organization
  • Free Adwords advertising
  • Premium branding and increased uploads on YouTube
  • Free licensing for Google Earth, SketchUp, and Maps API

Review Google’s Eligibility guidelines » to see if your church qualifies for this program.

Overall, Google Apps for churches is a great way to utilize the best of web technology in order to streamline email, online collaboration, and marketing of your church to the world through Google+, YouTube, Picasa and more.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on using Google if you’re already using Google Apps for your church.

Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, church technology PR consultant (http://lhpr.net) and founder of the blog ChurchTechToday (http://ChurchTechToday.com), Technology for Today’s Church.

About the Author

Lauren Hunter is a freelance writer, consultant and blogger who loves the Lord and desires to encourage churches to better use technology to improve every aspect of ministry. Her blog, ChurchTechToday, was born out of a need to find a place to discuss how technology can impact the Church in positive ways.

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11 Comments on "Google Apps, Google+, YouTube Available for Churches Use"

  1. RyanRobinson March 19, 2012 at 8:59 am · Reply

    Not using it for a church right now, but I am using it for a small church-oriented business. They definitely do make a lot of things easier.

    • Lauren H. Hunter March 19, 2012 at 12:52 pm · Reply

      Okay, my only gripe is that if you have multiple businesses and multiple email accounts feeding into one Google Apps account, when people reply to your email, it will always show the dominant email address. For instance, my PR biz is @lhpr.net so if you email me at lauren@churchtechtoday.com, when I reply back it shows @lhpr.net so people often get confused and ask me what email address is best. With nonprofits, you’d need to be careful not to route your for profit biz email into your church email account.

      • Lee March 25, 2012 at 6:55 am · Reply

        You can change that in settings. There is a drop down in Gmail to change accounts.

        I set our church on Google apps for education years ago before the change and it has worked well. Thanks for the tip on adwords. We have used CCB on the backend since 2003. They stopped hosting our public website last year (www.jccchurch.com) so we transitioned to Google Sites. There is a lot more we could do with the site but it is working well for us.

  2. Joshua Kelley March 19, 2012 at 11:50 am · Reply

    I’ve been using Google Apps for our domain for a few years now, but just yesterday came across Apps for Nonprofits. Same as Apps for Education (but free for under 3000 email accounts), so I applied. Already approved for that, a YouTube nonprofit account and a 1-year Google Earth Pro license.

    • Lauren H. Hunter March 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm · Reply

      That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. Glad it’s working out for your church.

  3. Dave Ploch March 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm · Reply

    Lauren, ten years ago I found myself packaged out of my IT management position in a major pharma company and spent several years doing freelance work coordinating IT work for a number of business including my church. At that time, I went ahead and set up our domain and also set up GAFYD for the church. We are a growing church but at the time only had 4 people on staff. I tried and tried to get them to use the new email addresses and also showed them DOCS as a way to share information.

    Suffice it to say, it didn’t take. I went back to work and all this just sat there, laughing at me everytime I looked at the Apps site for the church.

    I am now moving on to another gig (Consulting for Strategic Business Planning and how Mobility can drive to that success) but plan to try again with the current administration to see if I can show them the value and benefit they could get from this tool set.

    I guess my point is really, until a church is ready or someone has a LOT OF TIME to work with everyone to get buy in, the uptake by the church will be very, very slow. Without critical mass, it is doomed.

    This time I am planning on doing a workshop with the pastor and staff to do a “pain point” analysis around the processes used within the church. Once we have those and prioritize the ones that have the highest potential for saving time, money, effort we can then map technology to solve them and determine if GA can meet the needs. (I have no doubt) I will then take time to go over the key features and capabilities with staff and find someone who will take up the standard to help make it happen.

    • Shaun June 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm · Reply

      It’s as if we were sharing the same life.

    • laurenhunter June 15, 2012 at 7:07 pm · Reply

      Hi Dave,

      I hear you about churches taking a long, long time to adapt. It took me 7 years to convince my church to get a better website and a total of 8 years to get them to switch to a web-based church management solution (Church Community Builder). I’m all for patience, but churches aren’t the best at embracing change. It can be frustrating. Let us know what you’re up to now!

      Sincerely,
      Lauren

  4. Tauvicr April 17, 2012 at 6:40 am · Reply

    The idea is great but sadly its only available in the United States and not for the rest of the world due to Googles policy.

  5. J. Alex Sánchez July 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm · Reply

    Does anyone know if a church qualifies for a free Google Apps account with just an EIN number, or do we need 501c also? So far gmail is working great – I’ve been able to use my personal domain kerussograce.org. Currently signed up for the Google Apps for Biz 30-day trial.

    • Lauren Hunter July 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm · Reply

      I’m not sure about needing the 501c – your best bet is to go through the process of subscribing with Google Apps and see what the form requires. You might also be able to ask Google for Nonprofits directly. Let me know what you find out!

      Blessings,
      Lauren

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