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.