“TechSoup has been a lifesaver… we are able to train all of our students on Microsoft Office to prepare them for positions in the workforce.” — Christian Women’s Job Corps of Madison County, Alabama
“TechSoup has been instrumental in upgrading our computers … It is amazing what can be done more efficiently when better communication is facilitated by the use of computers.” — Bethany Presbyterian Church
The COVID-19 lockdown has directly impacted many faith-based organisations, including churches and other religious meeting places like yours and we understand the challenges of having to keep congregations and prayer-times together in person during this time.
We would like to introduce you to some products on the TechSoup Programme that could help your church stay connected during the lockdown period.
Below is a list of free and heavily discounted tech tools to help your church smoothly and easily make the digital transformation during this time.
Over and above the need to host online sermons, many churches have yearly training for their ministries, often for children’s ministry volunteers. These are usually required, which makes the stakes even higher to have a 100% attendance.
Zoom allows you to do your annual training better by allowing you to hold the meetings online, so your volunteers don’t have to commute to the church or find babysitters.
You’re also able to record the sessions:
- Your volunteers that can’t make the live meeting can watch the replay
- Any volunteers that come in the middle of the year can rewatch the training, onboarding properly right off the bat
Zoom gives you more flexibility outside of your volunteers. If you need to hold information sessions for parents or NGOs in your community, Zoom lets you do all this with the same benefits as above:
- No need for physical space
- Makes it easier for people to attend
- Record for rewatching
Office 365, Teams
Teams is included with all Office 365 Business and Enterprise licenses and can be used to:
- Collaborate on documents
- Share files
- Chat with team members or specific groups
- Host meetings
- Create channels to house specific workgroups — which can include document storage, chat functionality, and shared notes
Churches must be proactive in protecting personal and financial data during this time and Bitdefender is here to help! Cyber attacks can be especially devastating to churches and ministries, resulting in a loss of contributions and reputational harm.
According to industry experts, many churches and religious nonprofits have no measures in place to protect against these threats. One example is the First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, whose records got compromised after an infection with the CryptoLocker ransomware. Ransomware attackers ask to be paid a specific amount of money — converted into a digital currency such as Bitcoin — in exchange for the decryption key that restores the files back to normal. Luckily, the church was able to restore the server manually from backup — but that took several days.
Google AdWords Grant
During this time, promoting your church and the work you do won’t be cheap or easy. In fact, it could easily eat away at your budget, leaving little left behind for ministry. Google, however, works to help support nonprofits and churches in their marketing efforts. Through the Google Nonprofits Grant, your church could be eligible for $10,000 in free AdWords credits every month.
It’s important to note that most churches are eligible. If you’re not sure, see if you meet the requirements below and then apply.