Having official email addresses for your staff (ie: firstname.lastname@example.org) can simplify email communication at your church. Using your domain name with email addresses makes your contact details look much more professional than using a general address (ie: email@example.com).
Your church, as a nonprofit organization can sign up to use G Suite (ie: Gmail, Google Doc/Sheets/etc) with your domain name. After completing the steps below, your staff will have access to the features of Gmail with your custom domain name. The best part, Google offers this to nonprofits for free!
Summary of the steps:
Sign up for Google for Nonprofits
Apply for a TechSoup validation token
Obtain your TechSoup validation token
Complete your Google for Nonprofits account application
Sign up for a G Suite trial
Set up your G Suite account
Enroll in G Suite for Nonprofits
Add users (email accounts)
1. Sign up for Google for Nonprofits
As a first step, sign up for a Google for Nonprofits account. Once approved, you'll be eligible for G Suite for Nonprofits at no cost.
- Go to https://www.google.ca/intl/en/nonprofits for Canadians/International, or https://www.google.com/nonprofits for US
- To begin, click the Get started button at the top-right of the page.
3. Sign-in with your email address or Create a new Account (the account used to sign in with will be added as an administrator for your organization's Google for Nonprofits account)
4. Click "Next"
5. Select your Country, then click 'Next'
6. Enter the TechSoup Validation Token. Or click 'Get a validation token from TechSoup' if you don't have the code on hand or need to create a TechSoup account (see section 2 for further instructions).
7. Add the church phone number and domain
8. Provide your contact details: name, add job title, and phone number
9. Click 'I agree' box and submit
10. Click on the 'Enroll' button
11. Then click 'Sign up for G Suite'
2. Apply for a TechSoup validation token
All churches must be validated as a nonprofit organization by TechSoup or the local TechSoup partner. If you do not have a TechSoup account in Section 1.6, after you click 'Get a validation token from TechSoup', you will be directed to a TechSoup Global Network webpage. Once there:
- Choose your country and language, then click 'Enter'
2. Click 'New to TechSoup.org'
3. Next, click 'Get Validated with TechSoup' to get validated.
4. Complete the 'Join TechSoup' form.
5. When prompted, confirm your email address.
Next, be prepared to enter the following information about your organization when completing the 'Tell Us About Your Organization' form:
- Organization Status - Select 501(c)(3) nonprofit
- EIN or FSCS ID - Enter your EIN (Employer Identification Number)
- Organization Type - Use the dropdown menu to select Religious Activities
- Subtype - Use the dropdown menu to select Church, synagogue, etc.
Verify all details, then click 'Add This Organization'.
Once submitted, you must wait for your application to be validated by TechSoup, which can take up to 10 business days. You may also be asked via email to submit additional information to TechSoup. If you have not received your validation token and qualified within 10 days you may need to contact TechSoup and inquire what is the holdup.
3. Obtain your TechSoup validation token
Once you're notified by TechSoup that your account has been validated, log in to your TechSoup account to obtain your TechSoup validation token.
To do so, use the following steps:
- Click the User icon in the top right corner to select Your Account.
- Once on the Account Details page, click Validation Tokens.
- Then click the Google for Nonprofits link.
Then, you will be prompted to:
- Identify the country in which your organization is located.
- Log in to your TechSoup account.
After logging in, you will be directed to a page that contains your TechSoup validation token. Click Copy, then paste the validation token into the Google For Nonprofits field ( pictured below).
4. Complete your Google for Nonprofits account application
Now that you have obtained your TechSoup validation token, you can complete the process of signing up for a Google for Nonprofits account.
- Log in to your Google account once again to confirm your account and enter/paste your TechSoup validation token.
2. After Google has checked your token, review the list to see if your organization is already listed. If not, select 'My organization is not listed'. Create new account.
3. Then, proceed to enter your organization phone number, website, and contact details. You must also agree to the Google for Nonprofits terms and conditions.
Once your submission is received, you will receive an email from Google regarding the status of your application within 3 days.
Wait for approval before you proceed ...
We recommend waiting until your Google for Nonprofits account is approved before moving on to the next step. The G Suite free trial period lasts 14 days, and waiting until your Google for Nonprofits application is approved will help ensure you can complete the setup within the 14-day trial period.
5. Sign up for a G Suite trial
- Once your Google for Nonprofits account is approved, go to the G Suite website and sign up for a G Suite trial for your organization. Be prepared to provide the following information:Church/Business Name (full legal name)Number of EmployeesCountryFirst NameLast NameCurrent Email Address - Be sure to use an existing email address via which you can immediately receive G Suite account setup emails. You will create new business email addresses later.Next, select whether you:
- Plan to set up your organization's email accounts using a domain name you've already purchasedIf so, click Yes, I have one I can use, then enter your domain name (pictured below).Plan to buy a new domain name from Google for your email accounts.If so, click No, I need one and search for a domain name to purchase from Google. (Alternatively, you can purchase a domain from a different registrar, such as Name.com, then return to complete your G Suite setup with the new domain).
- The final prompts of the trial setup process will guide you to:Confirm the domain you wish to use to set up the account.Enter your preferred G Suite username + password.Agree the G Suite Agreement.Select a payment plan - You must choose a Business Plan and enter payment information until you are fully enrolled in G Suite for Nonprofits. Once your G Suite for Nonprofits application has been accepted, you will be able to utilize the G Suite tools at no cost.NOTE: You may not need to enter payment information if your Google for Nonprofits application is submitted and approved before you create your G Suite account.Accept the G Suite Terms of Service.Enter your First NameEnter your Last NameEnter your Current Email Address - Be sure to use an existing email address via which you can immediately receive G Suite account setup emails. You will create new business email addresses later.Once finished, it's time to set up your account. Click 'Continue To Setup' to move to the next step.
NOTE: You will be able to add additional users/email accounts for your colleagues later in the process.
6. Set up your G Suite account
- Next, you'll be presented with a variety of options to continue.
- Click Use Manual Setup at the bottom of the screen. This will open the Manual Setup dialog.
- Click Go to Admin Console to proceed.
- Once in the Admin Console, click 'Start Setup' at the top of the Admin Console.
- Add a meta tag to your homepage
- Add a domain host record (TXT or CNAME)
- Once your domain is verified, click 'Continue Setup' to proceed.
7. Enroll in G Suite for Nonprofits
Once your Google for Nonprofits account is approved, you can use the following steps to enroll in specific products, including G Suite for Nonprofits (which includes Gmail). This enrollment is what allows your nonprofit to use G Suite at no cost.
- Sign in to your Google for Nonprofits account.
- Click on the 'Enrollments' page in your account to enroll products.
- Click the Enroll link below G Suite for Nonprofits to continue the process.
8. Add users (email accounts)
Once Google has informed you that your G Suite for Nonprofits enrollment has been approved, you will be able to log in to your admin console at admin.google.com with your Google administrator account and password to begin setting up email accounts for individual users! This Google article will tell you how to do that if you need guidance. Once the users are created, your team will be able to log in to their new Gmail accounts.
Once you're ready to switch, you'll just click the Set Up Gmail button at the top of your Admin Console and follow the steps they give you. This is what takes your new email LIVE and causes messages to start flowing into your new Gmail inboxes. If you need help with this step, be sure to contact us. The Google Admin help center is a great resource if you need help making any changes to the new email going forward.