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 Google Workspace (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 Google Workspace trial
- Set up your Google Workspace account
- Enroll in Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace 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.
- 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).
- Click Next
- Select your Country, then click Next.
- 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).
- Add the church phone number and domain.
- Provide your contact details: name, add job title, and phone number.
- Click the 'I agree' box and submit.
- Click on the Enroll button.
- Then click Sign up for Google Workspace.
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.
- Click New to TechSoup.org.
- Next, click Get Validated with TechSoup to get validated.
- Complete the Join TechSoup form.
- 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. Get Your TechSoup Validation Token
Once you're notified by TechSoup that your account has been validated, log in to your TechSoup account to get 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 your TechSoup validation token, you can complete 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.
- 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.
- Then, enter your organization's 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 Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace Trial
Once your Google for Nonprofits account is approved, go to the Google Workspace website and sign up for a Google Workspace trial for your organization. Be prepared to provide the following information: Church/Business Name (full legal name) Number of Employees, Country, First Name, Last Name, Current Email Address - Be sure to use an existing email address via which you can immediately receive Google Workspace 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 purchased. If so, click Yes, I have one I can use, then enter your domain name (pictured below). Or, 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 Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace username + password. Agree the Google Workspace Agreement. Select a payment plan - You must choose a Business Plan and enter payment information until you are fully enrolled in Google Workspace for Nonprofits. Once your Google Workspace for Nonprofits application has been accepted, you will be able to utilize the Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace account. Accept the Google Workspace Terms of Service.Enter your First Name, Enter your Last Name, Enter your Current Email Address - Be sure to use an existing email address via which you can immediately receive Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace for Nonprofits
Once your Google for Nonprofits account is approved, you can use the following steps to enroll in specific products, including Google Workspace for Nonprofits (which includes Gmail). This enrollment is what allows your nonprofit to use Google Workspace 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 Google Workspace for Nonprofits to continue the process.
8. Add Users (email accounts)
Once Google has informed you that your Google Workspace for Nonprofits enrollment has been approved, you will log in to your admin console at admin.google.com with your Google administrator account and password to set 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 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 takes your new email LIVE and causes messages to flow 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 to make any changes to the new email going forward.