I just read "10 Free Business Tools Too Valuable To Ignore" By Ken
Kaufman Founder CEO, CFOwise®, on the American Express's
OpenForum.com website. It was a great article!
The article was so good, I thought you could also use most of the
tools for ministry as well. So, I made some additions, subtractions, and
alterations and here is a version just for your ministry.
Ministry leaders and administrators love to save money, but at some
point we’ve all learned the hard way that “you get what you pay for."
Truth is by the time you mess with most "free" products you have
wasted ALOT of valuable time and effort that in the long run costs you
MONEY! We’ve also become wary of watered-down products that don’t add
value unless we sign up for the paid version.
But there are, indeed, good free resources. Here is a list of 8
resources and tools you'd be crazy not to use (in addition, of course,
to OPENForum.com). For this short list of exceptional products, the
free version is actually a good, productive, legitimate product or
freely shared trove of valuable content for everyone to consume.
Have you ever needed to share a file (especially a large file) with
members of your ministry team, only to find out you could not send it
by email? Or, have you ever needed to have ONE file on the office
computer, the home computer, and your brand new IPAD?
Well, this powerful product ends the challenge of storing and syncing
files and documents on different devices and computers. And, with the
ability to share all of your important stuff with others, Dropbox is a
productivity tool you will love. The free version comes with 2GB of
cloud-based space. Paid plans with more storage are available for a
2. Google Apps
If you have a ministry, your e-mail address needs to end with
@YOURCHURCH.com. Although using services like Gmail, yahoo, or hotmail
are free, they tend to look unprofessional and "not ready for real
ministry" which hurts your credibility.
Google Apps solves all of that for free (at least for your first 10
users), plus you will have access to familiar Google tools and
applications. In addition, there are lots more from third-party
developers to help you run your ministry from multiple locations and
3. Google Voice
While we are still talking about Google, I need to tell you about a
service I use everyday! That is Google Voice. Using Google voice
gives you a local telephone number that rings in a number of places at
one time. Forward you church phone to you or your secretaries home or
cell phone and you can have a live voice answer just like the big
As if that was not enough, you can forward or send text messages (they
give a rough transcription of your voice mails too) to anyone with a
cell phone. Best of all you have an accurate record of who has called
the ministry and the exact time of their call (great when you are told
a call NEVER came in).
4. SCORE templates and tools
The Service Core of Retired Executives is a nonprofit organization
which works closely with the Small Business Administration. This group
is dedicated to educating and helping small businesses and
entrepreneurs, which likely defines your ministry.
With over 13,000 volunteers and 370 offices around the U.S., SCORE
also has a section on its website with free templates and tools. This
treasury includes business plan forms, financial templates, contract
samples/templates and more. You can even ask a question to a local,
volunteer mentor right through the website.
Don't hesitate to leverage what you do not know about business with
the support and experience you can gain by working with a seasoned
business professional. You may also find this a great opportunity to
share the gospel with someone who needs your ministry.
5. Google Analytics
Most of us in ministry never analyse what we are doing and if it is
reaching prospects online. In a competitive environment that mandates a
presence on the Web, Google Analytics helps you maximize your online
efforts. This robust reporting tool can tell you almost everything you
need to know about the visitors to your website, the content they
consume and the efficacy of your digital efforts.
Truth is that "If You Build It They Will Come" is a movie line and
does not reflect the reality reaching people online. I heard a mentor
of mine say "You can expect what you take the time to inspect". Take
some time to make sure the internet is working for your ministry.
I am still surprised by how many people do not have a LinkedIn
profile. If you want to be taken seriously in your ministry, you need
to set one up. As you make connections, your network will help you
find employees and ministry opportunities. And there is plenty of
content on the Web to teach you how to maximize your efforts. The free
version is likely all you’ll ever need.
You can access your desktop any time you need with the robust, free
version of this remote desktop management tool. Perhaps the best thing
about LogMeIn.com is the ability to quickly log in and use software on
your desktop from anywhere, regardless of whether or not the device
you are on has the same software.
Of, course there is also a paid version, but free or paid, this is a
great tool when you need to help someone in your ministry correct a
problem with their computer as well.
A cloud-based task management system, Producteev is a great tool for
keeping your inbox clean and your tasks organized based on a
user-friendly workspace and tagging system. I’ve been especially
pleased with how this product integrates with Google Apps.
Bishop James 'I Feel God' Brown
The Internet's Favorite Pastor
Visit My Blog http://www.ifeelgod.org
http://www.1000churches.org – Kingdom Ministry
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