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What the heck? Google now specifically denies churches (and synagogues, ministries, etc)  from getting the non-profit version of Google Apps?

Here's a forum post about it and here's the new guidelines. Does anyone know when this changed? I'm wondering what will happen to those of us whose churches already had a non-profit version approved in the past. 

I suppose the business version of Google Apps is still pretty inexpensive for a typical church. But this just feels like a bit of a slap in the face to religious organizations.

Anyone with more info and/or other perspectives on this?


I've seen this more and more in a post-9/11 world. Businesses are shying away from supporting non-profit organizations that prosthelytize. No business want to risk having their product linked to a radical extremist. Some organizations, like Microsoft, have a separate (but still very good) license for religious organizations. Hopefully Google will consider having something like this, as well as grandfathering in existing religious customers.

Tim, I had heard about Google's change and tried to find something official about it. I saw, as you did, the wording on their guidelines. I couldn't find anywhere where they'd made a statement about the change, but I guess that it would make sense they wouldn't do that. It's a shame. I felt kind of betrayed when I heard about it, after thinking how wonderful it was that Google offered the free licenses to churches.

Kyle, I like your idea. I wish Google would come out and say something.

Christianity Today just posted a story about this - Google Cuts Churches Out of Non-Profit Program

Matt Branaugh's reporting answered some of the questions I had (especially the part about existing churches getting grandfathered in). BTW, the reason I was quoted was because he saw this discussion on The Network. Cool, eh?

Tim, very cool you were quoted because of the network. Very UN-cool that Google has made this change. Maybe they'll change their mind? I guess that's a slim chance, but we can hope.

Update: I just got a call from FOX & Friends. They saw Matt Branaugh's Christianity Today article and asked if I'd be interviewed for a segment on their show.

I declined, but it's interesting how this little discussion thread can turn into something bigger. And, even in declining, maybe Google will see my tweet about it and reconsider their stance. Not super-likely, but one can always hope!

Interesting. I can completely understand why companies want to differentiate between various types of non-profits. I just hope that Google considers adopting Microsoft's approach of setting up a separate program for religious organizations.

Wow, @Tim, you declined your chance at 15 minutes of fame! ;-) Probably a smart move. But, yes, wouldn't it be great if Google would change their minds? Seems to me it'd fit right in with their motto of "Do no evil." (That's them, right?)

Great news, folks. Google has changed their eligibility guidelines and churches may again apply for the non-profit version of Google Apps!

Some links:

Enjoy, and spread the word!

Unfortunately, Canadian nonprofits still can't apply for this. Hope they change that soon! But in the meantime, you can still get started with their regular free version or their $60/user/year paid version.

That IS great news! Warm & fuzzy feelings for Google again. :)

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