About Google Forms
Forms are a great way to gather data and engage with your audience for a specific purpose. Whether you are offering signups for a recreational activity, or gathering data from your members, chances are you’ve used some kind of a form at some point.
Google Forms is a great FREE resource that is available to anyone with a google account. Google accounts are free to sign up for and offer a ton of different services apart from just email. Google offers a lot of different office related products for free and allow you to collaborate with other google users on any of their products. This is a really neat feature that helps your workflow run smoothly.
Why You Should Consider Google Forms
There are many reasons that Google Forms will be helpful to you if you start utilizing these services.
- It is free, always. There are several paid options for plugins for your website. They all serve a nice purpose and at Kingdom Creations Design Co. we use many of these plugins for various thing on client sites (contact forms, etc). With Google Forms, you get a powerful option that doesn’t cost you anything.
- It can be deployed across many outlets. You can use the same Google Form on your website, social media and even send it in an email campaign. This allows for you to reach people through every possible online avenue, and also gather all responses in one central location.
- They are very customizable. There was a time when Google Forms was a bit lacking in terms of functionality and features. On the whole, Google Forms offers a solution for almost all needs in terms of gathering data.
- It is easy to setup. No worries about coding or formatting to fit your website. With the simple embed code that is offered with each form, you can easily bring this in to your site quickly. Also, the time it takes to create a google form is really minimal.
There are a couple of detractions that may steer you away from google forms.
- The type of data that you can collect is minimal. Their functionality is limited in terms of the data so if you need something with more power (e-commerce forms, multipage forms, etc), you may need to purchase a plugin to accomplish this.
- You need a google account. This isn’t necessarily a downside, but to use their forms you have to have an account with them.
Overall, I think that Google forms are worth a look for you. It is a great tool that can help you quickly gather information. And, as with most of the featured products on this resources section, it is FREE to the public. Try out Google Forms and see if it helps your organization.
About Church Metrics
All organizations want to make good decisions. The best way that you can make good decisions for the future is by sometimes looking at the past. By seeing what has happened, often times we can get a good picture of what will happen in the future, or we can see what might need to change so we can see what could happen.
As a local church pastor a great tool that we have found useful for our purposes is called ChurchMetrics, put out by lifechurch.tv (the same organization who makes the bible app). Metrics in churches are something that (for lack of understanding) are underused in most cases.
Why Church Metrics is useful
Church Metrics is a useful tool because it allows you to setup various methods of keep statistics that give you the ability to show trends overtime. These statistics can be in any area that you would like to track. They can include adult attendance, children attendance, servants, giving, etc. Over the course of a year or more you can then take this data and look at different trends within your church. You can see what age groups are growing and also which ones aren’t. As you can imagine this can be very helpful when making decisions for the future about where the areas of focus need to be for your organization.
Another great thing about church metrics (other than the fact that it is FREE), is that it allows for multiple users to have access to this program across all devices. To count a church of roughly 200 people Sunday to Sunday and keep track of all financials and the like, takes about 15 minutes during a Sunday service.
Whats lacking in this app:
I have found that the only things lacking in this app are website integration and individual tracking. It would be great if this program integrated directly in with our website platform and allowed for a central hub of activity from this point. They are working on developing this side of things from my understanding and have some tools already available, but they are in their infancy stage. Regarding individual tracking, it would be great to be able to generate a report, much like you can with a paid version ChMS (Church Management System). This would allow for an increased ability to serve the needs of people and to not lose track of people over time. I guess you can’t get everything for FREE. Overall though church metrics has provided our organization with some very valuable information over the last several years.
For more information about Church Metrics, check out their website.
Do you feel overwhelmed by social media? Do you know that it could be a valuable tool for your organization, but you don’t have the slightest idea how to engage your audience using it, or do you feel that you don’t have the time required to manage it?
Hootsuite aims to solve this problem by doing a couple of things for organizations. First, it provides the ability to connect all or nearly all of your social networks to one platform so that you can monitor all feeds in one place. This is a great as it doesn’t require you to navigate from window to window or app to app to see what is happening out there.
The second thing that is great about Hootsuite is that it allows you to make timed posts to help you manage how much time you really need to spend on social media platforms. Imagine this… You sit down for 30 minutes once every two weeks and you schedule 1 post to go out everyday to your audience. With one click of a button you’ve now setup all of your social media accounts to communicate with your audience – DAILY. And, you’ve only spent a small amount of time and resources getting it setup.
This is very valuable for the small church pastor, or small business owner who is on their own in many ways. Often times coming up with an effective strategy is a solution that provides better results than not trying anything at all.
For more information about Hootsuite, check out their website.