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Using Google Forms

Using Google Forms

Using Google Forms

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.

Downsides

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.

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Church Metrics – FREE TOOL!

Church Metrics – FREE TOOL!

Church Metrics – FREE TOOL!

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.

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Hootsuite – Social Media Manager

Hootsuite – Social Media Manager

Hootsuite – Social Media Manager

About Hootsuite

 

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.

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KEEPVID – Video Download Tool

KEEPVID – Video Download Tool

KEEPVID – Video Download Tool

About KEEPVID.com

We’ve all been there.  There has been a great video that we’ve come across that we’d like to show to our audience but we don’t have the means to share this video and don’t trust youtube or whatever other source we are pulling it from to display it without any hiccups during our presentation.

The solution to this problem is to download this video and run it directly from your computer.  If you are in a church service and either your internet is suspect or you don’t have confidence that a video will stream effectively, this is a great solution for you.  The website KEEPVID.com is a great tool to help.  There are several other forms of this technology available, keepvid.com is just the one that i’ve found to be the easiest.  Anyvideoconverter is another solution that is available, but for the purposes of this article i’ll focus on keepvid.

Keepvid allows you to simply grab the URL you are attempting to download from a source (i.e. youtube.com) and to save it to your computer for later use.  You can do any number of things once this has been downloaded.  You can burn to DVD for viewing on a tv, or you can import the recently downloaded file to your display program (song show plus, media shout, etc).

Check out keepvid.  It’s easy to use, free and effective.

For more information about keepvid, check out their website.

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Canva – FREE Graphic Design Tool

Canva – FREE Graphic Design Tool

Canva – FREE Graphic Design Tool

About Canva

Canva is a great resource for non-profits, churches and small businesses.  It is a tool that allows you to create any number of graphics for various uses including digital and print.  If you are someone who has said “we can’t afford a graphic designer” or “we can’t afford graphic design software”, then this is something you should check out.

Cost: Free Version and Premium Version

The free version and the premium version both have their advantages.  Most organizations can get away with the free version.  Here is what is included in the FREE VERSION:

  • Free templates for everything (powerpoint, posters, letterhead, business cards, etc)
  • Lots of font choices
  • The ability to upload your own graphic files
  • Direct Downloads (once you are done designing you can download your artwork in a print ready format)

The PREMIUM VERSION does have some advantages:

  • You can magically resize artwork to fit on another size canvas.  This is great if you have multiple things you want to print with the same styling and this will save you a lot of time.  An example of this is if you are starting a fundraising campaign and want to print postcards, a flyer and a letter.  You can design it once and then resize it to fit any size.  You’ll simply have to adjust image sizes and layout for your new size.
  • Saved colors.  This is great if you have organizational colors that you want to include in all of your designs.
  • Bring in your own fonts.  You are not limited to their font catalog (which is pretty extensive).
  • And many more features.

Canva is a tool that i’ve been using for a little over a year and find it to be a great tool to quickly design a project using their built in templates for imagery and text.

For more information about Canva, check out their website.

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315-842-6197

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