Being a good steward of the resources entrusted to us in the church means stretching every dollar and often making do with used or old equipment and software.
Many of our churches are still using old computer towers, Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 or earlier. Often files sent to a church cannot be opened due to incompatibility issues from outdated software.
Formatting of the document can change when attempting to convert the file to older versions of the program and can cause large headaches and much hair-pulling.
Thankfully, there are solutions even for churches stretching the office administration budget. Open Office (www.openoffice.org) offers software for free that can open most documents.
Open Office allows for basic word processing and is a good, quick solution when you are stuck not being able to open a certain file.
But if you are looking for some serious upgrades to your software in your church, then signing up to TechSoup (www.techsoupcanada.ca) should be your next step. TechSoup offers discounted and free software to non-profits and charities.
Many companies, such as Microsoft, Intuit, and Google, have software available through TechSoup to help empower the not-for-profit sector.
Each company sets its own eligibility guidelines, some of which exclude religious organizations. But don’t be discouraged. Great deals and opportunities for churches are still available.
Microsoft Office, Intuit Quickbooks, Google Business Suite for non-profits, and a Google Adwords grant of up to $10,000 are all available to faith-based organizations that meet the eligibility criteria.
To sign up to TechSoup, you will need your Canada Revenue Agency number and your estimated budget for the coming year.
After a background check that takes about 24 hours, your account will be activated and you will have access to a library of free or low-cost programs and software.
Updating your church’s computer can seem daunting and expensive. But thanks to socially-minded companies and portals like TechSoup, affordable and up-to-date software is just a click away.