Recently I have been asked to consult other organizations about their IT needs. I am honored and humbled by this because someone other than me thinks my opinion matters! So here are some companies/services/apps that I believe will benefit many organizations not just churches:
- Google Apps Non Profit – email, calendar, document sharing, chat, video, and many more collaboration tools. This has been a game changer for FUMCwired.com. Is it eliminating the need for Microsoft Office? Maybe. FREE.
- WordPress – Free Content Management Software for your website, TONS of plug-ins and themes. Easy enough for anyone to publish content to the web and make it look nice. WordPress is FREE, hosting is cheap.
- ProPresenter – Presentation Software for OSX or Windows. Very user friendly and powerful. Not free.
- Vimeo – upload your organization’s videos and embed them onto your WordPress Page. Looks very professional. Playable on mobile devices. FREE.
- Fellowship One – cloud based church management software. No more backups, updates, or maintenance for your people data. Not free, but worth every penny.
- OpenDNS – keep your internet traffic safer by filtering websites based on their content (as determined by OpenDNS). Point your firewall’s DNS settings to OpenDNS’s servers and enjoy cleaner web browsing. FREE
- pfSense – Open source firewall can be installed on just about any computing hardware and keep your network safe. FREE. It supports MANY features that the pricey firewalls have and some they don’t. More info
- Handbrake – video converter for OSX/Windows/Linux to convert your videos into web playable formats. FREE
- Lightworks – NLE (non-linear editing) video software. I haven’t actually used this, but this is high on the list since it is FREE. Imagine volunteers creating videos and uploading them to Vimeo for us?!
- YouVersion Live – the folks at LifeChurch.tv have created YouVersion Live which allows your church to create their own organization and events viewable within the extremely popular YouVersion mobile app. Check out FUMCwired’s events by going to YouVersion live on your phone and searching for 72764 (our zip-code). FREE.
- freeNAS – more for the tech geek. This FREE software allows you take old hardware and turn it into networked storage for your organization. This is primary on-site backup solution. Plus it has the ability to sync itself to other freeNAS boxes over a WAN/LAN connection to allow for easy offsite backup. Very pleased with this.
- Ubiquiti Networks – a relatively unknown player in the consumer wireless hardware market. However, they have a long pedigree in the Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) market. Ubiquiti is increasing their consumer offerings. This means great prices and functionality for any organization’s wireless infrastructure needs.
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