The launch of Google for Nonprofits in March seemed like a boon for organizations. Qualifying nonprofits would be able to use many of their popular services--including its office programs and Gmail--for free or at discounted rates. The key here, however, is the word "qualifying." Google placed some restrictions on which nonprofits would be eligible for their new program and, according to a report in Christianity Today, religious nonprofits were one of the groups that got the axe.
Faith-based groups that already had access to Google's free resources will be "grandfathered in" according to the report, but the search engine giant has made it a policy not to give these resources to any new group that considers religion, politics, or sexual orientation in hiring decisions. This practice has created headaches for organizations like Living Hope Baptist Church. The Christianity Today article reported that the Kentucky-based organization had hoped to connect 50 paid staffers and 270 volunteers with customized Gmail and office software, among other things. Those plans now have to be nixed.
The report says that Google is evaluating future changes. Religious organizations will now have to wait and see if any of those include them. To read the full article, head on over to Christianity Today. You can also read more articles about faith-based organizations on The NonProfit Times.