Our move to room 134-137 is progressing. A few things remain to be completed, but this has been a very full week. I will post pictures of the new rooms soon.
We have changed our email servers. We are limited to only 10 people until Google completes the process to authenticate that we are a public charity and activates our account under their non profit program. If your Adult Life Training email no longer works I apologize: it is probably temporary. You can call 9-5 weekdays to find out. 260.432.0014 x128.
Google has a mechanism whereby they will handle your email without any need to change your web site hosting: you follow a procedure on Google, the MX record in your domain is pointed to Google instead of where ever it is now pointing, you wait for approval from Google, and then Google provides the actual email services. As a bonus you get Google apps, cloud storage, personal and group calendaring, and a bunch of other stuff. You can switch right back to your original email server by simply changing the MX record back to its original value should you decide not to keep your organization’s email on Google’s servers.
When you let Google handle your non-profit organization’s email you still keep your existing email addresses: you do not end up with gibberish “firstname.lastname@example.org” addresses: only the server changes so that you can have access to the functionality that Google sells to businesses.
The process is rather technical and basically arcanum, so we are chronicling it here as we go through the process for the benefit of all other non-profit organizations who would like to make this change. It often resembles a house of mirrors. If you are familiar with gaming, it is more like a poorly designed dungeon crawl than an application process. But it works.
The biggest part of the challenge is to find a place to start. If possible, start on your Google for Non Profits Status page. You will need to log in as your non-profit organization. If the status reads “Approved” sign up for the Free Google apps for Individuals as follows (finding the page is a little un-intuitive). After you have created your organization’s free Google Apps account then return to this page and click the Enroll Now button next to the Google Apps for Non Profits to request approval. It will take several days or a month before all is said and done.
First and Foremost — DO NOT sign up for Google Apps for business. You must sign up first for the free Google Apps. Then you request an upgrade to Google Apps for Non Profits. I found a support article as a beginning point here http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1611320. I sugggest you stop a moment and read through this article now.
Start at this link: http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/. There is no obvious place on the page to sign up for FREE Google Apps and If you click the Start Free Trial button you are not signing up for free Google apps, you are signing up for Goggle apps for business. This is exactly NOT what you want — it will prevent you from getting Google Apps for Non Profits.
Instead of doing the obvious thing and getting off track, click PRICING in the horizontal nav bar across the top of the page. This will take you to a table which actually does have a link to sign up for free Google apps. In the column titled “Google Apps For individuals and small teams” click “Start Now”.
This ultimately goes to the page https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/standard/new3?hl=en&source=gafb-pricing-tabletop-en which actually has the form to fill in for the Free Google Apps for individuals, which is what you want.
Fill the form in. Click the “I accept” button at the bottom of the page.
You will next see the page to verify that you really do own your domain. You can manually change your MX records (here are instructions for organizations with GoDaddy as registrar ) or for several popular registrars Google can auto-magically make the changes for you. If that doesn’t work you can upload a file Google will provide to your web site to prove you do control it. Just follow the screen.
Eventually you land on the Google apps dashboard and can create 10 email accounts. The number will go up once you have been approved for the non profit status on your Google email account. Go ahead and go through the setup wizard and all that: set up email, apps, calendar.
But now what? This is the second really bad blind alley. Exactly HOW do yo now apply for Google Apps for non profits? There is no button here, no link, no obvious method to continue. You appear to be in a small room with four walls and no windows or doors. You wonder if you were better off a few minutes ago wandering in the mazes of twisting little passages all alike, or if the lights will suddenly turn off and you’ll “smell the wumpus”.
The answer is that to proceed, you need to get back to your status page, here https://google-for-nonprofits.appspot.com/checkstatus. If the page says “approved” then you can click the Enroll Now button to continue: if not then you must wait until your organization is approved as a non-profit first. Clicking the Enroll Now button will get you to this page.
In the box that reads “Google Apps for Non Profits”, click Enroll Now and fill in the next screen — it is short. You will get an email from Google telling you that they are processing your application and some details. In part, it looks like this:
Thank you for taking the time to submit your enrollment for Adult Life Training, Inc. to Google Apps. We are reviewing all enrollments to the program in the order they were received. Please note that the average account review turnaround time can take up to a few months.
We will notify you as soon as your enrollment is processed.
After your app is approved you will have full functionality, up to 3,000 email addys. Until then, all you can do it wait.
I hope this helps!