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Noel D.Tallon, CPA, PC

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PC or Mac?  Don't do as we do, do as I say do.
This is not about the classic PC versus Mac argument.  Use whatever you want personally.  PCs are the most economical, last at least as long, and most importantly there is virtually no Church software written for Macs.  Why use them?   Some might say that you can maintain your database in the cloud and use any computer.  That is true but you need a PC in house on which the database resides and most sites put your Mac in the PC mode to access them in the cloud. 
Use PCs.

Ministers Computers (how many?)
I recommend 1 laptop with 2 docking stations.  Not 2 computers.  

Routers and Internet Service
Don't scrimp here.  You need a good service and make wireless available throughout the building.

We have recently encountered what I call router overload.  On a typical Sunday morning, we will have 2-300 people accessing the internet for their Bible.  Our router will handle roughly 500 so that is not a problem.  What is a problem is that most people have their cell phone set to automatically log on to the nearest wireless.  This means that we have roughly 1,500 cell phones in pockets and purses logging on in addition to the aforementioned devices.  We solved this problem at no additional cost.    We now require a password which is published in the bulletin handed each person entering the service.  The password is changed ocasionally because most cell phones will automatically recall the password.

Website
You have to have one.  Think people traveling through are looking you up in the paper.  Not happening.  In the phone book.  Try finding a phone booth.  They are looking you up on their GPS or phone, maybe their laptop.

There are a multitude of free or almost free services.  Setting a site up is simple.

I use Office 365 for this site.  Costs me $6 a month and I set it up myself.  You might want to improve on the dullness of a CPA's site but it has all the widgets you could want.  Sound, slideshows, updated items, video. 

Get a ".org" domain name.  GoDaddy provides them for $10 per year which includes email forwarding accounts.  

Get someone to manage your site that knows how to.  Simple as that.

PayPal
Outsiders don't understand if we can't take a credit card.

You can set up a card individually but PayPal is the way to go.    Having your own credit card account will cost you substantially. People that pay you through PayPal do not personally have to have a PayPal account.

I don't suggest this for contributions because of the cost.  Activities in your congregation should build bank fees into their cost to cover estimated PayPal charges.

PayPal has a special not-for-profit account.  They will charge you $0.50 plus 2.2% for each transaction.

PayPal will send you an email every time you get a deposit.  You can forward these to deacons or ministers so they will know who has paid.

PayPal also has a devise similar to the "square" which enables you to accept payment on your cell phone.

Backup
I can't emphasize this enough.  Do it.  We use Carbonite, but there are plenty of services for this.  Costs about $60 per year.  Use Kim Komando's offer code Kim and get a couple of months free.  

GoToMyPc
We use it to access the office computer anytime.  Costs about $20/mo or $180 per year per computer.  Probably can get Kim's offer here too for a few months.  Again there are other services.  Just be sure they are secure and effective. 
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IT Service
First and foremost, do not go near a company called F1 Solutions. If you want to know why email me.

Most congregations can do with a service that charges you by the call.  Or you may have someone in the congregation that knows enough to do it.  But be sure that person is committed enough to be available when you call and knows how to deal with a small organization's IT. 


IT for a small organization is much different than a large business.  You cannot afford to employ the personnel to do some things.  As mentioned elsewhere on my site, there are many free or very inexpensive resources available.  You can have the security and ability without a lot of cost.