GoDaddy, Google, How Tos

How to get your small nonprofit up on the Web, Part 3 of 3

Part I was about setting up your domain name in GoDaddy. Part II was about redirecting e-mail in the right direction for Google Apps. And here, in Part III, I show you how to get your Google Apps running for your nonprofit.

UPDATE: As of 4/21/2008, this post has been revised to include the domain verification process.

Step 1. Go to

Google Signup 1

Look around for the “Organizations and members” link in the lower right-hand corner and click on that link to go to Step 2.

Step 2. Click on the Google Apps Education Edition link near the bottom of the screen to go to Step 3.

Google Signup 2

Step 3. You will be asked to enter a domain name.

Google Signup 3

In this case, I am using Enter the domain name you set up in Step 2 of Part I of this series. Don’t use It won’t work. Trust me. Click on “Get started” to go to Step 4.

Step 4. This is the major sign-up sheet for your organization.

Google Signup 4

You will need your Employer ID/Federal Tax ID number to fill this out properly. You can’t really fake this part for too long — Google is checking you against a database of Federal Tax IDs. Forget Santa Claus — Google knows who is naughty or nice.

Please substitute the information in the form with your org’s information. You can enter less people for number of users but I think 1 is your minimum. I’m assuming your organization does NOT provide e-mail accounts. That is, you’re probably using a Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, or Hotmail account for your org. This tutorial doesn’t cover moving your e-mail over from another e-mail system to Google Apps. I suggest that as a workaround you just forward all your old e-mail to your new account after your new e-mail is working. Make sure you are entered as a “Non-profit organization”.

Hit the “Continue” button (not shown) at the bottom of this page to go to Step 5.

Step 5. This page has you enter your username and password.

Google Signup 5

Please make sure you remember the username and password you enter in this screen. Write it down if you have to but throw it away once you’ve got it memorized. Really. I mean it. Click on “I accept. Continue with set up” to go to step 6.

Step 6. You made it! You’ve got Google Apps set up for your organization.

Google Signup 6

Now it’s time to configure your e-mail. If you followed Part II of this series, your e-mail should already be ready to flow to your new Google Apps set up. Go to Step 7.

Step 7. Look at the right-hand side of your screen.

Google Signup 7

Click on the “Activate email” link to go to Step 8.

Step 8. Does this look familiar?

You already did these steps in Part II. If you have not, please make sure you do these steps in GoDaddy. Otherwise, e-mail will not come to your domain. Think of it as creating the digital equivalent of a sign telling the postman that you are now here at Google Apps. The postman will now drop off the e-mail at your new address.

Google Signup 8

If you have already made the necessary DNS changes from Part II, feel free to click on “I have completed these steps” to go to Step 9.

Step 9. You did it!

Google Signup 9

Google is now checking your MX records. At this point, you’ll have to cool your heels for at least a day or two while Google is making sure your new domain is correct. Also, they’ll be checking to see if you are a real nonprofit in the meantime.

Step 10. But wait there’s more. Do you see this message at the top?

Domain verification message

Google has to make sure you really own this domain. In order to prove to Google you do, you have click on “Verify domain ownership” to go to Step 11.

Step 11. Google now asks you for which verification method to choose.

Click on the little down arrow to choose a method and to go to Step 12.

Step 12. Click on “Change your CNAME record”.

Ok, you’ll need to copy and paste that “unique string” somewhere. You will need it because we’re heading back into GoDaddy to get you back into the Total DNS control screen.

Step 13. Assuming that you’ve already signed up with GoDaddy in Part I of this series, please click on “My Account” after you’ve logged in.

GoDaddy 1

Step 14. Look at the left-hand side of the screen and look for “Manage Domains”. Click on “Manage Domains”.

GoDaddy 1

Step 15. Look for your nonprofit’s domain name. In this example, I called it Click on the link to your domain name.

GoDaddy 1

Step 16. Click on “Total DNS Control and MX Records”. It’s on the right-hand side of your screen.

GoDaddy 1

Step 17. Look for the CNAMES section on the left-hand side of your screen.

Click on the “+” next to CNAMES to go to Step 18.

Step 18. The CNAMES section popped up. Look at the right-hand side of the screen for “Add New CNAME Record”.

Click on “Add New CNAME Record” to go to Step 19.

Step 19. This is where you enter the unique identifier Google Apps gave you in Step 12.

Please fill out the form in the same as the screen shot above. Just make sure to enter YOUR unique string from Step 12. Click on OK to go to Step 20.

Step 20. GoDaddy should give you a confirmation screen.

Step 21. Go back to

Look at the top right-hand corner of the screen. You’re now a returning user.

Google Signup 10

Click on “Returning user, sign in here” to go to Step 11.

Step 22. Look at the top right-hand corner of the screen.

Kind of weird, right? You click on the link above and nothing happened except that now the screen is asking for something new.

Google Signup 11

Make it look like the screen shot below:

Google Signup 12

Enter your domain and click on the arrow that’s pointing down until it says “Manage this domain”. Click “Go” to go to Step 12.

Step 23. What’s this? Google says “Your domain has changed to a new edition of Google Apps.

What does that mean? It means you’re legit! Google has figured out you’re really a nice person with a heart of gold and thus are capable of running a nonprofit. It figured this out by dividing the number of Google searches you made on “kittehs” by the number of times you have said “LOL” while in GChat. Just kidding. Basically, they just did a search on the Federal Tax ID you submitted and moved you over to Google Apps for Non-Profits. Please note that this screen may not necessarily show until Google has figured you out.

Google Signup 13

You can pick any administrator username you want. However, it’s probably smarter to use “administrator” instead of your actual username. That way, if you add more users later on, they won’t need to have access to your e-mail account to change Google Apps. Click on “I accept.” to go to Step 13.

Step 24. You’re back in the administration screen!

Notice how the “We are checking MX records for your domain” notice is gone. Instead, you have a URL that says “” underneath the E-mail section. If you click on it, you will get your new e-mail.

Google Signup 14

Step 25. You may also see this message at the top of your screen:

You don’t need to re-verify domain ownership. Just make sure this message isn’t around for a couple of days.

That ends part III of the series. You now have e-mail and Google Apps running for your domain. Your domain will also be verified by Google Apps. You’ve started to get your non-profit up and running. There is one thing that I’ve left undone and that is, you don’t have custom subdomains for your Google Apps. Basically, instead of going to for your e-mail, you can set up a custom subdomain like “” instead. It’s much shorter than the way Google Apps leaves it to you. If enough people are interested, I can write a tutorial for that as well.

I also have another offer. Do you want to see what a live demo of Google Apps using the domain looks like? E-mail me at [email protected] and I can set you up with an account and you can play around with Google Apps yourself.

Despite the lengthy instructions you’ve followed, you don’t have a Web site yet and I’m going to introduce a new series, “How to create a free Website for your nonprofit.” However, don’t worry too much about a Web site yet. You have a lot to learn about how to use Google Apps. Don’t forget. It’s more than just a place to get e-mail. You can write documents, make spreadsheets and collaborate with others. To learn more, go to Please leave me any comments as to how you’ve used this series to get your non-profit up on the Web. Any feedback you might have would be appreciated.

Update: It looks like I forgot to do the domain verification procedure that Google asks for. Don’t worry — Google gives you a grace period of 30 days after your Google Apps site has been created. I’m working with Google right now to write the necessary instructions for domain verification.

How relevant was this post to you?
Why did you post this???I do not think this was necessary.Not bad. I will save for later.I really needed to read this!This bit of knowledge will make me look good. (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...


  • On 03.27.08 Sonny said:

    Nice post Allan. For orgs that do not want to use google as their mail server, but want to have shared access to other apps can use Google Apps for Teams Edition:

  • On 03.27.08 Allan Benamer said:

    Yes, there’s also some additional information I’d like to add if you’re an org that signed up for the basic edition and want to move to the Non-Profit version. As soon as my Google contact get that domain verification issue fixed, I can get the rest of the article done. Whew — this one was tough to write.

  • On 03.28.08 Michael Hoffman said:


    Great set of posts. So many nonprofits could use this and save a lot of money. I was at the NTC last week (were you there?) and one concern I had was about how little there seemed in parts for small orgs.

    I would love to see you do this as a screencast or video. I think a lot more folks would see it. Be glad to help if you wanted to do it.


  • On 03.28.08 Allan Benamer said:

    Thanks for the kind comment. Yes, I know small orgs get ignored a lot by both consultants and vendors. They’re the base of the pyramid and nobody knows how to make money off of them. If I could charge cents for a screencast I would, just to offset the cost of buying the software to do it right. This is a good case for micropayments. Call it the one-dollar screencast, payable by Google Checkout. Hehe.

    I’m more than willing to do a screencast or video. I can even think of ways to make it more fun. I think screencasts are ok but you will still need the traditional screenshots because some people like to print things out. For complicated instructions like mine, I would assume that’s what would happen. You can hit me up at [email protected].

  • On 05.02.08 Brent said:

    I attempted to follow your tutorial. It worked great except I am at the standard edition. Shouldn’t I be at the pro/educational level? Does it take a couple of days to go thru? I emailed them, but it said it takes 2 weeks or so to get to requests…

  • On 05.02.08 Allan Benamer said:

    Sorry Brent, I should probably say that Step 23 is not in your or my control. Google will take a while to set your site up. Give them time. If you don’t get anything in two weeks, please e-mail me so I can forward it and see if I can get you a quicker resolution. Standard edition is STILL very useful and the educational level has a few extras that you won’t really use unless you’re taking an old e-mail infrastructure and trying to make it work.

  • On 06.25.08 Javier @ You Turn Prject said:

    Great article series! We are trying to promote the following non-profit online:

    You Turn Project Life Skills Classes

    Would anyone have some free ad resources for non-profits? Once you have your site up what kind of free promotion can you do online?

  • On 06.29.08 infomaven said:

    About the Google apps – I went to their info page and noticed you can register your domain name through them at the same time you get an account. Could this be done as an alternative to registering with GoDaddy, or is there an advantage to splitting these two steps between different companies?


  • On 06.29.08 Allan Benamer said:

    Yes, registering through Google is the “easy” way. However, it ends up being part of the GoDaddy system. I decided to do it in a more laborious fashion because I wanted people to learn how to do it manually. For one thing, Google doesn’t own GoDaddy so if there is a disconnect between the two services, you’ll have to learn it the “hard” way anyway.

  • On 07.14.08 Allan Benamer said:

    Hi Vissu, thanks for the kind comment. The issue here is that controls the DNS pointer to all blogs on This means you have no choice but to pay the $15 a year to WordPress. You can't switch control to Godaddy like you can with Google Apps. I think the price is pretty reasonable but your mileage may vary.

  • On 07.14.08 Vissu said:

    Hello Allan, Great posts. I am trying to get a non-profit on the web and your posts put me on the right track. Thank you!!!

    However, I did not find specific information on how to map your domain name to account. From my understanding, when you register with godaddy for a domain name, you will have to host it somewhere. And you suggested to use to host this site. When I signup with wordpress, I get a URL for my blog However, I am not sure how to make point to this blog. When I did further research, I found that wordpress charges $15/yr to map your personal domain name to your wordpress blog [].

    Please throw some light on how I should use wordpress and map my domain name.

    Thanks again!

  • On 08.19.08 LauraA said:

    What a fantastic site. I’ve just become the president of a small non-profit community theatre. I’ve been really looking looking hard at using Google apps for the private side of our web presence for collaboration, tracking projects, etc. I’ve heard a few concerns about security from others in my organization. How private are your documents? Has anybody done and investgation. I don’t want be storing a financial spreadsheet up on a google server without some sort of understanding of the risks. Or am I totally being a worry-wart?

  • On 08.19.08 Allan Benamer said:

    @LauraA: Thank you for your kind comment.

    Hmm… security isn’t always measured in absolutes. It depends on how secure your current documents are NOW versus how your documents would be stored on Google. For instance, if your documents are stored on one computer with no backups, then I would think a Google account is much more secure than your current situation.

    In terms of privacy, the only person who can get into someone else’s account would be your administrator which probably won’t change the way privacy is handled currently. However, the advanced collaboration tools in Google may leave you exposed to user error. A user could conceivably leave your org’s documents open if they mistakenly share it to people. I believe this can be minimized with proper training.

    As for Google itself snooping on your files… it’s possible but they’ve never had a breach so far that I’m aware of. They HAVE to give up files if you’re being subpoenaed. Then again, so would you if that happened.

    For myself, as a nonprofit manager, I’ve put my entire document library up online and I feel a lot more secure about it than say the notebook I’m on right now.

  • On 11.11.14 said:…

    How to get your small nonprofit up on the Web, Part 3 of 3 | Non-Profit Tech Blog…

  • On 07.05.17 how to make money said:

    I take pleasure in, result in I discovered just what
    I was having a look for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

speak up

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site.

Subscribe to these comments.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

*Required Fields