DALLAS, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Churches are not traditionally early adopters. Yet, to remain relevant and capitalize on opportunities to share the gospel, many churches are breaking with tradition and are quickly adopting new viral technologies, such as The Vine, that allow for 24/7 contact with members and evangelizing outside of the church.
Millions of church members have become avid users of social media; therefore, many Churches have become actively involved with social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. While a generally accepted medium for marketing activities, church leaders have been reluctant to use public social media tools for core, communications due to privacy and safety concerns. Offensive advertising messages, inappropriate content for children and recent reports of poisoned Web links are also problematic for churches. These concerns have led to the next evolution in social media--private social networks.
In response to the growing need for a safe and secure social media platform, Dallas-based Grapevine Technologies is the first company to create a customized, private solution which helps build "true communities" for churches. Its initial product, The Vine, provides each church a walled garden which fosters communication, sharing, giving and collaboration among church leaders and members.
"Grapevine Technologies is proud to offer a social network solution that will enable churches to freely communicate without the concerns of outside distractions," said founder, Rafael Simpson. "We have taken a great deal of time during the development stages to listen to church leaders regarding the desired functionality of the platform. It was important to me on both a personal and business level to deliver a product that will equip churches to function more efficiently and effectively."
Churches and other nonprofit organizations have been severely impacted by the prolonged economic recession. Yet, online giving is on the rise. In a report by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, in 2010 nearly 75% of charitable groups surveyed reported online or Internet giving. Among those reporting, 58% saw an increase in giving. Whether tithing to the church or donating to humanitarian causes such as the Japanese earthquake/tsunami disaster, The Vine allows for easy online giving. Understanding the current financial strain on churches, Grapevine Technologies included functions which generate income beyond traditional tithes and offerings. The Vine offers a versatile ecommerce platform that allows for revenue generation through a local business directory, classified ads and postings for jobs and events. According to Henry Dittmer, Chief Operating Officer and a communication software veteran with extensive experience developing, deploying and managing technology, "The Vine offers a secure, customized solution with a rich feature set and organizational management tools. As active church members, however, we also understood the importance of creating an option that addresses the financial needs of the churches as well."
"Grapevine Technologies has delivered a unique communications platform for today's churches—and we are continuing to expand upon our technology to address their needs for tomorrow," concluded Dittmer.
For more information, go to www.grapevinetech.org.
SOURCE Grapevine Technologies