Updated: Dec 26, 2021
Remember to click on the login above to create an account to stay connected and be able to provide feedback. The page allows for single-sign-on options from Google and Facebook along with the opportunity to set up an account based on other credentials.
This will be the first of numerous articles about creating a quality website for your lodge. A website is a lot of work and requires dedication – a good website can be a true asset for a lodge, but a mismanaged site can be a stain that could be hard to erase.
Part 0 | You Have Options
A great friend of mine, a PGM nonetheless, who continues to be a huge advocate of masonic marketing, frequently spoke against lodges creating their own website. This was not due to an inability of a lodge to create a website but was due to the graveyards of outdated websites (many for the same lodge) rotting out on servers.
The PGM listed above was mainly a proponent of lodges using a well-managed Facebook page. I will save this for another article, but to his and my joint points, a lodge can buy a domain and redirect/forward the domain to their Facebook Page thus allowing the lodge to have a user-friendly URL and avoid most of the costs associated with creating and managing a website.
The first thing any lodge should do is set up your Google Business Profile. This is the info bar that appears alongside Google searches and provides quick information to people looking to contact your lodge. At a minimum, you should claim your physical location, basic details, and meeting times to your Google Business Profile. If you have a lodge phone number, you should include that also.
The image below shows search results for "Googling" Schofield House. Note the info bar at the right which is driven by the Google Business Profile. This information is considered highly valued by end-users.
Part 1 | Ownership
Before the lodge approves the first warrant from the treasurer for the website, please consider a resolution on ownership of any digital asset being obtained on the lodge’s behalf. Even if a brother has stepped forward to pay for the asset, be sure to document that that asset remains intellectual property of your Lodge… an enduring asset.
The following is an example of a resolution that can be massaged to fit your lodge’s needs, but you will see it is important to clearly state the ownership of the intellectual property. The following draft resolution should set the lodge up for future success as the lodge enters the “world” of digital intellectual property.
Lodge Resolution Month, Year
Be It Resolved that the Members of XXXX Lodge No.XXX in a continuing effort to communicate with our members and to bring awareness of Freemasonry to the larger world, are establishing a committee for the purposes of obtaining, through purchase or transfer, intellectual properties (IP) associated with the digital communication and marketing efforts required at this or any future point in time. This committee is granted the authority to obtain and maintain IP provided at no cost on the Lodge’s behalf as necessary and to obtain IP at a cost given the appropriate budgetary processes are completed prior to assumption of liabilities on behalf of the Lodge.
This IP may be in, but not limited to, a lodge branded website domain, a website hosting account housing the lodge’s website, social media account(s) branded with the lodge’s information, and email, telephone auto dialer, and text message marketing tools.
Be it Also Resolved that the lodge Secretary will maintain a ledger of assets and individuals with permission to access the asset in a secure manner that maintains the access credentials along with a roster of members who have access to the specific IP.
Be it Also Resolved that access to this IP will be secured as follows:
a) For services providing a single Administrative account, the chairman of this committee is directed to create and/or associate the IP using an email account created for the general use of the lodge and under the control of the Lodge Secretary and other members at the discretion of the Worshipful Master. The username and password of this account will be reported to the Secretary who will place the account credentials on the IP ledger along with record of members holding the access information.
c) For IP Services Prohibiting Non-Human Email Addresses to serve as an account owner, the chairman of this committee will create the asset using their personal information and provide additional administrative access to at least one other member of the Lodge. This two-person ownership model must be always maintained, as feasible, while using the platform housing the IP.
Be it Also Resolved that the Worshipful Master shall review the ledger including access roster annually within 90 days of assuming his office. If permission is removed for any member as in sections a above, the Worshipful Master will direct the chairman to create a new account password and distribute the credential to correct members. If permission is removed for any member as in sections b or c above, the committee chairman will be responsible for aligning access to meet the orders of the Worshipful Master. This includes efficiently transferring access to a new committee chairman.