One of the reasons I love technology is that everything about it is designed for life application. If I were going to write the story of the coming Christ with my technology hat on, it might look like this.
As usual, we've been busy with upgrades. Here are the highlights from the past couple of months. You likely have already seen many of these, but if not, these could really be helpful time-savers for you.
Tags: New Release
We've offered Event Registration and Volunteer Scheduling for years. But they have been far less obvious than most of our features and we wanted to elevate their visibility. Late last week we released an upgrade to the Group Info Page to make what was less visible more visible and add a new RSVP feature.
Tags: New Release
Underneath the Member Button is a Merge link. It may be subtle, but it is a workhorse feature for maintaining a clean database. In this post we will talk about why this is important to you, when you'll use it, how to use it and what happens when you use it.
Why does Merge matter?
- Gives people a single identity. All a person's data is in one profile.
- Keeps families together. Brings family members who may be split up in the database together under a single umbrella.
- Less confusion. It's bad to see multiple options for the same person when you search for them.
- Happy Staff. Duplicate data is messy data. Messy data causes staff to lose trust in the software. Clean data gives them confidence.
When will you use Merge?
- When you spot duplicates. If you do a search or run a report and see a duplicate, take 30 seconds to merge them. A great habit for all staff.
- When you see split families. Husbands and wives, and parents and kids need to be kept together.
- Preventive maintenance. We suggest calendaring to run the two possible duplicate reports every month or two. Think of it like changing the air filters in your house.
- Before sending statements. At least do it yearly. Many churches do it in December in preparation for the January emailing of statements.
How do you use Merge? Click the Merge link underneath the Members button to get started.
- Person search. If you spot a duplicate go to the Merge page and enter their last name. Check the entry in the From column to merge into the entry in the To column.
- Possible duplicate member report. These 3 reports give you the criteria used to find duplicates for you. Pick the one you want and then review and merge potential duplicates.
- Family search. If you see that a family is split apart, click the blue button then find the family of one family member in the From column and move them into a family in the To column.
- Possible duplicate family report. Run this report to let the system find duplicate families for you.
- Delete empty families. Merging members can leave a family with no members in it. If there's no reason to keep the data for family with no members, delete them by clicking that option under Members / Family Search.
What happens when you Merge?
- Financial Information is combined. No contributions are lost.
- Groups data is combined. All record of group involvement for both records is kept.
- Email addresses. All email address are kept.
- To profile trumps the From profile. Things like names and phone numbers in the From profile are lost in favor of the same information in the To profile.
- Unduplicated information. If the From profile has information that the To profile does not, that information is used to update the To profile.
The simple habits of merging duplicates when you see them and scheduling to run duplicate reports consistently will help you maintain a clean database that people trust, appreciate, and best of all ... use.
We use Google Apps including email, calendar, drive, sheets, and docs; and I recommend Google every time people ask me about a calendar. So, I want to show you how to use Google for your church calendar. Thousands of businesses of every size use them and so do thousands of churches.
When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. Matthew 9:26 (MSG)
Tags: Small Groups
Text-TO-Church TM is a new User Interface concept. It combines texting ideas that have been the domain of specialty platforms, with the functionality of a full church management system. For over a decade people have been able to send a text to donate to an online giving platform. In recent years applications were developed to text to register for something like an event or a content drip. With Text-TO-Church, all the functionality of your church database is now just a text away. Here's the list of current features that fit under the Text-TO-Church concept. Click the link for a more complete explanation of each one. The Text-To-Church Innovation post was written to help you actually experience everything except Text-to-ME which wasn't done at that time.
I've never thought of self-promotion as an admirable trait. I always thought of it as the antithesis to the humility and character to which I aspire as a follower of Jesus. Among many others, here are a couple of verses that have served me well through the years in many different situations.
I have done several blog posts the past 4 months related to texting. The response has been incredible. We are excited to see this innovation engage guests, regular attenders, members and staff in a new, extremely relevant way. The more we have worked with it, the more we realize the potential of texting as a tool for simple and user-specific interface with your Churchteams database.
When Mark and I started, the motivation was to build software to help churches make disciples and build teams. For us, people are intrinsically the focus of this. Resources like space and money, though important, have not been the problems that we've built software to solve. There are other software products focused on just these issues. I was explaining to our marketing partner a couple of months ago that our focus is on everything related to "People Data." In my webinars I often talk about the 5 Software sets that from my perspective every church needs, and Churchteams is just one of them. The one place where all your people data can live. Here they are: