This morning we released an upgrade to automate important database changes that need to happen when someone is marked as deceased. Usually this comes up because a surviving family member has received a letter, an email, a giving statement or some other communication that includes their deceased loved one's name or other information.
In response, they call the church office feeling like they have to inform their church about something they should already know. This puts the staff in an uncomfortable situation and they call us to make sure this doesn't happen again.
After lots of these conversations and evaluation, we've come up with these six changes that need to be made in the church database when someone passes away.
- Remove their email address.
- Remove their phone number.
- Remove them from their surviving spouse's household.
- Add them to "related to" for surviving spouse.
- Remove them from all groups. But, keep their past attendance.
- Remove them from any workflows they may be in.
If you are a Churchteams customer, here is a knowledge base article with all the details about how we have automated all of these actions for you, and how you can customize them. In addition, here's a bonus link to a blog post I did about creating a workflow to care for a surviving spouse. This came as an idea from one of our long-term CT customers.
If you are not a CT customer, use this as a checklist to make sure that you are doing a great job of pastoral care during one of the most traumatic times in a person's life ... the loss of a family member.