ChurchOfficeOnline ChMS is divided into 11 main areas:
- Import Members
- Import Giving
Members are individuals in your organization, and they can be placed into one or many groups. They also can also be put into families with other members.
Groups are comprised of members, and they are a way to simply organize those members into sections which can then be mass-emailed or put into a ‘meeting’ to collect attendance.
Interactions are the contacts and communications your organization has had with a member. Some examples are: email, phone call, house call. You can define your own types. You can assign interactions to a member. For instance, after the visitor cards are collected on a Sunday, you can assign interactions to staff, Sunday School teachers, etc. tocomplete. They will receive an email with the action to complete, the person’s name, and a summary of what is to take place. The interaction will be marked as outstanding until the assignee marks it as completed and adds a summary of the encounter. On a member’s page,a list of all interactions to date is show. This helps you to see the type and quantity of contacts you’ve had with the member – people won’t get harassed or forgotten.
Attendance can be entered manually or easily by the use of RFID cards. Member can be given an inexpensive RFID card (which is credit card sized) which he/she can keep in their wallet or music folder. The member just has to wave the card (still in the wallet or folder even) over a reader which is connected to any computer running Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, or Linux running the Reader application. The reader application will then log that person as present and display his/her name as a visual confirmation of their presence. The collected attendance data shows up online in the reports section. Members can be marked as present, excused, or unexcused. Excused absences can have a reason attached like: Sick, Work, etc. You can define your own reasons too. For meetings which just require a total number present (like a main church service), those can easily be entered without the RFID cards.
Reports are the organization of attendance data that has been collected. There are reports by each of the aforementioned areas. You can see trends in meetings, individual groups, and individual members. You can also view members who have been absent more then twice for a meeting in a month. Reports are printable with easy to read graphs.
Utilities offer little bits of helpful functionality like: manually entering meeting attendance; emailing members by groups, meeting, and number of absences; importing members’ personal information from Excel (CSV), and exporting members’ personal information from Excel (CSV).
Search allows you to find and filter all member information (name, address, phone number, etc.) and interaction information (name, date, summary). The search results update in real time as your type so you can see how your input is refining the results.
- You can define the terms your organization uses for: members, groups, and meetings. For example: students, gatherings, and classes.
- Add your organization’s logo and name to the application and reports.
- Change how data is graphed: should reports show percent’s or absolute values?
- Add options for excused absences. The default included: Out, Out of Town, Sick, Work, and School.
- You can allow certain people access to certain parts of the application. This is accomplished using Roles. Roles are groupings of permissions – allowances to do or view certain actions of parts of the application. These roles are assigned to members. For instance, it is possible to only let someone view members’ data, not edit it, and enter attendance.
- This allows more people to be involved in the managing of the church’s information BUT only within the areas assigned to them.
Import Member Data: This allows for the importing of members into the system. You can also update member information this way. If you are importing a member and the first and last names match a member in the system, that person will be updated with the new information. The type of file needed for the import is a Comma Separated Value file (CSV). Many spreadsheet and contact manger applications will export/Save-As to this format. For instance, in Microsoft Excel, Go to “Save As”, and choose “Comma Separated Value (.csv)”. You can import as much or as little information as you have on someone.
- Select the file by clicking, “Browse”.
- Enter the Column header names from your spreadsheet. If you do not have a column that is asked for, or, if you wish not to import that information, leave it blank.
- If you wish to place the soon-to-be-imported members into any groups, select those too. To select multiples, hold the CTRL key (Windows) or Command key (OS X) and click the group names.
- Click, “Submit”, at the bottom.
- You will now be shown a screen to confirm your import/update. If the member already exists, he/she will have a green check mark, and any changes to their information will be shown in bold. Example: “Address: 123 High Drive -> 456 Low Road”. This shows the old information on the left, and the new on the right.
- If you are satisfied with the purposed changes, click, “Yes”, at the top. If not, revise the data in your original spreadsheet/contact manager and re-import.
Import Giving: This makes it much easier to transfer in giving from PayPal and online giving services. This also means that new customers will most likely not have to to pay us to import their data, they can do it themselves!
- To get started importing giving, go to Utilities > Import Giving. Note: you must have the “input batch giving” permission to use this tool.
- Choose your comma separated value (CSV) file, and enter the column headers for each of the required columns. Click, “Next”.
- Review the proposed import:
- We attempt to match the first and last name given to names in the system. However, if we can’t you will need to use the search box to choose an existing person, or choose the “Anonymous” person. Once you fix one name, if there are other entries with that same name, you’ll be given the option to automatically update all of them.
- We also try to match the giving category in the import with the ones you already have in the system. However, if there isn’t a match, you will need to manually choose, and, once again, you’ll be given the option to update all.
- If the date isn’t in a format we can understand, you’ll be asked to enter one.
- Once you’ve satisfied with the proposed import, click “Save”.
- You’re finished!
The import will correctly group entries for people who have chosen to have their giving grouped under their primary family member.