New SQL Recipe – User Roles Report

If you have ever wanted run a report for people in a specific Organization, or a Tag, or Search Builder results and see of all those that are TouchPoint users and see their roles, then you will be very happy about this new report.

This is one of those “Recipes” we’ve told you about before. That means that we wrote the SQL code for you and all you need to do is copy and paste it into your database. Of course this must be done by the System Admin user. However, once it is created and added to the blue Toolbar, any user with Edit role can run the report.

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Sub-Group Filter for Recent Absents Report

New ImageThis is a terrific new feature, especially for lay leaders. Before generating the Recent Absents Report for an organization, you can filter for a sub-group. Then the report will contain only those within that group with consecutive absences. This is so much easier than having to look through the entire class if you are a group leader and are responsible for just one group.

Remember, we also have a Recent Absents Report 2 for those of you that track individual attendance in your worship service. When you put the org ID# of your worship org in the Settings, you will get an extra link at the top of the Recent Absents report that takes you to the same type of report, but for the worship org. We blogged about this and another worship report back in 2014.  Click here for that post. This new sub-group filter option will maintain that same filter when you move to the worship report.

Thank you to 2nd Presbyterian Church in Memphis for sponsoring this project!

Read more…about the Recent Absents Report

Read more…about the Recent Absents Report 2

PS  Don’t assume your lay leaders subscribe to this blog… let them know about this new feature!

Replacement Code: FirstOrJoint

2016-09-19_07-56-49This new email replacement code can be used if you are emailing the Head of Household and would like the greeting to include the spouse’s name if the couple gives jointly. If the couple does not give jointly only the first name of the person in your list will be used.

EXAMPLE:

John and Mary Smith’s Contribution Statement Types are Joint. So, if you email John and use this email replacement code – {FirstOrJoint} – the greeting will be John and Mary.

George and Susan Jones’ Contribution Statement Types are Individual. So, using that same replacement code, the greeting will be just George or just Mary, depending on which one of them is in the list.

This is just the newest of many replacement codes that you can use in emails. Check them out!

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Recurring Gift Notice – New Options

New ImageWe recently made a change to how these notices are generated in order to give you more choices regarding the look and available content for this email. Previously, this notice was basically intended to let the donor know that his recurring gift had processed that morning and it displayed only the total amount of the gift that was processed.

Now, with this new change you can make this email look like the confirmation the donor receives after setting up or managing his recurring giving. By that, I mean that you can include replacement codes so the donor see the exact breakdown of his donation by fund.

These types of email notices are stored in Special Content > HTML Content on your database, and this specific notice is named RecurringGiftNotice. If your database already has this notice in Special Content, you can just edit it. Otherwise, you will create a new file.

Thank you to Redeemer Presbyterian in New York for sponsoring this project.

Read more…to see how to easily create or modify this notice.

Facebook Ads and your Online Registrations

Most churches nowadays have a Facebook page. Here is a great tip for making the most of Facebook when you have a special event coming up!

You can purchase a Facebook ad for a special event that has a registration and embed a pixel (that you get from Facebook) in your TouchPoint Online Registration. This lets you track how many people click on your ad, and even better, how many people actually go further and register for the event through that Facebook ad.

Our church just did this for our VBS registration. We reached several thousand people in our area with that ad, and we saw 78 people register via the ad. Those cost us only about 83 cents per person. That’s a fairly small price to pay when you consider that these could be people that otherwise might not have known about our VBS – which is where most children come to know Jesus.

I’m not trying to persuade you to use Facebook. I’m just saying that if you use it, you might want to take advantage of this TouchPoint feature (called a Confirmation Tracking Code) that pairs with Facebook.

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The Party’s Over…

2017-06-13_09-22-33Whew! There is nothing like ‘VBS tired’. Whether you have 30, 300, or 3,000 in your Vacation Bible School, workers get tired…really tired. It is a bone-aching tired. However, it comes with a huge plus – knowledge that you had a chance to have a positive impact in the life of a child. Makes it all worth it, doesn’t it?

What’s next? VBS has come and gone. Now what? We have a few suggestions for you.

  1. Followup – Check out this updated blog post with ideas for finding those you need to reach out to, and links to help articles to help you accomplish that. This is your best opportunity of the year to reach unchurched families. Don’t let it pass you by.
  2. Express Gratitude – You have quite a few people to thank – parents for bringing their children (you might do that with ‘front-porch visits’ – see the blog post mentioned above), workers for their commitment to make that week happen, housekeeping staff for cleaning up after you all week, office staff for whatever support they gave you throughout the week. Be sure to thank them with an email, or cookies in the break room…something that lets them know their participation did not go unnoticed.
  3. Clean up your data – Admin users, run the Duplicate Finder to get any duplicate records merged so you can minister effectively to the right people. Staff, once you’ve finished with the VBS orgs, drop everyone and make those orgs Inactive (your Admin can do that from the Org > Search page, just let him know when to do that for you). Remember – you can always find those that attended VBS by using Search Builder. See the blog post mentioned above. Children do not need to stay enrolled in VBS all year!
  4. Rest – You probably don’t have long to do this, as some other event or program is probably just around the corner. But do take some time to get refreshed and energized so you do not get burnt out doing God’s work at your church. Read a new book; go to the zoo; have an old-fashioned picnic in the park with your spouse, your children or grandchildren…or just catch up on some sleep. Take care of yourself (and don’t neglect your own spiritual growth) so you can minister effectively to others.

Read more…in this updated blog post about effective VBS followup.

Best Practices-Managing User Accounts

Every church has a certain amount of turnover, whether it is staff members, seasonal interns, or even lay leaders. So, the questions become these:

  1. What do you do as the System Admin when someone leaves their position?
  2. What should you do as a staff user before a new user account can be created for your new hire? 

We get questions about this (and more) from time to time, so we created a help article to offer some advice in this regard. We have a sample email you might want to use as a guide to create an email draft. Then you can send that additional email to new staff members (apart from the New User Welcome).  You can give them basic information a staff member needs to know about TouchPoint, links to some help articles that pertain specifically to their jobs, and what ever you think they need to know.

The article outlines the information a staff member needs to provide to the Admin user when 1) you need a new user account created, or 2) when one of your staff members is leaving.

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PS  Speaking of new staff members…we are working toward creating a series of lessons for potential clients to receive when they get a TouchPoint trial database. We plan to make these lessons suitable for, and available to, your new staff members as well. Be patient, but be watching. It’s a work in progress.