We recently created a very useful feature that saved us a lot of time and effort at our church and allowed us to manage a very large ministry project. Because this was so helpful and because we thought other churches might have similar needs, we have documented this for you.
This is not a simple check box or other type of setting. This uses Python, a product which you have probably seen mentioned in our blog posts. Since this uses code that needs to be put in your database, we have included both instructions and the code in our help articles. You can copy and paste it into your own church’s database. These articles are in the API section under Python Script Projects. We will be documenting more of these special projects in the near future.
The basic problem:
We had an online registration for Financial Peace University, during which the registrants paid a fee for materials (one set per couple). We needed to track when these had been picked up, which started a couple of weeks before the first class. The process had to be fast and simple. Plus, we needed a way to determine if the person’s spouse had already picked up their packet.
We used a special bar code in the confirmation email and instructed the registrants to bring that printed email or the email on their smart phone when they came to get their packet. We had staff and volunteers with laptops and their browser set to a special Packet Pickup page.
When the volunteer scanned the registrants’ bar code:
- They could see If the person / couple had paid or not. (One option on the registration was not to pay, if you have been through the course previously.
- If the person’s spouse had already picked up the packet, the volunteer would see a special message to that effect.
- They could also see the class in which the person was enrolled.
- The scanning then completed the process by flagging the person as having picked up the packet.
This process did not change their payment status. However, if someone did not pay online and decided to purchase a packet with check or cash right then, the volunteer could elect to change their payment status and also flag them has having picked up a packet.
Maybe your church could benefit by using this function. This worked great for the more than 3,300 adults that registered for one of our 80+ Financial Peace University classes and had to pick up their packets. But, you don’t need 80 classes to use this. You can have one class for any purpose.
If you need to track this type of information, then this Packet Pick Up function is something you will want to read more about. We have an overview article, and then other more technical articles (complete with the code) to walk you through setting this up for your church.