Convenience — Copy High Holiday Honors from a Prior Year

If you’ve used our Aliyot/Honors capability in a previous year, you can now copy those records into the current year.

If you’re unfamiliar with the ShalomCloud Aliyot capability, best to set up some time with us. We can go through the entire round trip, including:

  • Setting up the honors
  • Offering, or nominating, persons for each honor.
  • How to follow-up, either for those who have not responded.
  • How to send reminders for accepted honors.

In contrast, this announcement pertains to cases where you have a set of prior honors, and wish to get started on the new year.

It’s simply a matter of choosing a service (Erev Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre, et al.), using the “copy” link, and designating the date and time of the respective service.

Also — if you wish to copy the honorees from a prior year, there is a button for that, too. Or, if you want to start fresh, you can copy the honors themselves, but leave the honorees open.

Here’s a video that runs through this new process.

Copy high holiday honors

Now Available — Add/Change/Delete Purchase History

Until this change, the ShalomCloud shopping cart purchase history relied solely on purchases made online. You had no way to change those records. So, if someone accidentally signed up twice, or signed up and later informed you that they could not attend, you had no way to update that data. Your record counts would be off, and the funds collected (or to be collected), would be off.

Another situation: if someone wanted to make a purchase, or register for an event, but would prefer not to use the online shopping cart, you had no way to indicate that. Perhaps they mailed in a check for a Shabbat dinner, for example, and you wanted to add that reservation to the purchase history.

This change allows you to accommodate those situations. You can delete a purchase; and you can manually insert a purchase.

One major caveat, though — any financial ramifications would have to be handled separately, via the normal financial transaction screens.

Here’s a video that demonstrates some basic use cases.

More control, more variety — choose your email template for statements

If you send monthly/quarterly statements by email, this may interest you.

Prior to now, you needed an email template, specifically named “send_statement_link.” Now, you’ll see a drop-down box, that lets you choose your email template for statements.

choose your email template for statements

This may be useful in a couple of circumstances, such as:

If you want to distinguish the statement email by monthly vs quarterly, or

If you send category-specific statements by email, and you want the content to be relevant to that category.

If you’re interested in some of the previous developments in regard to statements, feel free to peruse these articles:

New Option to Suppress Detail on Statements

The ShalomCloud statements, by default, show amounts charged, amounts credited, the balance, AND the individual payments that sum to the amounts credited.

If you (or your audience), find that listing the individual payments are clutter, or are confusing, you now have the option to suppress that detail. Here’s a before-and-after snippet:

Default, in effect today:

And, then, if you wish to choose this new option:

If you prefer the second format, here’s how to make that change:

  • Go to Home -> Declare synagogue options
  • Scroll down, until you see an option to Suppress detail on statements
  • Select the radio button, Suppress detail
  • Submit

It’s hopefully a “set-and-forget” option, rather than a choice you’d need to make every statement run.

Here’s a video showing the above in action.

Query for Deceased Members

You may or may not be aware that there is a flag to mark a member as deceased:

You can maintain this field under family maintenance; however, we recommend that you use more of an automated process, as described in this article.

But that’s not the point of this post. By default, the member query excludes deceased people. That’s in order to avoid the possibility of sending communications, either text or email, to those individuals.

In contrast, you may be interested in seeing information about those deceased persons. This change enables you to do that, by checking a box on the member query:

Note that, when you do choose to show deceased members, ShalomCloud automatically includes all billing statuses. That is a convenience, so that you needn’t worry about the default billing status of Active.

Not Just One, but Many — on Statement Runs

Modest change here — having to do with your periodic statements.

One of the selection criteria on statement runs had been the ability to select all families, or one family:

With this change, you can now select multiple families or all:

Probably the most advantageous circumstance where this would be useful is this: Suppose you primarily send statements by email. The system dutifully warns of any families who would have received a statement, but for whom the system has no email address.

Before, you would proceed by selecting the first family and printing the statement. Then, you would select the second family; and so forth, one at a time.

Now, you can select all the families for whom there is no email address, and obtain printed statements in one step.

Here’s a video that illustrates the above.

By the way, if you want to see a series of articles about the various developments concerning statements, please peruse this collection.

New Field — Community per Family

What do we mean by the term “Community?” Families often live in what can generically be referred to as a community. For example, a senior living community. Or, an apartment community. Or, a Home Owners Association community. It’s just a way to group families by a geographic area, more local than zip code.

Now, how might you use this new field? By first designating the communities in the Configuration menu

you can then assign these communities to the respective families who reside there.

And, then, to harvest that information, you can either

  1. Run a family query for one or more communities, or
  2. Run a member query, to list all the people in those communities.

For example, suppose you’re running a Purim program at one of the senior living communities. By using this new field, you could send a targeted email, announcing the event, to members of that community.

Here’s a video showing how to enter the communities, and then how to query both families and members, by community.

New capability — to acknowledge pledges

Adding to the existing ability to acknowledge payments in bulk, we now have the ability to bulk acknowledge pledges.

If you’re not families with what we mean by “bulk acknowledge,” please view this article.

That works handily for recognizing payments of any kind. Now, we’ve added the a button to sent several acknowledgements for pledges, or any amount owed, for that matter. For example, you may want to sent email thank-you notes after a pledge drive, or after people have made commitments to a building campaign.

The procedure is the same as before — it stars with Queries -> Financial transactions. Then, you’d likely select a date ranges; and, perhaps focus on a designated set of categories

New is the light blue button to bulk acknowledge pledges (actually, any type of amount owed).

Here is a video to view the end-to-end process

Direct Link — Member Portal to Shopping Cart

Now available — a direct link from the member portal to the shopping cart.

Some basics — if you’re unfamiliar with the member portal, it might help to view this video.

The ShalomCloud shopping cart provides a way for your community to purchase items (including zero-cost items), and sign up for events. Examples include Shabbat dinners, Rabbi classes, Lulav and Etrog, concerts … quite a variety.

In the last step, where the user goes through a check-out process, there’s a form to fill out. As described in the shopping cart tutorial, ShalomCloud uses the demographic information in that form to identify the buyer, and to attribute the purchase to a family known to your synagogue — or to create a new family unit, if none of the info matches anything in the system.

What is new about this announcement is that, if the congregant first logs into the member portal, a new button will appear. That button will launch the shopping cart. Furthermore, when that person enters the check-out, all the demographic information will be pre-filled. Name, email, phone, physical address. Thus, no need to repetitively fill out known data–as long as your congregant first logs into the member portal.

Video demonstration

Announcing a new, more granular authorization

First of all, some background. If you’re not familiar with the ShalomCloud shopping cart, please review this handful of articles.

Some more background. ShalomCloud controls access to its major functions by means of a set of permissions, or authorizations. Each permission carries a flag — N for no access; R for read access; and W for read/write access. All well and good. In order to add or change items in the shopping cart, one needed the Financial permission. However, financial permission opens the door to see all financials, including pledges, contributions, and shopping cart activity.

And now we arrive at the focus of this article. You now have an authorization specifically for the shopping cart. In other words, you can grant access to create and update items in the shopping cart, without granting access to the rest of the financial information.