Yahrzeit Query by Attribute

This enhancement includes the ability to do a yahrzeit query by attribute.

To review — you can assign attributes (a.k.a. “tags”) to individuals. For example, you may wish to assign an attribute of “Snail Mail Only,” or “Send yahrzeit notifications by surface mail” to some congregants who have expressed that preference. Until now, there was no way to distinguish observers by tag.

Now, you can do so. In the Yahrzeit query, you’ll see a new selection called “Member attribute.”

Yahrzeit query by member attribute

That way, you can obtain one comprehensive list of observers. Or, you can obtain a list according to the way you’ve tagged individuals.

There is one more small enhancement along with this one. If you use the Combo Bimah List export, you’ll see the observer’s cell phone on that spreadsheet.

To see these features in action, please enjoy this short (3m, 30s) video.

Diving a bit deeper — most often, the Yahrzeit query is by a range of dates — the forthcoming week, or the forthcoming month. It’s more versatile than that. You can also query by the name of the deceased; by the name of an observer; and you can also pull a list of people who have passed away in the past year .

Dynamic Pull-Down Lists

This feature introduces dynamic pull-down lists. At this point, the feature appears on the financial data-entry screens.

Until now, when you wanted to select people to be notified about a contribution, you had to scroll down the list of all the people in your congregation. And, then, point and click on the one(s) you wanted to notify. Now, you can enter part of a last name. After one second, ShalomCloud reduces the pull-down list to match the name you’ve keyed.

Similarly, for the category of the contribution, you had to point and click. If your categories were fairly small in number, this was not much of a challenge. However, if you have several hundred categories, finding exactly the right one might prove frustrating. Now, you can enter a term, such as “tuition”, into the search box. After one second, ShalomCloud reduces the dynamic pull-down list to match the category you’ve keyed.

To see a video demonstration, access this link.

dynamic pull-down lists

We hope that these two new dynamic pull-down lists will shave a few seconds from each of your efforts to record contributions.

Display Children in the Directory

This article announces a change in how to display children in the directory.

First, some background — please read this previous article on a few changes that preceded this one.

Now, for this change. Until now, if you wanted to list children in the directory, you would select their roles, along with adults and parents. With that choice, children would appear if they had a cell phone or email. If they had neither, their names would not appear. Moreover, if you wanted to show children’s names, but omit the cell and email, you would have to individually check that option per child.

It’s simpler now. Basically, you can follow two rules. Rule one — the Role within family determines whose names appear with their personal contact information. Rule two — by adding the phrase {children} to the letter template for the Directory, you’ll display children in the directory. First names only, as a list.

Here’s a short (3m, 36s) video showing this change in action.

How to add a list of children within the directory.

Installment Billing

ShalomCloud now offers installment billing

By way of explanation — typically, after a pledge drive, or school signups, you’ll record what each family owes. The most direct way to handle those charges, is to book an amount owed per category. For example, $1800 for a pledge, or $500 for religious school. You can include an effective date and/or a due date with each item.

However, we understand that some synagogues prefer, not a lump sum, but to create equal charges over time. Using that $1800 pledge as an example, to bill $200 for nine consecutive months.

Until this change, the only way to create successive monthly (or quarterly) charges was to bill them manually. Now, as you can see in the video below, ShalomCloud handles that automatically. You’ll enter the total amount of the charge, say whether it’s monthly or quarterly, declare a first bill date and a last bill date, and ShalomCloud handles the arithmetic.

One small point — the program handles situations where the total, divided by the number of months, is not an even number of cents.. For example, if you’re making six pledges for a total of $1000, ShalomCloud will create five of $166.67; and then the last one will be $166.65, to come out to the even $1000.

A few points of caution to consider.

Statements will exclude future-dated transactions. So, if you’re running statements on, say, October 5th, and you want to show amounts owed that might be effective-dated October 15th, you’ll need to use a period end date of at least October 15th.

The logged-in member portal will show each of those individual transactions owed. Put another way, showing a single line item for a pledge, would be a cleaner presentation than half a dozen, smaller line items.

Another point — if your intent is to set up recurring payments for the pledge, you’re much better off keeping the amount owed as a single line item. Otherwise, you’ll see a screen like this:

where the top line, a single lump-sum pledge, is clearer to deal with than many small increments.

Nonetheless, if you’re aware of these situations, and consider that incremental billing fits your situation, feel free to use it.

Here’s a video that shows the process in action:

CC Eligible Users

You now have the ability to CC eligible users on outgoing ShalomCloud email.

There are two places the CC comes into play. First, when you’re sending emails from the member query. Second, when you’re sending emails from the All Children report.

Be aware of a couple of ground rules, though. The CC email addresses must be in ShalomCloud as administrative users. That’s what we intend with the phrase “CC Eligible Users.” That is to say, they must have read or write permissions on general data. If you do type in an email address that isn’t eligible, the system will warn you with a red bar underneath the CC area. Just blank out the named email address, and you’ll be good to go.

Do be aware that your own sent email is available in ShalomCloud, under Queries -> Email history. Therefore, you needn’t CC yourself, just to have a record of what you’ve sent.

Here’s a video showing this new area in action

CC Eligible Users
CC To:

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Selected Journal Entry Screen

You can now remove items from the Selected Journal Entry screen.

If you’re a QuickBooks Desktop user, you’re likely familiar with the Selected Journal Entry screen. This panel shows the items posted to ShalomCloud since the last push to QBD. From its inception, you could pick and choose which items you wanted to summarize and send.

However, if for some reason you wanted to permanently remove an item from that screen, you had to contact ShalomCloud support. Otherwise, the item would stay on that screen. Now, though, the right edge of the screen has a link to Remove the item. This does not delete the transaction altogether. Instead, it just marks it with a faux batch code.

On the other hand, if you removed an item and want it put back into the SJE screen, there is a way. Namely, you would do a financial transaction query to find the item, edit it, and check a box to remove that faux batch code.

Here’s a video that shows these features.

Notification Flags

Now available — email notification flags, to control who receives any of various notifcations.

Until this change, the system used three rules to determine who received email notifications:

  1. Anyone with read or write permission for financial activity would receive an email whenever a payment occurred.
  2. Anyone with read or write permission for schools would receive an email whenever a school registration occurred.
  3. Anyone with read or write permission on families would receive a notification whenever any other type of form arrived.

With this change, you can designate which of these notifications go to each user. You’ll see a yes/no choice, when you edit the profile for any user.

Be it noted that, initially, we’ve set the flags such that there is no change in who receives what. Thus, we recommend that you have a look at your profiles, and turn off the flags for those who are receiving extraneous email notifications.

Feel free to look over this short (2m, 50s) video showing how to edit these three new flags.

Statement Address Precision

You now have the ability to specify where you’d like the family’s address to appear on the statement. You can be as precise as you’d like, down to 1/72nd of an inch. Thus, you can now configure window envelopes with precision.

Second announcement — if you use the option to include recent payments on the statement, the payment line now includes the transaction description. We’ve always shown the date, the category, the amount, and the source of funds. Now, though, we show the description, if entered within the item.

Please enjoy this 6-minute video to see these features in action.

Margins for family address

New features for Membership Directory

We now have available a few new features for the membership directory.

The most visible change is the option to print the directory in a linear, up-and-down organization. Before now, the only choice was to use a “Z-Pattern.” That is, ShalomCloud would print the first entry in the upper left corner. The the second name in the upper right corner. Then the third name on the next row, under the first name.

Now, you can choose to first fill the left column, then fill the right column. Then, a new page, continuing to the end.

Another change in the new style is displaying page numbers.

One more thing — if you populate the field known as “informal label,” you can now include that in the directory.

This video runs through all of new features for the membership directory.

Additional options for directory
Additional options for directory

Third-Party Payer

We now have a convenient, straightforward way to handle those situations where you have a third-party payer. By that, we mean cases where your congregant owes for dues or school, for example, and someone volunteers to pay on their behalf.

To enter the third-party payer, you’d use the same screen as always. There’s simply a new field, roughly in the middle, to select the family who is making that payment.

On the financial transaction query, you’ll see the family name of the payer in the “source of funds” column. Likewise, that information appears on a spreadsheet export.

On the monthly or periodic statements, the name of the payer appears in the detail underneath the charge.

Finally, on the tax statement, the item appears on the actual payer’s statement.

Please have a look at this video, to see a demonstration of this feature.

Third-party payer
Third-party Payer