Alternate ‘From’ Email Address

We have a change in store, designed to give you some more flexibility when sending congregational emails. The change is the ability to select an alternate ‘from’ email address when sending emails to your membership.

First, some background–we purposefully have defaulted the ‘from’ address when sending emails, to that of the logged-in id. That was designed to prevent anyone from impersonating another.

On the other hand, suppose your congregation has some general-purpose email addresses. Addresses such as [email protected] or [email protected] In that case, you may wish to send emails from those addresses, without having to log out of your actual user ID.

That is now possible. This video runs through the entire process. Basically, you’d define a few of these special email addresses. Then, attach these new email “users” to a special code. The special code allows the ID to do one thing–to send emails.

If you’re content with sending emails solely from your own logged-in ID, you can safely ignore this post. Your ID will still be the default, so this option won’t affect you.

Bimah List

Bimah List .

ShalomCloud has offered, from the beginning, a way to pull Yahrzeits by a variety of selection criteria. You could pull lists by by name, by related member, by Gregorian date range, by Hebrew date range. You could even pull a list of Yahrzeits where there is no related member.

Moreover, from the list, you could create emails to the related persons, or create hard-copy letters to those same folks.

Finally, you could export the list to a spreadsheet, and perhaps use that spreadsheet to format and print a document to read from the Bimah during Shabbat services.

We are announcing an added convenience–the ability to create a ready-made list, expressly meant to be read from the Bimah.

There are a few options when generating the Bimah list:

  • By Hebrew date or Gregorian date.
  • From and to dates.
  • Group the list by day or by week (for example, if you make the announcements weekly, and perhaps have a daily Minyan, you’d probably want to group the list by day. On the other hand, if you have services twice a month, you may want a monthly list, grouped by week).
  • Include or not include the relationships on the list.
  • Print the list (or save to a file), after you see it on the screen.

Here’s a video that shows a couple of ways to create the Bimah List.


QuickBooks Desktop Integration

ShalomCloud now offers QuickBooks Desktop integration.

For some time, we have supported near-real-time integration with QuickBooks Online.  By that, we mean that, within minutes of posting financial activity in ShalomCloud, that activity appears in QuickBooks Online.  This is a cloud-to-cloud integration, and one that seems to follow Intuit’s implied direction.  (For a comparison between QB Online and QB Desktop, please see this chart.)

However, in talking to customers and prospective customers, we have learned that QuickBooks desktop maintains its popularity.  Therefore, we developed the Desktop integration.

Basically, there are three steps involved.category mapping

Step 1–export your chart of accounts from QB Desktop, and import that chart into ShalomCloud.

Step 2–map your ShalomCloud categories  into the QuickBooks chart.  Then, after going about your normal financial posting,

Step 3–create the extract to QuickBooks Desktop.

 

 

The explanation above appears daunting–but it’s actually a simple process, as illustrated in this video, which walks through all the steps.  In reality, it may take some careful thought to get the mapping just right.  After that, though, the normal, day-to-day process just involves one link–to export financial activity from ShalomCloud–followed by importing that file into QB Desktop.

 

 

When your congregants do not have email

Most of the time, you can reach most of your community by email.  However, there will likely be some folks who either do not have an email address, or simply prefer paper mail.  How can you conveniently distinguish the paper-mail audience?

ShalomCloud now offers two different features geared toward the above.  First, we’ve added to the member query a check box to select those people who lack an email address:

paper mail--no email checkbox

Second–when you’re producing the so-called “turnaround document”–if you send a paper document to everyone, then this feature will not matter.

But–if you primarily send the turnaround document by email, you’ll see a way to reach the non-email members.  paper mail roster no email only

This is important to know–on the turnaround document, if you select “no email only,” that means that no one in the family has an email address.  Why?–a couple of reasons.  First of all, if anyone in the family has an email address, that household would have received the email version of the document.  Secondly, it is commonly the case that children may not have their email addresses loaded–and we wouldn’t want those families bombarded with redundant communications.

Yahrzeit Letters Enhanced

Enhanced formatting for Yahrzeit letters–by which we mean fonts, colors, sizing, and the like.

At first, ShalomCloud offered a way to control content for Yahrzeit notifications, presuming you would print and mail them.  After that, we bolstered the communication offering by making available email templates.  The latter included a toolbar to control letter sizes, letter colors, background colors, and even picture placement.

However, you, the user, had to choose one or the other–either the fixed format (but with editable content) of the letters, or the fluid format of emails.

No longer!  You may now format your Yahrzeit notifications using the email templates, yet use the email template to send hard-copy letters.  The best of both worlds.

Here’s a video (4m, 18s) that shows this new idea in action.

Smarter Contribution Portal

Non-logged-in-portal
Non-logged-in portal

The contribution portal has added a smarter search for contributors who might be Temple members.

What do we mean by that?  First of all, if you watch the video about the non-logged-in portal,  you’ll have the background for this post.  Regardless, let’s squeeze an explanation into a few sentences.

The non-logged-in portal accepts payments and contributions without needing a login. Its biggest advantage–it can identify contributors who are Temple members.  That saves your admin the time of looking up contributors, and manually making entries.

Prior to this change, the portal did a look-up based on email address alone.  If it didn’t find the email address, it created a Family record.

With this change,  the portal tries a few other techniques to find the user.  We shan’t go into the details here.  Let it be known, though, that we’re using more fields entered into the contribution form–with the goal of doing better on finding known contributors.

One other point–suppose that, despite the “smarter” search, the system can’t find the giver, and creates a family record like Smith-1.  Later, you discover this was actually Smith, and you’d like to merge the Smith-1 activity into Smith.  There has been a screen to move that money in one fell swoop.  In addition, we’ve now added a check box to delete the Smith-1 record.

reassign payer
Reassign Payer

Bulk Billing

Our newest feature, Bulk Billing, comes into play when you want to create many receivable transactions, for the same amount, in the same category.

Probably the most typical example would be a pledge drive.  Let’s say you have a standard membership of $1000 and a Young Member rate of $300.  With ShalomCloud, you can designate memberships by billing status, by family attributes, or by some combination.  Then, using this feature, you can create pledges with just a few mouse clicks.

Or, let’s say you’re accepting orders for sets of Lulav and Etrog.  Accordingly, you could create a family attribute called, fittingly, “Ordered Lulav and Etrog.”  As the orders come in, you could simply assign that attribute to the respective families.  When the ordering period closes, you could use the Bulk Billing feature to create a receivable for each order, all at once.

Here’s a video (3m, 25s) that shows how this feature works.

ShalomCloud Bulk Billing from Norman Snyder on Vimeo.

Deposit Assistant

Until now, ShalomCloud offered three ways to record funds–checks, cash, and credit cards entered into ShalomCloud.

With this enhancement, you’ll be able to enter other sources of income.  For example, you may have PayPal transactions; you may have card activity coming in from sources other than ShalomCloud.

Whether or not you use the new “other” sources of income, you’ll be able to take advantage of a new report, expressly formatted for printing–the Deposit Assistant.

 

deposit report

Here is a video that shows the entire end-to-end process.

There are two pieces to this enhancement.  First–under the Configuration menu, you can designate your various sources of income.  Cash, check, and credit cards done via ShalomCloud are automatically included.  Then, as you enter financial activity into the system, you can pull down any of those sources of income, type in a reference number, and enter the amount.

Second–at a time of your choosing, go into Financial -> Deposit Assistant and enter a date range.  You’ll immediately see all the activity in the date range, broken down by category, with subtotals by category and by source of funds.  At the end, there will be a grand total.

Last–you can print, or save to PDF, this deposit report.

 

Now Available – Email History

ShalomCloud now keeps a history of outgoing emails.

  • the recipient
  • the subject
  • the message itself
  • when you sent the email

Watch the video (5 1/2 minutes).

 

Moreover, you can query the email history, by

  • any portion of the recipient’s email address
  • any word or phrase in the subject
  • sent after and sent before.

From the resulting screen, you’ll be able to

  • resend an email with a single click, or
  • edit the sent email (perhaps the recipient address was misspelled), and then resend it.

 

Labels and Envelopes for Families

Watch the video on this topic (two minutes).

On the Queries => Families (for some, Queries => Households), the checkboxes on the right now apply to the printing of both envelopes and labels.  Prior to this time, the checkboxes pertained only to envelopes, while the program printed labels for every family that met the search criteria.