Running Statements

Running statements can tie up your screen for much more than a few seconds. In fact, if statements take more than two minutes, you’ll see a message about a Gateway timeout.

In order to avoid this, we are now processing statements as a background job. What does this mean to you? First of all, as you submit a statement run, you’ll get an immediate response, telling you that the statement run has begun. Later, typically two to five minutes, you’ll receive an email, from [email protected], informing you that the statements are ready. In that email will be a link, which you can use to download the statements.

For small synagogues, this may be a bit of an inconvenience — after all, it’s a two-step process to pull statements. However, you do gain the benefit of being able to use your browser while the statements are running. And, by running them in the background, you’ll not have to worry about the system timing out.

In weeks to come, we expect to be doing the same for some of the longer-running selections.

Statement run in action: Link to video

Long running jobs

Recurring Payments in the Member Portal

ShalomCloud now offers the ability to create recurring payments in the member portal.

By way of background — we have for some time offered the following capabilities, once a congregant logs in:

  • Maintain own family’s demographic information
  • See yahrzeits related to any member of the family
  • Add a member to the family
  • Pull a statement — amounts owed and paid — for any date range.
  • Make a payment, while designating exactly how those funds should be applied.
  • Member search, by any portion of the last name and/or first name.

To these functions, we now add the idea of creating, updating, and deleting recurring payments. For the sake of completeness, let us mention a couple of prerequisites:

  1. Your temple or synagogue must have an account with our gateway that offers both card and ACH. For more information on that topic, please send us a note at [email protected], and we’ll guide you through the setup process.
  2. There must be a charge, debit, or amount owed, to which the recurring payment would be applied.

The following video shows, not only the new recurring payments function, but actually everything that the member portal can do. Feel free share this post and video, especially if you have members who may want to have an online account.

Member portal end-to-end.

Recurring payment via member portal
Recurring payment via member portal

Segment the Turnaround Document

Our larger customers may be interested in the capability to segment the turnaround document.

What is the turnaround document, you might wonder? For background, please have a look at this video. This is a document that holds all the fields we have collected for families, individuals, and Yahrzeits. The goal is to send each document to its respective family; and then the family would “turn around” that document with additions and corrections.

For large congregations, the program might well time out. In that case, you would want to take advantage of the new ability to segment the turnaround document — to run it by range of letters. It defaults to “A” to “Z.” If that’s too many, you might try entering something like “A” to “D”, then “E” through “H”, etc.

Here you may watch a video to see how this feature works.

Turnaround document selections

Private Notes

ShalomCloud now has the ability to create private notes.

For a few years now, ShalomCloud has had the ability to create notes. The note creator can assign a priority, a due date, and can assign a user to the note.

However, until now, anyone with the “families” permission could read the notes. With this change, only the “assigned to” person can see the body of the note. For anyone else, the topic appears, but the body clearly shows the note as private.

To see this feature in access, please access this video.

Marking notes as private

Search in the Member Portal

Logged-in users can now do a search in the member portal

For background, please review these articles about the member portal.

We are now announcing something new–the ability to search for people in your congregation.

To run a search in the member portal, you’ll see a new button labeled “Member Search.” When you click that button, you’ll see a form with last name and first name. You can enter either or both. For example, if you enter just “Ann” in the first name, it’ll find everyone whose first name is Ann, Anne, Annette, etc.

The system will tell you how many people matched your search, Then, on each line, you’ll see first name, last name, cell phone, email, and address. Also, on each line, there’s a checkbox to see additional family members.

If you, as a member, do not wish your cell phone or email to appear, you can edit your information to keep those facts private. Or, you may also contact your temple administrator, who can also mark it private.

As a reminder–members can edit their own information. Names, addresses, phone numbers, occupation, birthdays, anniversaries. And that anything edited by members on the member portal goes directly into ShalomCloud.

Here are two videos on this topic. The first shows this feature on a laptop screen. The second shows how it looks on a smart phone.

Member portal search
Member Portal Search



The Turnaround Document

This post shows how to ask your congregation to verify the information on hand, via the turnaround document.

The turnaround document is an email template. It consists of placeholders for all the information in ShalomCloud for each family, member, and Yahrzeit data, per household.

You can choose to send it by email, by postal mail, or both. Also, you can also send it first by email, and then by postal, only for families with no email.

You can change the template itself. For example, if there are fields that don’t matter, you can delete them. Too, If you’d like to change a background color, the accompanying video will show you how.

This video shows the end-to-end process. It covers editing the template, sending it by email, and printing it.

Aged Accounts Receivable Reports

ShalomCloud now has available four aged accounts receivable reports.

The four reports are:

  • By family, summarized.
  • By family, detail.
  • By category, summarized.
  • By category, detail.

If you’ve entered Due Date in the charge, that is the field that determines the age of the receivable item. Lacking due date, the system chooses effective date. Lacking effective date, it’ll fall back to the date the transaction was entered.

There is also a selection to include fiscal year in the categories. Here’s what that means. If you already include the year in your categories–that is, if you set up new sets of categories each each, then you won’t need to include fiscal year, because it’s already there.

On the other hand, knowing that ShalomCloud carries an explicit, separate field for fiscal year, you may adopt the practice of not setting up new categories each year. In that case, if you wish to separate the commitments by year, you would want to include fiscal years on the reports.

Here’s a six-minute video that runs through how to create these reports.

A/R Aged
Aged Accounts Receivable Reports

How to Reassign Payments

This is an instructional article on how to reassign payments.

To explain, let’s run through a typical example.

Let’s say you’ve created outstanding items for two categories — a pledge for $800 and religious school tuition for $400.

A check arrives for $50, and you’ve applied it to the pledge, leaving a pledge balance of $750.

The video steps through how to find the $50 payment, and how to reapply it to the school tuition. The result would be a pledge balance of $800 and school tuition balance of $350. View the video

Reassigning a payment
Reassigning a payment

Synagogue Directory: More Choices

When producing a synagogue directory, you’ll now have a few more choices.

In the initial roll-out of the synagogue directory, there weren’t any options. The program simply created a document of all your Active families, in two columns, on 8 1/2 by 11 paper. Just three mouse clicks would create that directory.

Since that initial announcement, we’ve add a few things. First, you can select which families to include, based on the billing status [Active, Associate, Friends, etc]. Also, you can select by family attribute(s). Moreover, there is a special attribute to exclude a family entirely from the directory.

The newest set of options provides one more selection criteria. If you’ve marked your individual members with the Role within Family (see this link for details), you can indicate which roles to include. For example, if you’ve marked roles such as Adult and Child, you can specify that only Adults would appear in the directory.

As mentioned above, the directory had been available in one format, and one format only–8 1/2 x 11 paper, in two columns. Now, you can designate your paper size (for example, 8 1/2 inches tall, 5 1/2 inches wide), and whether you want a one-column format or a two-column format.

Directory options
Directory Options

This video (8 m, 18s) runs through these options.

Certainly, if you’d like to help setting up these directory templates, feel free to reach out to us.

How to: Input and Report on Yahrzeits

This post runs through most aspects of updating Yahrzeits, especially connecting members of your congregation to their loved ones who have passed away.

The video also shows how to

  • Pull Yahrzeit lists by both Hebrew date range and Gregorian date range.
  • Obtain a spreadsheet with both lists.
  • Create Yahrzeit reminder notifications, honed specifically to the recipient’s preference of Hebrew or Gregorian.
  • How to create a printable list of Yahrzeits, using either a Hebrew date range or a Gregorian date range.

In contrast to most of our posts, which announce new features, this is meant as an instructional video. Enjoy.

How to: Maintain and report on Yahrzeits.