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

Now up to you — accept or disallow recurring contributions

It’s now your choice — either to accept, or to disallow, recurring contributions from the public portal.

On the publicly-facing payment/contribution page, you may have noticed an option to make a recurring contribution. This is analogous to what you’ll see on many charitable organizations, such as Shriners Hospital and Red Cross. Those organizations, like ShalomCloud, allow the contributor to choose between a one-time payment, or a recurring monthly payment.

Recurring contributions can add complexity to your synagogue finances. Accordingly, we now offer a way to exclude that recurring option. To effect that choice, simply go to Home -> Declare synagogue options, and you’ll see

Allow or disallow recurring contributions

By selecting “Do not allow recurring contributions,” your page will look like this:

Now up to you -- accept or disallow recurring contributions

instead of:

Now up to you -- accept or disallow recurring contributions

Here’s a video that displays and explains this new option.

A few changes to the contribution portal

Just a few changes to announce, concerning the contribution portal (a.k.a., non-logged-in portal).

First, where the contributor can name a person to be notified. The screen now has a radio button, to choose either email or postal mail address. Then, depending on which button the user selected, it offers an area in which to enter that email or postal address.

Second change: Before, as soon as someone tabbed out of the amount area, the screen immediately dropped down, to invite a second item within that contribution. That has led to some confusion, or, worse, people repeating the previous item unintentionally. Instead, the screen now has a checkbox. When the user checks the box (an intentional act), then the screen opens for a second line item. And repeats, for up to five line items.

Third change: With every contribution, office folks so flagged receive an email notification. All well and good, but we’ve added to that notification the email and/or the postal mail address of the “notifee.” That should save office personnel from having to look up, or, worse, chase down contact information for the person(s) to be honored.

By the way, if you missed the post on bulk email acknowledgments, have a look at this article.

And here’s a video showing certain aspects of this change.

Search Names on Contributions

Our payment/contribution portal contains an area to designate someone to be notified about a contribution. That has been in place for years. In order to send that acknowledgment letter, the administrator had to pick a name (or names) from a drop-down list. With this enhancement, though, we now offer the ability to search names on contributions, rather than choosing from a pick-list.

Yes, the ability to search names on contributions. The new search box is right above the pick-list. Enter any portion of the last name of the person to be notified; pause one second; and the pick-list will be reduced to only those names that match what was entered.

Here’s a video that shows, first, someone entering a contribution. And, then, the back-office point of view.

Search names on contributions
Pick List by Last Name

Improvements to Member Portal Setup

We have a few things to offer toward improvements in the member portal setup.

If you’re unfamiliar with the member portal, please have a look at this article. This provides the basic information about setting up the ability for your congregants to perform self-service in a variety of areas.

This announcement explains some improvements, primarily in the ongoing operation of the portal.

One: We now sort the selected names alphabetically.

Two: We offer buttons to check-all or uncheck-all. So, for example, if you have a few new members that you want to set up, instead of having to declare a member attribute, you can list everyone, un-check all, and check that selected few.

Three: We’ve seen quite a few cases where congregants did not respond to the initial email contain their login information. Then, a few months later, they now want to take it for a spin. Until now, the program prevented an existing user from being set up a second time. Now, however, we purge anyone who has never logged in. That lets you resend a portal setup.

On the other hand, if someone has logged in, presumably that person has either retained the original complex password, or changed the password to one of their choosing. In either case, it would be a bad idea to unconditionally send a new password; and so we don’t.

Feel free to watch this video demonstration.

Improvements to member portall.  Check all or uncheck all
Check all or uncheck all

Deep Dive

Deep Dive for improvements to member portal setup.

If you email statement notifications, you can include a “link_to_pay”. This is a complex, encrypted link that takes the user directly into the portal, without explicitly logging in. If the user changes any family information, or makes a payment to a commitment, that is as good as logging in. Thus, that user will not be cleaned out, even if there is no explicit login.

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 support@shalomcloud.com, 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