ShalomCloud has, from the outset, provided the ability for the congregation to create letter templates, used primarily when acknowledging donations and sending Yahrzeit notifications. Moreover, the software exposes a letter preview for each contribution letter, which the office can use to override the letter template for that specific missive.
However, until now the letter heading has been fixed per congregation. With today’s release, both the letter template and the letter preview allow control of the following:
The heading text itself, including line breaks
Bold lettering anywhere in the heading–by line, by phrase, by word–even by individual character(s).
Italics anywhere in the heading–by line, by phrase, by word–even by individual character.
Font size–varying anywhere in the heading.
Option to center the heading or place it on the left margin.
In addition, several different fonts are now available for the entire letter.
For some time, ShalomCloud Synagogue Management Software has been able to produce acknowledgment letters for contributions–not only to the contributor, but also to any congregation members whom the contributor wishes to let know. For example, if Allen Abelson contributes $18 to the General Fund in honor of the birthday of Sam Silverstein, Mr. Abelson would typically like for Mr. Silverstein to be notified about the contribution.
However, there’s been a less-than-optimal facet of this process: namely that, if a payment included contributions to several different funds, the contributor would receive a separate letter for each granular contribution.
The enhancement implemented on 7/9/2017 groups such line items into one letter to the contributor. Letters to “Notifees” remain as they were.
We have broadened our payments function to include recurring payments. There are some rather sophisticated ideas implemented herein:
Validates the card information immediately
Shows you all the unpaid items for a selected family
Drag and drop(!) the order in which you’d like to pay the outstanding items (thus establishing a waterfall).
Select a payment frequency and amount
Optionally declare a maximum number of payments.
From there, the magic unfolds. As each payment date arrives, the card is charged, of course. Then, the payment is automatically applied to the outstanding items that you specified in step 3 above.
The system applies periodic payments until either (a) the maximum number of payments is reached, or (b) all outstanding items declared in the waterfall reach a $0 balance. At that point, the program applies any remaining monies to credit on file, and sends an email to your office personnel to cancel the recurring payment.
As a synagogue back office, you would accomplish all of the above within ShalomCloud. The actual card activity occurs within Stripe , but ShalomCloud handles the “conversation” with Stripe.
Many systems offer a recurring payment feature–however, you would typically find yourself making decisions on each individual payment as it arrives (“Here’s $100–let me look over the ledger–hmm, what should I apply it to??”). Not the case here–when you set up the recurring payment, you’d make those decisions during setup. The activity flows automatically from there.
If we’ve piqued your interest in this capability, please consider subscribing to this blog, by entering your email into the area at the top of the beige-colored box.
Apparently many synagogues use QuickBooks for their general ledger, with their chosen synagogue software acting as a subledger feeding into QuickBooks periodically. While many synagogue leaders understand the benefits of cloud-based synagogue management software, they often cling to desktop-based accounting software. This is non-optimal.