The Turnaround Document

Scattered through these posts are some citations of the Turnaround Document. The Turnaround Document, to be brief, is a way for you to send letters or emails to your congregation, with all the information you have on file for each family. The document shows:

  • Household information, such as physical address and primary phone number
  • Information on each member, such as email, cell phone, birth dates, occupations, Hebrew names, etc.
  • A list of all the Yahrzeits related to any member of that family.

With this latest change, you can now select, by family status, who will receive the letter/email. For example, if you have statuses such as ‘Active’ and ‘Affiliate’, you can target just those two.

One more thing–the congregants can now specify on the turnaround document whether they want their cell phone numbers and/or email addresses suppressed on a membership directory.

Selections for the Turnaround Document

End-of-school-year Promotion

If you track your religious school enrollment within ShalomCloud, you can now take advantage of the end-of-school-year promotion process.

In order to use this action, you’d want to make sure that your grade levels are set up. One typical example would be 1 = Alef, 2 = Bet, 3 = Gimel, etc. You’d want to ensure, above all, that the grade levels are numeric and consecutive.

We typically upload your current student population during the conversion process, rather than your having to enter them student by student.

With those setup items complete, to run the end-of-school-year promotion process, you’d go to Maintenance => Promote to next grade level. The system does pause to confirm that you want to take this action. If you reply OK, you’ll see a screen, with each student’s new grade level, and any errors that occurred.

Here’s a video illustrating the end to end promotion process.

Country Code

You can now enter a country code as part of the address for your congregational families.

In most cases, you likely do not want to designate a country. That is, if the mailing address is in the same country as your synagogue, it is best to not designate a country.

In contrast, let’s say that your temple is in a northern climate in the United States, and you have a family or two with a winter home in Costa Rica. You would want to designate a country (CRI in this example) for that seasonal address. Or the opposite–your congregation is in Florida, and you have folks with a Canada address, either as their primary or seasonal address. You’d put CAN as a country code.

If the system sees a country code, it will print a separate line on envelopes and labels to show it.

New drop-down selection for country

Members by Household Attributes

You can now query for individual members, by the attributes associated with their household records.

To step back a bit–for some time, ShalomCloud has provided a way to define attributes (or ‘tags’) for families (a.k.a. Households), for individuals within those families, and for Yahrzeits. There are screens where you can easily and quickly tag your families and members, as needed.

Then, by going to the Queries menu, you could pull lists of families with your choice of attributes. Similarly, you could pull lists of individuals, with your choice of member attributes.

However–what if you wanted to obtain a list of people who belonged to families with certain attributes? For example–maybe you’ve tagged some households as Seniors, others as Young Couple or Young Single? And you want to reach out to members of those families, maybe to organize group-specific activities?

That’s what this enhancement handles. Have a look at the video (5 minutes). It shows you this feature, and also shows an example of combining the different attributes into one query.

Family attributes available in member query
Family attributes now available in member query

Donation Acknowledgments

This post discusses a couple of new ways to send donation acknowledgments.

For quite awhile, you could send such acknowledgments via postal mail, using a template in the format of a typical business letter. The structure included things such as insider address, greeting, body, complimentary close, and writer identification. If your synagogue’s letters fit into that mold, then that is probably your best option.

However–if either (a) you prefer to email your contribution acknowledgments, or (b) your template is more involved–say, with officers and titles running down the left side–you can now take advantage of the richer formatting options available under email templates.

In a way, we’re double-dipping here. At the risk of seeming repetitious–you now have three options:

  • Continue to use the venerable letter templates, especially if your letter adheres to the available structure;
  • Create an email template, and use it to email your donation acknowledgments;
  • Leverage the rich formatting of email templates to create a highly customized donation acknowledgment letter.

Here’s a seven-minute video that explains all three options.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a note at [email protected] . We’ll be happy to go over your specific situation and make a recommendation.

Recent Changes

Here in one compressed article is a list of recent changes. Some of these have merited their own independent post. Where that’s the case, you’ll see a link to that article. Otherwise, we’ll show a short explanation of the change.

Financial

On Queries => Financial Transactions, you can now enter a check number, check amount, or both. So, for example, if someone says, “I mailed in check 1234 for $85.00,” you’ll be able to quickly track whether you received and posted that check; and you’ll be able to tell at a glance the categories to which that money was applied.

On Queries => Financial Transactions, if you export data, you’ll see two changes:

  1. The export now contains the family’s formal name
  2. Debits (charges) and Credits (payments) appear in separate columns.

On Financial => Statements, the choice of which statements to print had been limited to either everyone, or any one specific family. The point of the “one specific family” was to handle the case where you may have reapplied a transaction, and wanted to produce an updated statement. Or, of course, if the family did not receive the original statement, and wanted a replacement. Now, as is the case with the directory, you can more finely select who will receive statements. You can select by billing status, and/or select by family attribute.

Membership communications

On Queries => Produce Directory, you can now select which families appear in the directory. You can select by billing status, by family attributes, or a combination. Also, if you mark the family with a special attribute named _EXCL, the program will exclude that household from the directory. Moreover, the Exclude attribute overrides all the other selection criteria.

When sending emails from Queries => Members, you now can choose from your own defined set of sender email addresses, in addition to your logged-in ID. Please see this blog post devoted to this topic.

The Turnaround Document offers the flexibility to either print it or email it. In early January 2019, we added the capability to print the Turnaround Document only for those families with no email address.

Yahrzeits

From Queries => Yahrzeits, you can now produce a formatted report, meant to provide lists of Yahrzeits read from the Bimah. Please see this blog post for details and report options.

In ShalomCloud, each Yahrzeit “notifee” can choose notification by Gregorian date, by Hebrew date, or none. Because of this, we show Yahrzeits by both sets of dates. However, if your congregation has all notifications set to Hebrew date (or none), the Gregorian portion will not appear.

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.

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.

 

 

Export Chart Data

NEW — you can now export chart data to CSV or Excel–or display the underlying data right on the page!

(see blue highlighted area in the screen shot)

 

Revenue by Category
Revenue by Category, with options to export

In case you haven’t seen our application, let’s list the available charts:

  • Families by year
    • Joined by year (this is the number of households who joined the congregation, year by year)
    • Joined minus resigned by year (which gives you a net membership count, by year)
  • Families by Zip (bar graph, showing number of households by zip, with hyperlinks to those households).
  • Pledges by Year (stacked bar graph, interactively showing pledged and paid, by year)
  • Revenue by Category (pictured above)
  • Pledged-Paid Gap (line graph, going back several years, showing the cumulative difference between pledged amounts and paid amounts).

For each chart, there is a little symbol toward the upper right that lets you export the chart to PDF, JPG, PNG, or just print it directly.

With this change, that same symbol allows you to export the data that goes into making the chart, into a spreadsheet-compatible format.