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.

 

Better Queries

We have three improvements in which you might be interested, with a six-minute video that runs through all three:

Queries with ‘NOT’; bulk status changes.

  • Bulk change of family status:  when you run a family/household query, you will now see a button on the bottom left of the screen.  That button enables you to change the status of any families that you check.  For example, you might query for all families with attribute “moved away.”  From there, in one step, you could change all of those families to a status of “Inactive.”
  • On family/household queries, you can now pull lists of families who do not have a certain attribute.  There is one example in the video above.  Here’s another example–suppose you want to do a paper mailing, appealing to raise funds for a new roof.  You maintain an attribute called “Founding Families,” to whom you might make a personal appeal.  You would want to exclude from that query the Founding Families, so as not to send them the general appeal communication.
  • Likewise on individual member queries. There is a good example in the video, namely pulling a list of ladies in your congregation who are not in the Sisterhood.

 

 

Member Portal, Part III

Members of your congregation can now add people to their families via the member portal.

Previously, your members could change only existing information. Now, they will be able to round out your membership by adding, for example,

  • children
  • elderly parents
  • adult children who may have moved back home.

 

 

Two New Fields for Member Records

We have added middle name and suffix to the fields available on the individual person records:

These fields are also available for update in the user portal.  Moreover, with the recent addition of the audit trail, synagogue administrators can now find the source of every update–the who, what, and when of updates to any of the family/member information.

 

Find Individuals by Zip Code

There is one additional field included in the member query–current zip code.
current_zip

Zip had already been available in the Family/Household query, but this brings a little more convenience to gather info about individuals.

Couple of points:

It is not necessary to enter an entire zip–if you enter 1234, the program will find persons in 12340, 12341, … , 12349.

The term “current zip” means that the query is aware of whether that person is residing at the primary or secondary address.  For example, if the primary address is within zip code 12345, with the secondary address at 98765–if the person is currently at the secondary address, asking for 12345 will not include that person.

Small enhancement to Household Query

Previously, when you selected Queries => Household (a.k.a Family), and you wanted to pull by billing status,  such as Active, Inactive, or Resigned, you were limited to

  1. selecting All,  or
  2. selecting one specific billing status.

With this enhancement, you can select as many statuses as you wish, by simply sweeping your mouse pointer over several consecutive items, or using Ctrl-click to select several non-consecutive items.

ShalomCloud Multi-select on Billing Status from Norman Snyder on Vimeo.