The payment portal, sometimes called the non-logged-in portal, and sometimes called the contribution portal, has a new wrinkle.
Until now, the portal was purely a means to accept contributions. Now, though, if you do indeed create charges for items such as school tuition or pledges, you’ll see the portal looking for such receivables against which it will apply payments.
Primarily to control what appears in the two user portals, you now have the ability to archive financial categories.
What do we mean by “archive?” You might think of it as a way to retire a no-longer-used category. Or, perhaps, you might have categories that you use internally. In fact, if your organization is more comfortable with a term such as “close” or “make private”, we can accommodate that wish quite easily.
The main point is simple–when you archive financial categories, those do not show up in either the general payment screen or the logged-in user portal.
As seen in the December, 2018 post, you’ve had the option of asking your contributors if they’d like to absorb card processing fees, bundled into their contribution. As originally set up, you could determine:
The percentage to be recovered
The per-transaction amount to be recovered
The actual phrase or sentence that asks whether the contributor would like to absorb the fee.
Your choice as to whether the default would be yes or no.
With today’s change, you’ll have the option of automatically including the fee. In this case, the contributor would not have the option of declining.
We’ve added another button to the Yahrzeit query. Just a little background would be in order. On the Yahrzeit query, the top half of the screen shows all the Yahrzeits matching the Hebrew date range. Conversely, the bottom half of the screen shows all the Yahrzeits matching the Gregorian dates that you’ve entered.
If your congregation concentrates on one or the other — all Hebrew or all Gregorian — you can use the long-standing buttons to create a Hebrew or Gregorian Bimah list.
On the other hand, if your congregation has a mixture, the new Combination Bimah List button will serve you well.
With this button, the system combines the Hebrew lines with the Gregorian lines, to give you one list. Along the way, at your option, it sorts by the dates the Yahrzeits occur, according to the Yahrzeit observer.
You’ll see three improvements within Yahrzeit queries. Those changes are as follows:
If you’re entering a Gregorian date range, the program had been adding a day to the end of the range. Why? you might ask. We were being extra cautious. We were including Yahrzeits that began after sundown on the “to” part of the date. However, none of our customers thought that made sense. Consequently, we have removed the extra day tack-on. If you enter July 1 through July 31, you’ll see July 1 through July 31, alongside its equivalents on the Hebrew calendar.
When sending emails from the member query, you may be taking advantage of the ability to use an alternate sender email address. (If you missed that announcement, here’s the post that will fill you in.) All well and good–but that same idea was not available if you’re sending out Yahrzeitnotifications by email. For example, you might wish your Yahrzeit notifications to be sent from a general address, such as “[email protected]” If you do wish to use an alternate sender address, please do get in touch with us. We’ll need to have our email handler verify the new email sender.
Last thing–on smaller screens, or screens that were less than maximized, the buttons below the listings collided with the drop-down boxes to their right. The system now handles those situations gracefully, even to the size of a cell phone.
Here’s an under-four-minute video that runs through these improvements within Yahrzeit queries.
You can now produce letters for families, driven by the family/household query.
ShalomCloud has offered a number of different ways to communicate with your congregation. For example, you can send Yahrzeit reminders by letter or by email. Similarly, you can send acknowledgments for contributions by letter or email. When reaching out to individual members, you can use email or text messaging. Finally, at the family/household level, you could print envelopes or labels.
However–one thing was missing–namely, the ability to create a general letter, intended for either the entire congregation, or to a selection of families. We have filled that gap.
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.
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.