The Next Leap in Your Experience
When we introduced Church Community Builder 4.0 last November, we brought a slew of improvements to the look, feel, and experience of the software. But that wasn't the end. June 24, we're rolling out even more, designed to make some of the most commonly used features of the your site simpler and more natural to use.
6.12.15: We added three new volunteer emails to make sure your volunteers get the information they need.
6.19.15: Group pages have also received a makeover, as well as a live message search.
Your average church member doesn't need a long list of navigation options in their menu, so it's been simplified and shortened. Groups, People, a new Serve option, and Give (if you have online giving set up) are now all that appear to your Basic Users. New tabs on the home page provide users easy access to their Recent Activity, Messages, Calendar, and list of Forms.
The main menu and the home page aren't the only places we've streamlined your experience, either. Groups serve as hubs for a lot of different features, and that meant navigating away to a lot of disparate pages, creating a disconnected-feeling experience. No longer. Now all of a group's messages are right there in the 'Messages' tab on the group's page ... and that's true for events, files, needs, positions, and schedules too. It's a change that looks small on the surface but makes a powerful impact on your experience.
Wondering what this Serve item in the new menu is? It's your volunteers' one-stop shop. From there, you can:
- See your upcoming volunteer commitments (confirmed schedule assignments and needs you've taken) and easily email your leaders or find someone to replace you
- Accept or decline requests to serve in a schedule
- Volunteer for positions that are best matches for you or choose from a list of positions in your groups
- Browse through and sign up for need items in the groups you are in
Every user sees the 'Serve' option in their menu, allowing active volunteers to attend to all their commitments in one place and providing potential volunteers a clear place to find opportunities.
Finding Your Fit to Serve
The Serve page also hosts the My Fit tool, designed to make it easy for people to see what volunteer opportunities best suit their own unique gifts, passions, and talents. By setting My Fit, a volunteer will get personalized results of the serving opportunities that best match their choices. Edit My Personal Fit Setting can be found on the Positions tab of the Serve page.
From here, you can check your spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, and personality style with ease. By making your selections and clicking Save, your profile will be updated and your best match percentage for the positions entered in your software will update to include your new fit information.
Scroll through your best matches and easily apply or volunteer for those positions right there, all without leaving the page!
Emails Volunteers Need
We're also improving the experience for your volunteers when they're not logged in. Communication gaps or failures can disrupt even the smoothest-running processes, leading to understaffing or rough first impressions for volunteer coordinators and volunteers. So we've created three new system emails to fill in these communication gaps.
These new emails provide notifications for when someone's volunteer replacement requests are accepted or declined, or when one of their schedule assignments is canceled. If Erik has to request a replacement, he'll find out when that person responds, no matter what they say — and if they declined, his email will include a handy button try again. And if it turns out you don't need Erik that Sunday after all? Now he's sure to find out ahead of time ... instead of two hours before service when he dutifully shows up early to serve.
Manage Schedules Without Logging In
With 4.0, we introduced a mobile-friendly attendance-taking interface that could be accessed without ever logging in. Now, we're doing the same for volunteer schedules. Any volunteer request email will include a link to the new page. From there, you can accept or decline, manage your requests, find a replacement, and more — even from your phone.
A page doesn't have to be all new to get an all new look. Taking its place in 4.1 next to the new Serve interface is a beautifully redesigned Groups page ... along with some great new functionality.
The whole group page has been simplified and restructured to give it a fresh, clean look. Most administrative tasks can be found in the Group Actions menu, and everything else can be found in the tabs. On top of that, we've also upgraded group images: high-resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio. Your old, low-res group images will continue to show for now, but we encourage you to upload a new one to take advantage of this sleek new look!
Live Message Search
Group message search is also making a triumphant return ... and it's live! Just type in the search field and your messages filter in real time. We've also moved the group participants page into a tab, and the search there is live too.
The general look and feel, navigation, and serving functions of the software aren't the only big things getting some attention with 4.1. Online giving is one of the most frequently used features in the software ... but it wasn't always the simplest. If your givers ever wanted the ability to split a single gift across multiple accounts, you had to use workarounds like forms, causing more unnecessary headaches. No more. Split giving is now built into Standard and Deluxe.
Split giving is available for both one-time and repeating gifts — and if your church is using Public Giving, you can give a one-time debit/credit card split gift without even logging in.
Bad Data Is Worse Than No Data
Improving the experience of your churchgoers is at the heart of this release. Good communication is a huge part of people's having a positive experience with your church! But you can't communicate without contact information ... and how do you know what's in your system is up to date? Sometimes people won't log in to the software themselves, or won't remember to update their profiles there when they move, change phone numbers, or whatever else. But just because the church management software doesn't know about the change doesn't mean none of your church leaders do. Now, group leaders can update contact information for individuals in their group, making the task of keeping up-to-date contact information that much easier.
Group leaders like the Main Leader, Assistant Leaders, Coach, and Director can go to their group members list to update non-administrative fields from the first two tabs of a group member's profile. If they have Full Read and Full Write privileges or are the MA, they can also update unlisted profiles. This feature is turned off by default on all current and future groups, so you can enable it in as many or as few groups as you think it's appropriate for.
With a new look to the software that started with 4.0 and continues in 4.1, it was time to update some more emails too! The emails you receive from the system are redesigned to be clean and functional and, best of all, mobile friendly.
More Saved and Scheduled Reports
With our last release, we added the ability to save and schedule nine reports, with more coming. Now, they're here. All reports in the software can now be saved and automatically emailed to the appropriate leaders on a schedule. Always get the information you need, when you need it, to the people who need it.
Church Community Builder 4.1 is a big release, and these are just the highlights. We fit even more small feature changes and bux fixes into this release! And it's all coming to you the evening of Wednesday, June 24.