What is Church Community Builder?

Church Community Builder’s software is a web-based church management solution designed to help church leaders build and support a more connected, smoother running ministry.

Communicating and connecting with people, both inside and outside the church, is a challenge for church leaders. It’s key for your ministry’s growth and health to make sure people don’t fall through the cracks. There are many tools you and your team can find to help with the needs of your ministry; but trying to work with multiple software tools can actually cause more confusion and inefficiency. We know how important it is to have all of your data and tools in one central location.

But we know your work is about more than the tools you use. Your real success is achieved when you’re able to apply strong tools to equally strong processes. At Church Community Builder, we care about that too, and want to support how you do ministry so you can be more effective in fulfilling The Great Commission.

Why web-based?

Web-based software, often called Software as a Service (SaaS), has clear advantages compared to a locally hosted application:
  1. You don’t need any extra fancy equipment. Whether you use a PC or a Mac, all you need is your computer (or mobile device) and Internet access. The software runs in your web browser. Church Community Builder supports most modern web browsers, including Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer versions 9+.
  2. No installation necessary. Locally hosted applications require you either install the software on each individual computer or run it on a local server accessed through your network. Upgrades require installation on each computer and/or the server, adding to your support needs and decreasing the productivity of your technical staff. When Church Community Builder releases new features and functionality you’ve got ‘em — automatically. No extra fee to pay. No time wasted installing it. No bugs to fix.
  3. SaaS makes your software available from anywhere you can access the Internet — the church office, your kitchen table, your favorite coffee shop, maybe even on that flight to the Bahamas. But please don’t work while you’re on vacation. Take a break, you’ve earned it!

How secure is Church Community Builder?

Data security and privacy is important for any church management system, but it is a critical foundation for web-based solutions like Church Community Builder. Below, we go into all the nitty-gritty details of what makes our software secure. But let us sum it up non-geek for you first: your stuff is safe with us. Read the next section for the game-on geek-speak.

How Secure – Geek Version

The following section contains a lot of geek-speak. If you’re a regular humanoid this may not make much sense. (What exactly do double-salted hash browns have to do with my church’s data anyway?) If you’re really curious, maybe you can get your IT person to read the next few sections and explain it to you later.

DATA PRIVACY & INTEGRITY

The security of your data is taken very seriously. Our servers run Linux and have the latest stable versions and security updates installed. In addition to hardware firewalls, we use IPTables firewall software on our servers to keep them locked down as much as possible. Behind the scenes, our servers are only accessible by authorized staff securely via SSH or VPN, and all uploads/downloads of critical information are done via Secure FTP (SFTP). In addition, all passwords and login IDs to your solution are hashed and double salted to prevent unauthorized login attempts. On the user end, all church individual logins must be at least six characters long and contain at least one numeric and one alpha character to further ensure security of the data. Also, after five unsuccessful attempts at login, the user’s account is locked for a 60 minute period. Our primary and secondary datacenters are protected with dual keycard access and 24/7 video surveillance and security staff.

DATA BACKUPS

All customer data is snapshotted hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly to local network storage. Offsite backups are done nightly to a secure location in the unlikely event a catastrophic scenario prevents data access or recovery from the primary datacenter. Finally, we store daily backups to Amazon’s S3 service in the even more unlikely event that both the primary and secondary datacenters are unrecoverable.

REDUNDANCY

We realize reliability is a critical component of your trust. We’ve configured our systems to ensure N+1 redundancy in our firewalls,loadbalancers, physical servers, and virtual services. In addition, both datacenters employ N+1 redundancy for power, cooling, and connectivity.

REDUNDANCY

A 60KW UPS and an 80KW natural gas powered generator provide continuous power to the servers and communications equipment. All of the facility equipment is operating while the UPS and generator are standing by. In case of a power emergency, the UPS takes over. The generator then starts up to provide uninterrupted power flow until the utilities company fixes the outage.

REDUNDANCY

Our datacenter is connected to the Internet via redundant OC-12 fiber lines. We feature fully burstable 100MB access to the Internet and to your location. The datacenters employ Cisco equipment for networking to ensure the best quality and reliability in the industry. In the unlikely event of a router failure, we have AB routes configured for an immediate failover to a standby router.

Do I have to pay for new enhancements?

There are no extra costs for enhancements. They’re included with your annual Church Community Builder license. We want you to have a great experience with the software, so we release new features and fixes regularly. And because the software is web-based, you get those updates automatically. Nifty, don’t you think?

Do I need special equipment or a certain kind of computer?

Because Church Community Builder is web-based, all you need is a web browser and internet connection on your computer. A high-speed internet connection is highly recommended, but not required. But if you’re the type that likes to accessorize, there are some features that can be enhanced by extra equipment, like Check-In barcode scanners and label printers or financial check readers and scanners.

How many people can access the software at one time?

The more the merrier! There is no limit on the number of users who can access Church Community Builder at any one time. We encourage you to move the software out of the hands of the select few in the church office and into the hands of your people — your staff, volunteers, congregants, etc. With access distributed throughout your church, more people have the opportunity to engage with your church in a meaningful way.

Do you provide training?

Absolutely! We want to do everything we can to make sure you understand the software and are using it well. After all, if no one can use it, what good is it? Learn more about Church Community Builder software training.

What about ongoing support?

We won’t leave you hanging. Online help articles, video tutorials, and email ticket support are all included at no additional cost with your Church Community Builder software license. We also offer an optional Premier Support service.

Do you interface with our church website?

The Church Community Builder software can be accessed from your website through our provided public web tools, allowing you to easily share information about events, groups, and giving on your website. This turns your website into a powerful community portal.

Is there a more direct way to access our data?

We include API capabilities with all versions of the software. API is basically a way for two computer systems to communicate with each other. We give you the capability to read and even write to certain areas of your database through the API services to keep all your data in line with other software systems. You’ll need a programmer to set up the details on your end, and if you didn’t get excited when you read that API was available, you’re probably not that programmer, but you just may have someone in the office who would be more than happy to build some great integrated applications and tools for you.

What’s the story behind the software?

Church Community Builder began, very simply, as a way to connect people who wanted to serve with volunteer opportunities that fit the unique ways God wired them. What began as two friends trying to solve a ministry problem has grown into an organization that employs over 70 passionate people actively serving thousands of churches around the globe. We are driven by a calling to guide church leaders to a better ‘how’ by providing software, coaching, and tribe opportunities. We remain as a privately held, debt-free, and profitable company. We’d love to tell you more of our story.

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