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Church Software Add-Ons to Enhance Your Ministry
To have a successful church organization, many different factors need to be at work. Your staff, church management software (ChMS) (such as that found throughShelby Systems), finances, and outreach projects are all major components for success.
What are not always considered are the smaller details. Many tools can be added on to your ChMS to bring big enhancements (such as efficiency and time/cost savings) to your ministry.
Below are ten valuable tools to consider adding to your ChMS to make your church more effective, safe, and organized:
- Biometric technology (fingerprint/vein/palm scanning) (www.m2sys.com)
Biometric technology is a new and innovative way to do check-in and attendance tracking. A person can be identified when a finger or palm is placed on a biometric scanner and the image is read and a data string representing that biometric image is stored within your software. You can reduce or eliminate the need for name tags and barcodes when you use fingerprint, vein, or palm scanning. No waste, more space.
- Background screening
Ensure that your congregation is safe with background screenings that integrate with your church software. Integrated background checks can be stored with a person's record in your ChMS, thus reducing your risk and making your church a trusted and safe place for your community.
- Barcode readers
Barcode readers are great for scanning a barcode on an item, storing the record, and uploading the data into your system so that attendance and asset management can be easily tracked. Use barcodes on check-in badges, fixed asset tags, diaper bags, name tags, etc.
- Mass email system (www.constantcontact.com)
Use brilliant bulk emails via a mass email system to different groups of people to get your message across. Tailor the templates to make your church's image consistent. Staff, visitors, small groups, people on mission trips, etc.; it is up to you who you target in your emails!
- Time clock software
Using a time clock system integrated with your ChMS eliminates the need for name tags or paper slips to clock people in and out of work. Time clock systems can be placed on your staff's computers or with a physical clock at a central location and staff members can input their name or employee number so that time tracking is simplified. This saves you from keeping up with paper time sheets. The features within a powerful time and attendance software package will ensure your payroll is efficient and correct, making you a good steward of your church's resources.
- Remote Deposit (Check-21) software/check scanner
Make sure you consider adding on remote deposit software that connects to your current ChMS, in order to save additional time and man-hours. Many systems will scan and capture the front and back of check images, tithing envelopes, or other financial documents. Once the scanning is complete, the information and images are connected to your bank as a deposit, the general ledger software in your ChMS and is saved for future reference. Many churches using this software have seen process time savings of 14+ hours per week, not to mention saving on gas and time away from the office.
- Telephone messaging system
Telephone messaging systems can share emergency plans, deliver information in multiple languages, and announce schedule changes or cancellations. Start a prayer chain, send messages to multiple groups at the same time, or deliver messages to phones as a voice call, text message, or email. These systems will work to better manage your church's contacts and will make it easier to keep everyone up-to-date.
- Bulk Mail management system
When using a bulk mail management system, efficiency is increased by the ability to automate the preparation of First Class Mail, Periodicals, and Standard Mail. It finds the best possible USPS rates and uses intelligent barcode printing.
- NCOA component for updating addresses
An NCOA (National Change of Address) feature for your bulk mail management system is crucial. It ensures that your ChMS database is up-to-date with the most current addresses of your congregation, as well as saving you money by reducing or eliminating returned mail. This is extremely helpful when people move or an invalid address has been entered.
- Document scanners
Document scanners make it easier to scan files and organize them in your system. Once you have scanned your desired documents, attach them to a person's record in your ChMS and it will help keep your church much more organized and ensure that important documents are always easily accessible. Most ChMS packages can provide security to the field level, ensuring only eyes that are meant to see sensitive documents are allowed.
Different products are required for different sized churches. Not every add-on will be necessary for your ministry, but these products are great improvements for growing churches that are looking for simplification and organization. Before you buy, do make sure that the add-on you have chosen will integrate with your ChMS.
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