SQL Recipe: Avg Monthly Att for Orgs

2016-10-14_18-15-16We keep adding to our recipe box! Our latest recipe is for a report that presents the Average Monthly Attendance for Organizations. After your System Admin adds this to your database (in Special Content > SQL Scripts), you will be able to filter for a group of organizations on the Organization > Search page, and then select this report from the blue Toolbar. All of our SQL reports are under the code </> icon.

You select the date range and the report will list every org once for each month included in the range, along with a total. If the report spans multiple years, each year will have its own total.

Each org will have the number of meetings included in each month, the total number of people attending, and the average attendance for that month.

Sample:

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I added this report to our database. If you want this in your church’s database, be sure to ask your System Admin to add it for you.

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Search Builder Condition – First with Same Email

New ImageWe created this Condition for our own use when sending out our monthly TouchPoint Newsletter, so that if any of you had multiple records in our database (with the same email address), you would receive the Newsletter only one time.

The new Condition is named First Person Same Email and is located on the Miscellaneous category tab in Search Builder. When you add this Condition to any search and run the search again, the results will change so that only the first person it finds will be included in the new results. In other words, once it finds someone with an email address, anyone else with that same email address will no longer be included in the results.

This is a very handy new addition to Search Builder especially because you can use Email Replacement Codes in the email and they will apply to whichever person actually receives the email.

I’m sure you can think of many uses for this new Condition, but we’ve outlined a few examples in the help article.

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Email Replacement for Birthdate

TouchPoint has quite a few email replacement codes that you can put inside emails sent via TouchPoint. We just added one more – {birthdate}.

Here is a possible use case for this one:

You would like to verify the personal information that’s in the database for your Life Group Members (or any group of people for that matter). You can send an email using several of the replacement codes such as the following and including the new one {birthdate}:

  • {name} – First and Last Name of recipient
  • {first} – First Name of recipient or preferred name if there is one
  • {last} – Last Name of recipient
  • {address} – Line 1 of Street Address
  • {address2} – Line 2 of Street Address
  • {city} – Primary City
  • {state} – Primary State
  • {csz} – City, State Zip as a single replacement
  • {homephone} – Home Phone
  • {occupation} – Occupation
  • {cellphone} – Displays the cellphone number on a persons’ record. Helpful if you are asking people to opt-in for texting.
  • {receivesms} – Current setting for receiving text messages – either Yes or No.

Better yet, why not encourage your members to create a My Data account so they can correct or add this information themselves?  We have a sample email in this help article about My Data Accounts.

If you are not familiar with Email Replacement Codes, you will want to check out the help article that lists the possible codes and the context in which you can use them. Those listed above are just a few of those that are available.

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New Task Search/Manage Page and New ManageTasks Role

2016-10-23_20-44-04Similar to the existing Contact Search page, we now have a new Task Search page that has a lot of filtering and features that will greatly improve the job of managing Tasks. This was designed for ministers or other staff to have the new role ManageTasks, so they can easily filter by the Task Name, any of the people connected to the Task, date ranges, and more. However, this is the same page everyone will use when managing their own Tasks. The only difference is that most users will see only their own Tasks.

You access this new page the same way you did the old Task List. Just click My Tasks or go to People > Manage People > Tasks in the header.

Whether you are managing your own Tasks or if you have the new ManageTasks role and oversee the Tasks assigned to others, this will make your life easier. There is too much to say about this page to fit in a blog post, so you will want to read more about this.

Remember, a big part of this new search/manage page is the new user role. Instead of using Search Builder to find incomplete Tasks, whoever you assign the role ManageTasks, can now perform that job right there on the search page.

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We want to thank our friends at Redeemer Presbyterian in NY, NY, for sponsoring this project.

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ATT/Bellsouth Email Issue Resolved

2016-09-19_07-56-49We know that many of you have experienced a number of bounced emails over the past 2 weeks. The problem started around Nov. 1st and was finally resolved by ATT on Nov. 15. The problem was that for no reason that we could see, ATT was blocking emails to your recipients when sent via TouchPoint. We believe it was a mistake on ATT’s part. In fact, our sender score is over 97% deliverability and our reputation as a mass emailer is pristine. We send over 16 million emails every year for our clients.

Our developer contacted ATT several times following their outlined procedures to resolve this. But nothing happened. We asked those of you that contacted us to tell their members who use ATT/Bellsouth to contact ATT directly. After all,  those members are the actual clients of ATT. We are just the email sender (sometimes considered that we are the “bad guys” by your Internet Service Providers).

We know for a fact that at least 2 Bellevue members took the time to talk with ATT and it was after those contacts that the problem was finally resolved and we finally got notice from ATT that “it looks like the issue has been resolved.” 

The moral of the story is this: big companies listen to their clients, those who are paying for their service. However, they do not always listen to those who are just using their services to email their clients.

We hate that this happened and we did all we could to fix it. But at least now we know that when the people speak, ATT listens.

New DocX Merge in TouchPoint

Once again, a developer working for one of our TouchPoint churches helping them automate some of their tasks has collaborated with us on an excellent new feature that we have added to the open source project. It is a Word merge inside TouchPoint. This requires initial setup by your System Admin for your specific letters, but the merge letters themselves will be on the blue Toolbar as Custom Reports for use by your staff.

In very simple terms, here is how it works.

  • Create a letter using email replacement codes and save it as a Word document (docx).
  • Upload the document to our TouchPoint servers.
  • Create a special Custom Report that will be a URL link to this document.
  • Run your search, select your merge report from the blue Toolbar, then print and mail your letters.

This is perfect for sending letters to first-time givers, new members, letters requesting updated information…or many other scenarios. Your System Admin can follow the instructions in our help article to upload your documents for easy access when you are ready to create a mail merge. A user role is built in to the Custom Report, so only users that need to use these documents will see them as options. You determine what that role should be.

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Thank you to our friends at FCC Hudson and Keith for the idea behind this and for collaborating with us on this new feature. We are always thrilled when developers at a church solve a need for the ministry and offer their work product back to the TouchPoint community. That is open source at its best.

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Multi-Page Contribution Statements

ChurchDonationsIt’s already November, so I’m sure there are some of you that are already thinking about those year-end contribution statements. If you are in that group, you will be very pleased to know about the latest change we made.

Many of your donors will have contribution statements that are more than one page, especially at the end of the year. If you mail statements, you know that you must be careful to keep those printed pages together. To help you with that, we have added the People ID # to the footer on every page. It displays beside the page number/page count in the bottom left corner.

This is a small thing, but it will be very helpful, especially if you ever get those pages separated!

Read more – about Contribution Statements