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Congregation Connect Spring 2015 Release Highlights

We could not be more excited about to talk about the Spring 2015 release of Congregation Connect.  When we start planning a release we give our releases an internal code name and the name this release was “Listening.”  This highlights our focus for this release, which was to take the feedback we have been hearing from you, our clients, and really listen to what you were telling us.  We then used that information to determine what improvements we should prioritize.  You may not have known it, but you helped define what made it into this release. Thank you for being fantastic customers!

We have heard that some areas of the product are not as easy to use or as robust in functionality as you want.  We have also heard some areas are not easy to maintain without assistance from us.  We focused on those 3 areas for this release and are thrilled to highlight now just a few of the over 75 changes made to Congregation Connect.  You can look forward to our release announcement in just a few weeks.  The announcement will include information on how to install the Spring 2015 release and where to find the full release notes.


Ease of Use


Virtual Terminal: Refund Processing

Having to leave Congregation Connect to go over to Authorize.net to process a refund was not the user experience we wanted our clients to have.  That is why we have added in the functionality to process a refund directly from within the Virtual Terminal in Congregation Connect.



Tax Calculation

Having only one way to calculate the split between tax deductible (TD) and non tax deductible (NTD) resulted in you having to adjust the tax split on certain transactions.  We now have 2 options for calculating the split between TD and NTD.


This new approach allows for you to input a flat amount in the NTD field that is calculated based on the number of units sold.  This will make processing the tax information for events significantly easier.   We also have added the ability to manually override the tax split in batch revenue processing.  This will especially be useful for auction events where the NTD amount could vary from one entry to the next.



Deep Clone a Class

You talk about it and we listened.  With the Spring release you now have the ability to clone a Class and bring all of the enrolled members to the new Class.  Now you can easily promote an entire class from Pre-K to Kindergarten.  You can take one class and deep clone the meetings set up but not the enrollments, or you can clone both the meetings and the enrollments.



Robust Functionality


Caretaker Tracking

Caretaker tracking is new functionality that has been added to the relationship tracking feature of Congregation Connect.  When creating/editing a relationship you now have the ability to specify individuals who are caretakers for another member of the congregation, in addition to the specific the relationship (Parent, Stepparent, Friend).  If an individual is a caretaker then you can indicate that by updating the Is Caretaker checkbox on the Relationship record.  A primary driver for this functionality is to enable communication to the caretakers.  In this release we are enabling the ability to select caretakers in the class notification.  A checkbox has been added to the relationship record to indicate that this caregiver needs to receive class email notifications.  If both the caregiver and the class email notifications are selected, then in the School Class module when the Send Email button is used, those contacts can receive email notifications even if they are not the Contact 1 or Contact 2 on the household of the enrolled student.


Member Portal:  Homepage Dashboard & On Account Information:

The My Finance home page component in the Congregation Connect member portal is now a graphical dashboard that highlights Open Invoice Amount, On Account Balance, and Total Invoices last 12 months.  We love how this brings color to the home page and shows members how their finances are grouped within your organization.  The member portal is an add-on module to Congregation Connect.  If you do not have the member portal and are interested in learning more please contact your Account Executive.


Transaction Exporter

The Transaction Exporter has gone through an entire overhaul with this release.  There is now the ability to filter the transactions for export by the transaction type, by closed GL Batch ID and/or by the payment type.  You have the ability to select just one of these or all of these to filter what transactions are displayed.



We have also added in the ability to summarize the results if you want to see only 1 line for each date, payment type, or GL account combination.  In addition to those changes we added in the ability to see a column for Debit & Credit, which you can enable in the configuration panel.



Ease of Maintenance


Configuration Panel

As we listen to our clients feedback we found there are times when some clients want a feature to work one way and other clients wants the same feature to work slightly different.  With this release we are introducing the Configuration Panel which allows us to develop the product to work based on your configuration settings.  For example:  a few clients indicated they need the ability to override the cash account on a designation when processing revenue whereas other clients were adamant that is not functionality they want their users to have.  With the Configuration Panel your system administrator can enable the custom cash account functionality and the new field and system functionality will then be available.  As we grow the functionality, more items will be included in this Configuration Panel to put the power of configuration into your hands.



Form Templates

Another item we are excited about is our refined and new form templates. There are five templates that we worked hard to fit have fit clients needs for online event registration, donations, and prayer requests. We refined the event templates to be more successful on matching contacts in your system and reduced potential opportunities for duplicates to be created. The CC Event Form Template 2 Public and Portal connectors were created to do just that and reduce your time spent on modifications. Read more about our FormAssembly templates here.



Member Portal:  Customizable Homepage Textbox

The My Events, Donate Now, My Finance and Tax Letter all now have a customizable page textblock at the top of the page.  You can update this text right from your instance of Congregation Connect.  This gives you the power to update content to share messages with you members without having to have technical skills or a change order. The member portal is an add-on module to Congregation Connect.  If you do not have the member portal and are interested in learning more please contact your Account Executive.



We hope that you are as excited about these new features as we are!  Please make sure to continue to share your feedback with us at support (at ) congregationconnect (dot) com and if you have any questions please visit our support site http://www.congregationconnect.desk.com or contact your Account Executive.



~The Cloud for Good Team



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