This is How We Do It
Every organization faces the decision about which technology tools to use to track everything that needs to get done. Here are the main systems our team at Bethany Christian Assembly uses to keep us all on the same page. All of these tools have great mobile apps which is a must for our very mobile staff.
Note: I will go into detail about how we structure teams and training levels and requirements in a future post.
1. FellowshipOne Church Management Software System (F1): F1 is a robust database system that meets most of our database needs. F1 allows us to build on the base structure by adding our own set of attributes, enabling customized querying and reporting. New to F1 is the self-service Business Intelligence data visualization tool called Insights. It is built using the Birst technology platform and the visualizations and dashboards look a lot like what you might find in Microsoft Power BI.
F1 also offers a congregant level system (inFellowship that we've renamed BCAConnect) that allows church attenders to edit their contact information, register online for events, join small groups, and give online. Our attender participation rate is high for this tool.
The reporting capabilities of F1 are impressive and seem to beat out the competition. It does takes a dedicated database administrator to build reports and libraries in order to get the most out of the system.
2. ServiceU: ServiceU is an organizational resources and calendaring system that can be customized to list specific resources and support services. It provides a pipeline for approving an event that begins with an event request. After the request is tentatively approved, the user can request Resources (e.g. rooms, tables, etc.), Support Services (e.g. Security, childcare, shuttle service) and Publicity (advertising) as well as any other categories you would like to create. Most of the request forms can be customized, too. Here's a look at the list of Room Resources we added:
3. Planning Center: We use Planning Center to schedule volunteers. Planning Center's app allows participants to receive schedule notifications and reminders. It's a lifesaver for children's ministries in particular where scheduling and teacher:student ratios are key.
4. Asana: Project management tools are a must for every organization! After testing a few different free tools on the market, our staff decided on Asana. It's easy to use and gives team members the easy visibility and access they need to see if their project is on target.
Each team member has their own account and tracks both individual and group projects with Asana.