Stay on top of your church member key dates

All of your church members have important dates in their lives and in their interactions with your church, some of which you will want to be able to stay on top of. Examples include, baptisms, weddings, first visit at church, etc. Fortunately, ChurchSuite makes this really easy...

In this article

About Key Dates
Adding a Key Date to a contact
Reporting on Key Dates
Missing Key Dates
Key Date anniversaries
Overview of your Key Dates
Automatically assign a Key Date to new contacts
Viewing the Key date journey of archived contacts

Key Dates from ChurchSuite on Vimeo.

About Key Dates

Key Dates can be created in both the Address Book and Children modules. Each module has it's own distinct Key Dates. There's no limit to the number of Key Dates you can create. Deleting a Key Date simply removes the record of that date from against all contacts who had that date (it doesn't delete the contacts!). Key Dates can also be referenced as Smart Tag conditions (both 'Has Key Date' or 'In Key Date' range of dates). Importantly, Key Dates are only visible in ChurchSuite (the admin-facing system) - they are not visible in My ChurchSuite (the church member facing system).

To create a new Key Date, or add/remove Key Dates for contacts, you must be either an Administrator, or have Manage module permission on the Address Book and/or Children modules.

Adding a Key Date to a contact

Key Dates can be assigned against contacts in the Address Book and Children module in a couple of ways...

The first is to assign a Key Date against a specific contact.

Go to "Address Book" > "Contacts" (or "Children" > "Children") and select the contact for whom you want to add a Key Date. Then, at the top of the page, click on the "Edit Contact" button.

Scroll down to the "Key Dates" section and click "Add date" and fill in the required information. As you begin to type the Key Date name, ChurchSuite will auto-suggest from your existing Key Dates, or you can create a new one. Add an optional Description and then select the date to be added. When you're done adding dates, click to "Save Changes" to the contact.

Key Dates are plotted on an elegant timeline on the contact's profile page, along with a simply line listing of all the Key Dates you've recorded. In addition to the Key Dates your church assigns, ChurchSuite automatically records the following "system" Key Dates against your contacts: -

  • Joined ministry - date and ministry name
  • Left ministry - date and ministry name
  • Joined small group - date and small group name
  • Left small group - date and small group name

Another method of assigning Key Dates is to use the "Add to Key Date" option that is available in a number of places throughout ChurchSuite. For example, here at the top of a Tag page, there's an 'Add to Key Date' option, which will assign a Key Date of your choice to all contacts in that Tag.

Another example of "Add to Key Date" is found here, on the Event Page - scroll down to view your event signups or your event checkins, and select the "Add to Key Date" option, which will assign a Key Date of your choice to all the sign-ups/checked-in contacts that exist in your Address Book.

When using the "Add to Key Date" method, the "Add" pop-up window prompts you to enter a Key Date 'name' - ChurchSuite auto-suggests as you begin to type, or you can enter a new Key Date name - and enter an optional Key Date 'description'. The window also includes a scrollable list of all the contacts that will be assigned that Key Date when you click "Save". At this point you can manually remove certain contacts, or search for and add additional contacts to be assigned, if you wish. Click "Save" and the Key Date will be assigned against all those contacts.

Reporting on Key Dates

Go to "Address Book" > "Reports" (or "Children" > "Children"). In the "Contacts" or "Children" section, locate and select the "Key Dates" Report.

In the example report below you can see a list of contacts that share a certain Key Date (in this case, First Visit) in a certain timeframe (depending on what you select in the blue box). The list has also been further filtered by the Baptism Tag - essentially showing all contacts who first visited between two dates and have been baptised.

Whenever you change your parameter selection, don't forget to click "Generate" to refresh and populate the results list.

The Key Dates drop-down menu is multi-select, and allows you to compare and contrast multiple Key Dates, and even make an inverse selection of a Key Date. In this next example, we are looking for a list of contacts who, in a range of dates, having first visited have not yet joined any small group. It may be useful to understand the logic used - essentially each Key Date is matched with an AND statement - i.e. Has "First Visit" AND Has NOT "joined small group".

Using the Key Date multi-select, tag filters and custom date ranges, you can very simply create complex enquiries of your contacts' Key Dates; perhaps identifying where in your processes newcomer engagement is stalling, or identifying the % of new believers who get baptised.

And then of course, once you have a filtered list of contacts, it's really easy to communicate direct from the report results page.

This could be useful in a number of ways. For instance, some churches add a Key Date to their contacts for "Wedding". Using the Key Dates report you could find everyone who got married in the last two years, and then send them an email invitation to the marriage refresher event that your church is running.

Helpfully, you can download your report results to PDF or CSV file, print the report, or email the report to someone else. You can also add your contacts direct to a Tag (see Tags for more information) or add them to a Flow (see Flows for more information).

Missing Key Dates

Sometimes it may be useful to see what Key Dates members of your church are not being logged as having. It may be that you want to see who in your Address book has not joined a ministry or small group yet, or which youth have not been baptised.

Click "Address Book" > "Reports" and select 'Key Dates Missing' in the 'Contacts' section.

As with the Key Dates report, you have the option to refine or filter your search by Tag(s) and relevant dates to find the information that you need.

Key Date anniversaries

The Anniversaries report in the Address Book module is ideal for filtering and viewing lists of contacts who have a matching Key Date anniversary within a given month or months - for example, show me a list of all contacts who have a Safeguarding Training key date and the anniversary details for those contacts.

Using the report filters, you can tailor the report to match one or more Key Dates, filter results to just contacts within certain Tags, and filter the range of anniversary milestones in years. All columns in the report results are sortable (click on the column heading to change the sort order). The report results can then be emailed, downloaded or printed. You can communicate directly with contacts in the report results, or you can add the resulting contacts to a Tag.

Overview of your Key Dates

Clicking "Address Book" > "Key Dates" provides an overview of all the Key Dates in your database, showing the number of people in that Key Date. You can click to edit or delete a Key Date here.

Clicking on a Key Date drills down to show the contacts who have that Key Date.

The list of contacts, under the demographic summary, can be further filtered by Tag(s) and by a range of dates e.g. show me all the people with a "Baptised" Key Date between 1st January 2015 and 31st December 2015.

You can communicate directly with the contacts listed in your Key Date search, or add them to a Tag group (see Tags for more information). Finally, you can edit the name label of your Key Date.

The list of contacts includes basic contact information at a glance, and the occurrences of the Key Date are show in the blue shaded box. Note Emma Bradley has two "First Visit" Key Dates.

Automatically assign a Key Date to new contacts

When adding new contacts to your Address Book (including when new contacts are added through our Connect system like "My Details", ChurchSuite's Visitor Connect kiosk system, or "My Details Embed", ChurchSuite's web-embeddable visitor connect functionality), it is possible to automatically add a particular Key Date to that contact.

In the Address Book module settings, select "Module" and scroll down to the Tags/Key Dates section. Here you can select one or more Key Dates that you would like automatically recorded against any new contacts.

This setting is also found in the "Address Book" > "Connect" settings and "Address Book" > "Embed" settings (see image above). Save any changes you make here.

NB. You'll need Administrator or 'Manage Module' permissions for the Address Book in order to make changes to the Module, Connect or Embed settings described above.

Viewing the Key Date journey of archived contacts

When you archive a contact in your Address Book or Children module, their Key Date history is retained. Viewing any archived contact's profile page will display their Key Date journey.

It is also possible to view the Key Date journey of archived contacts using the Archived Contacts report in the Address Book module report and filter the list by certain Key Dates or Key Dates within a given range of dates.

The "Key Dates" drop-down menu can be used to select one or more Key Dates to filter your report of archived contacts by; perhaps to identify archived contacts who have left the church but who didn't completed your membership process. Each tick and cross selected on the drop-down menu builds to form an "AND" statement e.g. "Left Church AND Did NOT complete membership process" (rather than an "OR" statement, e.g. "Left Church OR Did NOT complete membership process".

The report results can then be emailed, downloaded or printed as required. It is however not possible to communicate with archived contacts - they must first be set 'active' again if you wish to do that.

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