Staying on top of member key dates

Your members will have important dates and milestones resulting from their interactions with your church or organisation, some of which you will want to record or mark. These may include baptisms, weddings, first visits, bereavements, and confirmations - or maybe you want to maintain a record of the dates of certain discipleship milestones, such as participation in key events or courses; or administrative milestones, such as membership or training. ChurchSuite makes this easy...

In this article

Introduction to key dates
Assigning key dates to an individual
Bulk-assigning key dates to multiple people
Merging key dates
Key date reporting
Identifying people with missing key dates
Celebrating key date anniversaries
Automatically assigning key dates to new people

Introduction to key dates

Key Dates can be maintained in both the Address Book and Children modules - each module has its own Key Dates section. There's no limit to the number of Key Dates you can create. Helpfully, Key Date conditions can be referenced in Smart Tags using the Has Key Date or In Key Date range of dates. Key Dates are only visible to module Users in ChurchSuite - they are not visible to your members in the member-facing My ChurchSuite - however, you can also optionally restrict the visibility of Key Dates to yourself or selected User Groups if you wish. To create a new Key Date or to remove a Key Date from a person you will need at least Write permissions for the module. However, any user with at least Use permissions for the module can assign an existing key date to a person. Finally, deleting a Key Date will remove all instances of that key date from all people in the module.

Assigning key dates to an individual

To add a Key Date to a person head to their profile page within the Address Book or Children module. Begin by selecting Add to Key Date from the Add drop-down button at the top of their profile page...

...or click Add Key Date from the Key Dates tab of a person's profile page.

On the Add key date pop-up, begin typing a key date Name. As you type, ChurchSuite will auto-suggest from your existing Key Dates - either select an existing key date or click to Add as a new key date.

Once added, click Save & Return.

Clicking in the Date field launches the date picker to set the Key Date "date" to be assigned. Optionally add a Description. Click Save to complete the process.

Depending on where in ChurchSuite you selected the Add to key date action, you may see a slightly different pop-up to the one shown above, which looks like this, and includes an additional People field where you can search and select multiple people to assign the same key date to.

The Key Dates tab on each person's profile page lists all their key dates. Notice that in addition to the list of key dates, a timeline representing the person's key date journey is shown. Hovering your cursor over the pin markers on the timeline will show details of the key dates.

As a person's Key Date history grows over time, filters enable you to search particular Key Dates or those within a given timeframe. The Search matches against the key date Name and Description.

In addition to the Key Dates your module Users may assign, ChurchSuite automatically adds the following "system" Key Dates for people when certain processes are actioned: -

  • Joined ministry - date, ministry and team name - added when a person is added to a ministry team by a Rotas module User or by a Ministry Overseer from within My ChurchSuite
  • Left ministry - date, ministry and team name - added when a person is removed from a ministry team by a Rotas module User or by a Ministry Overseer from within My ChurchSuite
  • Joined group - date and small group name - added when a person is added to a small group by a Small Groups module User or by a member with 'Edit Group' role permissions from within My ChurchSuite (typically a small group Leader)
  • Left group - date and small group name - added when a person is removed from a small group by a Small Groups module User or by a member with 'Edit Group' role permissions from within My ChurchSuite (typically a small group Leader)
  • Ongoing consent - member name, IP address, date and time - added when a person submits their 'My Consent' form
  • Unsubscribe email/SMS/post/phone calls - added when a person unsubscribes from a communication option via their Communication Options page in My ChurchSuite, in My Consent, or the 'Manage communication' link in the footer of an email they have been sent through ChurchSuite

Finally in this section, note how you can Edit or Remove an assigned key date using the keydate Action. When editing a key date you can only change the Date and Description.

Bulk-assigning key dates to multiple people

As seen in the previous section it is possible to bulk assign a Key Date to multiple people using the Add to Key Date pop-up. Click into the People box to search and select other people by Name or Tag - selected people will be assigned the same Key Date and Description specified.

You can bulk add a Key Date to multiple people in other ways too depending on where you are working. Throughout ChurchSuite you'll see the Add to key date option - for example, here at the top of a Tag "View" page.

Another example is the Add to key date action found here on an Event "View" page on the Sign-Ups, Invites and Check-Ins tabs.

You can also bulk assign key dates for multiple people from many Reports and use batch Actions when viewing a list of people in the Contacts and Children sections of the respective modules.

A final method is when adding a new Key Date within a module's Key Dates section. Begin by clicking Add key date.

On the Add key date pop-up, type a suitable Name and optionally assign a Colour used to distinguish the key date in lists of key dates. Optionally restrict the key date's Visibility or leave the key date visible to All users, which means all users of the module in which the key date exists. Click Save to create the new key date.

The key date "View" page is shown. Click Add to Key Date to assign the key date to one or more people, following the same method described above.

Merging key dates

You can easily merge two key dates - perhaps where the same or similar key date has been inadvertently created by different Users. Working from the Key Dates section select Merge from the key date Actions for the key date you wish to retain.

On the Merge Key Dates pop-up, search and select the key date that you want to merge and remove, and click OK to complete the process.

All key date instances for the removed key date name are merged into the retained key date name.

Note: It is not possible to merge Key Dates that result in any of the 'system' key dates being removed - these must always exist with the 'system' naming convention. So, while you can merge (and remove) your key dates into 'system' ones, you can't merge (and remove) 'system' key dates into your ones. 'System' key dates are:

  • Joined group and Left group
  • Joined ministry and Left ministry
  • Ongoing Consent
  • Unsubscribe general email/SMS
  • Unsubscribe rota reminder email/SMS
  • Unsubscribe phone calls and Unsubscribe from post

Key date reporting

Within the Address Book and Children module's Reports section is a helpful Key Dates report that produces lists of people with selected Key dates fields within an optionally defined date range. Click Generate to apply filter changes. The list of matching results can also be further-filtered to show just those in selected Tags.

Note that the Key Dates report only draws from people who have at least one Key Date on their record. If you need to identify people who do not have a particular Key Date you should use the Key Dates Missing report - explained in the next section - which looks at all contacts when generating the results.

Identifying people with missing key dates

It's sometimes useful to see the Key Dates that those in your database don't have. For example, to see who in your Address Book has not joined a ministry or small group, or which youth have not yet been baptised.

Within the Address Book and Children module's Reports section is a helpful Key Dates Missing report that produces lists of people without selected Key dates fields. As with the Key Dates report you have the option to refine or filter your search by Tags and relevant dates to find the information that you need.

In the following example, the report returns children who do not have a "Baptised" key date AND who also do not have a "Dedicated" key date.

Celebrating key date anniversaries

The Anniversaries report in the Address Book module's Reports section is ideal for viewing lists of contacts who have a matching Key Date anniversary within a given month or selection of months. In the following example, the report has been filtered to identify a list of contacts who have a three-year "Attended Marriage Course" key date anniversary in any month - now we could send them an invitation to a marriage course refresher event.

Automatically assigning key dates to new people

You can auto-assign key dates when new people are added or imported into the Address Book and Children modules by module users. Working within the Address Book module's settings, click on the Module Options tab.

Scroll down to the Add contact section and click Edit.

Here you can select one or more key dates to be assigned to new contacts when they are added or imported to the Address Book by a module User.

The same Module Options tab is found in the Children module settings.

Scroll down to the Add child section and click Edit.

Here you can select one or more key dates to be assigned to new children when they are added or imported to the Children module by a module User.

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