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, 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 really easy...

In this article

Introduction to key dates
Assigning key dates to an individual
Bulk-assigning key dates to multiple people
Making changes to key dates
Merging key dates
Key date reporting
Identifying people with missing key dates
Celebrating key date anniversaries
Overview of your key dates
Automatically assigning key dates to new people
Viewing the key date journey of archived 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 an individual 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 their 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 Date names. Either select an existing key date or you can type a new Key Date name and press <Enter> to create it.

Use the date picker to set the Date of the Key Date to be assigned and optionally type a Description to be added with this key date instance. Note also the option to click into the People box to search for others by name or by tag. Click Add to Key Date to complete the process and add the Key Date for the selected people.

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

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

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

  • Joined ministry - date, ministry and team name - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - when a person submits their 'My Consent' form
  • Unsubscribe email/SMS/post/phone calls - 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

Note how you can Edit or Delete a person's existing key dates using the Action menu on the right hand side of each Key Date in the list on the Key Dates tab of their profile page. When editing a key date you can only change the date and/or description. Deleting a key date here will only remove this one key date instance from this one individual - the key date is not removed from all people.

Bulk-assigning key dates to multiple people

As seen in the previous section it is possible to 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 also quickly 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's "View" page.

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

You can also bulk assign key dates to people from many Reports and to multiple selected people using the batch Actions when viewing a list of people in the Contacts and Children sections of the respective module.

As demonstrated in the previous sections, whenever you use the Add to Key Date option you can specify the Key Date Name, Date and Description for the selected People, but you can also manually add or remove people if you wish.

A final method of bulk-adding Key Dates to multiple people is when creating 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, optionally assign a Colour used to distinguish they 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's "View" page is now displayed. Click Add to Key Date to assign a key date instance to one or more people by following the same method as described above.

Making changes to key dates

You can easily change a key date's Name, Colour and Visibility settings. Working from the Key Dates section of a module, select Edit from the Action menu on the right-hand side of a key date in the list.

On the Edit key date pop up, make your changes as necessary and click Save to apply them.

Note that key dates cannot be deleted from people from the key date Edit pop up - this can only be done from a person's profile page, or from the key date's "View" page (shown below) using the Delete actions available for individual or multiple selected key date instances. Note that these actions only deletes the key date instance from the selected people and does not delete the key date itself.

Merging key dates

You can easily merge two key dates - perhaps where the same key date has been created by different Users with slightly different names. Working within the Key Dates section select Merge from the Action menu of 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 own key dates into 'system' ones, you can't merge (and remove) 'system' key dates into your own 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 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

Sometimes it's useful to see the Key Dates those in your database don't have. For example, you want 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 Tag(s) and relevant dates to find the information that you need.

In the following example the report returns children 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 in invitation to a marriage course refresher event.

Overview of your key dates

Working with the Key Dates section of a module you can see a list of all the key dates in that module. The list gives an 'at a glance' view of each key date Name and the Visibility settings, with Actions to View, Edit, Merge or Delete.

Clicking on a Key Date in the list opens that key date's "View" page to see the list of people with that Key Date. The list can be further filtered for a range of Key dates.

Automatically assigning key dates to new people

Within ChurchSuite's module settings you can set key dates that are to be assigned when new people are added to the Address Book or Children modules. Remember, new people can be added by module Users, but they can also be added at your Information Point through the My Details form in Connect, and also via your website using the Address Book Embed. Let's look at the module settings for each of these three areas.

Auto-assigning key dates to new people added by module Users

Working within the Address Book module's settings, click into the Module Options tab.

Scroll down to the Add contact section and click Edit.

There you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new contacts when they are added or import into the Address Book by a User.

The same Module Options are also available for the Children module's settings to select the key dates that are to assigned to new children added or imported to the Children module by a User.

Scroll down to the Add child section and click Edit.

There you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new contacts when they are added or import into the Children module by a User.

Auto-assigning key dates to new people added via the Connect My Details form

Newcomers are able to submit their contact details and areas of interest via the My Details form running on a laptop or tablet at your Information Point. The My Details form is part of ChurchSuite Connect - see the related support article for further information on managing newcomers through Connect.

Working within the Address Book module's settings click into the Connect Options tab.

Scroll down to the Add contact section and click Edit.

There you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new contacts added to the Address Book via the My Details form.

The same Connect Options are also available in the Children module's settings to select the key dates that are to assigned to new children added to the Children module via the My Details form.

Scroll down to the Add child section and click Edit.

There you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new children added to the Children module via the My Details form.

Auto-assigning key dates to new people added via the Address Book Embed form

Newcomers are also able to submit their contact details and areas of interest via the Address Book Embed form on your website - see the related support article for further information on managing newcomers through Address Book Embed.

Working within the Address Book module's settings click into the Embed Options tab.

Scroll down to the Add contacts section and click Edit.

Here you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new contacts added to the Address Book via the Address Book Embed.

The same Embed Options are also available in the Children module's settings to select the key dates that are to assigned to new children added to the Children module via the Address Book Embed.

Scroll down to the Add children section and click Edit.

There you can select the key dates that are to be assigned to new children added to the Children module via the Address Book Embed.

Viewing the key date journey of archived contacts

When you archive a person in the Address Book or Children module their Key Date history is retained on their profile page. You can use the Archived Contacts report in the Address Book module's Reports section (and Archived Children report in the Children module Reports section) to filter a list within a range of archiving Dates and/or by those people who have certain Key dates within an optional key date range. Note that the report lists the date people were Archived - click through to a person's profile page to view their Key Dates. In the following example we are filtering archived contacts that were archived in 2020 who have a 'Deceased' key date.

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