Staying on top of member key dates

In this article

Introduction to key dates
Adding key dates
Assigning key dates
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

Your members have important dates and milestones resulting from their interactions with your church or organisation, some of which you will want to mark for statistical or historic reporting or to mark anniversaries of an important occasion in someone's journey with you. Key dates might include Baptisms, Confirmations, Weddings, First Visits or the date of a bereavement; or perhaps you wish to maintain records of 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...

Introduction to key dates

Key Dates can be maintained for those in 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.

On a person's profile page, the Key Dates tab shows a timeline distribution of the person's key dates, along with a list of key dates in descending date order:

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When viewing a key date, a 'heat map' distribution clearly shows when the key date has been added to contacts over time, demonstrating how many contacts were added to the key date during any given month. A list of people is shown in descending date order:

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Adding key dates

To add a new key date, head to the respective Key Dates section in the Address Book or Children module. In the following example, we will add a key date to the Address Book but the process is the same in the Children module. Click Add key date:

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Give the key date a suitable Name, select a Colour - you may find it helpful to visually distinguish different 'groups' of key dates - and optionally restrict who the key date is Visible to - to all [module] users (the default), to one or more User Groups or a private key date visible to just yourself. Click Save to add the key date.

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Assigning key dates

To assign a Key Date to a person, head to their profile page within the Address Book or Children module. Begin by selecting Add key date from the Key Dates tab:

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On the Add key date pop-up, begin typing a key date Name. As you type, existing key dates are suggested to select from or, if there are no matching results, click Add to add an entirely new key date.

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When adding a new key date, specify the key date Name, optional Colour and Visibility. Then click Save & Return.

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

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The Key Dates tab on each person's profile page shows a timeline of their key date journey over time and a list of their key dates. Hovering your cursor over the timeline markers shows details of the key date and clicking on a timeline marker filters the key date list to the month the clicked date relates to. Click again to remove that filter.

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

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In addition to the Key Dates that module Users may assign, certain 'system' key dates are automatically assigned when Users process certain actions in ChurchSuite: -

  • 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 a group 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 group 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.
  • Delete requested (member name, IP address, date and time) - added when a person submits a "Delete account" request.
  • 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.
  • Added to organisation (date and organisation name) - added when a person is added to an organisation by a Network module User.
  • Removed from organisation (date and organisation name) - added when a person is removed from an organisation by a Network module User.

Finally, in this section, note the key date Actions to Edit or Remove an assigned key date. When editing, you can only change the Date and Description.

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Batch actions can be used to bulk Remove or Download CSV for selected key dates:

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Bulk-assigning key dates to multiple people

Wherever you are working with lists of people in ChurchSuite, you'll see Add to key date actions to bulk-assign a Key Date to multiple people - for example, from a Tag View:

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...from an Event View, on the Sign-Ups, Invites and Check-Ins tabs:

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And from the Contacts and Children sections of the Address Book and Children module, where batch Actions can be performed for multiple selected people (use the Advanced Search to filter the list):

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You can also bulk assign a key date to multiple people from a key date View in the Key Dates section of the module. Click Add to key date:

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On the Add to key date pop-up, choose the key date Date, optionally add a Description, and then search and select the Contacts or Children to whom the key date is to be assigned - multiple people can be selected. You can also search by Tag to bulk assign the key date to those in the selected tag:

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Merging key dates

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

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On the Merge pop-up, search for and select the key date that you want to merge and remove; note that you can swap the key dates if required. Click Save to complete the process.

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All 'date' instances for the removed Key Date name are merged into the retained Key Date.

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Note: While you can merge a user-added key date into a system one, you can't merge a system key date into a user-added one - 'system' key dates must always exist with the 'system' naming convention. As a reminder, the 'system' key dates are:

  • Joined group and Left group
  • Joined ministry and Left ministry
  • Joined organisation and Left organisation
  • Ongoing Consent and Delete Requested
  • Unsubscribe general email/SMS, rota reminder email/SMS, phone calls and 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.

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

Identifying people with missing key dates

It's sometimes useful to see the Key Dates that people 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.

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Celebrating key date anniversaries

When you click through to view any key date, you will find a convenient Anniversaries tab. Here, you can filter by Month - by default, the current month is selected, but you can select multiple months - and use the Advanced search to select the anniversary period you are interested in. You can also filter by tag:

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You can then use the batch action to send an anniversary email or add those contacts to a particular flow, for example:

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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.

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Scroll down to the Add contact section and click Edit.

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

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The same Module Options are available for the Children module settings.

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Scroll down to the Add child section and click Edit.

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

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