Enabling small group sign up through Connect
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Overview of the Connect Group List sign-up functionality
In addition to enabling people to sign up for small groups through My ChurchSuite and Embed, you can also run small group sign-up at your church's Information point using ChurchSuite Connect - Connect is what we call ChurchSuite's Sunday-facing features; and one of those features is called Group List.
The Connect Group List application enables churches to present a List and Map of small groups on a device running at their Information point; for people to browse the groups you offer and even sign-up there and then! This can be especially useful for non-church members (i.e. those not yet in your Address Book) and those unable to access My ChurchSuite to sign up to small groups quickly and easily.
The sign up functionality in Connect works on a group-by-group basis, enabling you to turn on the sign-up feature for some groups but not others; while still retaining the ability to show all your other groups, even if they are full or not yet open for sign up, rather than displaying an empty list!
Note: The Connect Group List configuration shares some of the module options of Small Group Embed - the settings on the Embed Options tab for Notifications, Custom Fields and Flows apply to both Connect and Embed and cannot be set independently for each platform.
Additionally, within the Small Groups module settings on the Connect tab, you can further customise the Group List to show or hide certain features to enhance the user experience when people are viewing small groups and signing up through Connect.
You can also select whether to show just your Active groups (the default), or to show Active & Future groups. In this way, future groups can be shown even if the sign up period has not yet started. This setting still respects each group's visibility settings so that you can still choose to show some future groups but not others, if you wish.
For each small group that is set to Show in Connect, and where sign-up has been enabled for the group, people can browse your groups in the Group List and if sign-up is open and the group has capacity, they can sign up. If a group is full or the sign-up period has ended, the group remains visible in the Group List, but an appropriate message is displayed and the Sign up to this group button is disabled.
For multi-site customers, 'unmatched' successful sign-ups are added as Address Book contacts to the Pending section for the same Site as that of the Small Group to which they've signed up to. If the group is an "All sites" group, the Pending contact is added to the Address Book of your first (default) site.
Overview of the sign-up user experience
The user experience of signing up to a small group through the Connect Group List works in exactly the same way as Embed and uses the same Sign up form.
ChurchSuite will attempt to match the sign-up details to an existing Address Book or Children contact. Algorithms match based on first name, last name, email and optional mobile. If matched, the sign-up is linked to their existing contact profile in the Address Book; otherwise a new contact is added to the Address Book.
The sign-up is added to the small group Member list, either with a pending or active group member status (depending on the group's sign-up settings), a 'Joined group' Key Date is added against their Address Book profile, and for new contacts created, a Note is added against their Address Book profile to indicate that the new contact originated through the Groups online sign-up form. A sign-up notification is sent to those group members whose role permissions have Notify of sign up enabled - ideal for ensuring group leaders are kept in the loop so they can extend a welcome to the new group member.
Enabling Connect sign-up functionality for a small group
Enabling sign-up via the Connect Group List is granted on a group-by-group basis, making it possible to enable sign-up on some groups but not others, if you wish. From a group's "View" page in the Small Groups module click the Edit button.
On the Edit group pop-up scroll down to the Visibility section and tick Show in Connect to make the group visible in the Connect Group List, and also tick Sign up through Connect in the Sign-Up section.
Where Sign-Up has been enabled specify the Dates within which the sign-up period is to be active for (this can be open-ended, but a start date is required). Optionally set a sign-up Capacity for the group. The Member List setting is only relevant to groups visible in My ChurchSuite - Embed and Connect "sign-ups" can never view a group Member List until they are subsequently granted access to My ChurchSuite, so this setting can be ignored for Connect purposes. You can also set the default Member Status assigned to new sign-ups - people can be added to the group as Active members, or they can be added with a Pending status requiring a group leader with Edit Group Details role permissions to approve the new member and set them active.
Remember to save any changes made to a group before navigating away from the page. Repeat the above steps for each small group.
Small group capacity
With the Small Group sign-up Capacity setting you can optionally cap the number of sign-ups a group can receive. Once a group is full, no further sign-ups are permitted via My ChurchSuite, Connect or Embed. However, Small Groups module Users and group leaders with Edit Group Details role permissions in My ChurchSuite are always able to exercise discretion and override the group's capacity in order to add new members to the group.