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 on a device at your Information Point using ChurchSuite Connect - Connect is what we call ChurchSuite's Sunday-facing applications; and one of those applications is called Group List.
The Connect Group List application present a List and Map of the small groups you offer, for people to browse and even sign-up there and then! This can be especially useful for non-members - those not yet in your Address Book - and those unable to access My ChurchSuite to be able join small groups quickly and easily.
The sign up settings for Connect are set on a group-by-group basis, allowing you to enable 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!
Additionally, within the Small Groups module settings, accessible by clicking the 'cogwheels' module settings icon within the module, on the Connect Options tab, you can further customise the user experience of those viewing the Group List through Connect.
Click Edit to make changes to the Group List Settings, Filter Options and group Details Visible. For example, you can also set whether to show just your Active groups (the default), or to show Active & Future groups. In this way, future groups (those whose start date is in the future) can be shown even if the sign up period has not yet begun. 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, people can browse your groups in the Group List, and if Sign up through Connect is enabled and 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 button is disabled.
Multi-site functionality - Connect
For multi-site customers, 'unmatched' successful sign-ups are added as Address Book contacts to the Active section for the same Site as the group they've signed up to. If the group is an "All sites" group, the new contact is added to the Address Book of your first (default) site.
Overview of the sign-up user experience
From the Connect application home page, clicking through into the Group List application presents the user with a map and list of groups.
From here, the user experience of clicking Sign up works in exactly the same way as Small Group Embed and opens the same Group page through which a signup enters a few basic contact details and clicks Sign Up.
ChurchSuite will attempt to match the signup's details to your existing people in the Address Book and Children modules, matching on first name, last name, email and optional phone. If matched, the person is added to the group's member list; otherwise a new Address Book contact is created and added to the group's member list.
Sign-ups are added to the member list with a pending or active member status depending on the group's sign-up settings. A 'Joined group' Key Date is added against their contact profile, and for new contacts created, a Note is added against their Address Book profile to indicate that the new contact was created through the the group page sign-up process. 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 - and a sign-up confirmation is sent to the new group member.
Enabling Connect sign-up functionality for a small group
Enabling sign-up via the Connect Group List is done on a group-by-group basis, making it possible to enable sign-up through Connect 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 where group members can view a Member List - 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. 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. Repeat the above steps for each small group in turn.
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.