Managing communication preferences

ChurchSuite makes it easy for church members to manage their communication options, and for those preferences to be respected by default when your users send communications through ChurchSuite. It's also possible to override communication options when appropriate.

You can view a person's Communication options on their profile page in the Address Book or Children module (see example above). This is helpful for those church members that are unable to manage their own options - perhaps if they don't have access to My ChurchSuite themselves - a user is able to edit the person's profile and update their communication options. A Changes log is maintained detailing who made the changes, what was changed, and when.

Note: The "Receive rota reminder emails/SMS" option, while visible on a contact's profile page in ChurchSuite, will only be visible to the contact/child if they are part of a Ministry in the Rotas module. If they are not in any ministries, they will not have the option to opt in or out of receiving rota reminders.

Types of email (and the lawful basis for processing)

ChurchSuite distinguishes rota reminder communications from general church communications. In this way, church members can opt in or out of each communication type independently. General emails/SMS are any communication sent by a User of your admin-facing ChurchSuite system (opt-in consent). If "Receive general emails/SMS?" is "opted out", general emails/SMS are not sent to that person.

System notification emails and confirmation emails are not treated as general emails and are always sent and cannot be opted out of. These include: -

  • Event and small group sign-up notifications (legitimate interest)
  • Flow overseer notifications (legitimate interest)
  • Booking type/resource overseer notifications (legitimate interest)
  • Address Book Embed and Connect "my details" notifications (legitimate interest)
  • 'Areas of interest' notifications (legitimate interest)
  • My ChurchSuite password reset emails (legitimate interest)
  • My ChurchSuite invitation emails (to comply with a legal [data protection] obligation)
  • Consent request emails (to comply with a legal [data protection] obligation)
  • Success emails (to comply with a legal [data protection] obligation)

There are two further optional communication options for " Receive post?" and "Receive phone calls?", which are enabled from the module options of the Address Book (for contacts) and Children module (for children). The "Receive post?" preference is used when address labels are produced. If opted out, you will not be able print address labels for that person from within the Communication area of the Address Book and Children module.

Once enabled, the two optional communication options are shown on a person's profile page.

Where required, you can easily make bulk changes to communication settings for multiple contacts using the Communication Options report in the Address Book > Reports section - see the related support article for further information.

Church members are able to manage their own communication preferences from the Communication page in the My Details section of My ChurchSuite...

...and those of their own children from thechild's Communication page in the My Children section...

Where churches are relying on consent as their lawful basis for processing personal information under the EU GDPR, church members can manage their communication preferences as part of completing the ongoing My Consent form...

Similarly, newcomers are also able to specify their communication preferences as part of submitting their personal details using the web-embeddable and Connect "My Details" forms (minus the rota reminder communication options for newcomers)...

You can customise the message displayed in the Communication box. The same message will display wherever the communication box is shown on a form and also in My ChurchSuite. To customise the message, head into the Address Book Module Options and select the My ChurchSuite Options tab...

...scroll down the My ChurchSuite Options to the Communication Message option. Here you can add your own custom text for the communication box. Remember to save your changes before navigating away from the module options.

All emails sent from within ChurchSuite contain an Unsubscribe link in the email footer...

When an email recipient clicks the unsubscribe link it opens their communication options page, allowing them to make changes, opting in or out of your communications; or to withdraw their consent entirely by invoking the forget me "right to be forgotten" (see the related support article on Ongoing Consent for further information about how this feature works). In this way, church members can manage their communication options at any time.

A change log is added against a person's profile page in ChurchSuite whenever a church member or user make a change to the communication options...

...and a Key Date is added when they unsubscribe.

Finally, communication options can be used as conditions within Smart Tags - ideal for filtering a list of those who have opted in or out of certain communication options.

When sending an email or SMS from within a module your admin-facing ChurchSuite system, you have the option to override the communication options of recipients - perhaps where you have a compelling reason or a lawful reason that doesn't require opt in consent. When overriding communication options, the user is required to enter a "reason" which is added to the footer of the email being sent. 

The reason is also included in the "sent communications" log when viewing a sent email or SMS.

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