Getting started with the Network module

Purpose of the module

Welcome to ChurchSuite's Network module! This module is designed for networks to manage the organisations they have links with, whether that's storing information about a network of churches or organisations partnering with a charity. In this module you can easily create organisations, optionally group them using Labels and manage member lists and roles. Key dates can be stored against organisations to track their engagement with your network and information about organisations can easily be embedded on a website. The module also includes a range of reports to help you better understand engagement and how your network is developing over time.

We encourage you to read this article in full in order to familiarise yourself with the module's key features and customisation options and to acquaint yourself with the basic concepts and terminology you'll see within the module and our other Network module support articles.

Network module features at a glance

  • easily add organisations linked to your network
  • optionally create custom fields to record additional details for each organisation
  • group your organisations together using Labels to help categorise different types of organisations and enhance the filtering of reports and organisation lists
  • embed your network's linked organisations on your website
  • multi-site support - create 'site-specific' or 'all sites' organisations
  • reporting to help you better understand your network
  • scaleable and flexible functionality for networks of any size - there's no limit to the number or type of organisations you can use the module for

Overview of the Network module

At the heart of the Network module are organisations, whether they're churches forming part of a network or partner organisations linked to a charity. From the Organisations section, switch between viewing active and archived organisations and add new organisations. The action menu to the right of each organisation offers a range of options.

Navigating around organisations in the module is really simple and intuitive. The Search Bar auto-filters the list of organisations as you begin to type a name, making it easy to locate the organisation(s) you're looking for.

Opening the Advanced Search provides additional filtering options - ideal for drilling down into your data further or locating the right list of organisations based on criteria.

Each organisation's "View" page provides an overview of its settings, the organisation's details and location, a members list including member roles, relevant key dates and data in any labels or custom fields which have been created. From here you can also upload an image.

The 'action' buttons at the top of an organisation's "View" page make it easy to edit, duplicate, archive or delete as well as being able to view any changes which have been made.

The Network module includes a Labels option to create your own custom groupings of organisations. For example, you could group organisations by region or size. Labels can also be used as filters in reports.

You can optionally assign roles to certain organisation members - ideal for when you need to communicate with people based on their roles.

Key dates can be assigned to organisations, enabling you to track an organisation's engagement with your network over time.

Embed

You don't need lots of technical 'know-how' to embed an Organisation Map and/or Organisation List in your website. The beauty of embed is that you can achieve feature-rich results without needing website development skills. From the module's Embed Options you can quickly customise the embed user experience and styling. ChurchSuite then generates the single line of embed code, which you copy and paste into the 'source code' or 'embed block' section of the appropriate page on your website. The results will provide people with a great first impression of your network's ministry.

Communication

As the Network module stores information about organisations, most communication is currently handled in the Address Book module where contacts are stored, using Smart Tags. The current exception to this is when communicating with members of a particular organisation as that can be handled from the Member tab, using the batch action tickboxes...

...and when communicating with members who have a particular Role.

Reports

The Network module includes a range of standard reports for common admin tasks or to help you drill down into the content of your Network data for strategic purposes. Filter reports to see just what you're looking for and then download, print or send the report to others. There are reports relating to Organisations, Key Dates and Deletions.

Module Settings

Before adding data to the Network module, we recommend that you first review the module's settings to make sure the module is customised to suit your needs. Some features will not be accessible until they are configured or enabled.

Accessing the module's settings is done via the 'cogwheels' icon in the module. This option is only available to those Users with at least Manage-level user permissions or Administrators. The Network module's settings are divided into two sections - Module and Embed - each controlling different areas of the module's functionality.

Next steps...

In order to explore many of the Network module's features and functionality, you'll need to add some data. While not intended to be an exhaustive list, working through some of the following tasks will help you get your Network module up and running - see the related support articles listed at the end of this article for detailed 'step-by-step' instructions.

  • Review the module's settings
  • Optionally add Labels and Custom Fields
  • Add your organisations
  • Create roles
  • Populate each organisation's member list and assign roles
  • Optionally generate embeddable organisation lists and maps for a website

Got a question?

You’ll find the answers to most questions in our support articles - they're all available through the Support beacon located in the bottom-right corner of each page in the Network module - just search by topic, phrase or keyword. You can also access the Support Article library on our website. And if you still can't find something you're looking for, click to get in touch with one of the ChurchSuite team - we’re happy to help!

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