FAQ

We know how important it is to be able to ask a question about a new piece of software (or even get a refresher course on how things work!) so we have put this page together with the hope that the majority of your questions will be answered quickly!

Join the conversation in our Faithlife Group. We have step by step video walkthroughs on our Youtube Channel. If you would like to stay up to date with our new features and tutorials as they become available feel free to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and Subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Church Leaders Guide

If you are a church leader this quick printable guide answers some of your most common questions and gets seriously detailed about data security and redundancy.

View Church Leaders Guide (PDF)

Getting Started

MinistryTracker.com is designed to be a One solution Church Management Software (ChMS) with a focus on communication between you and your members. Regardless of whether you are brand new to ChMS or a battle scarred veteran we offer free technical support. We want setting up your account to be as simple and straight forward as possible, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions at all!

What Web Browser should I use?

We recommend the use of Firefox, Safari, or Google Chrome
We do not recommend the use of Internet Explorer.

Do I need to do anything special to my browser?

We do have some recommendations for setting up your browser to best work with MinistryTracker.com

Turn off form Auto-Fill and/or Auto Complete

MinistryTracker.com has many forms to fill in to gather information about your people and events. Modern browsers have an auto-fill feature where they attempt to automatically complete form fields on Web pages with your existing information. The auto-fill feature can cause major issues when using MinistryTracker.com. You do not want your name or phone number to be auto-filled while editing the profile of someone else in your ministry. You want to turn off auto-fill.

Safari (Mac)

Select Preferences from the Safari menu. Click on the AutoFill tab in the preferences window. Uncheck every box on that tab. Close the preferences window.

FireFox

Open the Preferences menu and click on the Privacy tab. In the History section select "Use Custom settings for history" from the drop down menu. Uncheck the "Remember search and form history" checkbox to prevent FireFox from remembering your form data. Close the preferences window.

Google Chrome

Open the Preferences menu and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on "Show advanced settings". Scroll to the section Passwords and forms. Uncheck the "Enable Autofill to fill out web forms in a single click." Close the preferences window.

IE

We do not recommend the use of IE.

Allow Cookies

MinistryTracker.com requires the use of cookies. Cookies are small pieces of information that are stored in a browser so that, for example, you don't have to login on every page. You must allow cookies from the MinistryTracker.com web site.

Safari (Mac)

Select Preferences from the Safari menu. Click on the Privacy tab in the preferences window. In the Cookies and website data section select Always allow or Allow from websites I visit. In order to use OAuth authentication with Planning Center Online or some of our third party partners you must select one of the above two options. Close the preferences window.

FireFox

Open the Preferences menu and click on the Privacy tab. In the History section select "Use Custom settings for history" from the drop down menu. Check the "Accept cookies from sites" checkbox. You can then select either "Always" or "From Visited" for the Accept third-party cookies section. In order to use OAuth authentication with Planning Center Online or some of our third party partners you must select one of the above two options. Close the preferences window.

Google Chrome

Open the Preferences menu and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on "Show advanced settings". Scroll to the section Privacy and click on the Content Settings button. Select "Allow local data to be set" under the Cookies section. Click Done. Close the preferences window.

IE

We do not recommend the use of IE.

Turn off browser Caching

MinistryTracker.com works with any modern Web browser on both Desktop and mobile devices. Unlike traditional Web pages that don't change very often, MinistryTracker.com is a live database and things are changing everytime you view a page. For instance, when you pull up a person's profile their phone number, picture, or attendance history might have changed since the last time you view their profile. To make sure you are always going to see the most recent information you want to turn off caching in your browser. Browser's normally "cache", or save a local copy, of pages so that next time you view the page it doesn't have to wait for the network to load it. Caching is a great feature for images and data that doesn't change very often but not for systems like MinistryTracker.com. You always want to see the latest data from the server in MinistryTracker.com so we want to turn off caching in your browser. Find your browser below and follow the settings to turn off caching.

Safari (Mac)

You cannot turn off caching in Safari. This browser appropriately reads the no-cache headers that MinistryTracker.com sends with it's content. Some images may not appear after updating the image. To see the latest images from the server hold down the shift key when clicking the Reload button in your browser.

FireFox

You cannot turn off caching in Firefox. This browser appropriately reads the no-cache headers that MinistryTracker.com sends with it's content. Some images may not appear after updating the image. To see the latest images from the server hold down the shift key when clicking the Reload button in your browser.

Google Chrome

You cannot turn off caching in Google Chrome. This browser appropriately reads the no-cache headers that MinistryTracker.com sends with it's content. Some images may not appear after updating the image. To see the latest images from the server hold down the shift key when clicking the Reload button in your browser.

IE

We do not recommend the use of IE.

Turn on Javascript

Javascript is a tool that helps make your browsing experience fast and interactive. MinistryTracker.com requires the use of javascript for local data warnings, background processing, and data validation. You must have Javascript turned on. Please note that Java and Javascript are two completely different technologies and MinistryTracker.com only requires Javascript.

Safari (Mac)

Select Preferences from the Safari menu. Click on the Security tab. In the Web content section check the box for "Enable Javascript". Close the preferences window.

FireFox

JavaScript is enabled by default.

Google Chrome

Open the Preferences menu and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on "Show advanced settings". Scroll to the section Privacy and click on the Content Settings button. Scroll to the section called JavaScript and click on "Allow all sites to run JavaScript". Click Done. Close the preferences window.

IE

We do not recommend the use of IE.

Do not put plug-ins to sleep

MinistryTracker.com has some fantastic integration with services for recording voice calls, taking profile pictures using the computer's built-in camera, and printing labels directly to Dymo printers. Each of these features requires a plug-in to your browser to allow the the browser to use the hardware attached to your computer. Some modern browsers have begun to put plug-ins to sleep so they don't use up the processing or battery power of your computer. However, you don't want the browser to put the Dymo printer plug-in to sleep while you're printing check-in labels for instace. You want to set your browser to not sleep the plug-ins.

Safari (Mac)

Select Preferences from the Safari menu. Click on the Advanced tab in the preferences window. Uncheck the "Stop plug-ins to save power" in the Internet plug-ins section. Close the preferences window.

FireFox

FireFox does not have a setting to disable sleeping a plug-in.

Google Chrome

Open the Preferences menu and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on "Show advanced settings". Scroll to the section Privacy and click on the Content Settings button. Scroll to the Plug-ins section. Select "Run automatically". Click Done. Close the preferences window.

IE

We do not recommend the use of IE.

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Pricing

We have worked hard to make certain that we are as transparent on our pricing as possible. We have outlined all costs at sign up so that you are aware of what plan you are choosing and what your total cost to subscribe will be.

We have included more information on pricing below relating to adding additional ministry areas, TXT messaging rates, and call plan rates.

To view our current subscription pricing please go to our Pricing Page. If you have been a long time partner your pricing is based on your Grandfathered Price Plan. Please contact Support@MinistryTracker.com for your price quote.

Ministry Areas

What are Ministry Areas?

MinistryTracker.com subscriptions are based on the number of ministry areas (think of distinct databases) that you want to track in your organization. We don’t require you to purchase multiple databases, but we have found from experience that if you have over 400 people in one database you may want to purchase additional databases for separate ministries to make things easier. Each ministry database has it’s own people, staff, events, and statistics yet they share things like Families and organization settings across all areas. You can even link a single person to more than one database so you only have to edit them in one place but they appear in both databases. You can always use the "advanced search" feature to print labels or send email to just the students, for example, even if you have both students and adults in the same area. However, if you want to track your student ministry completely separate from your adult ministry then you would want to subscribe to two areas. (Don’t worry, you can move people from one area to another once they graduate and their entire record will follow them. Also staff and volunteers can be assigned to more than one area and share a single profile between them.)

So in short, we don’t restrict your usage of a single area (or database) but we have found from experience that if you have more than about 400 people purchasing more than one database is helpful for efficiency and organization. It’s up to you. Some of our customers have 10,000+ people in one database. Others have up to 9 areas — one for each area of ministry. It is most common to see organizations get separate areas for each of their ministries including Children’s, Student, College and Career, and Adult ministries. You can always try things out with one database area and move to multiple database areas at a later time.

I accidentally added an extra ministry area, how do I remove it?

If you have added an extra area simply send an email from the billing, or admin email address associated with your account to Support@MinistryTracker.com requesting removal of the extra area.

I no longer need an area we added how do I remove it?

To remove an area you no longer require you must remove all individuals from the area. You can either delete them or simply unlink them from that area the last individual that should be removed is yourself. Then send us an email to Support@MinistryTracker.com requesting removal of the extra area.

Import

Is there a fast way to enter my members data?

We offer a Data Import service for your membership data to speed up the process of data entry. This service only affects individuals, any family links will have to be made manually by you or your staff once the import is completed. For security reasons we cannot assign staff permissions during the import process. However you can select the roles for individuals that are imported. They are as follows
Student, Staff, Volunteer, Parent, and Person.

We are limited in the data that can be imported, we cannot import custom fields, financial data, family records, or attendance information. However this does not mean we are unwilling to work with you. We have several note fields that we can import into and we are willing to work with you to get as much of your data into MinistryTracker as possible to make your job easier.

How much does an import cost?

First Half Hour Per Hour Minimum Charge
$50.00 $100.00 $50.00

The majority of imports fall within the $50.00 charge

I have multiple roles that I need imported, can this be done in one import?

Unfortunately no this would have to be done as one import per role you want imported.

How can I send you my data?

All imports should be emailed to Support@MinistryTracker.com as an Excel or .csv file (Really any Excel compatible text delimited file is fine). Remember that additional formatting means additional time we have to spend working with your file which is where the cost to import grows. We will always give a quote before we begin working on your file so you can make the decision to have us do it or to enter them in yourself.

Secure Deletion

We offer a Secure Deletion of Data Service. Be aware that any data that you or your organization asks to be securely deleted is unrecoverable.

We charge $100.00/hr for our secure deletion service

TXT Plans

  No TXT Plan  Unlimited TXT  ProTXT 
Monthly Cost FREE $30 $25
Outgoing Message Cost 2.5 ¢ FREE 1.5 ¢
Incoming Message Cost N/A N/A 1.5 ¢
Startup Cost FREE FREE $25
To reserve your
private 10 digit number.
Sent From Your Email
Address
Your Email
Address
Your Private
10 Digit Number
Replies Go To Your Email
Address
Your Email
Address
TXT Inbox with optional
forwarding to cell phone or email
Realtime Message Status Yes
Tier 1 Delivery Time Yes
Carrier Required Yes Yes No
Scheduled Yes Yes Yes
Online Polls Yes
Event Sign-in Yes
Event Registration Yes
Event Account Balance Yes
Group Info Yes
Group Adding Yes
Custom Keywords Yes
Max. Number of Messages Unlimited Unlimited 5,000/24 hours, 10,000/month

Call Plans

  No Call Plan 200 Call Credits 500 Call Credits 1000 Call Credits
Monthly Cost FREE - Just pay for credits as you need them. $14 $30 $50
Credits included in plan 0 200 500 1000
Cost per credit 8.0¢ 7.0¢ 6.0¢ 5.0¢
Savings 13% 25% 38%

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Communication

TXT

How do I send a TXT message?

TXT messaging requires the use of TXTCredits (Exception: Unlimited TXT plan) There are several ways to send a TXT outlined below

Send to a Recipient

  1. Navigate to the Communication tab
  2. Choose Send a TXT message
  3. Choose your Recipient List
  4. Choose a Delivery Method
    1. ASAP (Over the next 10 - 20 mins)
    2. Immediate (Designed for a a few recipients, has a high risk of being SPAM filtered by Recipient Carriers)
    3. Scheduled (Set a date and time for delivery)
  5. Use Spam Avoidance Techniques (We recommend leaving this turned on to lower the chances of SPAM filtering by Recipient Carriers)
  6. For Unlimited and Pay-Per-TXT enter Your Name, and a Reply Email address. (For proTXT subscribers your messages will be sent from your chosen number)
  7. Type your message body (up to 156 characters)
  8. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.
  9. Preview the TXT message then click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

Send to an Individual

  1. Navigate to the individuals profile in the People tab
  2. Click on the  Icon next to the cell phone number.
  3. Choose a Delivery Method
    1. ASAP (Over the next 10 - 20 mins)
    2. Immediate (Designed for a a few recipients, has a high risk of being SPAM filtered by Recipient Carriers)
    3. Scheduled (Set a date and time for delivery)
  4. Use Spam Avoidance Techniques (We recommend leaving this turned on to lower the chances of SPAM filtering by Recipient Carriers)
  5. For Unlimited and Pay-Per-TXT enter Your Name, and a Reply Email address. (For proTXT subscribers your messages will be sent from your chosen number)
  6. Type your message body (up to 156 characters)
  7. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.
  8. Preview the TXT message then click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

Send Through a Communicate Drop-Down Menu

On many pages you will find a drop-down menu labeled communicate, this will allow you to email a distinct group of individuals.

  1. Click on the drop-down and make a recipient selection for a TXT Message (People, Parents, People and Parents)
  2. Choose a Delivery Method
    1. ASAP (Over the next 10 - 20 mins)
    2. Immediate (Designed for a a few recipients, has a high risk of being SPAM filtered by Recipient Carriers)
    3. Scheduled (Set a date and time for delivery)
  3. Use Spam Avoidance Techniques (We recommend leaving this turned on to lower the chances of SPAM filtering by Recipient Carriers)
  4. For Unlimited and Pay-Per-TXT enter Your Name, and a Reply Email address. (For proTXT subscribers your messages will be sent from your chosen number)
  5. Type your message body (up to 156 characters)
  6. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.
  7. Preview the TXT message then click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

How can I see who a TXT will be sent to?

  1. On the Preview page while sending a TXT message you can scroll down the page to see a list of recipients.
  2. You can also view the individuals that will not receive your TXT and a reason why.
  3. If you would like to remove someone from the list click the  Icon to remove that recipient from the list
  4. When prompted "Are you sure you want to remove 000-000-0000 from this TXT message?" click the 'OK' button.
  5. On the successful removal prompt click the 'OK' button.

*Some browsers may ask if you want to "Prevent this page from creating additional dialogs" on the successful removal prompt !!DO NOT Check this box!!

Why haven't people received my TXT yet?

When sending large numbers of TXT messages with the same message content, recipient carriers (AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-mobile, Sprint, etc...) may choose to filter the messages.

We have done everything in our power to make certain that your messages get to the intended recipients including adding SPAM filter avoidance techniques and allowing you to schedule the rate at which messages are sent. Sadly there is not an industry-wide rule book for how the filtering takes place and the recipient carriers believe they are protecting the consumer by blocking anything that meets their SPAM filtering criteria.

Calls

How do I make a call?

Calls require the use of Call Credits (1 Call Credit is connection time + voicemail greeting + message content. Each additional minute of content will cost 1 Call Credit per minute.) There are several ways to make a call outlined below

Send to a Recipient

  1. Navigate to the Communication tab
  2. Choose Make a call
  3. Choose your Recipient List
  4. Select which type of phone number to call to
    1. Home Phone Only
    2. Cell Phone Only
    3. Home Phone, or cell phone if no home phone number listed
    4. Cell Phone, or home phone if no cell number listed
    5. Both Home and Cell Phones
  5. Scheduled or Immediate Delivery?
  6. Choose the number to call from
    1. Your Caller-ID
    2. MinistryTracker.com's Caller-ID
  7. Allow Repeat? (This will increase the length of the call and may increase the call credits used.)
  8. Include a Message Intro that will be read in either a male or female voice.
  9. Upload an audio file directly from your device
    OR
    Record a message right in the software using your microphone
  10. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

Send to an Individual

  1. Navigate to the individuals profile in the People tab
  2. Click on the  Icon next to a phone number.
  3. Scheduled or Immediate Delivery?
  4. Choose the number to call from
    1. Your Caller-ID
    2. MinistryTracker.com's Caller-ID
  5. Allow Repeat? (This will increase the length of the call and may increase the call credits used.)
  6. Include a Message Intro that will be read in either a male or female voice.
  7. Upload an audio file directly from your device
    OR
    Record a message right in the software using your microphone
  8. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

Send Through a Communicate Drop-Down M

On many pages you will find a drop-down menu labeled communicate, this will allow you to email a distinct group of individuals.

  1. Click on the drop-down and make a recipient selection for a call (People, Parents, People and Parents)
  2. Select which type of phone number to call to
    1. Home Phone Only
    2. Cell Phone Only
    3. Home Phone, or cell phone if no home phone number listed
    4. Cell Phone, or home phone if no cell number listed
    5. Both Home and Cell Phones
  3. Scheduled or Immediate Delivery?
  4. Choose the number to call from
    1. Your Caller-ID
    2. MinistryTracker.com's Caller-ID
  5. Allow Repeat? (This will increase the length of the call and may increase the call credits used.)
  6. Include a Message Intro that will be read in either a male or female voice.
  7. Upload an audio file directly from your device
    OR
    Record a message right in the software using your microphone
  8. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

Email

We have some great email tools available to you built right in to our Industry Leading WYSIWYG Editor. We have outlined a few of them in the video below. These tools allow you to make beautifully formatted emails to send to your members with minimal effort!

How do I send an email?

There are several ways to send an email outlined below

Send to a Recipient

  1. Navigate to the Communication tab
  2. Choose Send an Email
  3. Choose your Recipient List
  4. Enter a From Name
  5. Enter a From Email Address
  6. Scheduled or Immediate Delivery?
  7. Add Placeholder by clicking the 'Click for more information' link in the Personalization row
  8. Enter a Subject
  9. Type out your message body, when you are done click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the screen
  10. Preview your message
  11. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

Send to an Individual

  1. Navigate to the individuals profile in the People tab
  2. Click on the  Icon next to their email address.
  3. Enter a From Name
  4. Enter a From Email Address
  5. Scheduled or Immediate Delivery?
  6. Add Placeholder by clicking the 'Click for more information' link in the Personalization row
  7. Enter a Subject
  8. Type out your message body, when you are done click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the screen
  9. Preview your message
  10. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

Send Through a Communicate Drop-Down Menu

On many pages you will find a drop-down menu labeled communicate, this will allow you to email a distinct group of individuals.

  1. Click on the drop-down and make a recipient selection for an email(People, Parents, People and Parents)
  2. Enter a From Name
  3. Enter a From Email Address
  4. Scheduled or Immediate Delivery?
  5. Add Placeholder by clicking the 'Click for more information' link in the Personalization row
  6. Enter a Subject
  7. Type out your message body, when you are done click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the screen
  8. Preview your message
  9. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

How can I see who an email will be sent to?

  1. On the Preview page while sending an email you can scroll down the page to see a list of recipients.
  2. You can also the view individuals that will not receive your email and a reason why.
  3. If you would like to remove someone from the list click the  Icon to remove that recipient from the list
  4. When prompted "Are you sure you want to remove example@example.com from this email message?" click the 'OK' button.
  5. On the successful removal prompt click the 'OK' button.

*Some browsers may ask if you want to "Prevent this page from creating additional dialogs" on the successful removal prompt !!DO NOT Check this box!!

How many emails can I send?

As long as you correspondence falls within our terms of use, as many as you like! Just remember that some people may only want to receive limited correspondence. Be respectful of that.

What is the  Blacklist?

The Blacklist is made up of individuals who have communicated to MinistryTracker.com that they would no longer like to receive emails from your Organization. They do so by clicking an unsubscribe link required by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003

But they said they didn't click the unsubscribe link.

Another way they may get added is that they marked a message, or multiple messages, that you sent as SPAM.
*If we receive too many SPAM notices for an email address it will be permanently Blacklisted.

How do I remove my people from the Blacklist?

Blacklist removal is entirely automated. When you view the email address that has been blacklisted, click the Icon to send them a Blacklist Removal Request.

What is  Do Not Email?

An email can be made Do Not Email for several reasons.

  • Through the Member Portal or during sign up they marked themselves this way.
  • Someone with access to the Admin Portal marked them this way at the addressees request.
  • The email server doesn't exist, or the address does not exist at that domain. (Usually a typo)
  • A message was sent to them from an address with specific SPF requirements so their email provider rejected the message.

I left the page and now my message is gone?

We will auto-save the most recent draft of a message every 60 seconds, to recover your draft click the  Icon above the message editor to reload the draft.

How can I create and load templates for email?

  1. To create a template fill in your message body with all of your content
  2. Click the Icon
  3. Enter a unique name for the template, then click 'OK'
  1. To load the template select it from the 'Templates' drop-down menu
  2. Click the Icon
  1. To delete a template select it from the 'Templates' drop-down menu
  2. Click the Icon
  3. Confirm you want to delete it by clicking 'OK' on the prompt
  4. Then click 'OK' on the confirmation prompt

Can I add attachements to an email?

Of course! To add an attachment click the 'Browse' button and then find the attachment on your device and upload it. You can add up to 5 attachments with a combined file size of 9 MB.

Can I review the messages I have sent?

You certainly can.

  1. Navigate to the Communication tab and click the 'Send an email' link
  2. Click the 'View Sent Messages' link in the Submenu
  3. Here you will be able to view your 10 most recent messages

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Child Check-In

What do I need to get started?

At the basic level, all you need is a computer, tablet, or smartphone. From there you can add a label printer or a barcode scanner.

Is there a Check-In limit?

Unlike some of our competitors we feel that your Ministry should have the ability to grow without the cost to you increasing! We have absolutely Unlimited Check-In!

How many events, stations, and attendees am I allowed?

You have an unlimited amount of events, stations, and attendees, and no daily Check-In limit!

Can I add attendees ahead of time (before the day of my event)?

We allow Online registration for an event as well as allowing you to check people in before the actual day of the event, additionally you can add all pre-registered individuals to the overall event attendance with the click of 1 button.

Are there reports available for event attendance?

There certainly are within the event view you can look over the quick stats, and then within the reports tab you can generate attendance reports and filter those reports by date, group, grade, and other variables.

How long does it take to check someone in?

The first time a visitor checks in, they will need to have their information added to MinistryTracker. If they're checking in their kids, you'll of course want to set up a "Family". After their initial check-in, check-in only take a few seconds
Tip: If you're expecting lots of guests, add some stations specifically for guests!

Is an internet connection required?

An active internet connection is required for check-in, however we do have manual attendance lists for situations where an internet connection is not available so that you can take attendance at an event and then update MinistryTracker with that information at a later point.

Are check-in stations manned or self-operated by attendees?

Both! In some situations it makes sense to have someone there to assist, however that is not always necessary and the system is fully automated.

Check-In Security

How safe is the child check-out process?

We built the check-in process to be very secure. A big piece of that is the use of security labels. When a guardian checks in a child, they receive a security label which is presented for child pickup. This label (by default) does not include any identifiable information (in case you lose it, there's no way to know which child it's for). We also give you the capability to create and modify your own security labels.

Label Printers

What label printers should I use for Children's Ministry labels?

We recommend the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 or 450 Turbo. Labels are designed for address labels that are 1 1/8" by 3 1/2" or the larger Shipping labels that are 2 5/16" by 4".

Where do you recommend we purchase Dymo label printers and supplies?

We have an exclusive partnership with LabelValue.com that provides MinistryTracker.com customers 10 percent off and free shipping on every order. This price matches the best deals we've been able to find on Amazon.com and doesn't require that you pay the Amazon.com Prime shipping fee. We recommend LabelValue.com for that reason.

Do I have to use a Dymo printer?

You are certainly not required to use a Dymo printer. Using a standard printer will take a bit more time when printing labels as there is a print dialog that must be used. However it is certainly an option. Non-Dymo Labels are designed for address labels that are 1 1/8" by 3 1/2" or the larger Shipping labels that are 2 5/16" by 4"

Custom Check-In Labels

MinistryTracker offers support for you to design and upload your own unique label templates for check-in. All you need is the newest version of the Dymo Label Software available as a free download from Dymo's website.

Which browsers do the labels work with?

All current browsers that we are aware of work with the Dymo LabelWriter printer drivers. We've had some people report that IE 7 doesn't work, but IE 8 and IE 9 both appear to work fine. Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome and any other webkit browser should work. Just make sure you download the very latest printer drivers from Dymo before trying to use the children's check-in labels.

How do I create a custom DYMO Label Template?

With custom templates you have the ability to create labels of any Dymo Print Label Format you want. Custom labels give you the ability to include custom logos, formatting and fonts. Once you create your label in the Dymo Software you simply save the layout to a file and upload that file to MinistryTracker.com.

It is relatively easy to create a full-featured, great looking label template that is customized to your ministry and/or specific event. You will need to have downloaded and installed the version 8.5 or later of the Dymo Label Software. Prior versions are not supported so please make sure you have the latest version of the software installed by visiting the Dymo website to download the latest software for your computer.

Please watch our video for details about how to create a label template.

Below is a brief tutorial.

  1. The following label objects are supported: Text, Date and Time, Barcodes, Shapes, Images, and Circular Text.
  2. You must insert some text into each text field, then highlight that text in order to set the font and font size, bold, italic and other styling of the text. We recommend inserting the word "sample" into each text box. The word "sample" won't actually print out when a label is made -- it will get replaced by the actual value for the current person checking in. But you must have some text in the text field in order to set the font and other parameters.
  3. Images should be resized outside of the Dymo software before they are inserted into the label.
    1. On a Mac Computer using Preview (free and straightforward to use) open your image, go to the tools menu and then adjust size, target pixel size of 300 or less is recommended. To grayscale the image from the tools menu select Adjust Color, then slide the Saturation Bar all the way to the left.
    2. For Windows open the image in a free tool like Windows Live Photo Gallery, right-click the image and select resize, from the dropdown select custom, then enter a target pixel size (300 or less is recommended) then click resize and save. To grayscale the image from the menu select Fix, and then from the right-side column select Black and white effects, select your effect, then save.
    3. the target file size should be around 10 kbs for most images as the Dymo does not print color.
  4. For each object that will be replaced with content from the person checking in, click on the Properties button to view the properties of the object. You then must:
    1. Click the checkbox for "Function as a variable object" so that the value can be programmatically replaced into that field.
    2. Click on the Advanced tab.
    3. In the space for "Reference Name" enter one of the placeholders available for data as decribed below:
      The following placeholders are available for custom templates. They must be entered in ALL CAPS exactly as shown below:
      FIRSTNAME
      The first name of the person checking in.
      LASTNAME
      The last name of the person checking in.
      GRADE
      The grade level of the person checking in.
      SCHOOL
      The school name of the person checking in.
      PARENTS
      The names of the parents of the person checking in.
      ROOM_NUM
      The value of the Room Num/Group field of the person checking in.
      MEDICAL_CONDITIONS
      The medical conditions listed on this person's profile. Disclosure of this field publicly would violate HIPAA law. We do not recommend you print this field.
      MED1
      ** This placeholder must be for an Image object.** If you provide an image with this reference name it will be replaced by our heart image used to flag people with medical conditions but without showing the actual medical condition on their tag.
      ALLERGIES
      The allergies listed on this person's profile. Disclosure of this field publicly would violate HIPAA law. We do not recommend you print this field.
      MED2
      ** This placeholder must be for an Image object.** If you provide an image with this reference name it will be replaced by our alert icon used to flag people with allergies but without showing the actual allergies on their tag.
      MEDICATIONS
      The medications listed on this person's profile. Disclosure of this field publicly would violate HIPAA law. We do not recommend you print this field.
      MED3
      ** This placeholder must be for an Image object.** If you provide an image with this reference name it will be replaced by our pill icon used to flag people with medications but without showing the actual medications on their tag.
      MED4
      ** This placeholder must be for an Image object.** If you provide an image with this reference name it will be replaced by our no change icon used to flag people who you should NOT change diapers for.
      MED5
      ** This placeholder must be for an Image object.** If you provide an image with this reference name it will be replaced by our no bathroom assist icon used to flag people who should NOT be assisted when using the restroom.
      CALLBACK
      The call back number for the person checking in. This will be a unique 3 digit number that you may page parents back with.
      SECURITY
      The unique security key generated for this person during their check-in. It can be printed on the security only label tags. This is the value you will want to match between child and parent tags when they come to pick up their child.
      BARCODE
      The barcode value for the person checking in. Usually this is their Person Identification Number (PID) in our system or their Custom ID Number if you're using custom IDs.
      PROMPT
      If used, the Prompt field will pop-up a question that you provide and wait for a response. Whatever the user types as a response will be entered in to this field. Great for asking specific questions for that check-in such as "extra bags" or specific groups they might be placed in for this specific event.
  5. After designing your template in the Dymo Software you must save the template using the File -> Save as Layout... option.
  6. In MinistryTracker.com's Sign-in Configuration upload the template you just saved to use it for your labels.

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Your Account

Who can request changes and updates for our account?

The billing contact person or admin contact person can request changes to the account.

How do I update my Payment Information?

Your payment information can be updated from the 'Your Account' tab. Payment Information is directly related to the billing contact person for your organizations account.

  1. Click on the 'Update Payment Information' link
  2. Choose your payment type
  3. Update the fields with the correct information
  4. For Credit Cards and ETF steps a and b
    For other payment types step b
    1. Click 'Save'
    2. Click 'Update Payment Information' link

How do I update the Admin and Organization Information?

The admin and organization information can be updated by clicking the respective links in the 'Your Account' tab.

How do I change my TXT Plan or Call Plan?

You can update your communication plans by scrolling to the Subscription Section of the 'Your Account' tab and then selecting the plan you would like and clicking the change plan button.

How can I get a copy of a past Invoice or Receipt

In the 'Your Account' tab scroll down to the Account History Section. Here you will find past Invoices and Receipts. In the far right column of the table you will find a printable PDF link for each receipt.

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Options

What is the Options Tab?

The Options Tab is where you set up information pertaining to your ministry areas, organization options, and adding or editing ministry areas.

Area Options

Area Options are related to a single ministry area in your Organization. This includes

  • Choosing a default ministry area upon login (if you have multiple)
  • Adding an Area logo
  • Area Timezone and Dialing Prefix
  • Creating Area Announcements for the Dashboard Tab
  • Active/Inactive Updater
  • Sign-On Screen Customization
  • New Profile Screen Options

How do I change my logo?

On the Area Options page there is a 'Choose File' button. Click the button and select a jpeg, png, or bmp image to use as your new Area Logo.

Where is my new logo?

Browser Caching can cause the old logo to still appear after uploading a new logo follow the steps here to clear your cache for your browser and operating system.

How can I communicate with other staff to let them know what is going on.

We have the Area Announcements feature on the Dashboard Tab which will display a message that you can create on the Area Options page.

My people keep being made Inactive. Why?

Most likely your Active/Inactive updater is turned on. This tool is designed to automatically make individuals inactive if they have not attended an event in a particular amount of time. By default this updater is set to -Days-, to turn it off return the dropdown setting to -Days- and then click the 'Save Preferences' button at the bottom of the page.

Organization Options

Organization Options are the glue that tie together many parts of the software. They are user configured and are important, or useful for adding individuals, creating events, and creating groups.

Organization Options include

  • Grade Levels
  • Contact Types
  • Marital Status
  • Professions
  • Income Levels
  • Custom Fields
  • Commitment Types
  • Person Stages
  • Event Types
  • Document Types
  • Gift Types
  • Group Types
  • Group Ages

The order you enter these fields determines the order they will be displayed in throughout the software. When you are done making a change click the 'Save Preferences' button at the bottom of the page.

How should I set up my Grade Levels?

Because of the way that Grade Levels are updated in the software we do not recommend building them based on age, e.g., 1 year olds, 2 year olds, 3 year olds, etc...* Grades are meant to be used for individuals that will be changing on a yearly schedule regardless of when their birthdate is. We also recommend creating a final catch all grade level like 'Adult' or 'Graduate'.

*For these situations we would recommend creating smart groups based on age leading up to kindergarten.

What are Contact Types?

Contact Types are the different ways in which staff may interact with individuals. It could be a phone call, a meeting, a TXT, or an email.

What are Custom Fields?

Custom fields are fields that you can define to appear on each person's profile. Use them if there's something you want to track but we don't have a field for it already. You can have up to 50 custom fields.

What are Commitment Types?

Commitment Types are shown on a individuals profile and a date can be recorded along with an event the commitment was made at. They are designed to relate to the steps an individual takes in there spiritual walk. commitments can be ad

What are Person Stages?

Person Stages are shown on an individuals profile and a date can be recorded as well. They could be the process an individual goes through to become a member in your Organization among other things.

What are Event Types?

Event Types are related directly to creating new events on your area event calendar. They are used as a filter when running reports for a particular type of event and can be color coded to change how they appear on the calendar.

What are Document Types?

We allow you to upload documents for reference to an individuals profile. This could include

  • Medical Release Forms
  • Insurance Information
  • Permission Slips
  • ...and more

There is a maximum document storage of 50 MB included with your subscription. You can purchase additional storage at $0.99 per GB per month.

What are Gift Types?

Gift Types are the different forms of payment you can choose to allow people to use when giving gifts to your Organization.

What are Group Types?

Group Types relate to the different types of groups in your Organization, they are added to a new group during creation and can be used as a criteria in the advanced search.

Auto Updaters

How do I move up my student Grade Levels?

There are two different ways to change all the grade levels at the same time so that there is not any grade pollution.

Auto Move Grades

  1. Navigate to the Options tab, click the 'Auto Updaters' link from the menu.
  2. Check the 'Auto-update grade levels on:' box and then choose a date to move the grades up. (If you have multiple ministry areas work work with the other area admins to insure they are aware of the move up date.)
    1. For multiple ministry areas you can check the 'Move the following grades to the selected areas:' box (Example. move new freshman to the high school ministry area)
    2. If you no longer need to track data after a student graduates highschool or college, but you want to keep the data for the historical value check the 'Make the students in the following grade inactive:' box
  3. Once you are done click the 'Save Preferences' button

Manual Move Grades

  1. Navigate to the Options tab, click the 'Auto Updaters' link from the menu.
  2. Scroll to the Manual Updates section of the page
  3. To move the grades up click the 'Move UP Now' Button
  4. Additionally you can choose to move a specific grade to another Area, or make a specific grade inactive

*Be aware that the Auto Grade Level updating and Manual Grade Level updating is Organization-wide!

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People

How do I add a new individual, staff member, or volunteer?

To add a new individual while in the People Tab click the 'Add' link in the menu. The following page will allow you to add information for the person including

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact Information (Email, Cell, Home, and Work Phone)
  • Medical Information
  • Parent/Guardian Information (only meant to be used if the parents will not individual records in the database.)
  • Personal Details
  • Several Fields for Notes
  • Area and System Permissions for Staff and Volunteers

When you are finished click the 'Save Person Profile' button

How do I update a profile?

In the People Tab choose the individual you would like to update, from their profile choose Edit from the Menu. On the following page change the information that requires updating and then click the 'Save Person Profile' button at the bottom of the screen.

Can I limit access that volunteers or other staff have?

Yes you can, and we recommend it. In the People Tab choose the individual you would like to update, from their profile choose edit from the Menu, scroll to the Areas and Roles section on the Right side of the page, and then check or uncheck the boxes as needed to change their permissions. Once you are finished click the 'Save Person Profile' button at the bottom of the screen.

What is required for staff or volunteer access? How do I give them this access?

The requirements for a staff or volunteer to be able to access the system are straight forward.

  1. A username
  2. A password
  3. Admin Portal Permission
  4. Permissions that pertain to the level of access they will need in the software

To give an individual this access

  1. Go to the People tab
  2. Select an existing individual and Edit their profile, or click the Add link to add a new individual
  3. On the right side of the Page, in the Username and Password section, enter the new username and check the change password box and type and confirm the password. (we also recommend adding an email address to their contact info for username recovery and password reset capability)
  4. In the same section switch to the Areas and Roles and select the appropriate role for the individual.
  5. Here you will also assign the admin portal permission as well as the permissions for the level of access. This includes the Tabs they will be able to use, and whether or not they can View, Edit or Delete something in the software. You can also limit their access to only being able to View, Edit, and Delete individuals and groups that they are a member of.
  6. Once you are finished click the 'Save Person Profile' button at the bottom of the page.
  7. Once you are done provide them with their credentials as well as your admin portal URL and have them Login.

How do I activate someone who is inactive?

In the people tab go to the person who you would like to make active and click the 'Edit' link in the menu. Check the active person box near the top of their profile, then click the 'Save Person Profile' button.

Family

How do I create a family?

There are several ways to create families and it depends on how your organization plans to make use of the system which method makes the most sense to you.

Create a family from an individuals information including contact information

  1. From an individuals profile scroll to the 'Family Contact Info' section
  2. Click the  Create Family link
  3. Add a Family Name, Display Name, and a Family Role for the individual you are creating the family from. If the individual is a Primary Contact for the family, check the Head of Household box. If there is a mother and father listed on the individuals profile choose whether or not to create individual profiles for them.
  4. Click the 'Create Family' button

Create a family from the Families Tab

  1. Navigate to the Families tab
  2. Click the 'Add Family' link in the menu
  3. Fill in the required information for you new family and add the members to the family selecting the appropriate role for each individual. We recommend all Husbands, Wives, Mothers, Fathers be given the Head of Household permission when adding them to a family
  4. Click the 'Save Family' button at the bottom of the screen when you are done.

* There is a section in the Add Family screen that allows you to add Parental information as metadata, this section is only meant to be used if the parents do not have individual records in the database.

How do I add someone to an existing family?

There are two ways to add someone to an existing family.

Individuals Profile

  1. From the individuals profile click 'Edit' in the menu
  2. Scroll down to the 'Family' section
  3. Select a family to add them to from the drop-down menu
  4. Choose the individuals family role and whether they are Head of Household
  5. Click the 'Link to Family' button.
  6. Click the 'Save Person Profile' button

Family Profile

  1. From the family profile click the 'Edit Family' link in the menu
  2. Scroll down to the 'Family Members' section
  3. Select the individual from the drop-down or search for them in the search box
  4. Choose the individuals family role and whether they are Head of Household
  5. Click the 'Add' button.
  6. Click the 'Save Family' button

Member Portal

What is the Member Portal?

The Member Portal is the congregation facing side of the software. This is where people can update their personal information, view an online directory, give gifts and set up recurring gifts, register and pay for themselves and other family members to attend upcoming events and more!

How can I choose what information people have to enter to create a profile in the Member Portal?

Navigate to the Options tab and scroll to the last section of the Area Options titled New Profile Screen Options, here you will find the profile fields that people can fill in, you can choose what fields are shown and also require certain fields be filled to create a profile.

How can I give people access to the Member Portal?

There are a few different ways to access the Member Portal depending on certain circumstances

Clean Slate Profile

These are the steps for new individuals to create a profile.

  1. Provide them with the Member Portal link or QRCode found on the right hand side of the People Tab. You can hyperlink the URL from your church website, or put the QRCode in a church bulletin.
  2. Click the 'Create a New Account' button
  3. Type in a first and last name and then choose either TXT or Email Validation for your new account
  4. Enter all required new profile information, and as much additional information as you are comfortable providing, an email address whether required or not is always a good idea for recovery purposes. When you are finished click the 'Save Person Profile' button
  5. Enter your validation code that was sent via TXT or email, depending on your choice in step 3.
    1. TXT or Email: Enter the code on the Validation Page the click the 'Continue' button
    2. Email Optional: Click the validation link no code required
  6. Create a Username and Password for your new account and then click the 'Change Login' button
  7. Select 'Yes' to create a family. No to access Member Portal and skip to Step 8.
    1. Choose a name for your family (Example: Smith, John and Jane is preferred to Smith with out any identifier)
    2. Choose your family role
    3. Leave the 'Head of Household' box checked if you are a primary decision maker for your family
    4. Click the 'Continue' button
  8. You are now looking at your new profile!

Already in the Database

If an individuals profile was created without their interaction you can give them access to the profile you created with these steps as long as there is a valid email attached to their profile.

  1. Navigate to the Communication tab
  2. Choose Send an Email
  3. Choose your Recipient List
  4. Enter a From Name
  5. Enter a From Email Address
  6. Scheduled or Immediate Delivery?
  7. Choose the 'Click for more information' link in the Personalization row
  8. Choose at a minimum to incorporate the [ACCOUNTLINK] Placeholder in the body of your email. This is what will provide them with access to their individual profile
  9. Enter a Subject
  10. Type out your message body including the [ACCOUNTLINK] Placeholder, when you are done click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the screen
  11. On the Preview Message screen it will tell you that it found at a minimum the [ACCOUNTLINK] Placeholder.
  12. Click the 'Send Message' button at the bottom of the page.

Why do I have duplicate profiles?

If you give your congregation access to the member portal and they don't have an assigned username or password they will not be able to login and so they may attempt to create a new profile. MinistryTracker will check to see if that name already exists in your database and let the person know if it does. Regardless people will often ignore this warning and create a new profile. The best solution is to get in contact with the individual and let them know what has occurred, then consolidate the information into one profile and remove the other.

How can a member give a gift online?

  1. After logging in to the Member Portal Navigate to the New Gift tab
  2. Give From
    1. Choose whether the gift is coming from the Individual, or Family (When Applicable)
    2. Choose to make the gift anonymously
  3. Payment Method
    1. Choose whether to use an existing or new payment method
    2. Depending on how your organization has configured accepting payment there may be warnings about unacceptable payment types
    3. Fill in all required Payment Processing information
    4. Click the 'Save' button when complete
  4. Gift Details
    1. Enter a Amount for your gift
    2. Select a Designation for the Gift
      (Add additional Designations by clicking the Add Another Designation link)
    3. Enter a note for the gift
  5. Payment Frequency
    1. One time gift
    2. One time scheduled gift
    3. Recurring
      1. Frequency of recurring gift
        Weekly
        Bi-Weekly
        Monthly
        Bi-Monthly
        Quarterly
      2. Select a Start Date for the gift
      3. End Recurring
        Continuous (Gift will recur until manually stopped)
        Quantity (Specific number of gifts before stopping)
        After Date (select a date to stop gifts)
  6. Enter an email address for the receipt to be sent to
  7. Agree to the Terms of Service
  8. Click the 'Make Gift' button

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Events

We wanted to make adding events and updating them as simple as possible. Please watch the instructional video to see the process for creating an event

How do I create an Event?

Assuming you have setup your event types it is very straightforward to create events. Here are the two different ways to create events

Interactive Calendar Add Event

  1. Navigate to the Events Tab, and click on a day on the calendar the event will take place
  2. Choose a name for the event
  3. Choose an Event Type for the event
  4. Choose a time for the event to start
  5. Choose a time for the event to end
  6. To schedule a repeating event select the interval otherwise leave it set to '-None-'
  7. If you want the event hidden from the embedded calendar check the private box, otherwise leave unchecked
  8. Click the 'Save' button once you are done

Manual Add Event

  1. Navigate to the Events Tab, and click the 'Add' button in the menu
  2. Choose a name for the event
  3. Choose an Event Type for the event
  4. Choose a time for the event to start
  5. Choose a time for the event to end
  6. If you want the event hidden from the embedded calendar check the private box, otherwise leave unchecked
  7. To schedule a repeating event, select the interval from 'Repeating Options' accordion otherwise leave it set to '-None-'
  8. To add additional information to the event open the 'Additional Options' accordion this can include
    • Multi-Day event
    • Location for the event
    • Description for the event
    • Notes for the event
    • Whether or not the Gospel was presented at the event
    • Cost associated with attending the event
    • With A proTXT Subscription allowing people to TXT in to your number for attendance
      *1.5¢ per attender using TXT Attendance
  9. Once you have made your selections click the 'Save Event' button at the bottom of the screen

We accidentally removed an event how do we recreate it and add it back to the repeating event statistics?

If a repeating event instance is accidentally removed it can be remade. Watch the video below for a walkthrough.

Recreating an instance of a Repeating Event

  1. Navigate to the Events Tab, and click the 'Add' button in the menu
  2. enter the same name for the event
  3. Choose the same Event Type for the event
  4. Choose the same time for the event to start
  5. Choose the same time for the event to end
  6. Open the 'Repeating Options' accordion
  7. Make this event an instance of the repeating event it will belong to
  8. Add any Additional Options
  9. Once you have made your selections click the 'Save Event' button at the bottom of the screen

What if my event day or time is going to change?

To change the day and time an event will repeat:

  1. Navigate to the Events tab
  2. Toggle the Calendar view from month to week
  3. Using the arrows navigate to the week the change will occur
  4. Click and hold your event and drag it to its new day and/or time
  5. Choose whether to modify a single instance or all future instances

Attendance

How do I take attendance for an event?

We offer multiple ways to take attendance for an event including

Standard Sign-In℠

  1. Navigate to the Events tab, click on the event on the calendar you would like to take attendance for
  2. On the onscreen pop-up click the 'Sign-In' button
  3. On the Configuration Screen take note of any warnings on the page regarding the event date.
  4. Select your Entry Mode, Select Mode, Multiple Event Sign-In, and whether you want to print Check-In Labels
    • Name mode will use auto-complete and just allows someone to begin typing their name and then after a few characters they can select themselves from the list and sign-in.
    • Family Name entry mode is meant to be used in conjunction with the Multiple Person select mode so that parents can sign all of their students in at one time.
    • Barcode mode is designed so that you can generate barcodes for individuals and then just scan the barcode to sign them into attendance.
    • If you have Multiple event that are taking place at the same time or events that follow each other, and an individual could be attending two or more of these event then use this mode so that they can choose which events they will be attending.
    • If you are printing labels for your event select how many labels you want, which fields to print and whether to create a security label during Check-In.
  5. When you have made your selections click the 'Go to Sign in' button then click the 'OK' button on the following prompt

Manual Attendance

  1. Navigate to the Events tab, click on the event on the calendar you would like to take attendance for
  2. On the onscreen pop-up click the 'Manual' button
  3. Apply any filters you would like, and then either use the Type Name search box, of scroll through the list and manually update the attendance total by checking the box.
  4. When you are finished click the 'Save Attendance' button at the bottom of the screen

Registration

How do I turn on event registration?

  1. To enable Registration, and Online Registration, select your event from the calendar
  2. On the onscreen pop-up click the 'Edit' button
  3. Select Registration Manager from the menu on the following page
  4. Enter an allotment of available spaces, whether to allow TXT, and Online Registration
  5. Click the 'Save Configuration' button
  6. Now start registering people by typing their name into the search box, or by selecting them from the Person List.

How do we get the funds if someone pays for an event and registers online?

At the end of the month that the event takes place in we will send out a check for the total funds collected. If you need the funds before the end of that month, the billing, or admin for your account can send an email request asking for the funds to be released sooner. *The first event dispersement is free all subsequent dispersements for the same event carry a $1 handling and postage fee.

What if someone cancels, how do we refund the payment?

MinistryTracker.com does not process refunds directly. You will receive all funds collected eventually, if you wish to refund the individual you can do so. At the end of the month that your event takes place in you will receive the payment for the cancelled individual.

What happens if the parent accidentally registers and pays for themselves instead of their student for an event?

Let us know what has occurred and we can swap the payment over to the student.

A parent created a new profile for a student registered them and paid for an event, what do I do?

DO NOT Delete the duplicate profile. Let us know what has occurred and we can swap the payment over to the correct student.

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Groups

What are groups?

Groups are lists of individuals that are put together for attendance tracking, communication, or sorting based on specific criteria.

Where would groups be helpful?

Groups are helpful throughout the software they can be used in many places including

  • Communication lists for sending email, sending TXT messages, and making voice calls.
  • Creating specific directories and labels in the Reports Tab
  • Filters for event attendance
  • Mass update a profile field for individuals

Standard Groups

What is a Standard Group?

A standard group is a list of individuals that will only change if a staff member manually adds or removes an individual from the group.

How can I create a standard group?

There are several ways to create a standard group they are outlined below

Groups Tab Add

  1. Navigate to the Groups tab and select 'Add' from the submenu
  2. Enter a group name
    Optional Group Information includes
    • Choose whether to make the group publicly viewable via:
      RSS/XML Feed
      JSON Feed
      HTML Feed
      Google Maps
      The Member Portal
    • Group Meeting Location
    • Room Number
    • Meeting Address
    • Meeting Time
    • Group Type
    • Group Age
    • Group Contact People
    • Ability for people to add and remove themselves from the group via the Member Portal
    • Group description
  3. Click the 'Save Group' button
  4. Scroll down to the Edit Group Members section and type an individuals name and click on it to add them to the group
  5. Click the 'Save Group' button

Advanced Search℠ group add

  1. Navigate to the People tab
  2. On the right side of the page click the 'Adv. Search' link
  3. On the Advanced Search℠ page select the criteria you would like to use to create your Standard Group
  4. Click the 'Search' button
  5. On the page of results click on the drop-down menu labeled 'Communicate'
  6. Click the 'Create a group' button on the drop-down menu
  7. Add required and optional group information
  8. Click the 'Save Group' button
  9. Add any additional members to the group
  10. Click the 'Save Group' button

Communicate drop-down menus

  1. Click the 'Create a group' button on the drop-down menu
  2. Add required and optional group information
  3. Click the 'Save Group' button
  4. Add any additional members to the group
  5. Click the 'Save Group' button

Smart Groups℠

What is a Smart Group℠?

A Smart Group℠ is a list of individuals created from specific criteria in the Advanced Search℠. This group will automatically update as the individuals meet, or fail to meet, the criteria originally used to create the group.

Example: If I create a smart group from the criteria of Active status is 'Active' and Role is 'Student' it will generate a group of 'Active Students'. If a Student is made 'Inactive', or their Role is changed from 'Student' to 'Person' they will automatically be removed from the group.

How do I create a Smart Group℠?

  1. Navigate to the Groups tab
  2. If someone has already created a Smart Group℠ click the 'Create a Smart group' link
    OR
    If no has created any Smart Groups℠ yet click the 'Advanced Search' link.
  3. On the Advanced Search page select the criteria you would like to use to create your Smart Group℠
  4. Click the 'Search' button
  5. On the page of results click on the drop-down menu labeled 'Communicate'
  6. Click the 'Create a Smart Group' button on the drop-down menu
  7. Enter a Group Name
    Optional Group Information includes
    • Choose whether to make the group publicly viewable via:
      RSS/XML Feed
      JSON Feed
      HTML Feed
      Google Maps
      The Member Portal
    • Group Meeting Location
    • Room Number
    • Meeting Address
    • Meeting Time
    • Group Type
    • Group Age
    • Group Contact People
    • Group description
  8. Click the 'Save Group' button
  9. On the edit screen review the individuals and add additional Ad-Hoc members, if required, that did not meet the criteria but you want included in the group
  10. Click the 'Save Group' button

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Financial Management

Income & Expenses

What is income?

Income is funding that comes into your organization through charitable giving and other channels. These funds are separated into different categories for convenience, so setting up your categories should be your first step.

What are expenses?

Expenses are any of the possible ways that funds exit your organization: Scholarships, Payroll, Utilities, Rent/Lease or Mortgage, etc... Expenses come out of the categories you have set up for your organization.

How do I set up categories?

  1. Navigate to the Financial tab and select 'Categories' from the submenu
  2. Enter your category name
  3. Enter a Tax Deductible status
  4. Enter a Publicly Viewable status
  5. If you have multiple Ministry Areas, whether the category is specific to the area you are currently in.
  6. Click 'Save Categories' when you are finished

How do I record income?

Now that we have categories we can start recording income.

  1. Navigate to the Financial Tab and select 'Record Income' from the submenu
  2. From the Source row choose who the gift is from using the person, family, or other designator
  3. Select a Type (Check, Cash, Card, etc...)
  4. Enter the date the gift was given, if deposited enter a deposit date
  5. Enter the gift amount as well as the designated category for the gift (by clicking the  Icon you can add multiple categories for a gift)
  6. Enter any notes
  7. Click the 'Save Gift' button, or the 'Save Gift and Print Receipt' button

How do I record expenses?

Expense recording follows a similar convention to income recording

  1. Navigate to the Financial tab and select 'Record Expense' from the submenu
  2. Enter the expense date
  3. Choose the type of expense transaction
  4. Enter a Payee for the expense
  5. Enter an amount and select a category to subtract the amount from (Use the  Icon to add multiple amounts and categories to subtract from)
  6. Click the 'Record Expense' button

How do I enter double entry income transactions?

If your organization is required to use double entry accounting MinistryTracker.com can support this.

  1. Record an income transaction into primary income category
  2. Record an expense transaction from the primary income category
  3. Record an income transaction into the secondary income category

The check bounced/The card was declined, how do I record this?

Unfortunately things like this do happen, if it does first and foremost contact the person and let them know what has occurred, then

  1. Navigate to the Financial Tab and select 'Record Income' from the submenu
  2. From the Source row choose who the declined gift is from using the person, family, or other designator
  3. Select a Type matching the original (Check, Cash, Card, etc...)
  4. Enter the date the gift was declined
  5. Enter the declined gift amount in negative (if they initially gave $25.00 the amount would be $-25.00) as well as the designated category for the gift (by clicking the  Icon you can add multiple categories for a gift)
  6. Enter any notes
  7. Click the 'Save Gift' button, or the 'Save Gift and Print Receipt' button

How do I create year end receipts for tax deductible gifts?

  1. Navigate to the Financial tab and select 'Reports' from the submenu
  2. Select 'Year End Tax Receipts' from the Reports list
  3. Choose a Tax Year either from the drop down, or by choosing a start and end date
  4. If you want all tax receipts ignore this step.
    Select whether the gift was given by a person, or by a family
  5. If you want gifts to be subtotaled by giving category or pledge check this box
  6. If you only want gifts totaling over a specific $ amount add that here
  7. Print statements which are pre-formatted to fit in a windowed #10 envelope
  8. Click 'Print Receipts' button.
  9. A new browser tab will load with the document and it will open your devices print dialog
  10. Return to Step 7. and print labels if needed

Pledges

What is a pledge?

A pledge is a promise from an individual, or a family, to give a certain amount of wealth toward a predetermined goal

How do I create a pledge drive?

Creating a pledge is very straightforward just follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to the Financial tab and select 'Pledges' from the submenu
  2. Click the ' Create New Pledge Drive' link
  3. Enter a name for the Pledge Drive
  4. Enter a Goal Amount
  5. Enter a Deadline Date
  6. Enter a Tax Deductible status
  7. Publicly Viewable status
  8. If you have multiple Ministry Areas, whether the pledge is specific to the area you are currently in
  9. Enter a Description for your pledge
  10. Click the 'Save Pledge Drive' button

How do I record a pledge?

  1. Navigate to the Financial tab, and select 'Pledges' from the submenu
  2. Click the ' Record Pledge' link
  3. Select the Person or Family the pledge is coming from
  4. Choose a Pledge Drive to contribute to
  5. Enter a pledge amount
  6. Choose a pledge frequency
  7. Set the start date for the pledge
  8. Set the end date for the pledge
  9. Enter any pledge notes
  10. Click the 'Save Pledge' button

How can I record income toward a pledged amount?

Pledges are listed in the designation drop down when recording income. (Even if someone has not set up a pledge they can still give toward the pledge drive goal.)

Online Giving

What forms of payment does MinistryTracker.com accept?

We have the ability to take several forms of payment including

  1. Debit and Credit accepted cards include
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • Discover
  2. Checking and Savings Electronic Transfers
  3. PayPal

How can my members give online?

After your members are given access to the member portal you will be able to allow them to give gifts online. Here are the steps to set up giving.

  1. Enable Giving in the Member Portal
    1. Navigate to the Options tab and select 'Member Portal' from the submenu
    2. Make 'New Gift' Visible
    3. Click the 'Save Preferences' button
  2. Set up Financial Preferences
    1. Navigate to the Financial tab and select 'Preferences' from the submenu
    2. Select your Financial Start Date
    3. Update the legal disclaimer for receipts
    4. Choose allowable forms of payment
      (This includes Event Payments)
      Allow Online gifts using EFT from Checking or Savings Credit or Debit PayPal
      Service Fees 1% + $1 5% + $1 5% + $1
    5. Select whether or not to charge the giver the service fees
      (This does not include Event Payments)
    6. If your organization has set up their own Authorize.Net Merchant Account proceed below
      Otherwise skip to Step 7.
      1. Select Yes for 'Use Custom Authorize.Net Merchant Account'
      2. Enter your API Login ID
      3. Enter your Transaction Key
      4. Enter your MD5-Hash
      5. Set your Relay Response in Authorize.net
      6. Enter your custom service fees
    7. Click 'Save Preferences Button
  3. Your members can now give online from the Member Portal!

We have put together an instructional video for setting up an Authorize.net account with MinistryTracker.com

How do I receive the online gifts?

At the end of every month we will disburse a check for gifts that have been given, and cleared our payment gateway, by US Mail.

If you have set up your own Authorize.Net Merchant Account the gifts will be deposited as soon as they clear your payment gateway.

How do I enter online gifts as income?

Any gift transactions processed through the Member Portal are recorded for that person or family directly into their gift history.

Budgets

How do I create a budget?

Budgets take into account your pledge drives and income and expense categories on a monthly, or yearly basis. It is important if your organization has multiple ministry areas that you all agree on how your budget will be formatted.

Creating a budget is outlined in several easy steps below.

Annual or Monthly Budget

  1. Navigate to the 'Options' tab and select 'Organization Options' from the submenu
  2. In the 'Budget' section choose to budget by month, or by year.
  3. Click the 'Save Preferences' button

Adding the Budgeted Amounts

  1. Navigate to the Financial tab and select 'Budget' from the submenu
  2. Enter the monthly, or annual, budgeted totals for each category by clicking on the cell in the table
  3. Click the  Icon to save the amount
  4. Select 'Status' from the submenu to view your realtime Actual vs. Budget standing

Budget Report

  1. Navigate to the Financial tab and select 'Reports'
  2. Select 'Budget vs. Actual Report' from the Report list
  3. Here you can see your monthly or annual budget with all categories and totals
  4. You can download a copy of the data by clicking the 'downloading it into Excel' link
  5. Once it has downloaded rename the file and add the .xls extension to open it with excel.
    (for help adding an extension click here for Windows or click here for Mac OSX

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Community

We recognize that being a church means being a part of the local community so we have given you the capability to record and add contact information for schools and churchs that you're members may be connected to.

Schools

How would I use schools?

Schools can be used as criteria in an advanced search to create a group, or communicate with individuals or parents of individuals that have a specified school listed on their profile.

What information can be added to a school?

You can add pertinent information including

  • School Name
  • School Street Address
  • Phone Number
  • Lunch Times
  • Website
  • Contact Persons for a Schools

How do I add a school to a student record?

When you are looking at a student individual record

  1. click the 'Edit' link in the submenu
  2. In the Basics section is a drop down menu labeled '-School-' select the school from the list
  3. Click the 'Save Person Profile' button at the bottom of the page.

Why are my schools only showing up in one area?

Schools are specific to the area that created them. That way you can have all of your elementary and preschools associated with your childrens ministry, and all of your middle schools and high schools associated with your youth ministry.

Churches

Why would I want to add other churches to my database?

There are several reasons why you might want to add other churches.
1. Perhaps you are a multisite church and you want to be able to set up groups based on the site an individual claims as their church.
2. With childrens and student ministry it is helpful to be able to see that while a student may not attend your regular service or sunday school they visit for your youth service or VBS programs.

How would I use churches?

Churches can be used as criteria in an advanced search to create a group, or communicate with individuals or parents of individuals that have a specified church on their profile.

What information can be added to a church?

You can add pertinent information including

  • Church Name
  • Street Address
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Email Address
  • Contact Persons for a church

How do I add a church to an individual record?

When you are looking at an individuals record

  1. click the 'Edit' link in the submenu
  2. In the details section is a drop down menu labeled '-Church-' select the church from the list
  3. Click the 'Save Person Profile' button at the bottom of the page.

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