31 July 2008 ~ 12 Comments

Databases

CLC

Alrighty. In reality, this post is probably geared more toward those of you who are involved in ministry at an administrative level of some sort, but maybe someone else will surprise me.

I’m looking for some help.
I’ve never used a database to operate.  However, as a church we own ACS and several modules that they offer.  It could be really useful, but I’ve kinda remained ignorant on 2 fronts.

  1. Not sure how it could really be used to help with everything.
  2. It only works on Windows, which doesn’t make it very exciting or easy to use for my Macbook Pro.

And I think we poured some serious cash into these things several years ago.  So I think it kinda bugs our bookkeeper that we aren’t really using it!  :)

So, help a brotha out.
Are you using a database, and if so, how so?
Anyone out there using ACS?  What do you like?  What don’t you like?
Any other suggestions out there for a databas that you’ve found helpful?  Maybe something based online?

Who knows, maybe someone else out there has the same questions and you’re thoughts will help them too.
Please, do share.

12 Responses to “Databases”

  1. Ministry Software 20 January 2009 at 5:29 pm Permalink

    Another piece of software in the volunteer scheduling arena is Ministry Scheduler Pro:
    http://www.ministryschedulerpro.com
    It integrates with ACS so if you are doing volunteer scheduling you might want to check that out as well. It also integrates with a lot of other databases. (I personally would not recommend ACS from what I’ve seen, but I know it is popular.)

  2. James Higginbotham 9 September 2008 at 5:31 pm Permalink

    I have built a volunteer scheduling tool called Church Director. Some smaller churches use it both for managing volunteer schedules and tracking basic volunteer details. http://www.churchdirector.com
    Our church, which is much larger, uses Fellowship One in addition to Church Director. I’ve worked with their development team in the past to do data integration, and they are a great group!

  3. Jon Morris 5 August 2008 at 9:04 pm Permalink

    we just switched from a CMS based on a network system to a planningcenteronline.com which is based on the web…anyone you want can access it and you can on the road. great for organizing ministry and people.

  4. rick 2 August 2008 at 12:06 pm Permalink

    Bobby – I nominate you… go to my blog!

  5. Ben 1 August 2008 at 11:21 am Permalink

    We use FellowshipOne.com It’s got it’s pluses which far outweigh any minuses.

  6. kevin 31 July 2008 at 5:48 pm Permalink

    Reasons to have a Database
    Track Members of the Church
    – Phone Numbers
    – Address
    – Bday
    – Etc
    Use it on a Kiosk
    – The software will allow people to sign up for things
    – Sign up for a mailing list
    – Sign up to receive info about stuff
    Website
    – If you remember back in the day I had a database Driven Website. You visually couldn’t see it, but everything was pulled from a database. I know you have a website now, but it would more than likely be used for an internal website to be viewed in a kiosk or something.
    Accounting Purposes
    – Track Giving
    – Budgetary Reasons
    Keep Track of Payment
    – Run reports on who hasn’t paid for specific event.
    – Send out via email or generate individual letters that are sent out with people’s indivual name and remaining balance on it pertaining to a specific event. All with a click of a button.
    Worship
    – Keep track of what songs are played during certain events so when the CCLI# people come to audit you have your documents in place.
    – You could also link to songs somewhere on the network and have them print when selected in the key you want it. But thats pretty tricky and labor intensive.
    Supporters
    – Track Supports outside the church
    – Generate thank you letters or what not to those.
    Mission’s
    – Keep track what missionary’s you are supporting
    – Send out letters
    – Track how much you are giving to each person/group/state/country (helpful in informing congregation maybe.
    Calendar of Events
    It can work as a calendar for planning purposes if you don’t already have a calendar. (Helpful for web stuff mainly)
    – Reminder for email of certain events.
    – Run Graphs for reports and stuff.
    This is just a quick little list off hand. I’ve never heard of the software, So i don’t know how or what all they offer a user or restrict a fellow semi database guru programmer such as myself in creating cool applications stated above. I’m sure there is more, i’m just not in church mode… or your church mode. I could so consult on this stuff. It would just take me forever to create the database.. haha.
    I love a good database!!

  7. Jenn Glenn 31 July 2008 at 1:01 pm Permalink

    Hey Bobby, this post made me laugh. Why? Cause anything that decreases funds bugs a Bookeeper. If you find a new program, you need to figure out how it’s going to save you tons in the long run and then go sell the idea to the Bookeeper. Once you’ve got said person motivated, he/she will be on board to sell your great idea to the entire office!

  8. Jamie Stavenger 31 July 2008 at 12:00 pm Permalink

    I have nothing to add to this conversation…this post may as well been in Japanese. BUT, I wanted to say that I really miss you guys and hope all is well under the California sun. :)

  9. bobby 31 July 2008 at 9:17 am Permalink

    Ha! It’s all good. Thanks for the thoughts though Carolyn! But yeah, we’re set I think on accounting. I’m trying to figure out how I could or should use any other sort of people database or what not.

  10. Carolyn 31 July 2008 at 9:12 am Permalink

    oops.. I thought you were looking for an accounting database. sorry. :)

  11. Carolyn 31 July 2008 at 9:08 am Permalink

    Hiya. I’m a bookkeeper for our organization overseas. We used to use AccPac but switched to QuickBooks about 3 years ago now. I have found it works quite nicely, especially considering that we work in three different countries with up to 7 different currencies.
    Don’t worry, we also use it for the more simplified accounting of a church plant or ministry center as well. Additionally, our more non-bookkeeping-oriented personnel have been able to work with it fairly easily as well.
    As I have had extensive experience over the past 20 years with several different programs I’m fairly confident in suggesting QuickBooks to you.
    Now for the qualifier: I was dead-set against it when it was first announced that we’d be moving from the double-entry accounting module-based AccPac to QuickBooks. But I must confess that it has won me over. :)
    Anyways, I hope this is helpful. And yes, I do understand that they have versions that work with Mac. Good luck with your search.
    Blessings,
    Carolyn

  12. Dan Perkins 31 July 2008 at 8:58 am Permalink

    Hey Bobby… have you heard of Connection Power? We’re switching from Fellowship One to CP because it’s easier to use, just as functional and a whole lot less expensive to maintain. When we get it switched over in Sept. I could give you a whirl or you can talk to our guy who’s setting us up.


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