What is Data? Why should you care?

At ChurchDesk we often promote the collection and use of data, and encourage our users to incorporate it into all aspects of their church. But we sometimes hear that churches feel this is not necessary - merely a nicety if they find the time, or even a distraction from the core mission of the church. Some even feel this is an invasion of their congregation’s privacy. We believe this is a misunderstanding of the function data plays. So what really is “data”, and why should your church care about it?

How to Make a Good Contributions Project

Many of those involved in the church have fantastic ideas about what events to throw, how to get more people involved and the best ways to make your church building an inviting place to be. Unfortunately, many of those ideas cost money. On top of the bills, wages and necessary maintenance costs… how can you ever find the funds to explore these?

New year, new opportunities

After the festivities of Christmas, we enter a new calendar year. We welcome the new year as a fresh start, in the hope that it will bring additional opportunities and projects. Some people (and even organisations) make firm goals, in the form of resolutions, whereas others take things day by day; either way, it is good to think about what you want to achieve in the next 12 months. At ChurchDesk we’ve thought about how to do this, and come up with some top tips...

How to make your church volunteer-friendly

It’s Christmas! One of the best and busiest times of the year for any church, where your calendar is brimming with events and your workload is trebled. It’s great that so many people engage with the church over this period, but you’ll need to make sure you have a clear and effective volunteer strategy to make the most of this.

So how do you make sure your church is as volunteer-friendly as possible? Here are 5 points we think are crucial.

What is Email Segmentation? Why do it?

It’s been an exciting year for the church, and we have experienced church staff and parishioners embrace email communication like never before… and thus, 2016 has seen the rise of the email segmentation phenomenon! A marketing dream, segmentation claims to increase recipient engagement and make your emails more effective. But what is segmentation, and why should your church do it?

Must churches survive at the detriment of religion?

The United Kingdom’s biggest and most beautiful buildings are its churches. But they are also its emptiest. Recent church reports indicate more than a quarter of churches have fewer than 20 worshippers on a Sunday, and in rural areas this slips to fewer than 10. Left alone, these buildings may slowly start to shut, and then rot. To avoid this we need a communal solution.

Inviting back the church’s lost generation

The church currently faces a dilemma. Where have its young adults gone, and how can it get them back? Over the last few decades it has become clear that less and less young people are joining and staying within the church.

You say "Too old, too small". We say "Have a little faith".

At ChurchDesk we often hear churches commenting that they’re too old or too small to really benefit from a church management system. They mention that not enough of their congregation use computers, or that it’s difficult to set up; It’s too costly, and they wouldn’t save enough time on admin. We disagree, and want you to know why.

The Importance of Embracing Change

How to break down the barriers to (positive) change at your church?

Most people who are involved in the activities of a church accept the undeniable fact that making decisions related to the church can be an extremely lengthy and complex process. Many stakeholders’ opinions need to be taken into account and in order to convince the committee a careful evaluation of the alternatives must be completed. Many church workers involved in the decision making process can only offer their services part time, and the larger the group of decision makers, the harder it gets. Scheduled committee meetings are practically the only setting where decisions can be taken. Here, the more topics there are that need to be addressed, the less likely a firm decision will be taken on each one, and a good proposal might be shot down simply due to the fact that there is not enough time to debate the topic.

Go Digital (or face stagnation)

Many of us remember putting our coins on the collection plate as it was passed around at church service. But people have been predicting the end of cash for more than 60 years and now, in 2016, that is starting to look real. With more than 50% of all payments in the UK being made by card or online, and with 40% of Brits believing they won't use cash 10 years from now, the church must find an alternative way to collect donations. This is why digital payments, and ChurchDesk’s Contributions, are so important.

The difference between an Address Book and a communication platform

Targeted communication, such as e-mail, results in more uptake and participation in church events. It is important that we make it quick and simple for the church to get in touch with the right people.

Why Invest in a Church Management System?

Church Management Systems have a plethora of built-in features, so the answer to this question can be unique to each individual church. However, there are common objectives that all churches work towards: growing the congregation by improving the way the church engages people and increasing the ability to give back to their community. Some specific features will be more beneficial to certain churches over others (better Calendar, Database, Website, Bookings, Communications, etc.), but all features are designed to collectively reach these overarching goals.

Are you ready for your PCC meeting?

The relationship between our sales team and our clients is a very close one. Many times you understood and you are now certain that YOU want ChurchDesk for your church. There is one small hurdle remaining... the PCC or parochial church council needs to give their stamp of approval. The problem here, that nearly always arises, is that Phil, Arran or any of our other dedicated team can not be there when you present your case for ChurchDesk. As a result of this we have received numerous requests asking for assistance. I have decided to put together this article to help you answer all the most frequently asked questions at the PCC.

How to make a first good impression with your church website

First impressions are very important. We spend a vast amount of time considering how a first time guest may perceive our church. As a result, we make sure there is someone to greet arrivals. We buy flowers, restock candles and generally make sure the church looks good. But what about our website? Your church's website is the virtual first impression for your church. 

Is your church newsletter being read? Try these 10 tips

Think about the last newsletter you received in your inbox. Was it a newsletter you looked forward to or just another e-mail to add to the daily clutter in your inbox?

If it was clutter, then I would suggest that the information provided in the newsletter did not give you any value. So how do you give your newsletter value and avoid being added to the daily pile of junk? We have put together 10 ideas for you to help you create a great newsletter that gives value to your congregation.