Your Church’s CCB City, State Dashboard

Yes, another week has passed as fast as the speed of light.

It’s time for another tutorial.

This week I’ll lead you in creating a city, state dashboard much like we did with last week’s tutorial: Your Church’s Zip Code Dashboard.

It’s important, in my humble opinion, for a church to understand the dynamics and demographics of their church to be able to serve and reach their church and, more importantly, the surrounding cities and communities.

And if you church’s pulse is community group like ours is, then these dashboard reports are going to help you identify and anticipate where groups need to be launched.

Yes, preventative action and forecasting the growth of your church based on your current data.

Second to God providing your church wisdom and discernment for where to cast nets, if data is coupled with your city and surrounding areas’ population growth (by zip code or city), then you really can see where your church is reaching and should reach.

I think you get the point.  Enough talk, and let’s get started with today’s tutorial. Continue reading Your Church’s CCB City, State Dashboard

Your Church’s CCB Zip Code Dashboard

I’m back this week with a tutorial that is sure to get the wheels spinning in your head about your church and where its attendees and members live.

The purpose of today’s tutorial is to show you how to create two simple dashboards containing the following:

  • Number of people and percentage based on Zip Code
  • Number of people and percentage based on City, State (next week)

Why is this information important? Well, thanks for asking. 🙂

If your church is a growing church, no matter the size, then such reporting gives greater insight as to where attendees and members live and travel from to reach your church. Continue reading Your Church’s CCB Zip Code Dashboard

Integrating CCB with Mailchimp and Mandrill

Today’s tutorial will cover how you can integrate your CCB account to use Mailchimp and Mandrill to send automated email messages.

Before we begin, here’s a quick disclaimer to keep in mind… it is against Mailchimp’s terms of service to send transactional personalized emails.  Because of this, Mailchimp allows for transactional personalized emails to be sent via the service Mandrill.

You may be wondering, “What exactly are transactional personalized emails?” Emails like password reminders, order confirmations, receipts, and personalized notifications qualify as transactional emails because they contain personalized information.

Building on the Birthday Emailer Tutorial

Remember the birthday emailer tutorial? Yes, it too qualifies as a transactional email.  Now you may be thinking, “Why would I send the birthday emailer when I have existing sending capability?”  Great question!

In the birthday emailer tutorial, you’re using good ole’ SMTP and the built-in PHP mailer functionality to send email.  The catch to sending email using PHP mailer is that you must have SMTP enabled and properly setup.

Not to mention that your web/email host could block you from sending such messages in bulk.  So knowing this, you now have a second option for sending messages using Mailchimp and Mandrill.

In addition to the birthday emailer tutorial, we’ll also build upon the search for individuals and cron job tutorials. Let’s get started! Continue reading Integrating CCB with Mailchimp and Mandrill

How to backup your CCB account

Today’s tutorial is sure to open the flood gate of opportunities for how you use your CCB account data in an automated manner.

Most of us are quite familiar with CCB’s Process and Queues.  From Connection Card follow ups to church Membership to messaging and communications, Process and Queues provide a structure and system for tracking attendees and members for a variety of church workflows and processes.

Although Process and Queues provide a church with an advancement in system tracking and communicating, one of the areas that it lacks is true automation.  What I mean by true automation is that CCB lacks an automated method to message, communicate and process persons via Process and Queues.

This means that for every Process and Queue created, there always has to be someone to man the system.  This can be good and bad depending on the size of one’s church they manage, and church staff to man the system.

So what does this automation business have to do with backup? Well, I’m glad you asked! 🙂  Although CCB backs up your data, I’m going to show you how to backup your data to an external source other than CCB.

As for further automation, I’ll have to cover more of this in up coming tutorials.  For now, let’s get started on getting your data out of CCB.

Keep in mind that today’s tutorial can help you if you’re looking to migrate away from CCB to another provider, and help you if you seek to automate some simple tasks without hiring additional staff or putting more on the plates of your current staff. Continue reading How to backup your CCB account

How to create a MySQL database and table

Today’s tutorial is not so much about Church Community Builder (CCB) in great detail, but it is about preparing your data for migration to or from CCB.

One of the things I’ve learned from migrating Fellowship One data to CCB is that it pays in spades to have your data in a database.

Unfortunately, I was given our church’s data in multiple excel files from Fellowship One.  Nevertheless, I was happy to have data in its rawest form to massage and manipulate for migration into a MySQL database and table, and then into CCB.

I won’t cover migration of your CCB data in this video tutorial, but will teach you to simply setup a MySQL database and table.  I’ll cover migration and how to use your MySQL database and table as an external backup source in a series of tutorials in the coming weeks. Continue reading How to create a MySQL database and table