We are on the lookout for a new database for our congregation. If you have any suggestions on software that you have found to be exceptionally useful in your congregation please post your thoughts here.
We use Shelby. We have for years. We don’t like it. We don’t understand it. We don’t know how to use it or expand or augment or upgrade it. We don’t have time or money to send someone to training seminars for days at a time.
Example: Membership Date. What does that mean? Baptism date? First time they set foot in the door? Birth date? Date letter was received? Date one went forward? Absolutely no options there.
Example: Membership Directory. Several formats available for shipping off to expensive church directory publishers. Nothing available for self-publishing a directory with photographs. (You can generate PDFs of a text directory.)
I am so sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with Shelby software. Full disclosure – I am a Shelby Sales Rep. covering the Western States for the company. Shelby gives you so many options to configure it to match how your office and staff function. Concerning your examples of Membership Date and Baptism Date prompts – these are not Shelby descriptions. Someone at the church changed them to these descriptions, probably with an understanding back then of what the fields were to mean.
These and 24 similar options just within Membership can be changed by selecting Utilities in the top bar and clicking on the first option “Master Record Information.” These are 26 changable options related to this specific area of Shelby, but there are hundreds more throughout the system.
Built right into Shelby are a number of directory formats with many options each, that let you print your own directories for the whole church or selected groups, maybe for a class, Bible Study or music team. Options include full-color photos, which phone numbers, which addresses, how to handle different last names within the same family, formatting of one or more columns and on and on the in-house directory printing options go.
A free resource for you is the ShelbyUSERS email group, which puts you in touch with over 1,400 other Shelby users who are asking questions and supplying advice User-to-User.
We have low-cost (actually there are a few free as well) online courses your staff can take at http://www.IOCIM.com covering many of the features of your Shelby system.
We have regional training and even the International Shelby Conference your local Sales Rep. reminded staff about the first of last month, but it is true that there is a cost related to these.
The significant difference I’ve observed between Shelby and other options is the depth of features, options and functionality of our system, even online features. No other software package comes close to the capabilities of Shelby. But as there are more capabilities, there are more choices and options to learn about – so we make training available for your staff to keep up on them.
You might also consider logging into http://www.shelbyinc.com/myshelby and adding your name to the E-News subscription list. Right now only one staff member is receiving all of these very valuable and free communications.
Feel free to contact us at 800-877-0222 for more information on how to make better use of your Shelby system and to get others of your questions answered. Your Sales Rep is Jerry Foster and his phone extension is 1022.
What software/online applications are in the mix? What have you found that looks good? What features are you looking for?
We use ACS. I do not know anything about it. I guess I shouldn’t say “we” use it… THEY use it (secretary and treasurer).
Thanks was really a good want