by Laura Clark, St. Cecelia Catholic Church
(Left: Laura Clark holds her newly baptized granddaughter, with her mother and daughter at St. Cecelia)
I was amazed to find out the exact extent of the usefulness of ParishSOFT products, specifically Family Directory, when I recently received a request from a co-worker.
Our homebound outreach coordinator needed a complete, up-to-date list of her volunteers so she could send them a mailing. She would look up the names in Family Directory, one by one, hand-write the addresses on her envelopes, and hand-write a list for her records with phone numbers, emails, etc. This was effective, but certainly not the most efficient way of completing her task. The coordinator came to me lamenting the time-consuming tasks ahead of her. I was so excited to be able to tell her how the Family Directory module would save her all that time, and could do the same amount of work in just minutes!
I explained that all I needed was the volunteers’ names. Then I would create a workgroup, pull in all the volunteers to that group, and that list would remain permanently in ParishSOFT as long as she needed it. According to this grateful staff member, the best part was that, with just a few clicks, I could print mailing labels for everyone in her group! No more hand-written, and possibly misspelled, names or incorrect addresses. It was rewarding to help a co-worker, and it was exciting to have the technology, and the knowledge through all your wonderful training, to complete tasks in such an easy and timely way.
My parish and all my co-workers are thrilled with ParishSOFT and all it does to make our jobs easier and better!
Another example of success for our parish in using ParishSOFT products is how I set up our end-of-year tax statements. In the past, I would enter (insert the name of any older, non-user-friendly parish product here) program and, one by one, manually enter the names of families requesting an EOY statement for their tax records. It would take me over 10 minutes to run just two or three, and I would, on average, have to produce about 150 every January – April. That’s a lot of time! Doing them one or two at a time, especially as it got closer to April 15, was really eating up my work schedule. How great would it be, I used to think, if I could just run them all at once, and mail them all at once – what a time and labor saver that would be. That was what I used to dream of at my desk – not dream of longer coffee breaks or of vacations, but of easier tasks and more time in my day to get more done. Everyone I know does the work of two or more people, and we need those extra minutes – they add up.
What a blessing to once again call on my fantastic workgroups! At the end of 2009, I had created a group called “EOY Families.” As the requests for statements were mailed in or dropped off, I added each family to that workgroup. During the first week of January 2011, I had all the families who had requested a statement the previous year already locked and loaded into my EOY group.
How long do you think it took me to run approximately 150 statements? Well, let’s see. I entered Family Directory, clicked on ParishSOFT Reports, clicked on EOY Statements, added the dates, selected my special little EOY workgroup, selected the statement, clicked the “start” button, and away we went! The whole process took less than 5 minutes.
Since I had previously set up the statements to print out with addresses showing in the correct position for window envelopes, the only thing left was to stuff them and mail them. Halleluiah!
Please keep updating ParishSOFT, adding more of your useful tools and tricks of the trade, and keep offering new related products. I never tire of learning new uses for all the modules of ParishSOFT – Family Directory, Religious Education, Offering and Tuition, and appropriately named, Time & Talent. ParishSOFT gives me the Time, and their programs are just loaded with Talent!
Submitted by ParishSOFT User:
Laura Clark, Administrative Assistant
St. Cecelia Catholic Church
820 Jasmine Way
Clearwater, FL 33756