Let’s face it – printed directories can be a pain. People’s lives are always changing. Therefore their phone numbers, addresses, and, email addresses change often. The printed directories that church staffers create can feel outdated quickly. Often by the time the directory gets into the hands of the members some thing has changed.
Not to mention, printed directories take time to make and use up a lot of paper and printer ink. You can have directories made professionally, but that can get quite pricey.
Then, as changes occur between printings, often the only way to keep people updated about changes is to print updates in church bulletins.
And what about the new comer who gets a three-year old picture directory from before dozens of membership changes occurred, before toddlers became preschoolers, before ten or so young adults moved into homes of their own?
Online directories offer a better option for churches.
Consider the advantages of an online directory.
- With an online, web-based directory like the one in your IconCMO account, you can easily update the directory as changes happen, so that members can always view an updated, accurate picture directory.
- You can give members the ability to enter and update their own information, relieving some of the work and stress on the church staff.
- As new members become part of the church community, you can use existing pictures or take new ones at any time to import into their family file, making it easier for the current membership to look them up and remember their names and info.
Giving members access through the member’s module
The first step is to give members access to their own member portal log in.
- The members first need to have household email addresses recorded in the system in People: Households: Manage Households.
- If you want to include members’ pictures on the directory, you can enter these by going to People: Households: Manage Households and click the Households Picture button. Here, you can click on a household and then click “Choose File” to locate any pictures you have saved for the household. Find the one you want and click “Save Picture”, and the picture will be available on the online picture directory.
- Go to Web Services: WS Setup: Parishioner Security and look up whomever you want, then click on their Access Type to change it from “No-Access”. If you give them “Read-Write”, they can change their contact information; if you give them “Read-Only”, they can’t.
- Then, click “Send Email” to send an email to the person you just changed. The email will give them the church’s phone number and a username and password. This allows them to log into the member’s portal. The first time through – when you’ll likely be changing and emailing much of the membership – you can click “Send All Emails” to send emails to everyone who’s given access. Or if you are just changing one person’s access, use the “Send Email” button on the bottom.
Log Into the Member Portal
In order to log in, the members will go to the same place in the IconCMO website that regular users use to log in. Or, the church can make it easier for them by putting a link on the church’s website. For example, putting a button on the church’s website that goes to the iconcmo.com/login url.
Once in, members can use the buttons near the top of the window to review their own member, household and contribution information, to change their own username and password in “Security Settings”, and of course to view the online directory.
Website Integration for the Online Directory
That’s how members get into the online directory in the Member Portal. For a more stylish, integrated presentation, you can integrate the online directory with your church’s website. You’ll find that this version of the online directory has a really nice, sharp-looking interface. To check out this option and see instructions, follow this link to our website.
You can also install the integrated directory on a self-hosted WordPress site. Learn more here.
The IconCMO online picture directory is just one more way that the IconCMO church management solution helps churches achieve efficient, convenient communication. It’s a valuable tool for church members. Additionally, it frees the church staff and leaders to spend more time doing what’s most important to them – ministering to people.