Customer Success Insights

Removing data silos and improving member care

Jim Diercks followed a career in the United States defense industry by taking a lead volunteer role with the 1,300-member, two campus church. At the time, their church management system consisted of data silos of Excel spreadsheets and Google Apps. For several years, the Senior Pastor felt the church had outgrown this system and worried about who might be “falling through the cracks”. He tasked Jim with finding a ChMS for the church. Jim and a team of staff members conducted an extensive comparison of over 200 ChMS systems on the market, eventually focusing on Cloud-based products. They then narrowed the selection down to two systems: CCB and FellowshipOne.

Why Jim and Fellowship Community Chose FellowshipOne

What set Fellowship One apart for Jim was FellowshipOne’s implementation process:

  • The implementation timeline was shorter and had higher confidence.
  • Only FellowshipOne’s two-step process allowed an invaluable sandbox environment in which to train and practice.
  • Training packages were tailored for individuals on Jim’s team.
  • Implementation included an on-site visit by data specialist.
  • The Implementation team responded to questions right away.
  • F1’s structured, on-demand training tools allowed easy, back and forth maneuvering between online help, support, and videos.

The process began with a starting point of manual processes and completed with a Cloud-based system in use in just a couple of months.

Cloud-based access to data and immediate usability without IT obstacles

Dawn Shapley, former software developer and 15-year children’s ministry pastor with the fast-growing, 4000-member church was frustrated. Their hosted (non-Cloud) ChMS solution, couldn’t keep up with the new demands of their growing children’s ministry. Dawn stated that quarterly software updates required from an hour to up to two days of troubleshooting in the server room, and no support was available from the company unless updates were complete.

When the church was two iterations behind, Dawn concluded that the product required a full-time IT guy, and set out to find a new software provider. “Cloud-based” was her top requirement. She assembled a comprehensive comparison of all ChMS solutions, initially skipping FellowshipOne (Cloud-based) because she heard it was too expensive.

After all but one vendor (another hosted solution) had been eliminated, Dawn revisited FellowshipOne as a last resort.

Why Dawn and Valley Creek Chose Fellowship One

The two vendors on Dawn’s short list offered many of her required features. She stated that the differentiator was the benefits of a Cloud-based solution:

  • Remote access to data
  • Higher data security than hosted solutions
  • Training packages were tailored for individuals on Jim’s team.
  • Company longevity and reputation
  • Mobile app
  • Immediate usability; no IT work was required
  • Continuous release updates; no IT work involved for software updates

Dawn’s thorough research revealed that FellowshipOne ultimately did not cost more than its nearest competition. Due to the imminent launch of a new campus, the church opted to implement its software in stages.

Improving visitor follow up and reducing administrative tasks

Carl Turner has been the church administrator at Southport Community for two years. Data management had gotten out of hand with 6 spreadsheets so cumbersome that manual attendance reports could only be managed once a month. He stumbled onto FellowshipOne and, using one of our videos, achieved immediate buy-in from both the leadership team and the congregation (which was already clamoring for online tools for giving and registration).

How Carl and Southport Community quickly on-ramped Fellowship One

  • Out of sheer enthusiasm during the Implementation process, Carl and his team routinely completed tasks in a fraction of the time assigned by the Implementation Team.
  • Carl raved about the hands-on training style that allowed his team to “do” rather than just watch.

Within one month from launch, Carl reported:

  • One full day a week in time savings on basic administrative tasks
  • A 36% increase in visitors (from better contact management, which resulted in increased second-time visitation rates, and from better reporting capabilities.)
  • 2 out of their 10 ministries were fully functioning with FellowshipOne.

Carl states that it was immediately apparent that those ministries that got onboard with FellowshipOne would experience growth. Those that did not would continue to struggle. “Until we found effective and efficient ways of managing data,” he said, “we weren’t going to be able to help people feel cared for.”