The process of inviting your parishioners to the Member Portal is quick and easy. It's a great tool that saves time for the parish office and can help to create an engaged community. We know at times it is difficult to get the community to respond to new ways of doing parish business so it may be beneficial to do some preliminary work prior to inviting them into the member portal.
Some of those steps might be to update your website to include the following videos (Registering For The Member Portal and Member Portal on a Small Device) that explain how to create a login ID/PW, what to expect when they log-in, the data they will be able to see and edit as well as a video that explains how to access the Member Portal from portable devices. Another suggestion might be to put a blurb in the bulletin letting the members know the benefits of using the portal and ask your pastor to speak about the upcoming Member Portal Invite. It's a good opportunity to explain to parishioners that they will not receive the invite unless the parish office has their email and/or mobile number for texting. Members also need a valid email in order for them to log in to the member portal.
To send out the invite to ALL Families First browse to Family search via: Families > Family Search. Then press the Reset so that you are sure you have All Active Families in the list. Now go up to the families menu and select Families > Invite Families.
The following popup screen will appear. The subject line will include the name of your Parish which is pulled from the name you had originally entered under Administrative > Church Maintenance. The body of the letter can be edited and personalized. Please take caution when changing the letter. You do not want to change any of the fields in brackets. If you do not want to send a notice to parishioners with text messages you can delete the message. In this example, Gabriel will send the full email to all active families with an email in the family record Email field. Text messages will be sent to any member who has a cell number in the member Cell Phone field and the box Contact By Text Message AND Receive Family Alerts is checked on their member record. If you choose to send an attachment you may do that but it will only be attached to the email not the text message. Tip: Text messages are limited to 160 characters. If you choose to send a text with the message remember the number of characters is limited and be sure to leave the bracketed text in place.
Tip: Prior to pressing the Send button, it is a good idea to save your custom letter so you can copy, paste and use it again in future invites. Gabriel currently does not save your custom letter. This is an enhancement request.
For parishioners with emails, they will receive the following message (or the personalized message that you create) and within the body of the letter, each parishioner will receive a unique link that is tied to their Family Record ID. Tip: This link expires in 10 days. This ensures that each family will only be able to view their family/member records. For purposes of demonstration, at the bottom of this letter, we have included the URL for the training video Registering For The Member Portal. When the parishioner clicks on this link it will take them to the video. This is not included in the default letter contained in the Member Portal invite. You will have to add this link to your letter.
For parishioners who receive a text on their mobile phone, they will receive the following text message and can click on the link to register to access the Member Portal. Tip: This link expires in 10 days. Please note that parishioners cannot respond to text messages sent through Gabriel. Additionally, the number that is displayed - (+1-508-213-9682) is a default number and cannot be changed.
No further action is needed by the Administrator. As long as the member clicks on the invitation and completes the registration they will have access to their family information. If they do not click on the link in the allotted time you can resend the invitation.
Invitations can also be sent to just one family from within the family record. While in a family go up to the families menu and select Families > Invite Families. An invitation will only be sent to the current family that you are viewing.
Lastly, if a family or families as already accepted an invitation they will not be sent another invitation. The system recognizes that their email is already a registered user and won't send any subsequent invitations that you do. So it is safe to go and re-invite all active families periodically.