When we get our login information, what do we do first?
A login video and a “tour” of the program will be available. You will want to check all the information under the “general” tab to make sure addresses, staff and other contact information is up to date.
When will yearbook reports be due?
We will still be taking a snapshot of data for historical purposes in the winter of 2021 and annually thereafter, so there will still be a “due date” (March 15) for congregations to have their data entered for the previous year. Since congregations will be able to enter their attendance and giving data every week and the software will total it for them, we may be able to move the “due date” up over time.
Will there still be a printed yearbook?
We plan to print a few for the first year or two. A benefit of this new system is that you can look up congregations and their current data instantaneously from a “my yearbook” view that will include live links to the congregation’s website where available. Regions will be able to see the data for individual congregations in their region. Congregations can access contact information for other congregations through their own version of this “my yearbook” view. Bonus: The data will be updated in real time so when leaders or addresses change, the year book information on line can be updated immediately.
What about congregations without regular digital access?
Since this is set up to be mobile-friendly, we are hoping that the majority of congregations will have someone who can enter the data via smart phone on the mobile version.
Who will be responsible for entering data for a congregation?
Each congregation will have a single login identity. We suggest there be a shared e-mail and password for this project that several trusted individuals in the congregation would use. Attendance and giving for each week would be entered weekly either on a mobile device or desktop device. As the year progresses, trend data will be available on the dashboard for the congregation and at the end of the year would already be totaled for reporting.
What if we forget our password?
Like many online applications, there is a “forgot password” function that will send the password to the e-mail of record.
Who can see my congregation’s information?
Currently the information in the yearbook is available to congregations, ministers, regions, and general ministries that purchase the paper version or online access. These are the same entities who will have access to Alex. Congregations will not be able to see the weekly giving and attendance numbers of other congregations. Congregations will only see the aggregate of others at the end of the year, just as the yearbook has aggregate (annual) numbers now.
The information will not be sold or shared with third party vendors. Alex is an exclusive application built only for Disciples congregations, regions, and general ministries to use. It is being built by a company with extensive data experience, so it is built to industry standards.
Will the screen for a region be the same as a congregation?
Not exactly. The regional dashboard will automatically roll up data from all the reporting congregations for attendance and giving and regions will be able to look at individual congregation data. A congregation will only see their data and trends.
Will Alex have our historic data?
Yes. The data that has been previously stored in a legacy database used to produce the year book congregational tables will be uploaded to Alex. This will enable a congregation to look at data from 1999 to present immediately.
Will Alex have our giving data?
By the end of 2020, you should be able to see the numbers for any funds you have contributed to core Disciples Mission Fund, blessing boxes, special day offerings, and Week of Compassion or Reconciliation Ministry – anything that goes through Treasury Services. Alex will need you to enter other giving data.
What about ministerial records?
At this time, Alex will be depending on congregations to keep their ministerial staff up to date as changes occur. No personal information other than the staff e-mail will be available. This will help regional staff more easily keep up with ministerial changes in real time across their regions.
How do I look up a retired colleague?
There will still be a printed yearbook (or online access for purchase) for several years until we are able to integrate any additional ministerial data into Alex.
I use the directory in the yearbook to find contact information for general ministries and regions, not just congregations. Where will that information be?