2021 Q3
Update

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2021

Websites Milestone: Refresh Websites

Having a clear and concise church website is one of the first ways you interact with new visitors.  ACS Technologies is proud to bring you Refresh Websites, a solution to build and create custom websites with widgets, and so much more.

Giving: Online Pledge Forms

Giving is such a critical part of any ministry.  And it’s important to you that you have ways to offer a customizable giving experience so your ministry speaks for itself.

In 2020, we announced that Realm eGiving included giving forms.  We’ve now extended that experience to pledge forms as well.  Like giving forms, pledge forms allow your church to add your logo, color scheme, and messages so pledging is more customizable than ever! Select as many funds as you want per form and offer as many forms as you need.

Communications: Constant Contact Integration with Realm

Communication is key in your church. With a brand-new integration between Contact Contact and Realm, you’ll have the tools you need to keep your church family up to date at any time. Enable a daily sync between Realm and Constant Contact, assign user permissions, create and send custom lists of people from Realm, and more.

Check-in: Mobile Check-in

Time is of the essence when you’re trying to get families in the door and properly checked in. With mobile check-in, individuals can use the Realm Connect mobile app as safe, contactless check-in for themselves and their family members. Administrators can also track attendance data to better understand how many individuals attend virtually compared to in-person.

Accounting: General Ledger Import

Running your ministry effectively includes proper management of the back end of your church.  Churches who have Realm Accounting included with Realm can import all general ledger transitions from a CSV file directly into Realm Accounting.

Communications: Email History

Communications are important to your church. With the inclusion of Realm’s email history, churches can now view a history of emails that have been sent, view statistics about email email, and more. 

Volunteer Management Milestone: Recruitment and Discovery

Volunteers are the lifeblood of your church, and leaning on your volunteers is an essential part of running your church effectively.  Churches using Realm can now recruit volunteers for any serving opportunity and feature the opportunities that may be most important to the church.

Volunteers can discover new serving opportunities, automatically match with opportunities that are a good fit for them, and express their interest in serving.

Profiles: Track Personnel and Clergy

Your staff, volunteers, and anyone else who helps support your church, parish, or denomination are crucial to the success of your ministry.  That’s why Realm now allows you to create profiles for your personnel and house even more about your ministry in one place.  Personnel profiles are a focus of Realm in 2021 and they’ll be more features added later this year.   

2020

Volunteer Management Milestone: Serving Team Leaders

Volunteers are the lifeblood of your church.  And leaning on your volunteers is an essential part of running your church effectively.  Realm now has the ability for your church to assign volunteer team leaders.  Volunteer team leaders can manage the day-to-day needs of their team, such as creating schedules, managing the roster, or marking attendance, which allows your staff to focus on the bigger impacts of your ministry.

Giving: Large Enhancements

Giving statements mean more than just simply listing gifts for tax purposes.  They’re a powerful communication tool for the church.  Realm’s pledge and contribution statements have been further enhanced so churches can customize and personalize statements, such as:

  • adding images, titles, and footers to statements
  • creating and personalizing  cover letters
  • and more

Events: Large Enhancements

Events are what fosters fellowship and growth in your church.  Realm’s Event Registration solution now allows churches to create records for guests as soon as they sign up, and even before the event takes place.  This means you’ll always know who’s attending your events, even if this is their first interaction with your church, and follow up with them as necessary.

Additionally, churches also benefit from the ability to add registrants to discipleship tracks or groups before the event takes place, allowing the church to make sure no one is falling through the cracks. 

Volunteer Management Milestone: Volunteer Check-in and Attendance

Churches rely on volunteers to manage events throughout the year. To do this, they need to understand the engagement levels of their volunteers. Volunteer attendance history indicates their commitment to their role and allows the church to hold volunteers accountable.

In addition to all the other aspects of Realm’s Volunteer Management solution, churches now have the ability to:

  • mark attendance for volunteers for each serving opportunity
  • enable check-in for all volunteers for events or groups 
  • print marking sheets for churches who prefer taking attendance by hand
  • find volunteers with low participation and put them on a track for success

Events: Virtual Events and Meetings

Recording the location of events is important so staff are aware and can plan to allocate the proper resources needed, such as a certain room or hall at the church.  With Realm’s most recent release, churches now have the ability to add online meeting links to registration events as well.  Churches simply add the link for their remote event or service and registrants can access the link from their Realm account.

Volunteer Management Milestone: Communicate Schedules

Without a schedule, volunteers don’t know where and when to serve.  The newest milestone in volunteer management gives volunteer organizers new ways to communicate scheduled assignments to volunteers. Volunteers also now have a new “My Schedule” page where they can view and manage their assignments and requests.  Additionally, churches using Realm Volunteer Management are able to:

  • save schedules as drafts
  • notify volunteers via their communication preferences
  • allow volunteers to auto-accept scheduled assignments
  • send serving reminders
  • view and manage volunteer assignments
  • allow volunteers to request their own replacements

Additionally, volunteers can view, respond, and manage assignments right from the Realm Connect mobile app.  No matter where they are, volunteers can always know where they need to serve and be better connected to your church.

Volunteer Management Milestone: Texting Volunteer Teams

As with all relationships in life, communication is key.  And that holds true for volunteer teams as well.  Ministry Partners using Realm’s Volunteer Management solution are now able to offer text messaging as a communication method for volunteer teams.  This includes serving reminders and additional notifications sent from the volunteer team leader.

Communications: Create Information-only Content

Having the right tools to effectively communicate your message to your congregation or small groups is one of the most important aspects of ministry.  However, sometimes pastors or leadership only need to get the message out without the need for back-and-forth conversation.  

Now, when communications are made in groups, the sender has the ability to create no-reply communications to a small group or the entire church, allowing for more effective communications without adding noise.

Accounting: Events Now Integrated with Realm Accounting

Using multiple solutions to perform a single task is a big headache for your ministry and can create issues such as duplicate entries and other security risks.  That’s why Realm and Realm Accounting are fully integrated and built under one roof.  And now, it’s even better because Realm Events integrates with Realm Accounting’s general ledger.  That means when you accept payments for your registration events, those payments will automatically post to your general ledger.

Expertise: MinistrySmart Community

You’ve got questions and other Realm users have the answers.  We’re happy to announce the brand-new MinistrySmart Community, a forum where you can discuss ministry challenges and solutions, tips, or best practices for using Realm.  And best of all, it’s completely free and accessed right from within Realm.

Volunteer Management Milestone: Manage Serving Preferences

A key aspect of managing volunteers is to know when volunteers are available to serve the church. We’re excited to report that volunteers can now view and update their own serving preferences.  This means they can indicate which days of the week they are available to serve, enter dates when they’re unavailable, and update their skills and interests.  

Best of all, when scheduling volunteers, Realm automatically displays these preferences to help match individuals with the serving roles that fit them best.

Events: Virtual Meetings and Events

Among other things, 2020 has been the year of remote events and worship services.  Now Realm can help with that.  Easily add an online meeting link from Google Meet, Youtube or Facebook Live, Zoom, etc., to group and RSVP events.  When your registrants attend the event remotely, they simply click on the URL meeting link to join remotely.

Expertise: MinistrySmart Staff Pass Pro

Realm helps you do ministry better, but where do you turn when you need to know how to implement best practices for your ministry?  That’s where MinistrySmart Staff Pass Pro comes in.  

MinistrySmart Staff Pass Pro builds on what is already available in MinistrySmart by offering additional training courses to help staff reduce risk and improve the overall ministry health, safety, and welfare of their staff, volunteers, congregants, and children.

Additionally, church staff get access to expanded and advanced topics, ministry training libraries, and more to help your church thrive.  MinistrySmart Staff Pass Pro includes:

  • Premium live and on-demand webinars
  • Advanced Realm training
  • Training for risk management and preventative measures
  • Training for successful ministry enablement

Giving: Giving Forms

Giving is such a critical part of any ministry.  And it’s important to you that you have ways to offer a customizable giving experience so your ministry speaks for itself.

We’re happy to announce that Realm eGiving now offers a way to customize and brand your church’s eGiving experience through giving forms.  Need a way to communicate giving on your website for your youth ministry differently than for your entire congregation?  That’s exactly what giving forms do.  They also allow for:

  • Church logos
  • Designed colors schemes
  • Custom messages
  • Unlimited Funds  

Events: Feature Important Events

Events are critical to the success of your church because they bring together your congregation for fellowship and support.  However, it can be tough for some to know what’s happening in the life of your church.

Realm solves that problem with featured events.  Your staff can now feature up to five registration events at a time.  They’ll be highlighted at the top of the event list to help people more easily find and register for them.  Additionally, your congregation can use the Realm Connect mobile app to see featured events as well. 

In this quarterly update, we will be covering:

Recent Releases

  • Volunteer Management – Having a robust volunteer management solution is important for healthy ministry and continues to be a priority for ACS Technologies. 
    • Volunteer Coordinator Role – Realm staff users can now designate lay leaders as volunteer coordinators and oversee team rosters, create schedules and more.
  • Events – Events were a 2020 focus for Realm and are part of the foundation of healthy churches.
    • Admin Payments – Staff can now enter payment information on behalf of individuals who choose not to pay online.
  • Denominational Personalization – A 2020 corporate initiative, denominational personalization provided a more cohesive, recognizable solution for the denomination using Realm.
  • Giving Enhancements – Ministry Partners using Realm can now further customize the pledge statement, utilize non-cash gifts, and more.
  • Accounting Enhancements – Ministry Partners using Realm Accounting now have enhanced reporting features such as additions to the statement of activities report, vendor and default expense accounts, and more. 

Realm Streaming – A live streaming solution in Realm allows ministry partners a way to engage with their congregation beyond the four walls of the church.

Coming Soon

  • Volunteer Management – Having a robust volunteer management solution is important for healthy ministry and continues to be a priority for ACS Technologies. 
    • Recruiting Volunteers – Staff will soon be able to recruit volunteers to serve and make roles available to express interest.
  • Mobile Check-In – Check-in is crucial for accurate attendance and security of children.  Check-in will be enhanced to include an option for mobile check-in.
  • Data Analytics – Further work on MissionInsite will add payment processing integrations as well as updated communications and mapping features.
  • Realm Sites – Realm Ministry Partners will be able to manage and customize their website to fit their ministry needs.

Enhancements to Interface – A redesign of the navigation panel in Realm will allow for a better user experience and will be more intuitive to navigate.

Additional Information and Tools for Your Benefit

Previous Reviews

1H 2021 Update
Q4 2020 Update
Q3 2020 Update
Q2 2020 Update
Q1 2020 Update
Q4 2019 Update
Q3 2019 Update
Q2 2019 Update
Q1 2019 Update
Q4 2018 Update
Q2 2018 Update
Q1 2018 Update
Q3 2017 Update