One of the best things about Lumen is that your congregants can update their own contact information. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes people can move, update their address in Lumen and no one in the church knows! You can now set up a notification in the Account section to receive an email any time someone changes their address, email, or phone.
One of the other great things about Lumen is the directory. Every church is a little different though in what pieces of data they consider to be worth listing in the directory. Some churches like to list parish or small group right there along with the last name. Others might list a different ministry or affiliation. In the Account section, you can now set specific pieces of custom info to show on the directory.
Your church members can now make online donations via credit card or bank transfer! They can make a one-time payment or sign up for recurring payments. We are offering this feature only through the Stripe.com payment gateway. So unfortunately, if you already have a credit card merchant account with another company, you wont be able to use that here. The donations are subject to Stripe's pricing model of 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge and 0.8% with a $5.00 cap for bank transfers. Stripe also has unpublished, nonprofit pricing that you can work out with them directly if you have 501c3 status.
As always, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
Prior to the last update, you could choose to make your contact information public or private. If your contact info was public, then other members could see it in the directory. If it was private, only church staff could see your information. The problem was that many people wanted their phone and email in the directory, but not their home address. Well now you can. Each piece of contact info now has its own setting for visibility. Enjoy!
Have you ever wanted to sort your church directory in custom ways? Do you have a section toward the back of your church directory for those who have moved away called "Gone... but not Forgotten"? Perhaps you simply want to distinguish visitors and members.
With the new "Family Types" setting, you can add options in addition to the default categories of Listed and Unlisted. Each category you add can be listed in your directory or just visible to church staff. Happy sorting!
Tired of hand-writing addresses? Or worse, cobbling together a multi-step mail-merge operation? Well now you can print mailing labels in 6 common formats right from Lumen! Enjoy!
Happy New Year, loyal customers and friends! Just in case you needed some good news today, we've lowered our pricing on the Plus and Premium plans. If you were paying $79/month, you'll now pay $49 a month. If you were paying $149/month, you'll now pay $79/month.
When Lumen first launched, we really weren't sure how expensive it would be to provide the service. So we set prices at the high end of the spectrum. We figured it would be much better to lower prices eventually than to raise them. After sending 1.6 million emails, processing thousands of donations, and logging users in 100,000 times, we've realized that we can get away with charging a bit less.
First of all, Quickbooks™ is a great program that has done more than it’s share of bringing small businesses and churches into the modern era. Gone are the days of invoices penned out on carbon copy paper and every report taking hours to compile by hand. However, Quickbooks™ has never claimed to be a person management system and has only recently even attempted getting their product online. When churches use Quickbooks™ to count tithe, they typically set up their tithing members as Customers and record payments from them just like other retail businesses might.
With Lumen, there is a better way. Instead of recording disjointed customer payments, Lumen offers one beautiful, dynamic tithe-entry page designed to minimize clicking and avoid split-fund addition mistakes. If you have counted tithe then you know what I’m talking about! Also, with Lumen you can deposit tithes into specific funds, instead of creating accounts that merely mimic funds in Quickbooks™. Adding new members on-the-fly barely slows down your count in Lumen. You don’t have to stop what you are doing and create a new customer profile.
When you go to perform your monthly bank reconciliation, you simply match your deposit batches from Lumen with the deposits on your bank statement. You can either export your general ledger entries to assist in allocating the deposit to the correct ledger accounts, or if you only have a few deposits in the month, you would probably just prefer to enter the amounts by hand. Some churches even prefer to simply process all of their income through Lumen. Either way, you’ve found a much better way to count tithe!
Oh, and one more thing . . . after you post tithe, your church members can access Lumen to view their recent contributions and download their own contribution statement at year-end. Try doing that in Quickbooks™.
Feeds are great for getting the news out to members, but many churches want to approve posts before sending them out to hundreds of people. Before today, that meant having members send their prayer request/thanksgiving/item for sale to the church secretary, who approved it and then forwarded it to the appropriate feed in Lumen.
As of today, though, there's a better way: moderated feeds. Let's say you have a prayer request feed set up at email@example.com. Navigate to that feed in Lumen (Feeds > Prayer > Edit this feed) and change the "Posting" setting to "Moderated member posting." When you do, a list of church staff will appear, and you can select the ones who should moderate this feed.
If you don't select any moderators for this feed, Lumen will have to notify all church staff whenever there's a new post that requires approval, and at a large church that can be a lot of unnecessary notifications! So typically one or two staff members would be selected, and when members post to this feed only those one or two staff members will get an email containing the post and a link to approve it.
Now when members email firstname.lastname@example.org (or log in and post on yourchurch.lumen.co), their posts won't go out to feed subscribers until a staff member approves them.
Staff members can approve through the link that's provided in each notification email, online, or on mobile. There's also an "Approve all" button for busy feeds so you don't have to approve them one by one.
We're excited about the time moderated feeds should save church staff! Another benefit is that moderated posts show as being created by the member who sent them in - this eliminates the common problem of forgetting to include your contact information in a post (since now the member's email is always displayed).