A tool for tracking Church event participants and finances.

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miikka75
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A tool for tracking Church event participants and finances.

Postby miikka75 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:54 pm

Hi all,

I sent this e-mail as feedback some time ago to LDS.org about a tool which would be heplfuls but never got a reply... Let's try here if there are other people with similar problems as I have in organizing and tracking church events, who would benefit from a tool described below.

In short:
A web based tool which helps event organizers, bishops and financial clerks to verify and handle event participant lists and expences.

Background:
I have been Tampere stake financial clerk for about 7 years and during that time there has been many events organized by the stake which require participants to register and pay participation fees (EFY, Fest i Nord, Youth conferences, YM & YW camps etc.). So far there has been some web sites designed for registering to events but they lack the functionality which would help the bishops and financial clerks to see who has registered, participated and paid the participation fees.
This is what happens now when someone organizes an event:
- Someone has been given a task to organize an event. They make a an advert with the registration information (usually registration is done by e-mail or some web site specifically created to collect the relevant information) and details where to pay (own wards bank account).
- Event happens – the organizer verifies that all the people who have registered show up and marks that into the participant list.
- Some bills are sent directly to me to be paid. This is usually when I find out who is organizing the event. Some time after the event I have to start asking for the participant list so that I can charge the wards the participant fees. I get the list, manually copy it to excel and edit it so that it contains the ward, amount to pay per participant. Then I send the names of each participant to wards (to bishops and financial clerks) and the amount of money that will be transferred from them to stake. Then I start getting responses that “this and that person didn’t attend the event – they should not be charged”. After sorting out these, I can then finally make a list of wards with amounts of money to be transferred to stake. I send that list to the MSR contact and he’ll make the transfer from the wards/units to the stake.
- This description is of a case when everything goes smoothly but there are many places where things may go wrong. For example, sometimes the event organizer informs everybody to pay the participation fee directly to stake’s bank account which is a nightmare for me.
- I have created an exel sheet which sends e-mails to wards automatically once I have made the participant list but sorting out each event is still taking many hours of time.

In order to ease the load of everybody involved in organizing an event, I propose a following tool to be created:
- Event organizer logs into LDS.org and there creates an event. He makes an advert about the event and instructs people to register for the event in LDS.org. Event creation should contain at least the following information: Event name, time, place, domestic or international (which countries are allowed to participate), participation fee (- there could be more than one fee. for example food, accommodation, optional activities which are not free), deadline for registrations, e-mail notification persons (for example bishops and financial clerks of each ward/unit).
- Registration of people could be done by anyone who has LDS account (for example wards YM leader can register all YM who are participating). Registration form should contain at least the following: Participant name, age, unit/ward (perhaps a dropdown list of units could be shown based on whether the event is domestic or international), which fees the participant is paying himself/ward is supporting, allergies etc.
- Once the deadline for registration is closing, an e-mail is automatically sent to persons in e-mail notification list. This allows the ward financial clerk to check who has paid the participation fee and bishop to check if ward (financially) supported persons are correct.
- Before, during and after the event, the organizer could fill in financial data about the expences and incomes (for example a buffet) in the tool.
- When the event has ended, stake’s financial clerk can check the expences and incomes of the event including the participant fees to be transferred from the units. If one stake is organizing the event but other stakes are also supporting (for example based on the number of participants from that stake), that could be added into finance report of the event. Then the financial clerk sends a money transfer request to MSR from the tool.

I don’t know if I have explained everything very clearly but I am ready to answer any questions you may have about the idea of the tool. I hope this kind of web-based tool can be created.

Best regards,
Miikka Tuppurainen
Finland, Tampere stake, financial clerk
Finland, Tampere STS.

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johnshaw
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Location: Syracuse, UT

Re: A tool for tracking Church event participants and financ

Postby johnshaw » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:20 pm

Multiple suggestions for this exists. Where are the resources doing this work..... we had a flurry of releases (many minimally implemented) so we could shut down the old stake and ward websites.

What happened to these teams?
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

miikka75
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:01 am

Re: A tool for tracking Church event participants and financ

Postby miikka75 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:00 pm

Has anyone implemented this type of suggestion and is it actively maintained? About the resources... I don't have expertise to make such application. Does anyone with required skill find this suggestion worth implementing? I have a background in C/C++ coding which doesn't help that much in web application development.

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aebrown
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Re: A tool for tracking Church event participants and financ

Postby aebrown » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:59 pm

miikka75 wrote:Has anyone implemented this type of suggestion and is it actively maintained?

No, there's no such application at this point. You might want to send in your suggestion using the Submit Feedback link at the bottom of the LDS.org home page.

russellhltn
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Re: A tool for tracking Church event participants and financ

Postby russellhltn » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:09 pm

miikka75 wrote:They make a an advert with the registration information (usually registration is done by e-mail or some web site specifically created to collect the relevant information)


It should be noted that Handbook 2: 21.1.22 requires that any such website be cleared with "the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency". I have also learned that the church has a contract with a web hosting site to handle event registrations - and that it's cheaper to go through the church then to contract with them directly.

I have no idea how this system works for the stake putting on the event, but perhaps they can incorporate those ideas.

But the feedback link would be the best way to submit this idea to the church.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

miikka75
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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:01 am

Re: A tool for tracking Church event participants and financ

Postby miikka75 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:18 am

Actually EFY has a web site for registering participants at http://www.efy-europe.org/ but to my knowledge that implementation doesn't support tracking of finances of those events. I'll send the feedback to LDS.org and also try to contact the domain owner of efy-europe.org (seems to be registered by LDS church in Germany).


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