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FAQ’s

 General Questions

Synchronization Questions


 Answers to General Questions

Q:  Does ParishSOFT have a Schools program?

A:  Yes. It manages family data and tuition. You can click here to check out the features offered and determine if it fits your specific needs.

Q:  Does ParishSOFT have a DRE/Faith Formation Program?
A:  Yes, it is called “Religious Education & Tuition”  Click here for more information.

Q.  Is it necessary for our computers to be networked together or can they be stand-alone?
A.  Networking is not necessary for the ParishSOFT application.  The application only requires an internet connection.

Q.  How are we transferring data? When do we stop using our other data system?
A.  Data is not technically transferred.  You will be accessing the ParishSOFT application remotely and securely through the internetWe will make every effort to provide minimal interruption of your data management.  Please see our Implementation page for more information on Data Conversion.

Q:  What modules are included in the implementation?
A:  The modules included are Family Directory, Offering and Tuition, Religious Ed, Time & Talent, and Parish IQ.  All the modules included in the software are designed to make things flow smoothly from department to department within your parish.  Click on this link to see what each module covers.  Look on the right side of the page and you’ll see a link for each different module.

Q:  Will we recieve post go-live support?
A:  Yes, you will recieve ongoing support for the ParishSOFT application from the Archdiocese of Detroit as well as ParishSOFT, LLC.  Questions can be sent to ParishSoft@aod.org or you can call 313-596-7104.

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Q.  What is the cost for implementing ParishSOFT?
A.  The Archdiocese of Detroit is covering the cost of the software and the first year of maintenance/support. 

Q.  What versions of Microsoft Office does the ParishSOFT application work with?
A.  It works with Office 2000, 2003 and 2007.  ParishSoft is currently in the process of extending that to 2010 as well.

Q.  How do we guarantee our parishioners that their information is private and protected if we don’t know who has access to it?
A.  We will provide security information as needed. We will fully disclose who has access to data. The integrity and security of data is extremely important and contributes to the trust essential for constructive and collaborative relationships in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Q.  Regarding Parish Soft confidentiality…our data is currently hosted on our parish server.  No one except those within our parish office with authorized user privileges may access it.  Data that is hosted remotely on an outsourced server is no longer within our parish domain.  Who has access?  Who is the system administrator? How do we know who has access? 
A.  Access to your ParishSOFT data will be controlled at the parish level as it probably is with these applications.  You will set up users and the appropriate rights.  Even though the data is housed offsite it is entirely YOUR data.  The rights management in the software will allow you to designate a “super user” or system admin and thus you will know who has access.  No one at the archdiocesan level will be allowed to access your data unless you authorize it and set it up with the AOD.  Not only is this a policy statement but it is enforced by the software.

Q.  If our Internet connection is lost, what is the recovery plan? 
A.  If you lose internet connectivity you will also lose access to your database until the internet connectivity is restored.  However, if the internet access could not be restored in a timely fashion, access to the database could be set up at another location (fairly easily) that does have internet access .  Furthermore, the database itself is isolated from your local environmental issues (lightning strike, flood, fire, etc….) because it is not housed onsite.

Q.  If ParishSoft implementation is impending, how soon can we begin using ParishSoft so we need not expend more financial and staff training resources and continue expanding our current management?
A.  Please contact us at ParishSoft@aod.org or 313-596-7104 and we will coordinate with you regarding a schedule and timeline for implementation.

Q.  Can ParishSoft be used with a barcode scanner, i.e. scan the offertory envolopes?
A.  Yes, ParishSoft is compatible with barcode scanners.

Q.  Does ParishSoft have a bulk mailing feature?
A.  Yes, however this is a seperate module not provided by the Archdiocese.  For more information click here.

Q.  Does the ParishSoft software have built-in queries?
A.  No it does not.

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Answers to Synchronization Questions

Q. Can the Archdiocese see parish data?
A. The Archdiocese can only view contact information and roll-up statistical information. The data is secured so it is only accessible by authorized personnel who are trained on and committed to the acceptable use statement that does not allow any data access (except for contact information) without parish notification.

Q. Will the Archdiocese change parish contact data?
A: The parish is primarily responsible for keeping their parishioner contact information up to date.  On occasion, parishioners/donors send written notification to the Archdiocese of name and address changes or that a donor is deceased, when they receive a statement from the Archdiocese with incorrect/outdated contact information.  In order for the Archdiocese to ensure our donor statements (both those notifying them of their ongoing pledge payment and year-end contribution statements) are addressed properly, the Archdiocese will change such information when notified directly by the parishioner/donor.  Parishes will be notified of address changes through the ParishSOFT system.  If the Archdiocese is notified that a donor changed their name or is deceased, the Archdiocese will notify the parish of these changes.

Q. Can parishes see other parishes data?
A: No.  Parishes can “move” or “add” families from other parishes but the only data that is accessible in these cases is contact information ( i.e. other parishes cannot see offering, ministry or religious education information).  Parishes will be notified automatically when a family is moved (Registered) to another parish.

Q. Are parishes able to change other parishes data?
A: No, except to change the ‘registered’ status if a parishioner/family registers at another parish.  In the event that the same parishioner/family is actively registered and giving at two or more parishes simultaneously, the parishes should contact the parishioner/family to determine which parish they consider their ‘primary’ parish.  This will not prevent a parishioner/family from choosing to participate in campaigns/initiatives (e.g. CSA, CLT) for more than one parish, each parish receiving the benefit of the contribution intended for them.

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Q. Does every parish have to sync?
A: Yes.  The goal of archdiocesan-wide collaboration regarding parishioner data and relationships requires all parishes to participate.

Q. Do parishes have to do anything to sync?
A: No. The parish will not have any tasks. There is an initial setup of sync and then it happens automatically.

Q. Can families be listed in the database of more than one parish?
A: Yes.  However, the software term of “registered” can only be applied to one parish.  Think of it as the Bethlehem principle – each family is only counted in one place.  In the software the “counting” is done by the “registered” designation.

Q. If families are only registered in one parish what happens to their offering and ministry data if they give and/or are active in multiple parishes?
A: Families have separate offering, ministry, and religious education data for each parish they contribute to and that is seen and managed only by the specific parishes (i.e. a family has one record in the database for contact information that is managed by the parish of registration, but can contribute financially to any number of parishes and that activity is only seen by and managed by the parish receiving the contribution).

Q. What are the advantages to synchronizing?
A: The following benefits result form synchronization:

  • Parishioner demographic/contact records only need to be updated in one place so phone numbers, email addresses, addresses, etc. should be more accurate without requiring duplicate effort by parishes to update their own database and then provide this information to the Archdiocese as a separate step.
  • Data is stored in a quality controlled and standardized data center.  It is backed up and has a complete disaster recovery plan.
  • Parishioners moving from one parish to another or active in multiple parishes will be able to update information in a single place.
  • A synchronized database will allow for more efficiency and effectiveness in the Safe Environments program.

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