What's new in Shepherd's Staff 8.9?

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Shepherd's Staff 8.9 has been released!

We are continuing with the redesign of the Shepherd's Staff interface, with this year's release of the newly redesigned Contributions module. The new software conventions that you have seen in the Membership and Attendance modules are now available in the Contributions module.

Some items of note that you will find in the software include: 

  • Integration into the main Shepherd's Staff window - Contributions will now open as part of the main program as opposed to creating a separate window, and icon on the taskbar.

  • A restructuring around the data grids format now familiar with the other new modules. Each grid will have filters and search options, to make the data easier to find and use.

  • A reduction in canned reports and an increase in flexibility in the way data can be used, searched, and manipulated in the grid format for a wide variety of reporting options.

  • Extra print options from the data grid.

  • Centralized Tools/Settings section with utilities specific to Contributions.

  • You can now view previously posted batches! The data grid flexibility inherent in the new modules' styles lead to the addition of filtering options on the batches screen. You can now use the drop-down to view unposted batches, posted batches, or all of the above.

    • Please note: Only batches posted after upgrading to 8.9 will show under the Posted batches filter in the Batches grid. To view offerings from before the upgrade you can filter for the date in question in the Offerings grid.

  • You can also delete a posted batch now.

    • Please be very careful using this feature, especially if you create a deposit in Finance when you post your contributions.

  • Search for dollar amounts -  we have introduced a new search character, the dollar sign ($). In any data grid with dollar amounts, prefixing a number with a dollar sign tells the data grid that you want to search for money in all columns with a non-italicized heading.

  • Add a new contributor straight from the batch-entry screen, without exiting out and going to Contributors (as long as they already have a person record in Membership). Just click the + icon next to Contributor at the top of the batch entry screen and it will take you to the Add Contributor box (you can also use ctrl-N to do this).

  • Contributors without envelopes: This is a new option that allows the church to flag someone in the normal envelope number range who does not receive a physical box of envelopes, such as someone who only gives electronically. The church can then order fewer boxes of envelopes by excluding those who do not use them, and without having to assign those people a number out of the normal envelope number range.

  • The Contributor Details window: This grows out of the usability and flexibility of data grids. In the Contributor list, if you open a particular contributor, you will see a new design that combines the information from the previous “contributor” and “contributor details” windows. It is modeled after the household/person record in Membership, with a selection tree on the left, key data about the contributor at the top, and contributor details in expandable sections below that.

  • The Analysis tab: This set of data grids combines a lot of previous reports and other data that can be used to create custom reporting or query your contributions data in new ways. The Giving patterns grid allows quite a bit of new functionality you are welcome to peruse at your leisure during the testing phase.

  • Other Givers: A new way to enter one-time gifts without a Person Record to identify the giver.

If you have not yet watched any of our webinars on the new contributions module you may do so on our YouTube Channel

Let us know what you think and if you have any questions by using the support button to the right.