This article breaks down how a Church can turn on the ability to use Church-Entered Needs and submit their own requests that will be received by their own Response Team members.
Included in This Article
- Training Video
- Designating a Church Needs Leader
- Confirming Your Church Settings
- Submitting A Need: By Church Needs Leader
- Approving A Need
- Escalating A Team Need To All Teams
- Responses and Closing a Need
Note: As CarePortal continually improves, you may notice some differences between the animations in our training videos and your live dashboard. Our team is re-animating and re-recording as quickly as we can! Feel free to email Training@CarePortal.org if you have questions in the meantime!
Designating A Church Needs Leader
Before Church-Entered Needs can be turned on by your church's Primary Point Person, they will need to add at least one Church Needs Leader. The Primary Point Person can go to the Settings tab in their dashboard and edit a Church Leader to add the Church Needs Leader role, or they can add a new church leader with this role.
Qualifications & Characteristics of A Good Church Needs Leader
As you consider who will be the Church Needs Leader(s) at your church, here are a few characteristics of an effective Church Needs Leader:
- Good storyteller - someone who can tell and recognize good stories
- Has an eye for case management
- In tune with the needs of the church and community
Confirming Your Church Settings
Once the Primary Point Person enables Church Entered Needs for church leaders, you'll notice the additional setting appears that would allow Response Team Members to also enter needs. This is defaulted to On but can changed to Off if needed. After determining your settings, click the orange "Save" button.
Submitting A Need From Church Public Page
If you decided to allow responders to enter needs, any Response Team member can submit a need from their team's public page for approval by a Church Needs Leader. The URL to this public page is available in their team leader's CarePortal Dashboard. If you are a Response Team member please reach out to a Point Person or Church Needs Leader at your church if you do not have this URL.
To submit a need from your public Church page on behalf of your own family or another family:
- After you have successfully logged in, click the "Submit A Need" button to add a new need on
- Fill out the family information form & click continue
- Next, fill out the Need Information form (see image below).
- Keep in mind that good stories need to have an emotional impact. They also need to include details about what is needed so responders can accurately see the needs and know if they can help.
- Never share confidential information, such as names, locations, or any contact information of the family within the Story field.
- Some great questions to consider answering when filling out the story are:
– Who needs help? Example: A single parent with a young son.
– What do they need? Example: A twin bed frame, mattress, and bedding.
– What will happen when this need is met? Example: This young boy will be able to stay at home with his mother. Without a bed to sleep in the son may have to enter into the foster system.
Submitting A Need From Church Dashboard
Needs can also be submitted by Church Leaders from within their CarePortal dashboard.
If the need is submitted by a Church Needs Leader, no additional approval is required and the need will go to all responders of all teams at the church.
If the need is submitted by a Pastor, Primary Point Person, or other church leader, the Church Needs Leader will be notified so they can review, edit, decline, or approve the need before all responders on all teams are alerted.
If the need is submitted by a Team Leader, the Church Needs Leader will be notified so they can review, edit, decline, or approve the need to go to only that team leader's response team. The team leader would be able to request the need to be escalated to the rest of the church's response teams if more help is needed.
- Click on the "Church Needs" tab in the left-hand menu (only appears if setting is "On")
- Click at the top of the page
- Fill out the story of the need
- Select the purpose and urgency of the need as well as the grid category that it fits into. Then you will need to enter the amount of children and adults this need serves.
- Next, fill out the confidential information about the family (this is not public facing).
- The last step is to fill out the information about the specific need(s). There are many options that will auto-calculate an estimated cost for you. Other needs selections will have you enter the custom amount for the item or financial service needed.
Note: Needs are not fundable if they are not individually entered and the church does not have a CarePortal Card.
- Lastly, be sure to check the box verifying you have permission from the family to enter the need and then hit the orange "Submit" button.
Approving A Need
The Church Needs Leader is a critical role for churches that are using the Church-Entered Needs feature as they are the only ones who can approve the need. The need must be approved before it will go out via email to your church's response team.
Once a need has been submitted, the Church Needs Leader will receive an email asking them to review the need.
The Church Needs Leader can click the link to review the need. When reviewing the need, you will be able to Approve, Decline or Edit the need as necessary. Please review the need for any confidential information. Once reviewed, click Approve Need to confirm that you would like to send the need out to your Church's Response Team(s). An example of a Church Entered Need email notification is provided below:
Escalating A Team Need to All Teams
When Church Leaders submit needs, all response teams are notified.
When a Team Leader or Response Team Member submits a need, the Church Needs Leader must approve it, and then it will be sent only to the responders on that particular team.
A Team Leader can initiate a church need escalation that, once approved by the Church Needs Leader, will be escalated to all response teams at the church. Church Needs Leaders can also escalate a need to all response teams as appropriate.
Responses & Closing a Need
When someone from your church's response team responds to a request, two emails are sent simultaneously.
The first email is a Confirmation and Thank You email to the person who responded. This email lets them know who the Church Needs Leader is as well and lets them know to expect to be contacted by the Church Needs Leader.
The Church Needs Leader also receives an email when a response is to a request is submitted. Their next step is to connect with the responder to be sure the need is met. Their final step would be to make sure the need is closed. This can be started from the button in the response email or by going into their CarePortal dashboard, finding the need, and closing it appropriately.