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
- Prerequisites to Using Church-Entered Needs
- Submitting A Need: Step-by-Step Instructions
- Approving A Need
- Escalating A Team Need To All Teams
- Responses & Closing a Need
If you're a visual learner, the animated video below walks you through much of the content in this article with some added bonus material.
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!
Prerequisites to Using Church-Entered Needs
- Add members to your Response Team
Since church-entered needs notify your own response teams about the opportunities you enter, it's important to build up your team with individuals from your church that would receive a notification when a new need is approved. There are several tools built into the platform to help you build up and develop your teams, along with your local network leader.
- Designate Your Church Needs Leader(s)
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.
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
- Enable the Church Entered Needs Setting
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 (from their Response Team's public page). After determining your settings, click the orange Save button.
Submitting A Need with Step-by-Step Instructions
Only Church Leaders can submit needs from within their CarePortal dashboard. Needs could also be submitted from the church or a specific response team's public page.
- 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 your church's settings allow, needs can be submitted by a Team Leader from their CarePortal Dashboard. In these cases, 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.
- If your church's settings allow, 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.
- 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 or the description of the need. It's important to use this as an opportunity to advocate for the family with clarity and in a compelling way, while doing your best to answer any questions you know a potential responder might have as they consider how they could help. Confidential information like the family's name, address or contact information should never be included in this area because it is made publicly available once the need is approved.
- Select the purpose and urgency of the need as well as the grid category that it fits into. For needs that will only go to your own response team members, the Purpose and Grid fields could be left blank if they are not relevant to the opportunity. Then you will need to enter the amount of children and adults this need serves.
- Fill out the confidential information about the family (this is not public facing), including the family's name, address, contact information, and primary language spoken. This is used for the sake of setting up necessary follow-up once responses come in.
- 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.
- Check the box at the bottom of the page verifying you have permission from the family to enter the need and then click the 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 and decide to Approve, Decline or Edit the need as necessary. Please review the need for any confidential information. Once approved, the CarePortal platform will send the need out on behalf of your church to your various Response Teams.
An example of a Church Entered Need email notification is provided below:
Escalating A Team Need to All Teams
As described above, 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. If the responses hoped for don't come in, or if more help is needed, the Team Leader has the option to request the Church Needs Leader to escalate that need to the rest of the teams at their church. Church Needs Leaders can also do this on their own, without the Team Leader needing to request it.
- From the Church Needs tab, find the need that needs to be escalated and click the "Details" button
- Across the bottom of the page, click the Escalate to Church button
- Confirm all the required information is entered and appropriate for all response teams to see, and click Confirm
- A Church Needs Leader will be alerted and asked to approve the escalation request. If a leader with the Church Needs Leader role initiates this process themselves, they can immediately approve the escalation.
Responses & Closing a Need
When someone from your church's response team responds to a request, two emails are sent simultaneously.
- The person who responded receives a Confirmation and Thank You email. This email lets them know who the Church Needs Leader is and lets them know to expect to be contacted about next steps.
- The Church Needs Leader also receives an email where the responder's contact information and message is provided. The leader's next step is to connect with the responder and ensure the need is met.
The final step is to close the need out. 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.
Did you know?
- If your church Enables a CarePortal Fund and has an active CarePortal Card, responders would be able to give financially into the Fund, which could be directed by your church leaders toward covering your Church-Entered Needs!
- Becoming a Connecting Church with an active CarePortal Card would, likewise, give your responders the ability to contribute financially, but directly in the process of responding to the need itself rather than making a general gift that can later be directed toward needs that are entered.