Setting up Auto-Integration With ParishCast
Note: You will need to call HGS support to get the transfer tool installed for the following to work properly (888.988.5884 x1).
Create a ParishCast folder on your desktop
Create the list of all your Members:
This step will create a list of all possible individuals that you'd like to communicate with.
- Navigate to the Member List in ConnectNow Family Directory
- Set the filters to be what you'd like. For example, all members with a status of Active, whether they are part of a Registered family or not. (that would capture Religious Education families, for example). If the member isn't in this list, you will not be able to communicate with them using ParishCast.
- Click the Excel icon on the Member List. That will download a CSV of all the members according to the filters that you set.
- If necessary, rename the file to be "MemberList.csv". Depending on your operating system settings, you may not see the file extension of ".csv". If that is the case, just change it to "MemberList"
- Copy that file into the ParishCast folder that you created in the first step.
Create groups in Member Workgroups in ConnnectNow
If you're not sure how to do that, check out this video: How to create Workgroups
We recommend creating groups for various constituencies in your parish that you might need to communicate with; All Members, Religious Ed Parents and Students, Registered Members, etc.
Create in ParishCast all the groups that you'd to be able to send communications to.
The group names in Family Directory-Member Workgroups and ParishCast need to match exactly for the import to work properly. If you're not sure how to create a group in ParishCast, please contact ParishCast support at 888.988.5884 x1
Export your Member Workgroups:
- Choose a group from the list on the left, and click on the excel icon to export the group as a CSV file
- Rename the CSV file to "MemberWorkGroup.csv" if necessary.
- If necessary, rename the file to be "MemberList.csv". Depending on your operating system settings, you may not see the file extension of ".csv". If that is the case, just change it to "MemberWorkGroup"
- If you want to save steps when you are updating many groups at once, you can combine the contents of several MemberWorkGroup exports into one file. Just be sure that you only have one set of column headers at the top of the file. You can copy and paste the data from one file to the other.
- Copy the MemberWorkGroup.csv file into the ParishCast folder that you created in the first step.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Every time you upload a new MemberList, it will overwrite whatever information is in ParishCast with what is in the export file. This is desired and expected but there are a couple use cases worth pointing out:
- If a staff person has made changes to a cell phone or other contact information for a member already in ParishCast, that change will be overwritten by whatever the original contact information is as it is stored in ConnectNow. Put another way, ConnectNow is the system of record, not ParishCast.
- If a member is in the MemberList export, but not in ParishCast, that member will be created in ParishCast. They will not be a part of any groups unless you add them to the groups (either through the ParishCast interface or by adding them to your Member Workgroups in ConnectNow, then exporting and uploading a MemberWorkGroups file)
- If a member exists in ParishCast but is NOT in the newly created MemberList, then they will be removed/deleted from ParishCast. This is the mechanism through which you don't have people who move away still being communicated with. (For example, their Member Status would change from Active, or their family registration status would change, which would affect the next MemberList export that you do)
- Because of the above items, we recommend setting some kind of schedule where you routinely export both the MemberList and MemberWorkgroups to keep your ParishCast data reasonably up-to-date.
What to expect:
The software installed by HGS runs as a service. It will poll the ParishCast folder about every minute. When a file shows up it will be sent to HGS servers for processing. Another service on the HGS server detects the file and imports the data. The total time from moving the file to the ParishCast folder to the account being updated will normally take about 10 minutes. When the process is complete it will email a brief summary of the import to an email address provided by the customer.