Immanuel Lutheran Church is a mid-size church located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. In addition to being a church, Immanuel Lutheran is also a school for children from preschool through 8th grade. As computers and technology become more prevalent in religious organizations, they fully recognized the importance of effective web-based communication tools. The church and school needed an easy, user-friendly, cost-effective way to support their membership and reach out into the community they serve. We recently caught up with Dave Brazzle, church Elder, about their use of Formstack.
FS: How do you use our online form builder application?
We were able to leverage the intuitive user interface and powerful features almost immediately. We use Formstack extensively for VBS enrollment, volunteer sign-up, Sunday School enrollment, Confirmation enrollment, school surveys, employment applications, and more! Truth be told, we have more ideas than forms!
FS: What do you like best about the product?
We love how easy it is to build a form and all of the optional power that one needs to do what they want. As is often the case within a church, available technical and clerical resources can be limited, but the need to gather information isn’t. Formstack provides efficient creation of forms, handles confirmation and notification emails to the correct individuals, and maintains a database of the submissions. It all works perfectly to maximize ministry and minimize personal staff loading.
FS: How has Formstack solved an organizational issue?
We were looking for an elegant solution for managing communications with our members/community and enabling our ministries, boards, and teachers to communicate their message without over-burdening our time limited technical staff. A natural outgrowth of these requirements was the need for a simple but powerful solution to online form creation and management. We found the perfect trio of Formstack (online registration, inquiries, surveys), Highrise (contact management), and Backpack (ministry/teacher web-based communication). It’s amazing how seamlessly these products all work together, far exceeding their individual abilities.
FS: What features do you find most helpful?
There are so many that it is very difficult to choose. My favorites include web-based review and optional downloading of submissions, conditional logic for contextually altering the form’s presentation, smart routing of the notification and confirmation emails so that the rightful owner of the form is contextually notified based on responses in the form, the iPhone application, and the list goes on!
FS: Any words of wisdom for other users?
We would definitely love to help out other churches who want to know more about what we are doing and how we do it. If you have any interest, please contact Michael Marzelli, Director of Technology, at marzelli at ilcp dot org.
Want to learn more about Immanuel Lutheran’s use of Highrise and Backpack? Check out their post on the 37 Signals Product Blog to learn more about how they are using all three products together!