I’ve had a couple of church leaders ask me about our experience with changing over from Fellowship One (F1) to Church Community Builder. So, I thought I would share our experience for those of you who might be contemplating this change.
We made a move from F1 to Church Community Builder early last year. I have to say that Fellowship Technologies was very helpful with the process of doing the data migration from them to Church Community Builder, and they were very gracious despite the fact that they were losing our business.
They do charge you, however, for the migration itself as you might expect. In our case, we didn’t have our ducks in a row as it related to giving records. We continued to enter giving into F1 for a while after the data migration, necessitating a second migration when we were ready to move giving data input over. We decided not to spend the money on the second migration, though, and just provided two statements to 2011 givers. It was a bit of a pain but worked out OK.
It’s a little problematic because you really can’t start entering giving information into the new system until you have the data moved over. So everything has to happen all at once. I would suggest you talk to both system providers and have your plan well ironed out and ready to execute before the migration.
Of course, there are a few other subtleties related to the differences in how the two databases are structured. Not to worry, though. Church Community Builder has one of the best training infrastructures I’ve ever seen!
I can tell you this; the move was well worth it. Our staff and, more to the point, the congregation has embraced the new system. Hundreds of people attending our church now have logins and are actively in community online with each other and the church staff.
Probably one of the most significant improvements or “positive changes” we’ve experienced relates to online giving. Before the change, about 15% of our total offering each weekend came from online giving. Now (as of February 2012) the online portion of weekly giving is at 27% and still climbing steadily. And, the portion of online gifts that are “repeating” (or “scheduled” using F1 language) has increased from about 15% to more than 50%! That means the majority of gifts given online are from giving schedules set up in Church Community Builder. That’s HUGE! I believe the reason for this is the fact that people are getting logins and getting into the system for reasons other than giving, and once they’re in, they notice how easy and convenient it is to give online.