What IT systems would Jesus use?
May 23, 2008 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a IT consultant for a largish-church in NYC - please help?

Asking for a friend, who manages media / communications for a large church in NYC. They need to conduct and evaluation of their current hardware / software environment for:

1) Church office internal systems
2) Church website hosting / management / design (site already exists but they want to pursue some new direction as well as plan an intranet)
3) Data storage / security / etc.

Further, they need to develop a strategy / vision for where their systems need to be in the future for more optimized operations.

The church currently has ~15,000 "clients" (for lack of a better word) that it communicates with regularly through snail and virtual methods, and does not feel their systems are up to speed with what they need for management of information exchange (church communications, demographic surveys of the clients, etc.). The data in its current state is fragmented, with some departments having certain information but others not having access to it, etc..

The church is looking to contract an IT Consultant that can help them with this evaluation and strategy development. I work in consulting but my firm deals primarily with large (for-profit) clients, so what we're looking here for specifically is a consultancy / firm that works with smaller clients, and (if possible) for non-profits in particular.

There's no formal RFP in process yet, they're just currently looking for someone capable for this effort before confirming scope / budget / scheduling. Any ideas?

posted by allkindsoftime to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
3 links over from AskMeFi is MeFi Jobs :)
posted by Mach5 at 1:04 PM on May 23, 2008

Sounds like a huge project with no a possibly very small budget?
posted by SirStan at 5:40 PM on May 23, 2008

Best answer: You might want to contact the folks at ACS Technologies and see if they have any consultants in the area. I used their systems at a rather large church and found them to be very well-suited to integrating the data management, book keeping, outreach and other functions.
posted by jeanmari at 6:23 PM on May 23, 2008

Response by poster: Sounds like a huge project with no a possibly very small budget?

Paying industry rates won't be an issue, they have the funds to support this project.
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:04 PM on May 23, 2008

Best answer: I was in a hurry last night, here's some more info on my familiarity with ACS. We used ACS' People, Financial, Volunteer and Report Designer. I loved these solutions because they really were designed with the quirky needs of churches in mind. The designated funds, the committee reporting, the giving statements, the liturgical holidays, the spiritual gifts component of volunteering, etc. Because it was integrated with various levels of access, multiple departments could use the same set of data but access it differently. This eliminated repetitive data entry and reporting. Their support services were excellent.

Now, I'm helping to set up a smaller church and I'm having to cobble together Quickbooks for Not for Profit, separate online services, Excel, etc. And it is complicated and frustrating. Churches have different needs than your generic not for profit and Quickbooks just doesn't cut it for reporting. Attendance and ministry and designated funds and such all have to be kept separately. Data has to be transferred between departments again Augh. I miss a system like ACS these days.
posted by jeanmari at 4:26 AM on May 24, 2008

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