First of all, the whole of the ChurchInsight team would like to thank you for your continued custom over the months and years. We are so privileged to work with you.
In this challenging time, we thank you for all you are doing in supporting those in your community and being the hands and feet of Jesus.
Please do contact us on email@example.com if you would like help with your website, admin or communication so we can support you through this time. We are here to serve you and will do our best to make sure that happens.
Did you know, we meet as a team every morning, and pray for our work, our own lives and for you, our customers?
I want to update you on a few things related to the impact of COVID-19 and its impact on our company and the service we provide.
We are taking proactive measures towards the control of exposure to the virus and the safety of our customers and employees is of paramount importance to us.
We already have staff working productively from home, and are very well set up for this to be rolled out to all employees as and when required.
Our phone system is in the cloud, and forwards where required. We can't transfer calls that are forwarding to personal mobiles and landlines but, where needed, we will take your number and get the appropriate person to call you back.
We are not holding face to face meetings, but instead using Skype and Google Meet.
If any of our staff contract the virus, we do not anticipate issues with our service, but customer support may take a touch longer than usual. The support phone and inbox will continue to be monitored.
Our data centre is managed by a third party who are taking their own precautions in regard to COVID-19 to ensure continuity of service.
Managing media, streaming, and related costs
Uploading media is a great way to have people who were not able to attend, updated with your news and sermons.
If you have not thought about this before, you can start getting set up now. When you have your recording as a media file, this is how you upload it to your website.
Up until now, ChurchInsight has had a very generous fair usage policy for media storage (the amount of storage space your audio and video files take up on our server) and transfer (the amount of data that is transferred from our server to the person listening/watching). The current allowance is 50GB of storage, and 50GB of transfer, with a charge of 75p for every 1GB you go over the limit. These overage charges are to avoid a few customers that use a vast amount of media individually, bringing in overall price increases for all customers.
As we expect most churches' usage to increase due to COVID-19 measures, and to help you over the coming months, as a temporary measure we are doubling the free usage allowance for both storage and transfer, and slashing the overage charges as follows: .
Storage allowance: 100GB
Extra Storage charge: 3p per 1GB
Transfer allowance: 100GB
Extra Storage charge: 10p per 1GB
We hope this helps at this uncertain time, and we will continue to monitor this over the coming months to see how things are going. We hope to make usage data more readily available to you in the Web Office in the coming months.
If you are concerned about your media costs, please let us know, and we will take the time to help and explain this to you.
There are a number of excellent (and free) services which could help you to continue to stay connected to your members and wider communities during this time:
YouTube live streaming
Digital Marketing company "HubSpot" has a guide on how to set this up here
This is a very popular video conferencing tool, which has a free option for up to 100 participants. There’s a limitation of 40 minutes per call on the free package but Zoom have been lifting this in some circumstances during the coronavirus outbreak.
This is a very useful option for small group meetings - it’s very easy to set up and no sign-in is required. You can have a (more or less!) unlimited number of people in a meeting - but you can’t stop people speaking so it’s more suited to discussion groups than large services.
Google Hangouts Meet
Tried and tested and works for up to 25 participants. Participants can join easily on any device using a link.
Event ticket refunds
We know that many of you have used ChurchInsight processing to take money for events that you have been planning. You may now, or soon be having to offer refunds for these tickets. If you do, please read the information below to help you understand how the finance for refunds works.
Your ChurchInsight Processing (CiP) Account takes payments for your website users when they book a ticket. The fee for the transaction comes to us, and we pass on the net amount that gets paid into your bank account. We call the payment to your bank account a "payout".
When you make a refund to someone, they get the money sent back into their bank account. Your CiP account then has a negative balance on it. Payouts are suspended until your positive balance is restored - this normally occurs naturally because you are continuing to take other payments though your website. No money is taken out of your bank account.
If your balance remains negative for an extended period, we will be in touch to arrange for funds to be paid back to us so we can get your account back on track.
As measures are taken to slow the spread of the virus, churches will likely experience lower income from offering baskets on Sundays.
ChurchInsight can take donations online at a low rate of just 1.9% + 15p per transaction using our ChurchInsight Processing feature.
This is one way that you carry on receiving money while your service attendance may be reduced.
You can read more about our Giving features at https://churchinsight.com/finance.
If you would like to get started with this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will help you get up and running.
Best Wishes to you, your church and families.