KofC Council Site Support

FAQs

Your first stop should be our listing of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Below you will find the answers to the most common questions and directions to complete most tasks on your council website.

Contact Support

If you cannot find the answer to your question in the FAQs, your next step is to open a support ticket. Your question will be assigned to a staff member who will assist you.

Open Support Ticket

View Open Tickets

You can also view your current and past support tickets to review answers or update us on your progress.

View Support Tickets

Feature Request

Have a suggestion or feature request? Feel free to send them to us and we will give them due consideration.

Submit Feature Request

49 FAQs

  • Access Your Dashboard

    You can access your council's website dashboard by browsing to one of the following links:

    1. https://####.knights.church/admin - Replace #### with your council number.
    2. https://yourcouncildomain.com/admin - Replace with your actual domain followed by /admin.

    Enter your email address and password on the login page presented.

    Your initial password will be the same password used to access our billing system when you signed up.

    *NOTE* As the initial administrator you will use your email address and password to log in.  Before you upload your first membership list, you will not be able to use your membership number.  After you upload your members you may use either your email address or your membership number.

    You will now be taken to your site dashboard which looks like this:

  • Explore Your Dashboard

    Once logged in, you may explore your council's website dashboard.

    There are three parts to the dashboard.

    First, the Admin Bar is located at the top of the dashboard.  From here you can access any additional sites you adminster on our platform, view your council site, add new items, change your screen options, and log out.  You can also see your name and email address.  The Admin Bar looks like this:

    On the left you will see the Main menu.  From here you can access every aspect of your site.

    Finally, the main content area is located in the center of the screen.  When you first log in you will see information about your site and this area will display the content of each menu item.

    You will notice the top of the main area has a handy Getting Started box.  From here you can access this help centre, submit a support ticket, and access the most common startup tasks.

  • Set/Update Council Information

    The first thing you should do after logging into your dashboard for the first time is to enter your council's information.  When you do this, your new website will automatically be updated to show this information instead of the demo content.  Anytime you update this information, it will be automatically displayed on your council's site.

    To update your council information follow these steps:

    1. Login to the dashboard.
    2. Move your mouse over the "Council Info" item on the Main Menu.
    3. Click "General".
    4. Fill in the form that appears with your actual council information.  There are 4 tabs on this page.
    5. Click the "Update" button (top right).

    Now go to your council website, and you will notice the contact information at the bottom of each page has automatically been updated.

  • Upload Membership List

    Your council site will not fully function without a list of your membership.  The following features require your members list to work:

    1. Members' Area
    2. Officers List
    3. Contact Forms
    4. Dues Payments

    We recommend uploading your membership listing about once each month.  If your Financial Secretary makes this part of his monthly preparation for your general meeting this should be fairly simple.  However, you may want to consider uploading more or less based on how much your membership list changes.  If you know a number of new Knights have just been entered into the Supreme system you may want to do an early update so they can access the members area.

    Do not worry, you do not have to type in the information for each member!  Instead, you download your listing from the Supreme Officers Online system and upload into your council website.

    To upload your membership list, login to your council dashboard and follow these steps:

    1. Move your mouse over the “Users” item on the Main Menu.
    2. Click “Update Membership”.
    3. Your will see a screen like this

      This screen will display detailed instructions explaining how to obtain and upload your membership list.  We have also listed them below.

    Download Roster from Supreme

    To get your membership roster from Supreme have your Grand Knight or Financial Secretary follow these steps:

    1. Go to www.kofc.org
    2. Find the "Sign In" link near the top right.
    3. Use your credentials to log into the Officers Online system.
    4. Click on "Member Management".
    5. Select "Live".
    6. Click on "Print Center - MM" near the top right.
    7. Click "Data Extract Tool" on the left menu.
    8. Click "Website Support".
    9. Click the "Active Members" button.
    10. Click "Get Extract".
    11. Click "Click Here to Open".
    12. Save the file to your desktop or somewhere you will remember.

    If you are not the Grand Knight or Financial Secretary, have them do the above and send you the file.

    IMPORTANT: Do not open the file. Some computers will change the file when opened and the next steps will not work. Finish the steps below and then open the file if needed.

    Upload Membership List

    After you have obtained your Website Extract complete the next steps to import it to your site.

    1. Use the controls at the top of this page to select the file you saved to your computer.
    2. Click the "Upload Members" button.
    3. Wait for the upload to complete.
    4. After the import is completed you will see a white box appear with the results. It will tell you how many members were added, removed, or updated.
    5. Congratulations, your membership roster and your website are now in sync.

    After completing the above steps you will see a box at the top of the screen with your results.  It should look like this:

    Please note, the numbers displayed will be different each time you update your membership list depending on how many members have updates, are new, or are being removed.

    If you see an error, your membership may not have imported correctly.  Please follow the instructions listed with the error and try again or use the link at the bottom of the screen to open a support ticket and we would be happy to assist you.  Please attach your update file to the ticket, so we can determine what happened and correct the issue.

  • Add Council Officers

    By entering your Officers' information, your council's website will be automatically updated to display your current officers.  You should do this every time new officers take office.

    1. Login to the dashboard.
    2. Move your mouse over the “Council Info” item on the Main Menu.
    3. Click "Officers List"
    4. Complete the form with your council's current officers.
    5. Click the "Update" button in the top right.

    You will see the following fields for each officer:

    • Full Name - This drop down menu will have a list of your Council's members.  Start typing a name to search or scroll to select the person currently holding that office.
    • Photo - You can upload a photo of the officer to be displayed on your site.  If no photo is uploaded, the placeholder photo is used.
    • Publish - You can choose whether or not to publish each officer's phone number on your website.  Click to the box to publish it.  You should get permission from each officer before doing this.
      Note: Email addresses for Officers are not displayed.  Instead a "Send Message" button is displayed which will take the user to a contact form.  This form will be sent to that Officer.

    Additionally, you will see a "Photo Placeholder" at the top of the form.  By default this is a shadow figure, but you can delete the image and change it to something else if you please.

    IMPORTANT - You must select your Grand Knight and Financial Secretary.  The Dues Payment system and some contact forms require their email addresses to work.

    Photos: When you upload a photo you will be forced to crop it to the correct size.  A dialogue box will show you the cropped size with a dotted line.  You can drag the box to centre the officers face in the final image.

  • Set Council Dues and Special Email Destinations

    This step is optional; however, it is highly recommended. Start by:

    1. Login to the dashboard.
    2. Move your mouse over the “Council Info” item on the Main Menu.
    3. Click “Dues and Emails”.
    4. You will see a page with two tabs.  One for Dues and one for Emails.

    Dues

    You can enter the amounts of your annual dues for regular and honorary members here.  Doing so will pre-populate the dues payment form when a logged in member makes a payment.

    Please Note: Members can still override the amount they pay.  This will allow them enter a custom amount if they have a smaller amount due, or have past due amounts to pay as well.  The form recommends they cheque their amount on their membership dues invoice from the Financial Secretary.

    You can also enter surcharge amount your council has decided to apply to online payments.  You do not have to set a surcharge.  If you do set one, it will be displayed to your members when they complete the dues payment form.

    Notice: Your payment forms will not appear on your site until you have completed the "Stripe Payments" setup.  Stripe is the payments provider that charges your members credit cards.  Until you setup your stripe account, your dues payment page will display a message directing members to you Financial Secretary instead.

    Emails

    Your council website send emails for a variety of purposes.  Most are pre-configured to go to certain officers.  For example, Dues Payments always go to the Financial Secretary.  However, there are a few emails that you may want to direct to certain people, or even multiple people.  You can set these on the Emails tab.

    You can specify which members will receive the Membership Request form submissions and the Event Request submissions.  When a prospective member completes the "I want to join" form their request will be sent to the members selected in the first box.

    When a member submits a request to publish an event from the Members' Area an Executive level member must approve it before it is published to your council website.  You can select the members you would like to be notified about new event requests in the second box.  They will receive an email notifying them of the new event and provided a link to review and publish the event.  Please note: only members who have Executive level access to your council site can approve events, so only their names will appear in the list.  See our other FAQ's for information on Access Levels.

    Do not forget to click the click the "Update" button (top right) when you are done.

  • Membership Roles/Access Control

    The ability to allow various members the ability to access and edit your site is a powerful tool.

    By default only the person who setup your council website has access to the dashboard and the ability to modify and update your council site.

    You can allow additional members access to various parts of your dashboard by granting the new roles.  Your council site has four roles and each has specific capabilities:

    1. Council Administrator
      • Full control of council website.  Can access everything, including assigning membership roles.
    2. Executive Members (Can be anyone assigned - Does not have to be a Council Officer)
      Has full access to your dashboard except for the following:

      • Creating or Editing Contact Forms (View Only Enabled)
      • Uploading Membership List
      • Assigning User Roles
      • Officers Management and “Dues and Emails” settings page (Council Management)
      • Stripe Online Payment Settings
    3. Editing Members
      Only have access to the following:

      • News Posts
      • Memoriams and Awards
      • Events (They can create events, but not approve other members' events – This requires Executive Level or above)
      • Photo Galleries and Media
    4. Members
      • Only have access to the Members' Area of the main site.
      • Can only access the "Events" system on the dashboard and only for events they created or submitted.  Their events will require approval before they appear on the council website.

    Most of your members will be in the Members category.  You should consider adding one or two additional Council Administrators.  These should be members that are familiar and comfortable with type of application as they have the greatest potential of disrupting your site.

    Then you can put as many members as your council sees fit into the Editor and Executive levels based on your councils needs.  Often Program and Committee Chairs will be added as Editors, so they can add events and post news stories.

    Note: You must have at least one Council Administrator.  The system will not let you remove the last administrator.  If you will no longer will be an administrator, you should add a new administrator and then have them remove you.  The moment you remove yourself, you will loose your access.  While the system should not let you remove all administrators, if it does somehow happen, or if you no longer have access to the person who was the only administrator please contact our support team.  We can set any person who is currently listed as an officer on your site as the new administrator.  This is why we recommend having two or more.

    To add and remove members from these roles do the following:

    1. Login to the dashboard.
    2. Move your mouse over the “Members” item on the Main Menu.
    3. Click “Membership Roles”
    4. You will see a screen with an explanation of the various roles, and boxes for each of the administration roles at the bottom.
    5. Click in each box and select the member you would like to add.
    6. Click the small "x" to remove a member from a role.
    7. Click the "Update" button (top right).

    Note: While you can add a member to more than box, only the highest level will actually be used.

  • Updating Member Info

    It is not possible to update a member's information directly in our system.  Each time you upload a Supreme membership list, each members data is overwritten with the most recent Supreme data.  To update a member's information, please have the Grand Knight, Financial Secretary, or an Insurance Agent update their contact information in the Supreme Officers Online system, then upload a new membership list to your council website.

  • Members' Area, About Us Page, and Programs Page

    Your council website has three pages can be customized:

    • Members' Area
    • About Us
    • Programs

    To modify these pages:

    1. Login to the dashboard.
    2. Move your mouse over the “Council Info” item on the Main Menu.
    3. Click “Page Content”
    4. A page will be displayed with two tabs:
      1. Members' Area, and
      2. Other Pages
    5. Edit the information on each tag as you wish.  See below for more information about each page.
    6. Click the "Update" button (top right).

    Members' Area

    On the Members' Area tab you can customize three different sections of the page.

    First you can modify the custom welcome message your members will see.  This message is displayed on a blue background just under the personal greeting on the Members' Area page as shown here.

    To add a welcome message just type your message into the text box.  You can format your text just like a word processor, and you can even add images and links.

    In the next section, you can upload an electronic copy of your council's bylaws.  If you do not have a copy might be able to get one from Supreme. Have your Grand Knight check the Officers Online system.  Alternately, you can type up your own unofficial version and upload them.  If nothing is uploaded, this section will not be visible in the Members' Area.

    Finally, you can add an unlimited number of custom message, news items, or files for your members.  Do the following in the bottom section of the page.

    1. Click the "Add Item" button if no sections are visible.
    2. Select "Message" or "Upload Document".
    3. Complete the text box or form that is displayed.

    For a Message, the text box is the same as the one used above for your welcome message.

    If you want to make a document available to your members, the upload document option will ask you to name the document and select the file from your computer.

    Note: You can add as many sections as you wish and you will see they will be numbered numerically.  To move sections you can click and drag the bar with the section's number.  If you move your mouse to the far right of the bar with the section number small "+" and "-" signs will appear.  Use these to delete the section, or add another section there.

    Remember: Do not forget to push the "Update" button (top right) when you are done!

    Other Pages

    If you click on the "Other Pages" tab, you will be able to edit the custom content on the "About Us" page and the "Programs" page.

    The first text box displayed is the "Council History" box.  Any text added here will be added partway down the "About Us" page just below your council name, number, charter date, and parish affiliation.

    The second text box will edit the text which appears after the large black section on the "Programs" page.  You can enter anything you want, but we suggest you highlight your council's main programs.  You can add as much text, images, photo galleries, links, and YouTube videos as you wish.

    Again, do not forget to click the "Update" button.

  • First News Post

    Your council website came pre-loaded with a Welcome News Post.  You can see it on your home page, or on the news page.

    You can leave it exactly the way it is, or you can modify it as you see fit.  To edit the post in your dashboard do the following:

    1. Login to the dashboard.
    2. Move your mouse over the “News” item on the Main Menu.
    3. Click “All News”.
    4. A page will display with all your news posts.  If this is your first visit, there will only be one titled "Welcome to our new website!".
    5. Click on the title of the post you would like to edit.
    6. You will now see the editor.
    7. You can change the post Title and the main body of the post.
    8. The text editor works much like any word processor.  You can change font sizes, colours, and add lists, images, and more.  For more information search these FAQs for the Editor FAQ.
    9. Edit the post to include your content.
    10. On the right hand side you will see options to set:
      1. Category - You can select a category label for your post.
      2. Tags - You can tag your post with any keywords you feel appropriate.
    11. Once you are done click the "Update" button near the top right.
    12. The page will reload and you will see a message with a link to view your post.

    Note: You will note that the first post has some funny looking text like [gr_council field='council_name'].  These are special pieces of code which are used to display things like your council name and number.  We use them so this post displays the correct information once you have finished setting up your site.

    Video Demonstration

    Want to see this in action?  Watch our Video Tutorials!

  • I have finished all the Getting Started steps, now what?

    Congratulations.  At this point you have a fully functioning council website.  Now would be a good time to send an email to all your members and let them know!

    We would encourage you to browse some of the other features of your dashboard.  Most operate very similarly to the News posts you just worked with.

    First, you might want to search the FAQs for more details on how to use the text editor you find on many of the pages.  You already saw it on the News post page and some of the Council Info pages.  If you would like to learn more about how to use it, and how to insert photos, galleries and the like, this would be a good place to start.

    Checkout the following sections in the dashboard menu:

    • Memoriams - Create Obituaries for deceased members
    • Awards - Broadcast the winners of your Knight of the Month/Year, and Family of the Month/Year
    • Minutes - Publish your council meeting minutes
    • Events - advertise upcoming events
    • Resources - create a listing of links to local resources

    You can find detailed instructions for each in the other FAQ categories.

    After you have checked all that out, we would suggest checking out three of the more advanced features:

    • Media - manage images and documents
    • Forms - See the submissions made with your contact, join us, dues payment, and other forms.  Advanced users can create their own forms such as bursary applications and insert them into posts.

    Finally, before you are able to collect dues payments or sell event tickets you must create a "Stripe" payments account and set it up.  We have a whole category of FAQs just on Stripe.

    Most of the components are straightforward and logical.  For instance if you move your mouse over the awards menu item you have two options: All Recipients and Add New Recipient.  Most of the other features are the same.  When you click the Add New option you will be presented with a screen with fields to completely add the item.  Which fields you see will be different depending on what you are adding.

    As always,  if you ever have a question, concern, or issue please check the FAQ's first, and then please open a new support ticket.  Just go to the "Get Help" menu item on the left.

  • News Posts

    News is where you go to post news stories on your council website.

    • After publishing a news story, it will be displayed on your council's Home page and on the News page.
    • The six most recent news posts will be displayed on the Home page.
    • The 20 most recent posts will be displayed on the News page, with links to look up older posts by month and year.
    • You can assign categories to your stories which can be used to filter News on the News page.

    To access the News Posts interface click "News" on the main menu.  You will see a screen like this:

    In this example, only the welcome post exists.  As you add more news stories they will appear here.

    If you move your mouse over the title of a news item you will see more options appear just beneath it.  To edit a post click the title.

    Click the "Add New" button at the top of the page to add a new news post.

    On the next screen you prepare you post, select any categories you would like to assign it and click publish.  You also have options to preview the post and to save it without publishing.  This way you can prepare an announcement to publish on a later date.

    Video Demonstration

    Want to see this in action?  Watch our Video Tutorials!

  • Text/Visual Editor

    The text editor is found on many pages of your dashboard.  Pictured below, it is used to edit almost every aspect of your council website.

    At the top of the editor you will find the Special Action buttons.  Use the "Add Media" button to add a photo, image, or other file to your post.  You can use the "Add Form" to display one of your contact forms within the post.  Check out the FAQs on forms to find out how you can create your own custom purpose forms.

    Next you will see the formatting buttons.  These are very similar to what you would find in a word processor.  We recommend you watch our video demonstrations to learn about each button.

    Finally, you have the text entry area.  This is where you type your post and format to display as you see fit.

    Please note: The editor gives you a general preview of what your text will look like.  However, it might appear different on your site.  Particularly if you use the dropdown box to selects headings.  You should always use the preview button to see how it actually looks.

    Video Demonstration

    Want to see this in action?  Watch our Video Tutorials!

  • Images, Media, and Photo Galleries

    Your council website has a built in media manager which can display or present images, photos, and pdf files to your viewers.  It can also create image galleries to display in a post.  This is great if you want to show a group photos along side a news story about your latest community event!

    You can access the media system in two ways:

    1. Click "Media" in the main menu.
    2. Click the "Add Media" button above the text editor on any page where you can edit posts.

    The best way to learn about these features is with our Video Tutorials; however, if you require any assistance, please open a support ticket.  We would be happy to assist you.

    Video Demonstration

    Want to see this in action?  Watch our Video Tutorials!

  • Memoriams - What are they and how do I create them?

    Memoriams are permanent obituaries placed on your council website in memory of deceased Brother Knights.  You can add historical entries or start from today; whichever way, you will honour those who served their council in this life as they continue to do so from the next.

    You can view memoriams in two places:

    1. Your council home page - The 2 most recently published memoriams are displayed.
    2. The "Memoriams" page under the "About Us" menu - All memoriams are displayed.

    You can publish new memoriams by selecting the "Memoriams" item in the main menu.

    You can see a list of past memoriams to edit, or you can click the "Add New Memoriam" button at the top of your screen.

    You then enter the Brother's name, an obituary or other memorial, their dates of birth and death, and their highest achieved degree.  You can also upload a photo of the deceased Brother if you wish.

    Note: if you do not upload a photo, the emblem of the Order will be displayed for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree Knights, while a 4th Degree emblem will be displayed for 4th degree Knights.

    Note: if you do upload a photo, you may need to edit it to the correct size.  In general if the photo is portrait oriented (taller than it is wide), the system will scale it down, so it fits properly.  Ideally the photo should be at least 200 pixels tall.

    Do not forget to press the "Publish" or "Update" button near the top right of the page.

  • Awards

    Awards is the place you can publish the recipients of your council's Family/Knight of the Month/Year.  Recognizing the hard work of Brother Knights is important and easy to do on your council website.

    Awards are published in two places:

    1. On the council home page - The 2 most recent awards are displayed.
    2. On the "Awards" page under the "Resources" menu - all awards are displayed.

    To publish an award, login to your dashboard and click on the "Awards" item in the main menu.

    You can see a list of past awards to edit, or you can click the "Add New Recipient" button at the top of your screen.

    From the entry screen you can enter the Knights full name for individual awards or the Family name for family awards.

    Then enter any information about the recipient(s) you would like to publish.

    Finally, you can enter the date awarded, which award it was, and you may upload a photo if you choose.

    Note: If you upload a photo it will replace the image of the emblem of the Order.  Alternately, you can place an image in the main text area if you prefer.

    Do not forget to press the "Publish" or "Update" button near the top right of the page.

  • Dues

    Your council website is capable of collecting dues.  For details on setting up your site to do so, please see the other FAQs in this category.

    Once set up, your members simply follow these steps to pay their dues:

    1. Go to your council website.
    2. Click the "Pay Membership Dues" link under the "Resources" menu.
    3. (Optional)The form prompts members to login.  While this is optional, it will pre-fill some form information.
    4. Fill out the form displayed.
      Note: Members who are logged in will have their name, email, membership number, and telephone number automatically filled in.  Also, the amount will be pre-filled based on their membership type if you have set this up.

    5. After the member clicks the "Submit Dues Payment" button the following will happen:
      1. Stripe will process their credit card payment.
      2. If successful, the member will be shown a confirmation and emailed a receipt.
        • If not successful an error message will be displayed to the member.
      3. A notice will be sent to your Financial Secretary with the details of the payment that looks like this:

        This email has everything your FS needs to enter the payment into the Membership Management System with Supreme.  Note that there is a Payment/Cheque Number near the top which can be used as a unique identifier in the Supreme accounting system.
      4. The Financial Secretary should confirm the member information (name and membership number match) and update the members record.  And of course, he should issue a new membership card.

    You have full control of the payments and can process refunds.  Please see the other FAQs in this category for more information

  • Resources Page - How does it work? How do I add more links?

    The "Resources" page is a place to put links to other website you feel are relevant to your council.  This might include your local parish and diocese, Catholic schools, community agencies, and much more.

    When you visit your "Resources" page you will see a set of links titled "Knights of Columbus Resources" at the top of the page.  Each link is in a large circle.

    These links are controlled by Grassroots Hosting.  We curate a set of links directly related to the Knights of Columbus.  If you think we are missing a link please contact us and we would be happy to consider your suggestion.

    Note: These links may change over time as we find new resources.

    You can add your own set of council links beneath them by accessing the "Resources/Links" item from the main menu in the dashboard.

    The interface is similar to adding news posts, but instead you add "Lists"  Click "New List" to add your first set of links.  On the next page you can set the list title and add as many links as you like.  Just click the "Add New" button and fill in the form.

    After you are done press the "Publish" or "Update" button to display your list on the "Resources" page.

  • How do I add a photo gallery to a post?

    Adding photo galleries is easy.  Just click the "Add Media" button above the text editor and then click the "Create Gallery" link on the left.  Follow the instructions and your gallery will be inserted into your post.

    Video Demonstration

    Want to see this in action?  Watch our Video Tutorials!

  • Is our council site secure? What about credit card details?

    Yes, your site is secured with commercial grade encryption.

    This may require a little explanation, so please bear with us for a moment.

    All council websites (in fact the entire Grassroots Hosting platform) operate over SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).  We currently use TLS, which is the most recent and secure version of SSL, to protect all data transmitted to and from our servers.

    It is important to note that we not only offer this on pages which require extra security like login pages and payment pages, we encrypt every transmission.  While Google and other leading internet companies encourage this, it is still not often implemented.

    In order to use SSL we must obtain secure certificates from a recognized certificate authority.  We do this on behalf of all councils.

    • Your knights.church branded address (e.g.: 00001.knights.church) is secured by our main certificate and is available with SSL as soon as your site is activated.
    • If you ordered a package with a custom domain (e.g.: www.yourcouncil.com), there is a little more work that is required.
      • If you ordered a new domain from us, we can generally add your domain to a certificate and switch you to authenticated SSL within 15 minutes.  However, due to the processes involved it could take up to 12 hours.
      • If you ordered your domain from another registrar or are transferring an existing domain to us, we will not be able to authenticate your domain with the certificate authority until after the transfer and/or setup of the domain is complete.  Again, this is generally about 15 minutes after the transfer completes, but could be longer.

    After you activate your council site you may notice your custom domain is not showing a padlock or other security symbol, is showing a broken padlock, or padlock with a red 'x', or get a warning that while the site is being encrypted the certificate is not valid for that site. Do not worry, this is because we use a special shared certificate system to keep costs down.  When we created your site, we placed it on a server with other council sites and applied the certificate.  As mentioned above, we are generally able to add your web address to this shared certificate in under 15 minutes.  Once this happens the warnings and errors will go away.

    You can tell if the page you are viewing is secured by SSL in a few ways:

    • A Padlock symbol (usually near the address bar at the top of your browser)
    • A green bar in the address bar
    • The website address begins with https (not http - s for secure) - In some browsers you may have to click the address bar to see the http or https.
      Note: different web browsers (Safari, Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, etc) look different and show the SSL status in slightly different ways.

    For a more complete explanation of how SSL works you can read more at:

    We regularly check our servers to ensure all SSL and TLS components are working properly.  We recently scored an A on the Qualys SSL Labs testing.  This is the same as www.google.com and www.amazon.com!

  • I am trying to login and it says I am locked out!

    We employ many security measures to ensure the safety and integrity of the data stored on our systems.  One way we do this is by blocking (and sometimes banning) the IP addresses (IP is like and internet phone number) of users who enter an incorrect username/password combination too many times.

    The first time a user does this (or if it has been a while since the last time) they will be blocked for a few minutes.  However, if repeated attempts to login with invalid credentials are made our system may ban them.  If you get one of these messages try again in 5 or 10 minutes.  If you get a message on all pages and not just the login screen or a message stating you have been banned, you will need to contact us in order to have the ban lifted and to determine why you were banned in the first place.

    It is extremely rare to be permanently locked out unless you are using automated software to try and log in (password managers are fine).  This is because "bots" are a common form of hacking.

  • What is Stripe?

    Stripe is the best way to accept payments online. They handle billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking businesses around the world.

    Stripe is responsible for connecting your website with your customers' banks and charging their credit cards.  After the charge has been verified Stripe will forward the funds collected (less any fees) directly to your council's bank account.

  • Is Stripe secure?

    Yes, Stripe meets or exceeds all Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and has been certified and audited as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider.  This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.

    However, the responsibility to protect payment information is shared between Stripe, Grassroots Hosting (as the server/platform provider), and your council.

    Grassroots Hosting has implemented every security requirement and recommendation made by Stripe.  These include things such as:

    • Using only SSL/TLS Encryption to transmit all sensitive data
    • Never storing credit card information on our servers
    • Using Tokenization - A process in which your customer's browser sends sensitive payment information directly to Stripe and your website/our servers never even see the information.

    Your council is responsible for the following:

    • Never collect or enter credit card information into the Stripe Dashboard directly.
    • Never collect and enter credit card information into your council website on behalf of another person or member.  Only the person making the payment should do this.
    • You should never have access to, see, or ask for any persons credit card information. - Note the exception is the last four digits of card which you can use to find transactions in the Stripe Dashboard.

    The general idea here is that PCI DSS is only as good as the people who have access to the information.  In the case of Stripe and Grassroots Hosting, the only person who has access to the card information is the person making the payment.  This means you do not have to worry about where you store paper records with payment information or what to do with emails containing credit card numbers.  All of those sort of things would require additional certification to be PCI DSS compliant.

  • How do we set up Stripe on our Council website?

    Setting Up Stripe is easy and can be completed in only a few simple steps.

    Start by logging into your council dashboard and then:

    1. Click on the "Stripe Payments" item in the main menu.
    2. You will see a page with these instructions.
      Note: You will need some information about yourself and your council before you can open an account.  You should collect this before proceeding. (See below).
    3. Click the blue "Connect with Stripe" button.
    4. You will be taken to a secure page on the Stripe servers, which will ask you to authorize Grassroots Hosting to process payments for your council.
    5. If your council does not yet have a Stripe account, complete the registration form displayed.  If you already have a Stripe account click the "Sign In" link located near the top right of the page.
    6. Click the "Authorize Access to this Account" or the "Connect my Stripe account" button to complete the process.
    7. You will be returned to your council dashboard and should see something like the following with your own unique account id. (Please note this id can only be used by Grassroots Hosting)

    If you are creating a new account, your account will be created with the information provided.  Stripe does complete some identity verification which may take some time.  However, you may begin processing transaction immediately, but the funds will not be paid to your council bank account until after the verification is complete.

    Required Information

    You will need the following information to open a Stripe Account:

    • Council Legal Name - In the US this should match the name on the IRS letter issuing your EIN number.
    • EIN (USA Only) - All councils in the US are required to obtain an EIN number and register it with Supreme.  Please contact the Supreme Advocate for assistance if you do not have an EIN.
    • Tax ID (Canada Only) - Generally, councils in Canada are not able to obtain a business or tax id.  Enter 000000000 (9 zeros).  We have already added an explanation to your application advising Stripe you are an exempt organization.
    • Business Address - Your council's mailing address.
    • Applicant Personal Info: (This info is used for identity verification and fraud prevention)
      • Your Personal Legal Name
      • Date of Birth
      • Last four digits of your SSN (USA), or SIN number (Canada - optional)
      • Additionally, you may be required to provide a photo of a Driver's License or other identification if automated verification can not be completed.
      • Your full address (Canada Only)
    • A contact phone number
    • Your council checking account information: (Find this on the bottom of a check)
      • For USA: Routing and Account Number
      • For Canada: Transit Number, Institution Number, and Account Number

    All of the above information is collected by Stripe in accordance with the laws of the country you operate in.

    After Submission

    You will receive some email(s) from Stripe about your account.  Please complete any tasks they may request.  Please note, for any questions about your Stripe account you should direct them to Stripe, as we only have limited access or ability to make changes.

    Your site is now setup and ready to process transactions.  However, there are a few more things you may want to do.  Please see the other FAQs in the Stripe Payments category for more information.

  • The Stripe Dashboard

    After you create an account for your council with Stripe, you will have access to their Dashboard.  In general, you will only need to access this dashboard to confirm the amount and date of transfers to your council bank account.  However, you can also:

    • Refund Credit Card Charges (Full or Partially)
    • Find transaction details
    • Update your council billing and contact information
    • Add additional users (FS, TR, GK etc) and assign access levels (Read Only or Higher)
    • Request assistance from Stripe
    • Set your receipt options
    • See you next and previous bank transfers
    • See the fees charged on each transaction
    • and more...

    To access the Stripe Dashboard go to https://dashboard.stripe.com and login with the credentials you used to setup the account.

    If you need assistance with the Stripe Dashboard you should check out Stripe's support at support.stripe.com.

    Now that you have accessed your Stripe Dashboard, you should check out the optional Stripe Setup Steps FAQ.

  • Optional Stripe Setup Steps

    If you have followed the steps to setup your Stripe account, you are ready to start excepting payments on your council site.  However, there are a few additional steps you may wish to complete.

    First, login to the Stripe Dashboard.

    Check Your Account Information and Customize Receipts
    1. On the left, click the "Business Settings" option near the bottom of the menu.
    2. Ensure the information displayed is accurate.
    3. Click the "Email receipts" item on the left.
    4. Select the "Refunds" check box and click "Save". (Note, your website already sends receipts for all successful payments, but you can select the option here to send a second)
    5. In the Customize design area add a logo - we recommend this file (Right Click the Emblem and Select Save Image/Save Photo or something similar).
    6. Enter "313C7D" into the color box to match the KofC blue.
    7. Click "Save design".
    Authorize Other Users to Access the Account
    1. Also from the "Business Settings" area of the Stripe Dashboard select "Team" from the menu.
    2. You can grant other Knights access to the council stripe account.  We recommend giving your current Financial Secretary "View and edit" access and your Treasurer "View only" access.  This will allow your FS to initiate refunds and view all transaction information, while your TR will only be able to view information for reconciliation purposes.  You may also want to add your Grand Knight.
    3. Click "+ New user" and complete the form.
    4. The new user will be sent an email inviting them create a Stripe account to access your council account.  All they need to provide is their name and a password.  They will then be able to access your council account.
    Set Pay Out Schedule

    Stripe will set your default payout schedule based on a number of variables.  If you are in Canada, you will likely be on a 7 day rolling schedule, and if you are in the USA you will likely be on a 2 day rolling schedule.  However, many councils find it easier to have payouts sent on a fixed date, such as every Tuesday.  To change your payout schedule:

    1. Login to the Stripe Dashboard.
    2. Click "Payouts" on the left menu.
    3. Click "Settings" near the top of the screen.
    4. You will see a screen with your active bank accounts and your Payout schedule.
    5. Select the "Automatic" option and set it every "week" on "Tuesday.

    Stripe will now batch together all payments received in the previous week and deposit them on Tuesday.  Please note, your first deposit may be delayed as long as 10 days while Stripe confirms account details.  For more information on the payout schedules and fund availability please contact Stripe.  If you go back the "Payouts" screen you will be able to see the dates of future payouts after charges have been completed.  Clicking on a payout will show you which charges are included.  You can also see the total amount charged by Stripe and Grassroots Hosting to process the payments.

    The rest of the features available either require no setup or are not applicable to your council website.

  • Refunding Charges

    To refund a payment you must do so directly from the Stripe Dashboard.  You can not process a refund from within the Events system or the Forms/Dues system.

    Start by logging into the Stripe Dashboard.

    You will need to find the original payment.  You can do so by:

    • Using the search bar at the top of the Stripe Dashboard, or by
    • Clicking "Payments" on the lefthand menu and scroll through the listing.

    When using the search bar you enter anything that might be connected to the transaction such as:

    • Membership Number (Dues Payments)
    • Name
    • Last four digits of the credit card (never ask for anything other than the last four!!)
    • Amount (may have a large number of results
    • Transaction Id
      • Dues - Find the dues payment in the "Forms" section of your council dashboard.  The entry ID is sent to stripe, and the stripe transaction id is displayed at the bottom of screen.
      • Events - Go to Events->Bookings, and find the booking.  You will see the stripe transaction id displayed.

    After you have found the original payment you should check all the details including who, when, and what to make sure you are refunding the correct payment.  Refunds can not be undone!

    After you are sure you have the correct payment, click the "Refund" button near the top of the screen.

    Enter the amount of the refund, select the reason, and enter any comments.  Then click the "Refund" button.

    Your refund is now complete.

  • What fees does Stripe Charge?

    Stripe is a payment processing company, and they charge fees for each transaction processed on their network.  Their fees are very competitive and easy to understand.

    Please visit www.stripe.com to verify their current fee structure.

    As of September 2017, their fees were:

    • $0.30 flat fee for every charge, and
    • 2.9% of the charge amount

    Note: Grassroots Hosting charges an additional fee of 0.1% on dues payments and 0.5% on event payments to cover our costs of maintaining the security of the payments system.

    As an example, under this price structure you would pay 2.9% + 0.1% + $0.30 for every dues payment.  If a payment for $30 is made, you pay $1.20 in fees ($0.87 + $0.03 + $0.30).

    There are no monthly fees or fees for transferring funds into your bank account.  However, there are fees for payments charged to credit cards issued by banks outside of your council's home country.

  • What are Forms?

    Forms are a way of collecting information from visitors to your website.  They could be a contact form, a registration form, or many other things.  Your council website includes access to the powerful Gravity Forms system.  This allows you to create custom forms to suit your needs.

    Your council website comes with several forms preloaded.  These forms are maintained by Grassroots Hosting and you do are not able to edit or remove them.  The default forms installed on your council website are:

    • Contact Form - on the Contact Us page.
    • Pay Your Dues - on the Pay Membership Dues page.
    • Join Us - on the Join Us page.
    • Awards Nomination - on the awards page
    • Prayer Request - Located at the bottom of every page
  • How do I add a new form?

    You can create and add a new form to any news post on your council site.

    For detailed instructions visit the following help pages:

    Creating a Form

    Configuring Notifications (Emails)

    Configuring Confirmations

    Finally, you will need to embed the form in a post by doing the following:

    Shortcode Icon

    From the any Editor you can click on the Form icon in the Upload/Insert toolbar. This is located to the left of the Visual/HTML tabs in the body text editor. Clicking on the Form icon will activate the insert form modal window.

    Shortcode Builder

    Using the shortcode builder you will first want to select a form from the Select a Form dropdown. If you are unable to find your form in the dropdown list, return to the Edit Forms page and ensure that your form is active. Once you have selected a form, you can specify the following options:

    • Display form title
      Checking this option will display the form title
    • Display form description
      Checking this option will display the form description
    • Enable AJAX
      Checking this option will enable your form to be submitted via AJAX. Submitting the form via AJAX allows the form to be submitted without requiring a page refresh.

    After you have specified your desired options, click Insert Form to automatically insert the Gravity Forms shortcode into the body of the post/page content you are editing.

    In the editor you will see something like 

    • Please enter a brief title describing the feature you are requesting.
    • Please explain in detail the feature you are requesting. Do not include any personal or confidential information here. Everything typed in this box is posted publically.
    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
    .  When you publish your post and view it on the your council website, your form will replace this code.

  • How can I learn more about the Forms system?

    We use Gravity Forms: a powerful and very flexible form system.  You can learn more about Gravity Forms by reading their getting started and help guide.

    Please note, some features described in the guide require additional add ons which we may not have enabled.  If you would like to use an add on described in the guide please open a support ticket with your request and we will evaluate it.  Not all add ons are compatible with our platform.

  • How do I view form submissions?

    When a user submits a form three things happen.

    1. A confirmation message is displayed to the user (configurable)
    2. An email is sent to the user and the form recipient (configurable)
    3. The form submission is saved to the admin dashboard

    Any member who has Executive or Council Administrator level access to your dashboard will have access to all form submissions.  For privacy reasons, you should only grant members who need access to this information these access levels.

    If a member does not need access to all forms, you should add them to the notifications in the form settings.  This way they will receive all form submissions by email, but not be able to access other forms.

    Read this Guide to learn about accessing and viewing form submission from the dashboard.

  • Can I create a bursary or Scholarship application form?

    Absolutely!

    This would be an excellent use of the forms system.  Just remember to ensure only those members who should have access to the private information stored in the applications have access to them.  You may want to consider printing the applications and deleting them from your website if they contain sensitive information such as financial or medical information.

  • Creating Events

    Creating An Event

    Events can be created by clicking on the Events > Add Event link in the admin menu. Alternatively, you can also click on the add new button on the events list in the admin area.

    The minimum information required for an event is a name, start date and location. You are also required to add a time, although a default 12AM is already inserted.

    Managing/Editing Events

    The events admin page is where you can view all of the events in the system. Bear in mind that the default view is FUTURE events, meaning that some events might be ‘missing’ if they are past events. You can view past or all events by selecting the right scope in the filter pulldown above the events table. From this page you can also go to the events booking page, delete and duplicate events.

    Editing an event is just like adding an event. You can edit an event by finding it in the events list page in your admin area (click on the Events menu item) and clicking on the event title.

    Recurring Events

    Recurring events are events that occur more than once in regular intervals. Recurring events are useful if you want to create many single-day events using the same information once.

    Recurring events are enabled by default, but you can activate/deactivate this feature within your Events > Settings  > General > General Options settings area.

    Recurring events are handled in a separate area to normal events, which can be found in Events > Recurring Events of your admin menu. You can add recurring events by clicking the Add Recurring Event button on this page. Editing recurring events is much the same as a normal event, however, you will see extended options for recurrence patterns when choosing event dates and times.

    There are a few important differences between single and recurring events. Here’s a list of them:

    • When a recurring event is created, the start and end dates become the starting and ending dates where an event can occur, according to the recurrence options used.
    • Each recurrence is treated as a separate event.
    • If a person makes a booking at a recurring event, they are booked for the specific day, not the whole recurring set (more options on the way).
    • If you attempt to edit a single recurrence of an event, only that event will be modified.
    • You can detach an event from a set of recurrences by clicking the ‘detach’ link when editing an event or viewing the admin events list.
    • If you reschedule a recurring event, all information pertaining to attached recurrences (e.g. bookings, etc.) is deleted and recreated as a new event.
    • Deleting a Recurring Event will delete attached recurrences.

    To reschedule an event, you can either click on the reschedule link from a single event editing page, or also click on the reschedule link next to a recurrence within the admin events list.

    To edit a single recurrence, click on the event name itself, like when editing a normal single event.

  • Event Bookings / Tickets (Free and Paid)

    You can require advance bookings for events.  These can be paid tickets or free RSVPs.  To enable bookings for an event follow these instructions:

    Enabling bookings for an event

    To set up bookings, you need to check the Enable registration for this event checkbox. When you do this, you will see a list of tickets which you can modify.

    Setting up event tickets

    Events can have one or more tickets, each ticket can have certain restrictions or conditions:

    • Price – The price of this booking.
    • Min/Max – Setting either or both of these will set an lower and/or upper limit of tickets a person must book to apply for this ticket type.
    • Start/End – Add opening and/or closing dates for this ticket, such as the early bird special!
    • Available Spaces – Assign a maximum number of this ticket you want to sell.

    By default, an open free ticket is created with a maximum of 10 spaces available, but you can edit this by clicking any of the edit buttons. You can also delete tickets, but only if newly created or if there are no bookings associated with it. When you open your event for editing, the red square should turn green if the ticket is considered as available by Events Manager.

    Once you have saved your events, it may look something like this in the admin area:


  • Manage Bookings

    After a user has booked a ticket (free or paid) the person who owns the event will receive an email advising them of the booking.  The booking will also be saved in dashboard.  To view bookings move your mouse over the "Events" item on the left and then click "Bookings".

    Booking Admin Pages

    There are various pages which you will encounter when managing your bookings. These include:

    • Bookings – Main bookings page, shows all bookings and events
    • Event – Single event and bookings for that event
    • Ticket – View all bookings which have a specific ticket
    • User – View all bookings belonging to a user

    Each page shows bookings using the same booking table (see below), but restricts the types of booking shown according to the above.

    The Bookings Table

    Our bookings table provides a uniformed way of viewing and navigating your bookings in a quick loading and easy to use fashion.

    Booking Links and Actions

    The bookings table contains a useful ‘Actions’ column which is shown by default and contains various useful shortcuts.

    Aside from a link to edit the booking, depending on the booking status, the Actions column will contain links to Approve, Reject, Unapprove, Confirm and Delete the booking. For some actions (e.g. Approve, Cancel, Reject), clicking on these will automatically send a corresponding email to the attendee.

    Filter Bookings

    There are various options for filtering your bookings which can be used in combination:

    • Event Scope (only when viewing bookings for all events) – You can choose to whether to view bookings for future/past/present events, and various other time ranges.
    • Rows – Decide how many rows to show at once.
    • Status – The status of the bookings

    Show/Hide Columns

    You can choose which columns to display and in whatever order you choose.

    There are many columns to choose from, including custom fields you created in your form editor.  Click the gear icon above the list to open the settings page.

    To add/remove columns, drag the ones you want to see to the left yellow column, and move unwnted ones back into the grey columns. You can arrange the order of columns by dragging them up and down.


    Exporting to CSV

    Often you’ll want to export booking information into a spreadsheet. CSV files can be read by most common spreadsheet applications including Office, Google Docs and Open Office.

    When exporting, you’ll have a similar choice of fields as when showing/hiding columns.

    There is one difference, which is whether you check the Split bookings by ticket type box. When you click this, more fields will be made available such as Ticket Name and Ticket Price, which are not relevant to an entire booking.


    When you click the Export Bookings button, you should be offered a file to download. If you have exported bookings then you will see one row for each booking. If you are exporting bookings split by ticket type, you will see one row for each ticket type in each booking, and certain columns pertaining to the whole booking will repeat themselves (e.g. Name, Total Price, etc.). One useful column to include in ticket exports is the booking id, which links tickets to a single booking.

    Edit Bookings Page

    When you click on the view/edit link on a bookings table, you’ll be taken to a page where you can view all the details about that specific booking, and edit details about the booking. This page contains various sections:

    Event Details and Personal Details

    These two sections are purely for informational purposes. These sections also provide links to view all bookings for this event as well as all bookings for this specific user.

    Booking Details and Editing

    The Booking Details box is the central area for this form, as it contains booking-specific information and is also where you would edit the booking itself.

    The first line shows the status of the booking as well as two buttons; one allows you to change the status of the booking, the other allows you to resend the booking status email (e.g. if cancelled a cancellation email will be resent).

    Next is the tickets table, which breaks down the booking by tickets, and shows values such as taxes, coupons, etc. If you click on individual ticket names, you can view all bookings which are using this ticket in a new page.

    Below the tickets table are the fields from the booking form, minus the user fields. To edit this and the ticket quantities, you must first click the Modify Booking button, which will convert all the values into input fields:

    Booking Notes

    Booking notes allow event admins to add private notes about that specific booking, and this information will only be seen by users who have permission to manage bookings for that event. When you add a new note, it’ll appear above the comments box:


    Transaction History

    You can see the Stripe Payments transaction history.  The most important part here is the Transaction ID which can be used to easily lookup the original payment in the Stripe Dashboard to process a refund.

  • What are coupons and how do I use them?

    Coupons are a great way to promote your events with discount codes. You can create coupons that will be applied to specific events, all your events, or all events on your website (if you are an admin).

    Creating/Editing Coupons

    Only members with Executive or Admin level access are able to create and manage coupons.

    You can create and manage your coupons from within the Events > Coupons menu in your admin area. You should then see your previously created coupons and a link to add a new coupon – “Add New”

    You can then enter your coupon information and settings. Here are some important settings:

    Event-Wide Coupons

    Event wide coupons will be automatically applicable to any event owned by the creator of the coupon. This is useful if you’re an event organizer and want to make a coupon for all your events.  Select "All my events" from the drop down.

    Site-Wide Coupons

    If all the events on your site belong to one user, or you want to create a coupon that works for any event on the site, select "All events on the site" from the dropdown.

    Event Specific Coupons

    If you created an event you can create a coupon that is applicable only for that event by selecting "Only on specific events that I own" from the dropdown.  You will then need to edit your event and click the "Show Coupons" link in the Bookings section and click the checkbox next to your coupon.

    Registered Users Only?

    You can limit guests from being able to use coupon codes by checking this box.  This would make coupons available to members only.

    Fixed Amount Discounts

    If you enter a fixed amount and the booking total is equal to or smaller than this discount, the booking will be free.

    Applying Coupons

    Once you create your coupons, you should see these within your booking settings when editing an event, underneath your ticket information. Site-wide and event-wide coupons will be shown for information purposes. You can choose the single coupons you would like applied to this specific event by checking the boxes next to each coupon.

    Using Coupons

    Once you have applicable coupons for an event, the coupon field should appear in your booking form. When users enter the code and move away from that field, the form will check the Coupon code and confirm the discount type, or inform the user of an invalid coupon code.

  • How do I add Locations?

    When creating an event you can select a location.  However, you must pre-define these locations or they will not show up.  Alternately, for a one-time special location you could just include the details in the event description text box.

    Creating New Locations

    To create a new location, visit the Events > Locations and then click on the Add Location button

    Managing/Editing Locations

    When viewing the Events > Locations page in your admin area, you will see a list of your locations.

    To edit a location, click on the location name.

  • Can regular members submit events?

    Yes, any member can submit a request to publish an event by going to the Members' area page on your council site and clicking the "Create Event" button.  A form will be displayed asking for details.  They can set all the normal details just as if the event was being created from the dashboard except the can not create new locations.

    To ensure all events are approved by your council executive, the events will be sent for approval before being published.  If you have not set any members as event approvers your Grand Knight will receive an email asking them to approve the event.  If you have set members as event approvers, they will receive the emails instead.

    When the event approvers receive the email they can click a link which will take them directly to the pending event in the dashboard.  They can then review the event and make any corrections they see fit.  Once they are satisfied, they simply click the "Publish" button and the event will go live and be published on your council website.

    If the original user makes changes to the event, the same process will be required before the event is updated.

    If you would like, you can change the ownership of the event by selecting a different member from the Author box at the bottom of the screen.  This member would then be able to edit the event and would receive notifications of new bookings.

  • How do I publish my council's meeting minutes?

    There are two ways you can publish your meeting minutes.

    1. You can type them in your favourite word processor and upload a PDF copy to your council website, or
    2. You can use the dashboards builtin minute generator to create them for you!

    To get started:

    1. Log into the dashboard.
      Note: A member must have the access levels enabled on their account to publish minutes.
    2. Move your mouse over the "Minutes" item on the left menu.
    3. Click "Add New Minutes"
    4. You will see a new screen with lots of options.
      Note: By default this screen will assume you want to use the built in minutes generator.
    5. If you want to upload a PDF copy of your minutes click the toggle switch in the "Method" section so it displays "Upload PDF".  Then select the correct date of the meeting in the date box, and click the "Add File" button to select your PDF file.  Click "Publish".
    6. To use the built in generator leave the toggle set to "Use Form", or switch it back if you need to.
    7. For more details on using the Minutes Generator please see the other FAQs in this category!

    Do not forget to click "Publish" after you make any changes.

    Minutes will be displayed on your Members' Area page by date.

  • How do I use the Minutes Generator?

    The minutes generator will ask you a series of questions and create your minutes automatically.  After it is done, they will be readable by your members directly on the council's website and downloadable as a PDF.

    Note: While this is a great feature, it is not the official repository of your council minutes.  After generating a set of minutes, you should download and print the PDF and place them in your council's minute book.

    To use the generator create a new minutes entry.

    The form that is displayed looks complicated, but it is simple to use.  These instructions are divided into two parts.  First we talk about the form in general, then we will discuss the types of controls found in various sections.  Once you have completed the minutes once or twice you should find this interface easy to use.

    Layout and Structure

    The form is designed to follow the normal order of business at a monthly meeting.  First you will be required to enter some basic information about the meeting.  Some of it will be filled automatically if your council information has been set in the website admin.  You will need to specify whether or not there were any initiations or elections during the meeting. This will effect the options you see later.

    After this, you will see sections for each of the standard orders of business.  Most of them operate in the same way.  You can add items of business to each, remove them, and reorder them.

    Just after the Roll Call of Officers you will find some general instructions on completing the remainder of the form.

    Completing Each Section

    The Roll Call of Officers will be pre-filled with the list of Council Officers currently used on your website.  However, just in case that list is not unto date, you can modify the list.

    • By default all occupied offices will be marked as present.  However, you can untick the box in the Present column to make them absent.
    • If an officer is absent, a box will appear in the "Acting Officer" column.  You can enter the name (name only, no "Brother") of a Knight who was appointed by the Grand Knight to Act in that office for the purposes of the meeting.  Usually this will be the Warden and his guards or the Recording Secretary.  These names will be used to properly generate your minutes.

    For the Chaplain's Message, Grand Knight's Report, Treasurers Report, Bills and Communications, Financial Secretary's Report of Receipts of Meeting, and everything from the Report of Auditors and Trustees onward you will see the same basic interface shown here:

    Click the orange button and you will be displayed with a list of business items such as:

    • Item - Any item of discussion.  You can add a title and notes of the discussion.
    • Motion - Any motion made.
    • Amendement - If a motion to amend is made place this after the original motion.  You can repeat as many times as there are amendments!
    • Action Item - This is used to remind members of important items, such as "Brother Bob volunteered to bring snacks to the next meeting".  They will be highlighted in your minutes.
    • Notice of Motion - Used when a written notice of motion is presented to the council.

    Select the type you would like to add.  A new form will appear in the box above the button.  The contents of this form will vary depending on the type of item added.  For example here is a "Item" and then a "Motion":

    Some of the boxes will have options that appear and disappear depending on what you select.  For example, if you click the "Detailed Result" toggle in the motions box new boxes will appear will you can enter the exact vote count!

    Just follow the instructions in the boxes.

    You can click the orange button and add as many items as you require.  At the top of each item you will see a number showing the order of the items.  Click and drag that number to reorder them.  At the far right of the number you will see a small triangle.  Move you mouse there and you will see a small "+" and "-" appear.  Use them to add an item (+) above that point, or to delete that item.

    Other Sections

    Some sections do not use the same interface as we just described.  They have a more specific form due to their unique nature during the meeting.

    Previous Minutes - This is a toggle which is set by default to "Approved as Read".  If you minutes were approved without amendment, leave it as is.  Otherwise switch it to Corrected and enter your corrections in the text box that appears.

    Admissions Committee, Applications, and Balloting - This section has two options to add:

    1. Report - Use this to add the details of the Committee's report.
    2. Add Applications - Use this to add each application for new membership, readmission, reapplication, or transfer (or you can enter another option if required).  You will need the Applicant's name, the Sponsors Name, and the result of the balloting for the application.

    Treasurers Report - After the normal section where you can the report and any connected motions you can Click the "Add Receipt" and "Add Voucher" buttons to add these as reported at the meeting.  You then enter a description and the amount.

    Financial Secretary's Report of Receipts of Meeting - Same as the Treasurers report above.

    Brothers in Distress - Enter the names of any Brothers who were brought to the attention of the council at the beginning of the "Good of the Order".  Enter them one name per line.

    Once you are done, return to the top of the page and click "Publish"!

    After the minutes are saved you will a link at the top to view them.

  • What is the Newsletter and why should I use it?

    Your council website has a powerful newsletter builder, editor, and sending system built in!  With this system you can allow authorized members to send emails to your council membership that are professional looking, deliverable, and trackable.  You can find the newsletter system by looking for the the menu item pictured below:

    Can't I just send email from my computer instead?

    Yes, you can; however, it is not the best way to send emails to a large number of people and has several drawbacks.  Here is why you should use a professional email platform to send emails to a large number of people:

    1. Spam - Email service providers block IP addresses, and email addresses they see as sending spam.  When you send an email to large number of people you may end up being classified as a spammer.  Even worse, you may never know this because different providers will have different thresholds.  This means some members may get your emails, others will see it in their spam or junk box, and yet others will never even receive the message.  Getting yourself delisted can be extremely difficult.  Our system uses a highly sophisticated sending mechanism to ensure email deliverability.  We monitor our sending domains and IP addresses for reputation, and we block outgoing messages to email addresses which have previously failed.  Sending too many messages to an invalid email is a great way to get blocked!.
    2. Accuracy - If you send emails yourself, you must ensure you update your email list constantly.  If you are not the Grand Knight or Financial Secretary with direct access to the Supreme system, you have no way of knowing if your email list is up to date without contacting them.  By having your GK or FS regularly update the member list in your council site, you can be sure to have the latest updates (Note: there may still be some delay depending on how often your GK or FS updates the system). This way everyone is always sending to the same list.
    3. Bounces - Our system will track bounced emails and retry them or block them depending on the type of bounce.  Soft bounces can occur when connectivity is an issue or an email server is overloaded and unable to accept a message.  Our system will retry to send the message until it is successful or the maximum time elapses.  Most soft bounces will end up being successfully delivered.  Hard bounces are permanent and usually caused by an incorrect email address.  Our system will not send to an email address which has been previously marked as a hard bounce.  If you have confirmed that an email marked as hard bounce is correct please open a support ticket and we will investigate and unblock the address if appropriate.  You can see the bounce status of each member by viewing the "Lists" item under the "Newsletter" menu item.  Most importantly, your executive will see who has invalid email addresses and reach out to them to get an update.
    4. Statistics - After sending a message, you can see how many recipients successfully received and opened your message.  You can see how many links were clicked, and determine the effectiveness of your message.  Please note: these statistics are not 100% accurate.  They depend on certain things happening when someone opens an email, and it is possible to prevent this information from being collected. However, it does give you a good idea of how your messages are received.
    5. Automation - You can configure the system to send out automated Birthday Greetings and notices when you post minutes or new stories.  Several templates are included with your new council site to get you started.
    6. Design - Our system includes a full featured visual design editor which allows to send dynamic and well crafted messages to your members.  You can includes photos, text, and other elements with the ease of a drag and drop editor.  All the while your email is designed to be viewed by most modern email readers consistantly.
    7. Consistency - Perhaps the most important reason to use a professional platform is consistency.  Our system ensures that every email your membership is sent looks professional, and each is consistent. By using our prepared template, your members will quickly learn to recognize the legitimacy of emails received from the council.

    Read our other FAQ's in this category for more information about sending and managing your council email system!

  • What are campaigns and how do I send one?

    Campaigns are single email newsletters sent to your membership.  They can be an announcement about an event, a birthday greeting, notice of minutes or meetings, or anything else you require.

    You can create a one time campaign or an automated campaign called an "Autoresponder" which sends based on certain events.  Both types of campaigns are created and designed in the same way.  We will discuss how to configure an Autoresponder in another FAQ.

    To view campaigns, login to your dashboard and then:

    1. However over "Newsletter" in the Main Menu
    2. Click "All Campaigns"

    From here you can see a list of existing campaigns.  You can see the name, the status, the total emails sent, the number of opens, clicks, and bounces.  You can also use the options on the screen to filter the list.

    If this is a new council site, you will probably only see a few campaigns.  They will be titled something like "New Council Website [Template]" or "Basic Message [Template]".  The New Council Website template is a quick way to let your members know about your new site.  The Basic Message template is an easy way to send simple messages.  You can duplicate the message and just edit the content.  '[Template]' is used to denote templates designed by Grassroots Hosting.  You can find more in the Autoresponders area.  From time to time we may publish new templates to your site.  They will never send unless you turn them on.  You can delete them if you like, but will have to request our assistance to get them back.  To use a template you will need to open it and save it once.  Then you can send it, or duplicate it to modify and reuse.

    You can create a new campaign by clicking "New Campaign".  On this page you can design your message, determine when and to who to deliver it, and save/send it.  You can also make some modifications to the basic template if you wish.

    Here are the steps to send a new campaign:

    1. Enter a Campaign Title in the box at the top of the screen.  This is for your reference and will be not be sent to your members.
    2. In the detail box:

      1. Enter your email subject line
      2. Enter a Preheader.  This is a short one sentence eye catcher that is often displayed just beneath the subject line in modern mail readers.
      3. Enter the name you would like to show the message coming from.  This will default to your council name.
      4. Enter the email address you would like people to be able to reply to.  It will default to your council's main email address, but you can change it to your own.
        Note: you can click the small blue circular arrows beside the From Name and Reply-to Email to reset them to their defaults.
    3. Go to the Template box:

      1. This is where you design your message.  It will start with the basic template which can only be partially edited.
      2. In the photo above you will see the following areas:
        1. This contains several icons which allow you to undo, redo, remove all added modules (see below), view the raw html code (advanced), write the message in plain text (not required), and preview your message. On the far right you will find buttons for saving and switching templates.  We suggest you leave these be.
        2. This area is the main editing area.  It display your message as it stands.  You can select items to edit or delete items.
        3. This area has prepared layouts you can add to your message called modules.  You can click one to add it to the bottom of the message, or drag and drop them to where you want them.  You can scroll up and down to see more!
      3. You will see several areas that look something like this {subject}, or {address}. These are called Tags.  Tags are special placeholders that will be replaced with text when your message is sent.  Please see the FAQ on tags for a list.  As an example, if you used {firstname}, each members first name will be inserted when they are sent their message.  To see what they look like click the preview button at the top of the Template box.
      4. Start by clicking a module on the right.  You will see it added to your message.  In the main area move your mouse over the image and the text.  You will see them highlighted.  If you click on one, you will be able to edit it.  Click on a text area are you will see something like this:

        This looks similar to the editors used elsewhere in your council site.  Use the buttons at the top to format your text.  Note the button with two curly braces "{}".  This button will show you list of all Tags available to be added.  You can click on a tag and it will be added to your message where your cursor is.
      5. When you are done click Save.
      6. You can also edit an image by clicking on it:

        From here you can select an existing image, enter the URL of an image, or access the Media Manager to upload new images.  You can set a link to go to when the image is clicked.  When you are done click save.
      7. When you move your mouse over a module a set of buttons will appear on the right:

        These buttons allow access to advanced functions.

        1. The top button looks like a magic wand and will automatically design the module to show a news item, minutes, awards etc.  If you open it and select a post, the post will be placed in your newsletter.  You can then modify it if you wish.  You can also have it dynamically display previous posts; however, this is a very advanced feature.  We will write about it in the future FAQ.
        2. The next buttons let you duplicate the module or move it down in the email.
        3. The fourth button will show you the raw html used to create the module.  Warning this is an advanced feature and you should be careful using it.
        4. Finally, you can delete the module from your message.
      8. You may notice little plus signs like this:  These add "buttons" to your email.  You can set the button text and the link it goes to.  A list of recent posts on your site will be displayed.  You can click one.  Alternately, you can manually enter a website address.
    4. Next look at the Receivers box:

      Use this box to set who to send your message to.  You will most often use the Council Membership option to send it to all members.  You can also click the "only if" box to further limit your message.  For example you could require that a members degree is equal or greater than 3 to only send a message to 3rd and 4th degree members.
    5. Now go to the Delivery box:

      This box is used to control when your message is sent.  This is where regular and autoresponder campaigns differ.  Please pay attention to the time.  The emails will be sent based the Server time zone which is Pacific time.  If you need to send your message at a particular time please adjust accordingly.  Please note, the option for using subscribers timezone does not work at this time, as we have no way of determine the correct timezones programmatically.
      When you are ready to send your message, set the delivery date and time, and click the "send this campaign" box.
      You can enter an email address and send yourself a test message.  This is important to ensure it looks correct.
    6. There are two other boxes  available on this screen.  They may not be visible by default.  You can click "Screen Options" near the top right of the screen to turn boxes off and on.
      1. Options - This box is used to make modifications to the template.  Most colours.  These will only apply to the current message.  If you wish to save the changes click "save this schema" and you will see it added under the "Colors Schemas" area for future use.
      2. Attachment - If you would like to directly attach a file to your message you can do so here.  However, please remember attachments increase the chance of having deliverability issues.  It is better to upload the file to your media library and then put a link to it in your message.  See the "Buttons" above to create a button with a link!
    7. Your message is now ready to send!  Just go to the "Save" box and click save or send.  Alternate you can click "Save as draft" if you are not ready.
    8. After your message is sent you will see a screen telling you about the message.
    9. Back on the All Campaigns page you can see the status of your message.  If you hover over the status you can pause, resume, and stop/finish your campaign.

    Important:  Your message will be scheduled to send at the time specified.  At that time it will be queued with messages from other councils and sent in the order they are queued.  As a result you may see a delay of up to 10 minutes before your messages start to send after your scheduled time.  Additionally, the system sends messages in small batches and it may take a few minutes to send the message to all your members.

  • How do I use Autoresponders?

    Autoresponders let you create automatically when certain criteria are met.  This could be as simple as every month on the 5th at 7PM.  It can also be more complicated such as every time a new set of meeting minutes are published, or on a member's birthday.

    To create an autoresponder follow the instructions in the "What are campaigns and how do I send one?" FAQ to create and design your message.  Then:

    1. In the Delivery Box:
      1. Change to the "Auto Responder" tab at the top.
      2. Check the "send this auto responder" box.
      3. Set the sending delay.  For example, you can set it to send 15 minutes after a post has been made.  This gives you time to cancel the message or correct the post before the notice is sent.
      4. Select the type of autoresponder.  The most common are:
        • "at a specific time" - set to send every day, week, or month on a regular schedule.  These are good for meeting reminders.
        • "something has been published" - sends after a specific item has been published.  It could be an event, and award, or meeting minutes.  Please note, this requires more advanced message design to ensure proper information is sent about the post/event/minutes etc.  If you have an idea for this type of message please open a support ticket and we will consider designing a template.
        • "a specific user time" - Currently, this is the member's birthday.
      5. Complete the rest of form to set your autoresponder.
      6. Save/Send your message as normal.  The next time the conditions specified are met, a new campaign will be created in your "All Campaigns" list and scheduled for transmission.

    Important Notes About AutoResponders

    From the "Autoresponders" page you can see a list of autoresponders and their status.  However, this is the list of parent newsletters.  Depending on the type of autoresponder one of the following will happen:

    • A new regular campaign will be created and all statistics about the individual message will be found there.(specific time, and something being published types)
    • A record of individual emails will be saved in the main autoresponder entry (Specific User time-Birthday emails).

    To edit an existing autoresponder, hover over the autoresponder and click edit.

    To see the statistics of an autoresponder, hover over the autoresponder and click Statistics.  These statistics will be for every campaign created and sent.

  • What are Tags?

    Tags are placeholders in your campaigns and are an essential part of Newsletters. They always get replaced with the desired content when

    • the campaigns is prepared to send
    • you preview the campaign or send a test email
    • you visit the webversion of a campaign

    You can set them anywhere in your newsletter template with the format {tagname}.

    You can set alternative content with {tagname|alternative content} which will be used if there is no value for that tag.  For example, you could use {fullname|Brother Knight}and "Brother Knight" would be display in the unlikely case that a member has no name on file. All unused tags will get removed in the final message

    There are many tags which are available.  Here is a list of the most common and useful tags:

    Tag Description
    {webversionlink} Address used in {webversion}
    {subject} The subject of the campaign
    {preheader} The preheader text of the campaign
    {email} The subscribers email - Clicking on it will do nothing.
    {emailaddress} The subscribers email - Clicking on it will create a new email to the address.
    {firstname} The first name of the subscriber
    {lastname} The last name of the subscriber
    {fullname} The full name of the subscriber
    {year} The current year
    {month} The current month
    {day} The current day
    {councilnum} Your KofC Council number
    {council name} Your KofC Council Name
    {company} Your full council name - eg: Knights of Columbus Demo Council #0001
    {address} Your council’s address as displayed on the bottom of your site.
    {homepage] A link to your council site homepage.
    {minutes1}, {minutes2}, {minutes3} A link to your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd most recently published minutes. This link will go directly to the PDF download file. These are used in the Monthly Minutes Template.

    Dynamic Tags (Advanced Feature!!)

    A dynamic tag is wrapped in brackets like the other tags and start with the post type followed by an underscore and the content to display. After a colon can be a negative integer like -3which represents the third latest entry of the selected post type.

    You can also use absolute values like 23 to use the content from the post with the ID 23
    RELATIVE TAG AND ABSOLUTE TAG EXPLAINED

    SOME EXAMPLES:
    • {post_title:-1} ➨ displays the latest post title
    • {page_title:-4} ➨ displays the fourth latest page title
    • {post_image:-1} ➨ displays the feature image of the latest posts (used in the URL field of the editbar)
    • {post_image:-4|23} ➨ displays the feature image of the fourth latest posts. Uses the image with ID 23 if the post doesn’t have a feature image (used in the URL field of the editbar)
    • {post_content:-1} ➨ displays the latest posts content
    • {post_excerpt:-1} ➨ displays the latest posts excerpt or content if no excerpt is defined
    • {post_date:-1} ➨ displays the latest posts date
    • {post_title:23} ➨ displays the post title of post ID 23
    • {post_link:15} ➨ displays the permalink of post ID 15

    You change "post" depending on what type of item you want to link to.

    • post_ ➨ News Posts
    • gr_memoriam_ ➨ Memorials
    • gr_awards_ ➨ Awards
    • gr_minutes_ ➨ Meeting Minutes
    • event_ ➨ Events

    Administrative Tags

    The following tags are used to format the main email template and contain administrative data:
    
    {can-spam} - A statement advising that the recipient received the message because they are a member of your council.
    {membershipstatement} - States who the email was sent to and their membership number.  This lets the member verify that the email is legitimate.
    {copyright} - A general copyright statement in the format of "© {year} {councilname}, All rights reserved"
    

    If you think of another useful tag please open a support ticket and we will look at adding it.

  • What are subscribers and lists?

    Under the Newsletters menu item you will find "Subscribers" and "Lists".

    Subscribers

    This is a list of all members with email addresses.  It is automatically created based on your membership file from Supreme.  You can the following important information about each members subscription:

    • Name, email address and some membership information.
    • Which lists they are subscribed to.
    • How many emails have been sent to them.
    • Status - Subscribed or Hardbounced.
    • When they were added to the system.

    This is a good place to find out which members have invalid email addresses and follow up with them.  Just click the "Status" link at the top of the list twice to sort the members.  All the "Hardbounced" members will now be at the top.

    You can click on a member name to view more details.  Note: You can not edit member details.  These will be overwritten/updated the next a Supreme membership file is uploaded.  You can add or remove custom lists from a member by clicking on the lists section.  You can not set the Council Membership or Executive Officers lists as those are managed automatically (See below).

    At the bottom of a subscriber page you can see the member's message history, including the reason for any bounces.  The codes and message for bounces vary depending on the recipient email server.

    Lists

    Lists are used to group members into specific mailings.  Your council site has two lists by default:

    1. Council Membership - This contains all members from the last Supreme membership file that was uploaded who have an email address.
    2. Executive Officers - This contains all members you have designated as officers under the "Council Info" section.

    From the main Lists page you can see the lists, a description, the number of subscribers, and when they were last updated.

    You can not edit or delete the two default lists.  You can add your own lists for local uses such as:

    • Committees
    • Program Groups
    • Task Forces

    To add/remove subscribers to a list:

    1. Go to the subscribers screen.
    2. Click the check box beside those you want to add.
    3. Click the "Bulk Actions" box at the top of list and select the List you would like to add/remove the members from. Note: only custom lists you create will show here.
    4. Click "Apply"

    Dealing with Hardbounced Members

    A member who is marked as hard bounce will not receive any further emails.  Continuing to send mass messages to invalid emails creates negative feedback on the sending mail server and could result in it being blocked.  Instead you should contact the member and get their correct email address.  Have your Grand Knight or Financial Secretary update the Supreme system, and upload the Supreme file to this site.  When a new email address is detected for a hardbounce member, their status will be reset to subscribed.  If you have verified that an email address marked as hardbounce is correct, please open a support ticket, so we can investigate.  This is extremely rare, but it is possible given the non-uniformity of how some mail providers classify undeliverable messages.

  • What does [Template] mean?

    In your Campaigns and Autoresponders list you may see a few items you did not create.  They will have "[Template]" at the end of their name.  These are templates designed by Grassroots Hosting to help you get started with the Newsletters module.

    Unlike contact forms, these templates will not be updated or modified by us on your site (unless you request it!).  You can modify, edit, and use them as you wish.  By default all templates are set not to send.  You must open them and set the appropriate options in the "Delivery" box and save them.  That is all that is required.  However, you can personalize the text, subject lines, and sending parameters if you wish.

    IMPORTANT: It may not be possible to easily revert back to the default template.  We recommend duplicating and renaming any templates you wish to use.  Then if something goes wrong down the road, you can always revert back to the original code!  Before duplicating, you must open the message and save it once.

    Currently the following Templates are provided with plans for more in the future:

    • Basic Message - Modify for sending basic text messages, then duplicate it each time you need to send a quick message.
    • New Minutes Published
    • Happy Birthday Greetings
    • New Council Website - Let your members know about their new website, the members' area, and online dues payments. NB: please remove any portions that do not apply to your council.  For example, you have decided not to collect dues payments or event fees online, you will want to edit those sections before sending!

    If you have an idea for an email that you think would benefit other councils please open support ticket and we will investigate adding it to the list.

    You may notice over time, that new "templates" appear in your account.  As we create new templates we will add them to all sites.  This will not affect any existing newsletter campaigns and they will not be active until you modify them.

  • How do I change my password?

    If you know you current password, you can go to the Member's Area page of your council website.  There you will find a button to change your password.

    If you have forgotten your password, you can click the "Lost your password?" link the login page.

  • What is the sponsor system?

    The sponsor system lets your council generate revenue by selling advertising on your council website.

    Once activated, a new sponsors page will appear on your website. From there potential sponsors can register and submit a sponsorship application. After the application is paid, your sponsorship team will receive the application for review. Once they approve it, the listing will be displayed on the sponsor page. Additionally, Gold level sponsors will have their logo displayed on your council's homepage.

    Grassroots Hosting charges a fee equal to about 25% of all payments collected for the operation, maintenance and support of this system. Your council sets the price of each sponsorship level.

    We are still writing the detailed FAQ's for this system. Check back soon to learn more!