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If you're new to Realm, here are the things you'll want to do first.

You can also watch one of our free recorded getting-started video webinars.

 

1

 Update your settings.
  1. Click Admin > Manage Realm Account > Account Summary.
  2. On the Church Profile tab, update the fields listed, and add your logo if you have one.
  3. Click System Settings > General Settings.
  4. On the Profile Fields tab, add any additional fields for any extra information you want to collect about your members. This is optional; the fields that come with Realm might be sufficient for your needs. Detailed instructions are on a separate page.
  5. On the Family Positions tab, add any additional family roles you might want to assign people, such as Grandparent, etc. This is also optional.
  6. If your church has more than one site, specify them on the Campuses tab. If you do not see the tab, your Realm subscription does not allow for the use of multiple campuses.
  7. Use the Locations tab to list the places in your church where meetings might be held, such as Classroom 1 or Library. These will be used when setting up group events.
  8. Involvement metrics are used to track individuals' levels of church activity. You don't need to set this up now, but, if you want to, details are explained on a separate page.

2

 Add your members.
  1. Sign in using an administrative login.
  2. Click Admin > All Profiles.
  3. Click Add a Profile.
  4. Enter the details for the individual or the first member of the family. Fields marked with an asterisk are required.
  5. To add other members of the family, click Add a family member. If, while adding family members, you need to delete any but the first individual, point to his or her name, and click .
  6. Click Save or Save & Add a New Family.
  7. For more help, see Add Members and Attendees.

3

 Assign permissions to staff and volunteers.
  1. Sign in using an administrative login.
  2. Click Admin > Users & Permissions > Staff Users.
  3. Scroll through the list of users to locate the record you want. Or click , and enter a name in the field.
  4. Point to the user's record and click .
  5. Select a Campus. This limits the user's selected permissions (responsibilities) to the records for a single campus. Alternatively, select All.
  6. Select the responsibilities you want to assign this user. Responsibilities determine the level of access he or she has to your records.  Responsibilities can be added or edited by an administrator or staff member with permissions. For more, see Create Responsibilities.
  7. Click Save.

4

 Add ministry areas.
  1. Make a list of all your church's groups (optional, but helpful).
  2. Log into the website as an administrator or staff member.
  3. Click Admin > Groups > Ministry Areas.
  4. Add new ministry areas for your group categories. Examples might include Youth, Adult, Staff, Kids, etc.

  5. For categories that have subdivisions, enter those as secondary ministry areas. For example, within Kids, you might have Preschool, Elementary, and Middle School.
  6. For more help, see Get Started with Groups.

5

 Add your groups.
  1. Sign in using a staff or administrative login.
  2. Click Admin > Groups > Ministry Areas.
  3. Click a ministry area to see the groups or other ministry areas in it.
  4. Decide where, in the hierarchy of ministry areas, you want to add a new group. Point to the appropriate ministry area, click , then Add Group.
  5. Enter the group information and click Save or Save & Add Another.
  6. For more help, see Get Started with Groups.

6

 If tracking contributions or accepting online contributions, add funds.
  1. Sign in using an administrative or staff login.
  2. Click Giving > Funds.
  3. Click Add a Fund.
  4. Use the fields to create your fund. Consult the field descriptions below for more.
  5. Click Save.
  6. For more help, see Set up Funds.

7

 If accepting online contributions, set up online giving.
  1. Sign into your Realm website as an administrator or staff member.
  2. Click Admin > Manage Realm Account > Additional Features
  3. Under the Additional Features Tab, click Add next to the Online Giving feature.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. Wait 3-5 days for approval of your merchant account, then set up your giving information as follows.
  6. Click Admin > Manage Realm Account > Additional Features.
  7. Once you've been approved for a merchant account, click Edit Settings and then complete the fields.

  8. For more help, see Set up Online Giving.

What Now?

Once you've set up the basics, here's a list of all the other things you can do in Realm. Click a feature to learn more.

FeatureWhat it can do for your church
AttendanceRecord attendees in Sunday school classes, study groups, and worship services.
CommunicationLet your congregation communicate using the web version or a mobile app through group posts, photos, and events.
SacramentsFor both Catholic and Protestant churches, record dates and any important notes related to baptism, communion, ordination, etc. Customizable to suit your needs.
Reports

Compile lists of congregants based on age, address, contribution history, group activity, and any other facts you collect. Or use one of our time-saving predefined reports. Once you have your list, use it to:

  • Create mailing labels
  • Send login invitations
  • Populate your groups or pathways
  • De-activate congregants
  • Make changes to profile data in mass
  • Create a church directory
  • Make PDFs or spreadsheets
Check-inSecure a children's event using coded badges, take automated attendance, generate name badges for adult registrants at concerts, seminars, etc.
ContributionsKeep track of offerings, fund-raisers—basically any cash or non-cash gifts you receive. And, with our optional Accounting package (a separate purchase), post cash gifts data right into your General Ledger.
Giving statementsVital at tax time, but available year-round. Create one-at-a-time or in mass. If emailed, you can receive verification that the message was opened.
Pledge campaignsCreate campaigns and watch the progress bars tick down as you record each pledge.
PathwaysSet up step-by-step processes overseen by responsible leaders. Make a pathway to guide congregants toward a better marriage or church membership. Even set up a process that guarantees newcomers are made welcome.
Group eventsFrom regular Bible studies to bowling nights, schedule any group event. Take attendance, and let Realm automatically notify group members of any changes to the schedule.
AnnouncementsPost a simple message like a church picnic or a guest speaker.
NotificationsPost a can't-be-missed message like a last-minute service cancellation or an urgent need for volunteers.