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Church Helpmate Online  

We've put together below a list of several frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Church Helpmate Online.  If you have any questions (and answers) that you don't see here, please contact us!...we would love to hear from you.  We promise a friendly, low-pressure sales approach.

 

customer quote

"We really like the fact that there are no updates to worry about and
that the program can be used by multiple users from multiple locations.
It has been working well for us."

Bruce Konkle, CHO customer

 Frequently Asked Questions

Questions & Answers

 

Q.  What is Church Helpmate Online (CHO) and how is it different from the standard Church Helpmate Desktop software?

Church Helpmate Online (CHO) is an installation of the Church Helpmate software program that resides on our servers. This enables you (and others from your organization) to access the Church Helpmate software (and your data) from virtually any computer that has access to the Internet (including both Windows and Mac computers). Users will easily be able to connect to the same single database regardless of their location (home, work, church, coffee shop, etc.).

Unlike CHO, the standard Church Helpmate Desktop software is installed and run locally on your Windows-based computer. If your organization has a local area network (LAN) installed, the Church Helpmate Desktop data can be shared across your LAN to multiple local, on-site (non-remote) computers.
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Q.  What advantages does CHO offer over the standard Church Helpmate Desktop software?

CHO offers several advantages:

  • Ease of remote access
    With CHO, users can connect to the CHO program and data from any computer connected to the Internet. With CHO, all users share the same data file at the same time...no matter where they are.

  • Automatic updates and upgrades
    With CHO, updates and even full version upgrades are automatically included and implemented without any effort on your part.

  • Performance
    In most cases, you'll actually see a speed/performance advantage with CHO - especially if you typically have more than one user running Church Helpmate at the same time (sharing the same data file). Our CHO customers who have switched over from the Church Helpmate Desktop product have been very surprised by the quick speed of CHO - and delighted that it's much faster than their locally installed standard Church Helpmate Desktop software.

  • Mac-compatibility
    With CHO, it's easy for Mac users to use Church Helpmate.  Church Helpmate Desktop can only be run from Windows-based computers.

  • Automatic Backups
    With CHO, your Church Helpmate data file is automatically backed up daily...giving you piece-of-mind that your data (and time investment) is always safeguarded.

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Q.  Would our church be a good candidate for Church Helpmate Online?

CHO would be of great benefit to you and your church if one or more of the following are true:

  • You don't have a centralized church office and/or you have multiple people working from different locations (i.e. home, church, work, coffee shop, etc.).

  • You don't want to have to set-up and maintain a local area network (LAN) to share your Church Helpmate data file across multiple computers.

  • You don't want to deal with the hassle of installing product updates and upgrades.

  • You have one or more people from your church who want to run Church Helpmate from a Mac computer.

  • You are currently using the Church Helpmate Desktop product and sharing the data file with multiple users across your local area network - and you are experiencing speed and/or performance issues.

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Q.  Apart from the ability to access the program and data online, are there any functionality differences between the standard Church Helpmate Desktop software and Church Helpmate Online?

CHO is just an installation of the Church Helpmate Desktop software hosted for you on our servers...so it's the same product with the same design, feature set, and capabilities. However, there are a few minor differences due to the fact that CHO is running on our servers.  We've detailed these differences in our CHO vs CHD document.

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Q.  How much does Church Helpmate Online (CHO) cost?

Please refer to the Church Helpmate Online Pricing Page for details.

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Q.  What about upgrades and updates?...are they automatically included with CHO?

Yes, the CHO monthly fee includes all updates and all full version upgrades. Since CHO is installed on our servers, these updates will be installed automatically for you - you won't need to do a thing. We'll make sure that you are well-informed in advance of any updates/upgrades to ensure that there are no surprises.

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Q.  What about tech support?...is this included with CHO?

Yes, the CHO monthly fee includes full email and phone support (as well as updates and full version upgrades).

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Q.  Is there a CHO demo available?

Yes.  Please see the CHO Demo page for more details.

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Q.  If the CHO program is running on your servers, will we be able to print reports to our own local printer?

Yes. Your local printers (i.e. the printers that are connected to the computer you are sitting in front of) will be available from within the CHO program. You can also easily convert, save, and email any CHO report as a PDF file if desired.

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Q.  If the CHO program is running on your servers, will we be able to save files (ie. PDF files, CSV files, CH backup files, etc.) to our own computer's local hard-drive and/or upload files (such as photo files) if desired?

Yes, your local drives will be accessible from within the CHO program. From the "Tools" menu of CHO, you can select "Windows Explorer". This will open the Windows Explorer window and here you'll be able to copy and/or move files back and forth between the CHO server and your local hard-drives.

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Q.  Can we run CHO from a Mac computer?

Yes, you can! Just like you can access a website like Google from a Windows or Mac computer, you can access CHO in the same way.

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Q.  Will we be able to limit specific users' permissions as far as what they can and cannot do in the Church Helpmate Online system?

Yes, absolutely. Church Helpmate provides a built-in security system that allows you to create as many Church Helpmate login accounts as needed. Each of these Church Helpmate user accounts can be configured so that they have only the permissions that you want them to have.

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Q.  Is CHO a "web-based" church management software system?

Well, yes and no. Technically speaking, CHO is not a web-based product. It is still the well-known and well-respected Windows-based Church Helpmate Desktop product that we've been developing, enhancing, and supporting now for over a decade. However, CHO now "web-enables" our Church Helpmate program by making it available through the Internet by utilizing the latest state-of-the-art communication software tools. The CHO program and your church's data will reside on our secure Internet server. Your computer's Internet connection will connect to this server and allow you and others from your church to run the program (and access your data) without having to have the Church Helpmate software installed locally on your computer. So, while CHO is technically not a true "web-based" (sometimes known as "browser based") application, it is still definitely a "cloud-based" solution. It provides all of the remote access convenience of a cross-platform web-based application, while still providing the reliability, feature-rich interface, and powerful reporting capabilities of a proven desktop application.

customer quote

"With CHO, I really think you have catapulted yourself beyond
browser-based solutions.   Great product."

David Wehrle, CHO customer

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Q.  Is CHO designed to allow our members access Church Helpmate Online and update their information?

No. Church Helpmate Online is not a churchwide application. It is a tool designed for use by your church's leadership (i.e. staff, pastors, ministry team leaders, etc.). CHO is not a web site or an online gateway for your entire congregation to access.

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Q.  Can I run CHO from my mobile device (i.e. smart phone, iPad, etc.)?

No...at least not yet.  Currently you can access CHO from either a Windows or Mac computer.  However, we do have plans to develop a mobile connection option for CHO.  This mobile option would include a "slimmed down" version of the full CHO product that would be specifically designed for mobile devices.  We don't have a release date for this as of yet, but it is something that we definitely want to begin offering as soon as possible.

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Q.  How does the speed/performance of CHO compare to the standard Church Helpmate Desktop program?...won't it be slow with all that data passing over my Internet connect?

The CHO program and your data remain on our servers and are not passed through your Internet connection. The only things that are passed through your Internet connection are the screen display updates and user inputs (keyboard keystrokes, mouse movements/clicks, etc.). This ensures optimal performance, reliability, simplicity and security. Also, with CHO, the program and data reside on the same server computer. This eliminates the network lag that is prevalent when sharing the Church Helpmate Desktop data file across a traditional local area network (LAN). Thus, in scenarios where you'll have multiple users accessing your church's data file simultaneously , the CHO environment is expected to provide significantly better overall performance than you'd have in a local area network (LAN) environment with the Church Helpmate Desktop program.

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Q.  If we purchase (or have already purchased) the Church Helpmate Desktop product, and then later decide to switch over to Church Helpmate Online, will we get a credit for the money we've already spent?

Customers who own a license to our Church Helpmate Desktop product (any version) are eligible for discounted CHO pricing.  See our CHO pricing page for more details.

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Q.  Is my information safe?

Our servers are protected behind a firewall to ensure that only authorized connections are made. In addition, transmissions between our servers and your computer are fully encrypted. The sensitive information residing on our servers is only accessible to those in your organization working in Church Helpmate Online, to whom you've shared your login information.

While it is possible for Helpmate Technology Solutions' employees to access the information on the server, our employees do not access customer data unless it is deemed necessary as part of the resolution on an ongoing technical support incident. In this situation, your information is held in the strictest confidence.

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Q.  How many users can be logged into Church Helpmate Online at the same time?

The base CHO price includes 3 concurrent user licenses for your organization (meaning that 3 users can be using CHO simultaneously). This means that you can have any number of people use the CHO system, but only 3 will be able to access it at the same time. If you need access for more people at once, you can purchase additional concurrent users licenses.  Please see the CHO pricing page for more details.

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Q.  What payment options do you offer for Church Helpmate Online?

The monthly fees for CHO can be paid via credit card (VISA, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover) or via electronic debit from your bank account.

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Q.  What if we decide we don't like Church Helpmate Online?...are we locked into a contract?

There are no contracts or long-term obligations with Church Helpmate Online. Monthly CHO subscriptions can be cancelled on a monthly basis at any time by calling us at 888-858-3247.  Annual CHO subscriptions can be cancelled by simply choosing not to renew your subscription upon your annual renewal date.

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Q.  We'd like to get started with Church Helpmate Online. What's the next step?

To get started with Church Helpmate Online, you can sign-up via the CHO Pricing & Ordering page.  You can also place your order by phone by calling us at 888-858-3247. We can typically have your account set up within one business day.

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Q.  We have the Church Helpmate Desktop product now.  Is our current data compatible with Church Helpmate Online?

Church Helpmate Online is always running the newest version of the Church Helpmate software.  So, if your Church Helpmate Desktop software is the newest version of our product, the transition to CHO is very simple.  The process here would be to simply create a backup of your current data using the Backup & Restore feature of your CH Desktop software....and then you'd use the same Backup & Restore feature in Church Helpmate Online to restore this data into your CHO account (we provide step-by-step instructions on this). 

However, even if your CH Desktop software is an older version, the process is still quite simple.  In this case, you would send us your current Church Helpmate Desktop data (we provide an upload page on our website that makes this easy to do) and we'll get everything converted for you and uploaded to your CHO account (this conversion is free and is typically completed within 1 to 2 business days of receiving your older version's data).  Bottom line is that you'll never have to re-enter any of your Church Helpmate Desktop data when switching over to Church Helpmate Online.

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Helpmate Technology Solutions, LLC

PO Box 619, Union, KY 41091 USA

SALES:

888-858-3247 or 859-384-7564

sales@helpmateslkdj.comsales@helpmate.com

SUPPORT:

859-488-0764 (M-F 9:30a-5p EST)

support@helpmate.com

     

 

Church Helpmate is the church management software database system that’s simply powerful AND powerfully simple!   Save time & money, build unity, make better disciples, increase ministry participation, and simplify your life.  This church membership software system is easy-to-use, yet packed with the power & flexibility you need.  Read real-life testimonials for real success stories, and find out why more and more churches everyday are turning to Helpmate's church software.