What Is the Best Practice for Handling Deceased Members?

We respect that each church has its own approach to handling members who have passed away. At Breeze, we deeply understand the sensitivity and emotional significance of managing the information of deceased members. This article will provide guidance on how to effectively manage deceased members, including moving giving records, updating family associations, archiving the person, and offering additional tips. By following these best practices, you can navigate this sensitive process with compassion, honoring the memory of the departed while upholding the integrity of your church community.

Step 1: Moving Giving Records and Pledges

Giving

  1. Click on the "Giving" tab and review the deceased member's giving history.
  2. If there is giving, you will want to Move the Contributions to a family member. 
    1. Click the down arrow next to the "Download as Excel" button and select "Move Giving".
    2. Choose the contributions to move and select the recipient family member.
    3. Click "Move" to complete the process.

Pledges

  1. Then Click "Pledges." If they have Pledges assigned under their name, you will want to edit the pledge and put it in a family member's name.
    1. Click the pencil icon on the right of the pledge you'd like to modify.
    2. Click the "X" beside the deceased individual's name and add in a family member's name.
    3. Click "Update Pledge" to save your changes.

Step 2: Removing Envelope Numbers and Associations

Envelope Numbers

  1. Navigate to "Giving" > "Envelopes" in Breeze.
  2. Search for the name of the deceased person and locate their assigned envelope number.
  3. Click the "X" next to their name to remove them from the envelope number. Remember, you can reassign this envelope number to a family member if needed.

Associations

Make sure there are no "Associations" for Giving saved with this individual. Associations with giving can cause contributions to continue to associate with the archived person if this step is overlooked. This can be incredibly awkward at statement time with the name of the deceased still appearing because they show as having been giving. 

  1. Navigate to "Giving" > "Online Giving" in the left panel.
  2. Select "Associations" .
  3. Use the "Command + F" (or "Control + F") keyboard shortcut to search for the name of the individual.
  4. If there are any associations present, click the edit button (pencil icon) located to the right of the association.
  5. Reassign the pledge to the appropriate person by selecting a different name.

Step Three: Archive the Person

When an individual is archived, a number of changes will take place in your Breeze account. 
The changes that occur are listed here: Archiving People Things To Know

  1. Navigate to this person's profile. 
  2. On the left-hand side, click "More" and then select "Archive.
  3. Click the "Archive Person" button on the bottom right of the popup window.

Families

If you archive a person and it results in only one individual remaining in the family unit, it is recommended to remove this person from their own family. This step prevents the individual from being recognized as part of a family when using the 'group by family' option on exports. To learn more about Family Roles, see Using Family Roles.

For further information on archiving in Breeze, see Archiving a Person or Restoring Archived People.

Consider Entering Deceased or Archived Dates in the Profile

Adding "Deceased Date" and "Archived Date" fields to your Breeze profiles helps you easily track and manage individuals who have passed away or been archived. This simplifies year-end reports, showing who has been archived for which reason. 

If your church relies on year-end reports for those who have passed away and/or been archived, consider creating two "Date" Profile Fields within Breeze to make these reports easy:

  1. Navigate to "More" > "Profile Fields"
  2. Click and drag the blue "Date" field into a new or existing category (e.g. "Main") and label these fields as "Deceased Date" and/or "Archived Date"
  3. Click "Save"
  4. Navigate back to the profile of the deceased individual and add these days in these new profile fields
  5. Click "Save"

Searching Archived People in the Future

If you followed the steps above to archive an individual, you do not need to worry about them showing up in future reports. To search for these people or generate reports based on the Deceased and/or Archived Date:

  1. Navigate to "People" > "Show More Filter Options."
  2. Find the Date field you want to search (e.g., 1/1/-12/31 of Deceased Date or Archived Date) > set your date ranges.
  3. Scroll down to "Other" > "Archived Field" > Select "Archived" (or "include both") to populate people who have been archived within these dates.
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