What is the Best Practice for handling Deceased Members?

Oh man, this is difficult, and we want you to know that we are sorry for your loss! Every church decides to handle death in the church a bit differently, however, there are some essential best practices every church should use to ensure this individual does not receive future mailings, or that their name does not appear on giving statements mailed to the grieving family. 

First Step: Move Giving Records / Pledges

  • Click on the "Giving" tab to the left to see if they have any giving history. 
  • If they do, you will want to Move the Contributions to a family member. 
    • Next to the "Download as Excel" button, click the down arrow and select "Move Contributions."
    • Select which contributions you want to move and the person you'd like to move them to and click "Move".
  • Then Click the "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.
    • Click the pencil icon on the right of the pledge you'd like to modify.
    • Click the "X" beside the deceased individual's name and add in a family members name.
    • "Update Pledge" button to save your changes.

Second Step: Make sure there are no associations/envelope numbers assigned to this person.

  • If you use Envelope Numbers we will want to remove this number from the deceased person.
    •  Navigate to "More" > "Contributions" > "Envelopes" > Search for this person's name and click the "X" to remove this person from the assigned envelope number. (You can always reassign this envelope number to a family member). 
  • Make sure there are no "Associations" for Giving saved with this individual. As 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 is still appearing, because they show as having been giving. 
    • Navigate to "More" > "Contributions" > "More" in the left panel > Associations
    • Using Command + F (or Control + F) search for the name of this individual. 
    • If they have an association(s) click the "X" to the right of the association to end this association. 

Third Step: Archive the Person

  • Navigate to this person's profile. 
  • On the left-hand side click "More" and then select "Archive"
  • This will Archive this individual from your database. 

Additional Information:

How to Enter a "Deceased Date"/"Archived Date" in the Profile

Because my church relies on year-end reports for those who have passed away and archived, I have created 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 upon the Deceased and/or Archived Date:

  1. Navigate to "People" > "Show More Filter Options"
  2. Find the Date field you are wanting 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.

Here are a few related links to Breeze articles as well:

 

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