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ChurchInfo Documentation

Welcome to the ChurchInfo documentation site. ChurchInfo is a free church database program to help churches track members, families, groups, pledges and payments. This is an active development program with a commitment to frequent, stable releases.

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For further details of the project and to download the software go to Sourceforge ChurchInfo page.


ChurchInfo is a PHP/MySQL application which runs on a web server, providing web pages so users can update and access the data in the database. You can run both the server and the browser on a single computer, but the real power of a web database application is visible when you have multiple users accessing the database from their own computers.

For more detailed information on installation see the file Documentation/Readme.txt.

If you already have a web server which supports PHP and MySQL just follow the instructions in Documentation/Readme.txt. If you don't have a web server you have three choices:

  • Rent space on a web server like
  • Run a web server on a Linux or Windows computer
  • Build a server running Linux or Windows

The quickest way to get started if you don't have a server is to install the xampp distribution. This includes Apache, PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin and other useful stuff. The xampp project is on SourceForge here: Once you install xampp you can install the churchinfo directory in xampp/htdocs.

Getting Started

The application is based on the concepts of people who are members of families and are also members of common interest groups.

Configuring Churchinfo

After you have created your ChurchInfo application and can login, you are ready to configure the application.

The first thing to do is enter your church name, address, phone and email address into the Report Settings.

You can add a custom header to ChurchInfo by entering the HTML for the custom header in the General Settings. From the Admin menu, choose “Edit General Settings”. Near the bottom of the General Settings page, enter the HTML for the custom header into the field “sHeader”. Example: If you enter ”<H2>My Church</H2>”, ChurchInfo will display “My Church” in large, bold letters at the top of each page.

During the configuration stage, give some consideration to how you will use ChurchInfo:

  • What are the groups that you will use?
  • What properties do you need to record for people, families and groups?
  • Do you need to use custom fields to extend the functionality of ChurchInfo?
  • Does everyone need basic access to the database or just to a members directory?
  • Who needs access to the administration features?
  • Who should be given access to the Financial records?
  • Who can add or change records?

Refer to tips and hints for setting up your Churchinfo database.

Configuring Email

ChurchInfo has a powerful email system, but it requires some effort to configure.

First, select Admin→Edit General Settings. Scroll about half-way down. Set bEmailSend to True. Set the next six values appropriately for your email system.

Next, select Admin→Edit Users. Click the Edit link for yourself. Scroll down to the bottom section of the page. Set bEmailMailto to True to enable use of a standard email client. Set sMailtoDelimiter to ';' for using a Microsoft email client Outlook or Outlook Express, use ',' for any other client such as Thunderbird or Eudora. Set bSendPHPMail to True to enable direct mailing from ChurchInfo. Set sFromEmailAddress and sFromName to the values you want to use for your ChurchInfo messages.

To test your settings, select Admin→Please select this option to register ChurchInfo after configuring. Fill in the form and press Send. This will send a message to If it goes back to the welcome page your message was sent successfully. If an error appears that means there is a problem with your configuration settings.

After the first time you use the registration page, the menu option changes to Admin→Update Registration. You can send your registration message as many times as you want. The default values are taken from the settings in Admin→Edit Report Settings. You might want to update these first before going to the registration page.

Using ChurchInfo

After your database is installed and configured, you are now ready to populate your data. This can be done using the keyboard or using the data import function.

People & Families

Individuals make up the church and in Churchinfo everyone is part of a family. The date of birth when entered will allow the age to be displayed (this can be suppressed at an individual level if required) and a list of birthdays in a month (Select Data/Reports → Query Menu, click “Birthdays”, enter the number for the month, and press “Execute Query”).

An individual can also be assigned properties or be a member of Groups. A photo can be added to a Person and a Family record. These can be printed in the Church Directory if desired.

The data that is entered for each family is also available for each individual, however it can be changed at the individual level e.g. a separate email address or phone number. A Family has one or more people in it, and each person has a role assigned: head of family, spouse, child etc.

Geographic Features

Included in ChurchInfo is a geographic mapping feature that lets you map groups of people or families.


ChurchInfo has a finance function for tracking tithes, pledges and gifts.


The ChurchInfo events module allows you to create events and track attendance, visitor numbers, and who needs to be followed up.

Sending email from ChurchInfo

To send email from the server:

  1. select and Add Group Members to Cart
  2. go to Cart → List Cart Items.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the CartView and you can compose your message and sent it. Sorry, no attachements are supported.


This feature is used to keep track of talent and willingness to volunteer for specific sorts of tasks. For example, some volunteer opportunities might be “Baking”, “Babysitting”, “Lawn Mowing”, etc. When a need arises, the Volunteers query may be used to find people who are willing to serve.

After you have created some volunteer types and have associated them with individuals, you then need to query the data for instance, if I have a need for baby sitting, how do you find thelist of 5 people who have volunteered for babysitting?

  1. Select Data/Reports→Query Menu
  2. Down at the bottom, click Volunteers
  3. People can be added to the cart after the query identifies them.
  4. Once they are in the cart you can make a mini-directory for contact information, print address labels, etc.


ChurchInfo has a number of built-in reports to provide a snapshot of the users data. Queries are pre-built based on the database structure to provide common reporting requirements such as:

Membership Reports

  • group membership
  • contact lists
  • reports on groups and roles
  • Members Directory: Printable directory of all members, grouped by family where assigned
  • Letters and Mailing Labels
  • Birthdays: Members with birthdays in a particular month
  • Family Member Count: Returns each family and the total number of people assigned to them.
  • Membership anniversaries: Members who joined in a particular month
  • Person by Age: Returns any person records with ages between two given ages.
  • Person by properties: Returns person records which are assigned the given property.
  • Person by Role and Gender: Selects person records with the family role and gender specified.
  • Person Count
  • Recent friends: Friends who signed up in previous months
  • Select all members: People who are members
  • Select database users: People who are registered as database users
  • Total By Gender: Total of records matching a given gender.
  • Volunteers: Find volunteers for a particular opportunity
  • Volunteers: Find volunteers for who match two specific opportunity codes
  • Advanced Search: Search by any part of Name, City, State, Zip, or Home Phone.
  • Families to canvass: People in families that are ok to canvass.

Class & Attendance Reports

  • Sunday School Reports: Generate class lists and attendance sheets
  • Event Attendance: Generate attendance -AND- non-attendance reports for events
  • Class Students: Find students for a particular class
  • Class Teachers: Find teachers for a particular class
  • Registered students

Finance Reports

  • finance reports
  • Financial Reports: Pledges and Payments
  • Canvass Automation: support for conducting an every-member canvass.
  • Pledge comparison: Compare pledges between two fiscal years

Reports are also available using a free-text search function, based on mySQL.

Reports can be customized by following the instructions at this website.

The results of a query can be added to a cart for later use. After a query has been run, simply click the button entitled “Add Results to Cart”.


Most administration features are available from menus and forms.

Data Import

Learn how to import data into ChurchInfo here: data_import

start.txt · Last modified: 2014/06/01 09:57 by hermandr