We are excited to announce the arrival 4th Degree Assembly Sites!

Any 4th Degree Assembly associated with a Council which has a current paid subscription to our KofC Hosting Platform is eligible for a free Assembly Website. Assembly sites have a fresh new design and include most of the same features as our Council sites. Every Assembly site comes with:

  • Design and Content Updates
  • Online Dues Payments
  • Contact Form System
  • Members’ Area
  • Event Management & Calendar
  • Minutes Archive
  • Member Email Newsletter System
  • Officer Reports
  • Prayer Requests
  • and more…

Is Free really Free?

Yes, all Assembly sites come with a base package that is 100% free of charge. Your no cost assembly website will include a web address on our patriotic.degree domain. For example, ff you assembly number is 12345, your address would be 12345.patriotic.degree.

Online Dues Payments, Event Ticket Payments, and custom contact forms with payments will incur normal Stripe processing fees.

Addon options such as a custom domain name and domain ID protection are available at our current prices. For a .com domain name with ID protection, current pricing is be US$18.99/year.

For more information or to request your assembly site visit the product page here.

Grassroots Hosting is always looking for ways to improve and update our existing products and features. We encourage all of our clients to make suggestions and provide feedback.

It is the culmination of that amazing feedback that has led to today’s release of the updated Dues Payment system on the KofC Hosting Platform. Available on both Council and Assembly websites, the dues system allows members to quickly and easily pay their annual dues.

This update includes refined ability to control the surcharge amount, the addition of a custom message to your members, and the addition of other items/fees in addition to dues.

However, the most significant change to the dues system is the switch to Stripe’s “Checkout” payment system. This is the latest evolution of their payment platform and is the most secure and feature packed version available. Now, your members can pay with ApplePay and GooglePay!

Custom Messaging

You can now add a rich text message at the top of the dues form. This message can be formatted with bold, underlines, italics, headlines, lists, and more. By providing a council or assembly specific message you have an opportunity to speak to your members during the renewal process.

Surcharge

Previously, the platform only supported a fixed fee surcharge amount or no surcharge. This meant you could specify an exact dollar amount that would be added to each payment or not have a surcharge.

With this update we have added two additional options:

  1. Percentage – A fixed percentage will be added to every transaction
  2. Automatic Calculation – The form will calculate the exact surcharge to result in a net 0 fee for you. This means if your member pays $35 for dues, after Stripe processing fees your council/assembly will receive $35.

As always, the surcharge amount is displayed to your members before they checkout. However, the surcharge fields will be hidden and never shown if you select to not charge one.

Additional Fees

One of the most requested updates to the Dues system was the ability to add additional fees to the form. With this update this is now possible. You can add either or both of these:

  • Variable Amount – Ideal for donations or program funds. Your members can enter the amount they wish to contribute, or set it to zero.
  • Fixed Fee Add Ons – Displayed as checkboxes, your members can choose to add them to their payment. Great for fees for name tags, initiation, or special programs.

You can have one variable amount item and up to five fixed fee items.

When setting up these additional fees you can change the labels and descriptions displayed on the form. This gives maximum clarity to your members.

Stripe Checkout = ApplePay and GooglePay

Stripe Checkout changes the payment flow process on your site and introduces new ways to pay!

Instead of entering credit card information directly into the Dues form, members click a “Proceed to Payment” button. They are then transferred to a secure checkout page directly on Stripe’s servers to complete the payment. When finished, they are brought back to your site and shown their confirmation.

Stripe Checkout is the most secure and feature packed method of payment offered by Stripe. However, the most exciting feature is the ability to accept ApplePay and GooglePay without any additional setup! That’s right! ApplePay and GooglePay are available on your council site now!

Currently this new Checkout method is only available for dues payments, but we will be updating the Events Ticket system to use is as well in the next few weeks.

For more information on these updates and instructions to set up your new fees and messages, visit our FAQ’s. Checkout a demo version of the form here!

Since our last update we have been busy working under the hood improving code efficiency and preparing the code base for a number of feature updates.  We just wanted to take a couple of minutes to tell you about some new features, tools, and design elements we have implemented this past summer.

You may have already noticed some these features in your Council Website Dashboard as we have been soft launching them for the last couple of of months.

New Features

  • Add Custom Images to Homepage
  • Officer Report System

Updates

  • Removed Google+ from Social Icons (Google has discontinued this service)
  • Revised the layout of the Members’ Area for ease of use
  • Added the “Charter, Constitution and Laws” of the Order to the Members’ Area
  • Allow multiple 4th Degree Assembly Affiliations
  • Turn off the “Recent Images” section on the council homepage
  • Ability to set images as “public” or “private”.  Private will not display in the recent images block
  • Prayer requests can now be marked as public or private
  • Prayer requests can now be displayed on the Homepage and/or Members’ Area
  • Ability to add a second Outside Guard to the officers listing
  • Major update to the automated minutes generator to reflect changes to the order of Business made at the 2018 Supreme Convention
  • Added a “Site Maps” box to the Dashboard to show your site’s search engine submission history and stats

And those are just the changes you can see.  We made 100’s of updates and changes to various modules to improve performance and usability.

We have also updated our Frequently Asked Questions to reflect these and other updates.

One thing clients often question is the wisdom of collecting membership dues online.

Why should we give away 3% to the credit card company?

Why pay when checks don’t cost us a thing?

Why make things more difficult?

We believe the benefits of accepting dues payments online far outweigh the costs.  One of the first councils to use our payments system had excellent results.  Top amongst them were:

  • Collected more than one year of arrears from 6 members
  • Received prompt payment from several members who usually don’t pay until receiving a Knight Alert letter.
  • Reduced number of bounced checks.
  • 90% of dues were collected before January 1st, as opposed to 60% the previous year.
  • Significantly less work for the Financial Secretary and retention committee.
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At Grassroots Hosting, your Knights of Columbus Council has two options.  Which one you choose could make a profound impact on your council for many years to come.

First, you can opt to build your own council site from the ground up.  You can make a very simple site in a matter of minutes.  However, a full featured site could take 100’s of hours of development time, and requires many different levels of expertise to design and maintain.  

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We have made a few updates to our KofC Platform!

We have updated all council sites with the Supreme Council “Everyday Heroes” video series. You will find a section on the home page featuring episodes one and two. Additionally, we have added a whole new page to every council’s site featuring all nine episodes. You can see the link at the top of each page!

Finally, we have added a new email newsletter template. With this template you can quickly tell your council’s members about the “Everyday Heroes” videos, and encourage them to share them with others!

These videos are excellent recruitment and community outreach tools. You may even want to consider sharing one each month at a council meeting!

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We are pleased to announce the official launch of our council sponsorship system.  Many of you have asked for this and we have spent the past 3 months working to develop this for you.

The system is easy to use and only takes a few minutes to activate.

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Keeping your members informed is critical to the success of your council’s programs.  You spend time creating content for your council newsletters, but do your council members get the newsletter?  How about important announcements and other council communications.

Professional and reliable email communication is an absolute must in the digital age.  Ensuring your messages are delivered to your members’ inboxes every time is more complicated than you might think.  Our new Enterprise Grade Email System helps with all of the following:

  • 99.9% Delivery to Inbox and not Spam Folder
  • Protects your personal email address from being blacklisted for sending to large numbers of recipients
  • Track deliverability, bounces, opens and clicks
  • Ensure all members authorized to send messages have the same email list (no more trying to update your own list to find old, new, and updated members!)
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We often get asked if KofC Councils really need a website.

We might be biased, but we definitely believe every Council needs a strong presence on the web.  A website helps share your message, communicate with members and the community, and is an excellent recruitment tool.

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