Push Notifications are an excellent way to communicate with the church, and with the Tithe.ly Church App platform, your notifications can include links and images along with text details. With this tutorial, we will send out a notification like the example below. Once it is received, the church member opens the notification by touching or swiping it.
To begin, log into the Tithe.ly Church App Dashboard and you will see a number of options on the left side of the screen. Select “Push Messages” from the options:
When you select “Push Messages”, it will open 2 additional options below “Push Messages”, “Push Messages” (which you should use to send a message if you want it to go out immediately) and “Scheduled” (which you should use if you want the message to go out in the future or want the message to repeat at regular intervals.
You can access “Scheduled” from within “Push Messages”, so let’s select “Push Messages”:
You will be taken to a screen where you can see messages that have been sent out in the past. If this is your first time sending a message then the list will be blank.
To send a normal push notification that is sent immediately, select “Send New” from the options at the top of the screen:
You will then be taken to a page where you can fill in the details for the notification that you want to send. The fields are:
This does not show up when the push notification pops up on an app user’s screen. This information is displayed in larger text at the top of the details when someone views the push notification within the app.
In the image shown at the top of this tutorial, the Subject was: “Peru Mission Trip Meeting”
This is the text that will come through when the message pops up on someone screen when you press it (either in a banner at the top of the screen or on the user’s lock screen). Note that only around 10 words will show up, but if the user touches the notification or swipes it on their lock screen, then it will take them into the app where he or she can view the notification details which will include all of the text.
In the image shown at the top of this tutorial, the Message was: “We will be meeting on Sunday, April 15th for an information meeting about the upcoming Peru Mission Trip. If you have any interest then make sure to join us. Select the link below for more details.”
We advise against modifying this. This is the date and time that will show up along with the notification within the app. This can be used to modify where the notification shows up in the list of notifications.
In the image at the top of this tutorial, the Date was: “04/06/2018 1:55 PM”
Website Link (Optional):
If you want your notification to have the ability to link to other details, you can use this field and then the notification details within the app will include a “Website” button.
In the image at the top of this tutorial, we simply added a placeholder link to make the button show up, so we used: “https://www.google.com/”, but you can use any link to your website or other sources other than some specific cases like YouTube videos.
Image Link (Optional):
The image link allows you to paste a link to an image which will be shown at the top of the notification details within the app. Note, that it is a good idea to use a wide image instead of a tall one since a tall image could take up most of the screen.
Once you have added all of the details that you want to include, select the Submit button and your message should be sent within the next 30 seconds. Note that your message is added to a queue and it can take slightly longer to send if there are already a number of messages being sent.
If you would prefer to send out a push notification in the future, or would prefer to send a regularly occurring notification, then there are multiple options for scheduling notifications. If you want to send a Scheduled Notification, then there are a few places on the dashboard that you can access the option.
- When you select “Push Messages” from the options on the left side of the Tithe.ly Church App dashboard and 2 options open below the button, the bottom of the two options in “Scheduled”, which will take you to schedule a notification.
- When you are on the Push Messages dashboard viewing the list of recently sent messages or if you are sending a message, you can select the “Scheduled Notifications” option to switch over to scheduling a notification.
Once you are on the “Scheduled Notifications” dashboard, you will see a list of the recently sent Scheduled Notifications if you have sent any. To send a new notification, choose the “Add New” button at the top of the screen:
When sending a new scheduled push notification, you will enter all of the same information that you enter for a normal notification except the Date, since that will be added from how you schedule the message.
Once you fill in the main details for the message, there are two different options for sending a scheduled notification.
Option 1: Schedules date(s) - This option allows you to schedule a single notification, or multiple notifications, for future dates. The key to this option is that you need to enter each date in manually. The advantage is that the dates don’t need to be at regular intervals. So if you are wanting a notification to go out on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday of the following week, this is the option that you want since that is not a regular interval. You also want this option if you want to send out a single notification sometime in the future.
Option 2: Recurrence rule - This option allows you to easily schedule a notification that occurs at regular intervals for as long as you want it to. So if you want the notification to be sent every Wednesday night for the foreseeable future, then you can use this option. You can also set blackout dates so that a notification can be sent every Wednesday for the foreseeable future except perhaps on a Wednesday that falls on a holiday (and you would need to manually enter that holiday in as a blackout date).
Option 1: Scheduled date(s) will be open by default, so your screen will look like this:
For sending a notification with Option 1, select the field below the “Scheduled date and time” text an a date selector box will appear:
From here, you can select the day and time that you want the notification to go out on. Note that for the time, you drag an hour and minute slider to select the time you want to send at. Be aware of whether you have AM or PM selected when setting the time.
You can opt to send the same notification the same time on other days by using the Extras Scheduled Dates field.
Simply enter a date using the format of Month/Day/Year like 12/31/2018 for sending a notification on December 31st of 2018.
Once you have the date information entered, press the “Submit” button and your notification will be scheduled to send.
If you want to send a notification that will resend at regular intervals (Option 2), select the “Option 2: Recurrence rule” text:
Notifications that are sent at regular intervals need to have special code entered to indicate the intervals. We link to a page that will help you generate that special code. Start off by selecting the “RRule Generator” button:
You will be taken to a page outside of the Tithe.ly Church App dashboard where you can set the parameters for when you would like your notification to be sent.
The top portion of the RRule Generator has you setting when you want the notification to be sent:
The first thing that you need to decide is how often that you want the notification to be sent. The default is yearly, but you most likely want the notification to go out more often than that. Chances are that you want it to be Weekly. So select the box next to the word “Repeat” and a drop-down menu will appear. Choose “Weekly” from the menu and the options will change:
From here, you select what day of the week you want the notification to go out on as well as how often (every 1 week(s) = send it every week on the chosen day, every 2 week(s) = send it every other week on the chosen day).
Once you have the details for how the notification should repeat, the next box below that is “End”. From here you can select the drop-down option and opt for:
- Never - the notification will be send out for all time)
- After - the notification will be sent a certain number of times, and then will not be sent again
- On Date - the notification will stop being sent out starting on this date
Once you have selected the way the notification should stop being sent (or you left it at “Never”, it is time to copy the RRULE code using the big green “Copy” button:
With the date code copied, it’s time to go back to the Tithe.ly Church App dashboard. The RRule page should have been opened in a new tab on your browser, so the Tithe.ly Church App dashboard should still be easily accessible from an open tab.
Simply paste the RRule code that you generated into the “Recurrence Rule” field:
Next, you need to select the time of day when you want the notification to be sent. Make sure to select AM or PM correctly when setting this value.
Last of all, you can select the Exclusion Dates, which are days when you don’t want to have the notification sent out. So if you want to send the notification out every Tuesday, but Christmas is on Tuesday this year, so you may not want it to go out on that day. So you could enter 12/25/2018 as an exclusion date, and then the notification will skip that Tuesday and continue being sent on the following Tuesday.
With all of those details entered, you are ready to send the notification, so simply select the green “Submit” button:
Disclaimer About Notifications Not Showing Up
There are a number of reasons that a member of your church may not receive a push notification. Push Notifications rely on a stable network connection and require that the device allows push notifications. It is very common for someone to report that push notifications are not working, but in reality, the device was on a bad network, was set to Airplane Mode or Do Not Disturb, had notifications disabled, or was set to silent so that the member of the church didn’t realize that the notification came through.