By Lori McConnell
Starting on Wednesday, Oct. 5, if you are a WUUC Member or pledging friend, you should find an email in your inbox inviting you to JOIN YOUR CHURCH family! This is an invitation for access to REALM, our new  information system. Realm is being put into place to streamline communications and information sharing within WUUC; to reduce the amount of time spent by staff and volunteers on repetitive, redundant tasks; to improve information sharing between congregants, leaders, and staff;  to assist us in making the “business” side of WUUC run more smoothly so that we can have time for the real ministry of the church.

What does REALM provide for me as a Member or Friend of WUUC?
As a Member or Friend of WUUC, REALM can provide several things:
•    The ability for you to edit all your contact and family information directly, upload personal pictures and control who at WUUC has access to that information
•    An online directory of everyone at WUUC (and their permitted contact information)
•    Visibility of all events occurring at WUUC
•    The ability to indicate interest in a new group by direct email to its leaders.
•    And more!

How is this different from WUUC’s Secure Site?
•    The best thing about REALM is how easy it is to learn and use. After only a few minutes of exploring the site, you will be seeing the groups you are in and checking your profile information.
•    We expect a much higher percentage of church members to actually use this site.
•    Our administration work, for both staff and members, will be easier and faster while staff is managing data that helps us stay in touch, track and understand engagement
•    REALM is a database, whereas the Secure Site is a repository of information and file sharing.

How secure is Realm?
Realm maintains security of all the data it stores according to the industry standard for personal information databases. Here’s how ACS Technologies, the company behind Realm, describes it: “We feel that the policies, practices and procedures we have in place to audit our security controls run parallel to that of SSAE 16. Security tests are performed annually by Secure State, who is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. They provide penetration testing, audits and consulting.”

Why is Realm available only to those who are Members or Pledging Friends of WUUC?
Our database contains information that we hold close to the heart of WUUC — contact and personal information about our families.  Our policy is to restrict access to Realm to those who make a commitment to WUUC to respect the privacy of this information.  WUUC Membership is that commitment.  Pledging is a measurable sign of commitment from those unable to become members at this time.
If you are not a WUUC member and/or cannot pledge at this time, but believe you need access to Realm’s information, please contact our Engagement Coordinator for special review.
For more information, talk to anyone on the Realm team: Karen Hyams, Lori McConnell, Lindsey Martin, Lindsay Rogers, or Leslie Morton.  Or email us at RealmHelp@wuuc.org.