About Us

At Data Developments we have been writing and developing software for Churches and Charities for over 35 years. Our software has been specially created by experts and people who have worked in those roles to help people with little or no accounting, Gift Aid or administrative expertise to become compliant with minimal effort.

The software enables you to easily manage and increase the organisation’s money, look after its members, prepare useful reports to help the trustees and other interested people understand the work of the organisation, to plan for the future and to ensure that more time and resources are spent on its core activities.

It does this by simply making the organisation’s administration a lot easier, making handing over to new people a breeze and removing the dependence on bespoke spreadsheets. The software is easy to use in real situations whilst also meeting the legal requirements of being a charity and representing wonderful value for money

A family company with over 35 Years of Experience

Stephen Ibbs helped set up Data Developments in 1985 and in 1992 Stephen’s son (also called Stephen) joined the company. Having two Stephen Ibbs’ in the company created too much of a headache and so Stephen (the son) used an old family name and thus became Stephen Hendy. In 2002 Shelagh Ibbs (wife of Stephen and mother to Stephen Hendy) also joined Data Developments and since then we have welcomed more staff to the family of Data Developments and will continue to do so. In 2016 Stephen and Shelagh Ibbs retired leaving Data Developments in the safe and capable hands of Stephen Hendy and his plans for the future.

The first software developed by Data Developments was produced in 1985 in response to a vicar with a need for a membership package. This first program, Rollcall, was a great success and was quickly followed by three financial packages: Cashcall, Covenant and Donate.

Interest in these four programs quickly grew and other staff joined the company and when Windows was launched, and the programs were completely re-written for this new operating system.

Work expanded as a wide range of customers, including Goodyear Tyre Company, Wolverhampton Race Course, and Refuges for abused women and homeless men in the midlands commissioned work. In 1996 following much discussion it was decided that Data Developments would focus on working exclusively with Churches and Charities.

In 2000 new Gift Aid legislation provided a need to produce a new package, one that combined the strengths of both Covenant and Donate with new ideas and compliance to the new regulations – this software package was called Gift. With the advent of online claiming in April 2013 Data Developments were one of the first companies to be approved by the HMRC to submit claims online.

As legislation has changed we have continued to work with statutory organisations to ensure that all of our software complies with new regulations and provides approved forms such as the Statement of Financial Activities (SOFA)

Contactless donations, online banking and Online software

Data Developments have always been at the forefront of developments in the charity sector and this is even more so with our new online versions of our donations and finance systems called MyGiving.Online and MyFundAccounting.Online. These enable donations to be received and processed in many new and innovative ways whilst automating the work as much as possible enabling churches and charities to focus on their core work.

With the decline in the use of cash this had the potential to cause real issues for churches and charities, many of which rely on spontaneous donations. Therefore in 2017 we started working with a contactless terminal manufacturer to enable our users to not only benefit from contactless donations but also enable Gift Aid or GASDS to be claimed on them automatically. The resulting terminal can now either be used standalone or can be partnered with MyGiving.Online which then enables Gift Aid or GASDS to be claimed on a donation made by a donor (who simply tapped their donation).

With the pandemic in 2020 a lot more churches and charities switched to online banking but were then faced with the issue of having payments made by a single authorised person, whereas their financial procedures required dual authorisation, or pay for banking services. Data Developments therefore developed a system where the software would manage the dual authorisation and make the dual authorised payment through the bank using the same online banking services.

Used by over 9500 Churches and Charities across the UK and recommended by:

  • Dioceses in the Church of England
  • Dioceses in the Church in Wales
  • Church of Scotland
  • Church of Ireland
  • Dioceses in the Roman Catholic Church
  • Presbyterian Church in Ireland
  • New Testament Church of God
  • Free Church of Scotland
  • Scottish Baptists

What’s different with Data Developments software?

Because of the unique nature of church and charity work and the way in which our programs will be used we don’t follow ‘normal’ software company limitations for example with our licensing.

Our Licensing

Once you have purchased our desktop software the license allows you to install it on as many computers as you wish so long as it is only being used for that individual church or charity. So you can keep a ‘backup’ copy on another computer or if you are sharing the input of data with another person (through transfer of data) that’s no problem and there’s no extra charge!!

With our online software you can have as many users as you wish, can control their permissions and so share the work with no extra cost.

Specific Versions

Our accounting package Finance Co-ordinator and MyFundAccounting.Online includes specific sets of accounts and reports that have been designed in close contact with church/central organisations so their churches can set up quickly and use a consistent set of accounts when producing any of their standard reports.

Open Days

We hold free Open Days and online presentations at various times across the country. This provides both new and existing users with the opportunity to see demonstrations of our software, play with the individual programs, ask questions and meet some of our Sales and Support teams.

Training

Training Our training courses aim to help you get the most out of your time by getting the most out of our software. Each of our courses has been developed over a number of years by listening to our customers and evaluating each course individually. Courses are delivered by qualified and experienced trainers and attendees receive a training booklet containing details of everything covered during the course.

Our ‘on demand’ online training are modules that you can purchase or to watch and re-watch at your own convenience and as many times as you wish within 30 days.

Our Listening Shows

We like to hear how good our software is and how much it has helped users but we also value those comments that help us improve our software further. As the world changes so to do our customers’ needs. Therefore our philosophy, over the last 35 years, has been to write software for real people in everyday situations. We constantly strive to improve the products and services we offer.

At Data Developments we don’t just produce software; we also take an active part in the roles that require our software. Amongst our directors and staff we have had a minister, a treasurer (for one of the largest churches in our area), a Gift Aid secretary, a DCC secretary, a youth worker plus others that take active roles in other areas of church and charity life.

We believe this enables us to offer a unique level of service together with the best products specifically designed for church and charity use. We continually develop our programs to ensure they always comply with current legislation and are easy to use.

Communication

We provide a monthly email newsletter to our customers to ensure that they remain up-to-date with all the latest software developments, training courses and open days from Data Developments. As well as other news from the church and charity market.

You can subscribe to our monthly online newsletter by clicking here
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And Finally…

Over the last couple of years staff at Data Developments have taken part in a variety of Sponsored Events, including Triathlons, Skydives, Cake Sales etc. to help raise money for various Charities across the UK.

So far we have managed to raise over £8000 for Cancer Research, Christians Against Poverty, Help for Heroes, Promise Dreams, World Vision, Send A Cow, Sport Relief amongst others.

If you have any suggestions as to other events in which we should be involved, please let us know so that we can try to increase the total given to charities.