Frequently Asked Questions


Additional Help Documents


Using Your CommunityStew Stewdio

What is a CommunityStew Stewdio?

Your CommunityStew Stewdio is a secure, private Internet site where the people in your organization can quickly share information, documents, and ideas with one another from anywhere in the world. Just as important, your CommunityStew Stewdio is also a place where you can maintain databases of private information important to your organization, such as your member/employee information and your organization’s contacts. Your people will have the ability to access and edit that information from anywhere in the world.

What databases will my organization have in its CommunityStew Stewdio?

Your CommunityStew Stewdio comes with two ready-made address book databases where you can store information about people:

·         Members— These are people who have full privileges to log on to the private areas of your Stewdio. Typically, they are the members of an organization or the employees of a business.  They have the ability to update their own personal information and thereby keep the database constantly up-to-date.

·         Associates— These are people or other entities your group may want to contact from time to time, but who will not have access to the private areas of your Stewdio. Organizations typically use this database to store information about their customers, publicity contacts, etc. (Note: only people who are designated as Administrators of your Stewdio will have access to the Associates database.)

For more information, see “Working with your organization’s data”, below.

Can CommunityStew replace the membership and telephone lists my organization already publishes?

Absolutely! By keeping databases of your people in your Stewdio, they will always be up-to-date and available to all your members, wherever they are. And since individuals can update their own information, there will never be old or incorrect data.

Can CommunityStew replace the newsletter my organization currently publishes?

Sure! You can publish and share documents in your Stewdio (either privately to your members or to the whole world), including anything you can do in a newsletter and more, but without the printing and mailing costs. What’s more, when you distribute information to your group online in your Stewdio it will always be up-to-date, and the people in your organization can provide instantaneous feedback.

Can I use CommunityStew to manage mailing lists and publicity for my organization?

Your CommunityStew Studio is the perfect tool for managing your organization’s email and paper mailings. Your Stewdio allows you to keep databases with email and address information on Members (your members and/or employees) as well as Associates (your business contacts).

·         Email—It’s easy to use your Stewdio to email all of your Members and/or all of your Associates. Just click on the “Send Email” utility from inside your Stewdio. Using our email utilities you can also create customizable email lists from either of these databases. For example, with the names in your Members database you can create email lists for workgroups, committees, officers, etc. From the names in your Associates database you could create mailing lists of former Members, clients, etc. and be able to email those groups with ease. (All we ask is that you have a working relationship with the people you list in your databases. Our Acceptable Use Policy prohibits you from using our services to send unsolicited commercial and bulk emails.) Whenever you do an emailing from your Stewdio you will be notified if any of your intended recipients do not have an email address on file. That notice will include address and phone number information so you can easily make paper mailings or contact them by phone.

·         Paper Mailings—If you want to do paper mailings, you can generate mailing lists with ease by clicking on our “Download Data” utility.

Can my organization also use CommunityStew as its website?

Quite possibly! When you set up your organization’s Stewdio you will designate what information you want to share with the public (an “Internet” site—accessible through a public home page) and what information you want to keep confidential (your “Intranet” site—accessible through a private home page). We allow you to make information about your group, your group’s documents, and your calendar of events available to the public. For many groups this will satisfy their need for a public website easily and inexpensively.

My organization already has a website. How will our Stewdio interact with our existing site?

If you already have a website we allow you to set up a link to that site so it will be readily available to your members from inside your Stewdio. You will also want to provide a “members only” or “member services” link to your Stewdio from your website. Many of our member organizations have found that with such a link their Stewdio functions seamlessly with their website, providing a private area on their site for their members only.

Can my organization use it's own domain name and/or its own web pages with our Stewdio?
Yes. Your Stewdio, as well as any Member Pages in your Stewdio, are restricted to the format supplied by CommunityStew. However, if you wish to have your own custom pages used, you can do this by hosting directly with CommunityStew. There is a charge (currently $15/month) to do this hosting and to link your Stewdio to these custom pages. This fee also allows you to use your own domain name.

Alternately, if you only want your domain name to direct people to your Stewdio (or to an individual Member page), this can be done for a small "parking" fee (currently $5/mo.)

There is a one-time set-up fee of $25 for each of these custom services.

Can I get a custom web page on CommunityStew?

Yes. CommunityStew can do custom web site development work for your organization to meet almost any need. Since we can often utilize our proprietary "Stewdio" technology, our clients often find that they can get more functionality for much less money than from independent Web developers.

Working with your organization’s data

How do I get member information into my organization’s Stewdio?

There are four easy ways to get your organization’s people into your studio:

·         If you don’t already have up-to-date membership database you can create one on-line by using the “Add New Members” function and entering the information on your members. You can add new members to your Stewdio at any time this way.

·         As an alternative, it may be easier to let your members enter their own information on-line. They can do this by going to your Stewdio and clicking on “Membership Application”. After they have filled in their personal information an administrator must then approve them (the “Approve Pending Membership Applications” function).

·         If you already have a computer database in any standard format (Access, Excel, Oracle, etc.) just send it to us at upload@cstew.com and we will upload it to your site. There is a nominal $25 set-up fee for this service that will automatically be billed to your account.

·         If you keep paper or word processing records we will enter information into the proper database fields for you. Just send us your records by email at upload@cstew.com or by snail mail to Uploads at CommunityStew, PO Box 370611, Denver, CO  80231. There is a nominal charge for this service of $.50 per name and address that will automatically be billed to your account.

Can I download my data later for other uses?

Yes. One of the big advantages of using CStew.com Stewdios is that when you create and maintain your organization’s databases with us that data can be easily downloaded for other uses.  Many of our clients find that our database management tools are as important as our Intranet tools in managing their organizations. Administrators of your site can download data by clicking the “Download Data” function. Our download engine is intuitive and easy to use, and will guide you through the process so you can get exactly the data you need, including pre-formatted mailing lists.

Accessing Your Stewdio

How will my group’s members know about my Stewdio and get access to it?

Whenever anyone is added to your group’s membership they will automatically receive notification by email telling them where to go to access the site, and giving them their User Name (which will always be their email address) and a computer-generated password. This will let them log on to the site.

What if my password doesn’t work?

First, make sure that you type your user name and password exactly as they appear in the notification you receive. User names are case sensitive. If you still have problems getting access you can email our help desk for assistance at help@cstew.com.

What if I lose my password?

Click the "Forgot Password?" link in the header of the Stewdio homepage and we will send you your password by email.

Can I change my password?

Yes. You can change your password at any time by following the “Change Your Password” link on the private homepage.


Is my organization’s Stewdio secure?

We go to considerable effort to protect the security of every CommunityStew Stewdio. However, no security system is perfect. You need to do your part by carefully screening the members you allow on your site and by encouraging your members to carefully protect their passwords.

Some of my organization’s members are concerned that their personal information will be put on the Internet.

While this reaction is common, there’s really no need for concern. On CommunityStew, all of the private information about your organization and its members will be accessible only to your members and only by password. Your information will be much more secure on your Stewdio than it would be if you published it on paper and distributed it to your membership.

What about CommunityStew employees and consultants?

We take our clients’ privacy very seriously. All CommunityStew employees and consultants who may have access to your information are contractually bound to protect the confidentiality of that information and use it only for the purpose of servicing your account.

Will you sell my information to others?

No. CommunityStew follows a strict Privacy Policy. Please see that document for specific details on how your information will be protected.

How often will my site be backed up?

We back up all client data daily. In the event of equipment failures we can usually restore the site to operation in a matter of hours.


The hover buttons (that operate my Features links) on my Stewdio are not showing.  What do I do?

  • If you have a Microsoft Internet Explorer Browser:

You may have a corrupt Java Virtual Machine, which is the part of the Operating System responsible for interpreting Java Applets. To see if this is truly the case, browse to http://www.azpos.com/fptest/shoverb.htm. If the hover buttons here do not display correctly then download and install the newest Java Virtual Machine, which can be found by clicking on the following link - http://www.microsoft.com/java/vm/dl_vm40.htm.

  • If you have a Netscape 6 Browser:

Your browser is not viewing Java correctly.  Upgrade your browser to the 6.2 version including Java from the Netscape site.

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