Looking for a church management solution?
An all-in-one, cloud-based solution is your best bet for simplifying tasks like collecting online donations, sending mass communications, financial reporting, event planning, attendance tracking, running background checks, and more.
Finding an affordable church management software is key for a church of any size. There are even free solutions available (but we don't recommend them, and we'll tell you why).
In the following article, we'll look at all-in-one software for churches and help you make a decision for choosing a church management tool that's right for you.
<a href="#list-1" class="toc-link">1. Tithely</a>
<a href="#list-2" class="toc-link">2. Breeze</a>
<a href="#list-3" class="toc-link">3. Planning Center</a>
<a href="#list-4" class="toc-link">4. ParishSOFT</a>
<a href="#list-5" class="toc-link">5. ChMeetings</a>
<a href="#list-6" class="toc-link">6. DonorKite</a>
<a href="#list-7" class="toc-link">7. Church Windows</a>
<a href="#list-8" class="toc-link">8. Excellerate</a>
<a href="#list-9" class="toc-link">9. ChurchTrac</a>
<a href="#list-10" class="toc-link">10. Church Office Online</a>
An all-in-one church management software is a powerful tool that can help you with administrative tasks spanning from event management to contribution management to worship planning. It's typically a cloud-based church management solution that can be used by churches of every size–mid-sized churches, small church plants, and even mega churches.
An all-in-one tool will help you perform tasks like running financial reports and leading faith teams all on the same platform. It should also charge one flat rate for everything–people management, membership management, and financial management will also cost one fixed fee.
The only advantage of free church management software is that it's free. When you receive something for free, it's typically not very high quality. While free merchandise and occasional free food are fun, a free web-based church management software isn't going to serve you in the long run.
Free church software won't have the advanced features you need for effective church management and church operations. Instead of looking for free software, look for software with affordable monthly pricing or a pricing plan that works for you.
You need a cloud-based church management system for the basic operations of your church like service planning and contact management. But you also need church management software for collecting online donations, managing contribution details, coordinating outreach activities, and even running daily operations at your church office or headquarters.
The best solution for churches will include additional features that help church leaders and church administration staff to manage and connect with their people. Additional features can include communication tools (such as the ability to send a mass email), volunteer scheduling, the ability to run the software with a mobile app, and more.
Ultimately, church management software is about building a stronger church community!
If your church management software solution isn't user friendly, then it's time to replace it. You should also replace it if it isn't suited to your church size, isn't well-liked by your church staff, or doesn't include the key features you need to run your church well (like reporting tools or contribution tracking).
To choose the best ChMS solution for small churches, we looked at cloud-based church management software with powerful features like an online contribution collection tool, communication via email and text message, and the ability to produce custom reports about finances.
We also looked for seamless integration between all aspects of the software solution. The contact database should connect smoothly with the email marketing tool, for example.
Next, we looked at the ChMS solution as a tool for ministry engagement. If it doesn't help you grow your church or connect with members, it's not worth it.
Usability was another key. Is there a steep learning curve to using the tool, or is it intuitive and user-friendly?
Finally, we looked at price. While there are some free solutions, these are rarely a good idea. Instead, we focused on products that charged a low monthly subscription fee. A one-time fee paid every month is usually a good payment plan for churches.
Tithe.ly is a cloud-based software that provides all the powerful features that a church needs to lead and manage its members and staff.
This includes a ChMS alongside of a contact database, online giving, donation management, a custom website and app builder, email and text messaging, worship planning, and more.
Tithe.ly's centralized platform, which includes a wide variety of tools, is ideal for churches that are looking for a comprehensive set of features for church management, marketing, and more.
Tithe.ly costs $119 a month for everything–a great price for its advanced features.
Breeze is an easy-to-use ChMS solution that includes the key features a church needs for effective management. Breeze offers a customizable contact database, a check-in system for kids, online giving, reporting tools, email and text messaging, and more.
Breeze is consistently rated one of the easiest-to-use tools by church admin and leaders. It's also very affordable, at only $67 a month.
Planning Center includes many of the tools a church needs to manage its members and staff, including online giving, volunteer scheduling, worship planning, and attendance tracking.
The biggest drawback of Planning Center is its price. As you acquire a wider variety of features with Planning Center, the price scales up significantly. In theory, you can use Planning Center for free...if your church has 5-10 members.
But as you grow, the price can quickly scale up to $500 per month or more.
ParishSOFT is a church management tool specifically designed for Catholic churches. Its basic features include contact management, accounting tools, and tools for Catholic education tools, and online giving.
ParishSOFT may be an excellent option for Catholic churches, but many of its features aren't applicable to churches that aren't Catholic.
DonorKite is primarily a donation management software for churches and non-profit organizations. That being said, its scope of features for faith-based organizations is limited.
While DonorKite offers a number of donation management features, it doesn't, for example, offer a comprehensive communication platform or reporting capabilities outside of finances.
Excellerate is a church management solution that includes tools for membership management, volunteer scheduling, attendance tracking, and reporting.
Excellerate may offer the basic features needed for church management, but it's ultimately limited in scope.
ChurchTrac is a ChMS that offers many of the tools needed for church management, including contact management, a giving platform, worship planning, check-in, accounting tools, and more.
ChurchTrac is affordable ($72 a month for unlimited members), but it doesn't offer some of the advanced features needed for connection and engagement (such as a customizable website or app).
Church Office Online provides church management tools such as check-in, online giving, attendance tracking, email and text, and background checks.
Church Office Online's pricing scales up significantly as your church grows. For example, using Church Office Online for a 525-person church will cost over $100 per month. For any church with over 1k people, you'll need to contact for quote.
The Church Management software that's right for your church is the tool that meets your needs and your budget. You'll also want to consider using a tool that can expand with your church (and your growing needs) without expanding in price.
Churches use a range of tools for church management. Sometimes, it's a good idea to look at how many churches use a specific tool. For example, 37,000 churches all over the world use Tithe.ly–a good indication that it's a great choice for many churches.
Here are just a few features that Tithe.ly's website builder offers:
As mentioned, some church software may be free. Standalone online giving tools may be free. For example, Tithe.ly Giving is free to use, not including transaction fees.
But once you expand your needs to church management, look for quality over "free." Typically, free products that promise to handle all of your church's management needs aren't super high quality.
CRM is an acronym for customer relationship management. In the context of church, this typically refers to contact management. Yes, most churches use CRMs to help them manage their members.