Choosing the best church management software (ChMS) for your church is challenging.
There are a variety of options to choose from, and knowing exactly what you need takes time and experience.
To help you make a decision, here are six necessary features you should look for in whatever ChMS you choose.
1. Membership management
Can you capture and track all membership data?
This is a must-have feature for any church management software.
Here's the type of membership data you should be able to track:
- Basic contact details, such as names, addresses, numbers, email and social-media IDs.
- Demographics, such as date of birth, marriages, confirmations, baptisms, areas in which they volunteer or participate, and groups they belong to.
- Family structures, such as spouse and children, or even more advanced functions such as divorced or separated parents.
- Youth and young adults’ information within their family records in order to keep in contact with them personally.
- The ability to add more than one contact or email address.
- Managing volunteer and staff schedules and communication.
- Manage first-time guests or new members.
- Mass message your church members.
- Enable members to gain access to specific areas in your system or restrict permissions.
2. Attendance tracking
Can you track and record what events members attend, and when and where?
Look for these features:
- Online check-in that enables members to mark themselves safe and present at an event, which reduces your admin load.
- Identify church member trends by monitoring attendance reports.
- Keep record of all attendance through all reports.
- Record demographics and numbers to help you get a detailed view of the steady rate your church is growing at.
3. Donation management
Can you collect and securely manage donations and pledges?
Keep an eye out for these features:
- Enables members to make donations online which also show up in financial records.
- Easily keep track of donations by check and cash and monitor all transactions.
- Receive accurate reports and statements on all contributions made.
- Track progress of pledge drives and communicate with donors.
4. Calendar management
Can you set up event reminders, keep track of birthdays, and keep everyone in the loop?
Make sure the church management software you choose will allow you to do this:
- Manage your events, volunteers, and resources in one place.
- Store notes and communicate with your staff and volunteers from calendars.
- Filter categories to show only certain types of events.
- Track annual leave or log sick leave.
- Upload your calendar on your website.
5. Communications and outreach
Does it provide tools to enable you to better reach and meet the needs your church members and community?
These features are mighty helpful for connecting with people:
- Enable members to create and update their own profiles.
- Mark people as active or inactive to maintain information for record keeping.
- Create people profiles, which are linked to family members’ information.
- Add areas of interest, gifts, medical information or previous ministries members have served in.
- Enable members to access the online directory to update their own information.
- Create custom fields to track additional information you require.
- Allow members to register and check in to events.
- Group individual people together—e.g. worship teams.
- Add personal notes to keep track of members’ progress and needs.
6. Child check-in and security
Can you keep track of children and church members at church related events?
Be sure you can do the following:
- Track attendance automatically, which saves you time and resources.
- Record check-in and check-out times.
- Print name tags and parent security tags.
- Track the attendance of youth group members by assigning each member barcode key tag which is scanned at the check-in point.
Need church management software?
Visit Tithe.ly Church Management to get started today.
Or schedule a call with a specialist to walk through a demo.