Church Tech

What is ChMS? (Church Management Software)

According to Barna, 96% of pastors use a computer at church. And, nearly half of all churches offer options for giving and tithing online. Churches can use software to better manage the wide spectrum of church operations–ranging from automating workflows, to accounting tools, to service planning, to email communication, to social media marketing. In this article we discuss how church management software can play a role in church operations.

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Is technology bad for the church? 

Technology can lead to unhealthy addictions and over-consumption. But technology can also lead to greater efficiency, better organization, and an improved work environment. 

And though many church leaders may discourage the use of technology, the reality is that 78% of churches use a cloud-based church management system. According to Barna, 96% of pastors use a computer at church. And, nearly half of all churches offer options for giving and tithing online. 

Still, many church organizations have a long way to go when it comes to digitizing their administrative tasks, daily operations, management for attendance, giving (including the ability to track donations and flag major donations), and communication with members. For example, only 13% of churches provide a way for people to submit prayer requests online. This represents  a massive missed opportunity to support church members, make a ministry impact, and engage with the Kingdom. 

But one of the most significant areas of growth for churches is the use of cloud-based church management software. Churches can use software to better manage the wide spectrum of church operations–ranging from automating workflows, to accounting tools, to service planning, to email communication, to social media marketing.

The Beginner's Guide to Church Management Software (ChMS)

What's in this guide?

What is church management software?

What Does Church Management Software Do?

How Does Church Management Software Work?

What Are the Benefits of Church Management Software? 

To learn how to select the right church management software to support your church, click here.  

Common questions about church management software:

If you work at a church, then you know that churches handle a wide array of tasks, systems, projects, and people. What is church management software? And can it really “do it all”?  

In short, yes. But not all church management software tools are created equal. In this section, we’ll answer some of your most common questions about church management software, as well as some of the top software tools that can be used to manage an entire church, several church locations, and church plants. 

What is church management software?

Church management software is a tool that can help churches to run more efficiently, communicate with members, organize contact information, and oversee finances. It does through providing a set of features that aid administrative tasks.

What Does Church Management Software Do?

Depending on the type of church software, church management software can help users manage  project workflows, generate reports, organize and access contact information, send out digital communications, create marketing material, and more.

How Does Church Management Software Work?

Church management software follows a simple concept: improve church operations. To achieve that, it requires a number of different robust features and tools. Multiple users can access the software simultaneously–often from a range of devices. Church management software is typically cloud-based, meaning that it doesn’t require a download or storage space.

What Are the Benefits of Church Management Software?

Church management software can come with a range of benefits for churches of every size. By helping churches to run more efficiently on a centralized platform, it helps churches to save administrative time, labor, and resources. Church software also helps the admin team to meet goals, communicate more effectively, stay on the same page, and gain an overview of what’s happening at church. 

Church management software creates a better experience for church members and first-time visitors. By improving communication and creating a user-friendly online experience, a church management solution can make it easier for churchgoers to engage with a church community, learn, and most importantly, grow in their faith.

Popular ChMS' include:

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly Church Management (ChMS) is a cloud-based church management software that acts as an all-in-one solution for churches to provide membership management, financial management, event management, and more. 

Here are just a few of Tithe.ly’s key features:

First, Tithe.ly Church Management provides a powerful platform for church administrators to automate workflows–helping faith teams to meet deadlines and accomplish goals without a lot of back-and-forth. 

Next, Tithe.ly provides engagement tools to help better manage and communicate with members. This includes a member database to organize contacts, a powerful communication tools for sending out email communication and text messages, and marketing tools to create a beautiful website, a robust church app, and awesome church media.  

Robust reporting is one key aspect of church management, and Tithe.ly offers extensive reporting for keeping track of attendance, finances, engagement, and more. This includes robust custom reporting to help church leaders gain the insight they need to thrive. At the end of the day, this can give church administrative teams a clear overview of what’s happening at church–and what they can expect for the future. 

Tithe.ly makes it easy to give, with a range of donation options for church members. Donors can give online, on their mobile phones, at a kiosk, or with a text message–or even with cryptocurrency. 

Finally, Tithe.ly’s help and support is also clutch for providing a great user experience. Tithe.ly’s church management solution comes with responsive support, making it easy to get help when needed. 

Tithe.ly is both an affordable church management solution and a complete church management system. Tithe.ly handles every aspect of churches without requiring a high financial investment. At $99/month, Tithe.ly provides a cost-effective solution for churches to provide an amazing experience for both their faith teams and congregants.

To learn more about how Tithe.ly can help you get the benefits of saved time and labor–and serve your members–click here.

Breeze

Breeze is a cloud-enabled church management software that helps churches with a range of helpful features and tools. 

Breeze’s member management tool helps church staff manage unlimited contacts, store and filter custom data, and send both email and text communications. Their giving platform helps generate donor statements, tracks giving, and shows donor trends over time. And their event management tool helps ministry leaders coordinate worship services and provides child checking functionality. 

Although it certainly comes with some core benefits, Breeze doesn’t provide a comprehensive suite of marketing tools. It won’t help you build a church website or a church app. However, it’s extremely affordable–at $50 per month, this may be a good option for very small churches or church plants.  

Church on Cloud

Church on Cloud is a church management solution that offers a few different features to help churches manage contacts, generate reporting, and store data. One of the most unique aspects of Church on Cloud is its emphasis on reaching unchurched people. The church software also includes outreach tools such as an interactive map that show how many Christians live in a particular area and extensive reporting that measures the percentage of Christians per province. 

Other than its outreach tools and directory, Church on Cloud is extremely limited in functionality, however. It doesn’t offer engagement tools, donation options, accounting tools, or marketing tools–key features for efficient church management.

Faithful Steward 

Faithful Steward is a church management solution that offers both a cloud-based software and a desktop (downloadable) version. It offers a basic donation platform, accounting tools, and member management. It doesn’t, however, offer the ability to build a website or an app, or tools to engage or connect with members. And its pricing increases with church size, making it expensive to scale. 

ParishSOFT 

ParishSOFT is a church management tool that’s tailored for Catholic parishes, and dioceses. It has a few key features, such as accounting tools, a church directory, and a giving tool (that promises to help you see an increase in donations). And, it has a special tool for managing Catholic education–a priority for Catholic churches. 

ParishSOFT is certainly comprehensive for certain kinds of churches. But it doesn’t include some of the key tools that church administrators need to create a better experience for members. For example, ParishSOFT doesn’t have tools for looking at volunteer management and volunteer history, workflow automation, service planning, or marketing. 

Servant Keeper

Servant Keeper is a church management tool that’s also tailored more specifically for Catholic churches. It has a suite of features to help with data entry, contact management, communications, donation management, and more. Like ParishSOFT, it also lacks project management and reporting features–tools that create easier workflows for ministry leaders, and a better experience for congregants. 

Planning Center  

Planning Center is a cloud-based system that helps you to run your church more efficiently with a platform that includes child check-in functionality, group management, a giving platform for online contributions and donor management, a calendar to help with planning events, and more. 

Planning Center is not an “all-in-one” platform, but rather offers a set of features that you can purchase as needed. The downside of this is that as you add more features and scale your church, the price continues to increase. 

ChMS / Church Management Software FAQs 

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about church software.

What Are the Features of Church Management Software?

How Much Does Church Management Software Cost?

What are Examples of Church Management Software?

Questions to ask when selecting a ChMS 

What Are the Features of Church Management Software? 

Church management software typically has features that support:

  • Contact management, including membership records
  • Attendance tracking, including weekly attendance and monthly attendance
  • Giving and tithing
  • Communication with church members
  • Volunteer management for keeping track of volunteers
  • Event planning

In some cases (such as with Tithe.ly Church Management), church software offers:

  • Project management tools to help automate workflows, aid activity planning and activity scheduling, and keep everyone on the same page...
  • Marketing and media tools to help create an awesome online presence and serve new visitors….
  • Robust reporting for measuring activity involvement across the church....
  • A powerful communication tool for communicating with members and staff in a variety of ways, including the ability to message cont
  • Specialized tools for planning the weekly worship service...
  • Donor development tools for encouraging donors on their generosity journey...
  • And payment tools to make setting up a bookstore (or coffee shop) easy and efficient.

Ultimately, the features of church management software will range from tool to tool. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to consider what your church needs, and which powerful tool can best fill your requirements. 

How Much Does Church Management Software Cost? 

Church management software tools typically charge per month. Some tools increase their price as church size increases. If the church management software is not cloud-based, it may come with a high one-time fee for download (plus additional fees for updates).  

You can generally expect a church management software tool to cost between $50 per month and $200 per month. Remember that cheaper pricing is not always better. For example, some cheaper tools may come with such a limited range of features that you’ll need to pay for additional software tools (For example, if your software does not come with a tool for building a website, you’ll need to factor in that additional cost). Make sure that your tool has good value for money.

What are Examples of Church Management Software?

Examples of church management software include those listed above, as well as tools like ChurchTrac, Simple Church CRM, Church Community Builder, and Blackbaud Church Management. 

Questions to ask when selecting a ChMS 

When selecting a ChMS, you’ll want to ask a few key questions. 

First, how much time to do you have to make a ministry impact? Are you drowning in administrative work at the expense of taking a fruitful approach to ministry? If so, you’ll want to select a tool that’s tailored towards improving workflows and bringing everything onto one streamlined platform. 

Next, do you have a strong online presence? In 2021, there’s no excuse for not having a beautiful website, an easy-to-use app, and a powerful social media presence. Tiny churches, midsize churches, and megachurches alike can all have a powerful online presence with the right tools. Choose a tool that can help you build an online presence with ease of use. 

Finally, are you meeting your goals? Maybe you’d like to start a community outreach program, but you don’t have the administrative bandwidth. Or maybe you’d like to build a weekly email newsletter for the entire church. Consider how a cloud-based church management software can help you create organized systems to reach your goals. But before selecting a tool, check to make sure it has the specific functionality that will help you meet your goals. 

Tithe.ly offers a “freemium” version that allows you to test-drive their some of their features and functionality before diving into the full suite of tools. To learn more, click here.  

Over to you

The decision is up to you. How will you best utilize technology to make the most of your resources, time, and energy at church? The ultimate goal of any of these tools is to help your church members, ministry leaders, and staff thrive. When you’re able to offload tedious data input, organization, and communication to a system, that means you have more time to devote to ministry–and to advancing the Kingdom of God. 

podcast transcript

(Scroll for more)

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Blog

What is ChMS? (Church Management Software)

What is ChMS? (Church Management Software)

According to Barna, 96% of pastors use a computer at church. And, nearly half of all churches offer options for giving and tithing online. Churches can use software to better manage the wide spectrum of church operations–ranging from automating workflows, to accounting tools, to service planning, to email communication, to social media marketing. In this article we discuss how church management software can play a role in church operations.

Show notes

Is technology bad for the church? 

Technology can lead to unhealthy addictions and over-consumption. But technology can also lead to greater efficiency, better organization, and an improved work environment. 

And though many church leaders may discourage the use of technology, the reality is that 78% of churches use a cloud-based church management system. According to Barna, 96% of pastors use a computer at church. And, nearly half of all churches offer options for giving and tithing online. 

Still, many church organizations have a long way to go when it comes to digitizing their administrative tasks, daily operations, management for attendance, giving (including the ability to track donations and flag major donations), and communication with members. For example, only 13% of churches provide a way for people to submit prayer requests online. This represents  a massive missed opportunity to support church members, make a ministry impact, and engage with the Kingdom. 

But one of the most significant areas of growth for churches is the use of cloud-based church management software. Churches can use software to better manage the wide spectrum of church operations–ranging from automating workflows, to accounting tools, to service planning, to email communication, to social media marketing.

The Beginner's Guide to Church Management Software (ChMS)

What's in this guide?

What is church management software?

What Does Church Management Software Do?

How Does Church Management Software Work?

What Are the Benefits of Church Management Software? 

To learn how to select the right church management software to support your church, click here.  

Common questions about church management software:

If you work at a church, then you know that churches handle a wide array of tasks, systems, projects, and people. What is church management software? And can it really “do it all”?  

In short, yes. But not all church management software tools are created equal. In this section, we’ll answer some of your most common questions about church management software, as well as some of the top software tools that can be used to manage an entire church, several church locations, and church plants. 

What is church management software?

Church management software is a tool that can help churches to run more efficiently, communicate with members, organize contact information, and oversee finances. It does through providing a set of features that aid administrative tasks.

What Does Church Management Software Do?

Depending on the type of church software, church management software can help users manage  project workflows, generate reports, organize and access contact information, send out digital communications, create marketing material, and more.

How Does Church Management Software Work?

Church management software follows a simple concept: improve church operations. To achieve that, it requires a number of different robust features and tools. Multiple users can access the software simultaneously–often from a range of devices. Church management software is typically cloud-based, meaning that it doesn’t require a download or storage space.

What Are the Benefits of Church Management Software?

Church management software can come with a range of benefits for churches of every size. By helping churches to run more efficiently on a centralized platform, it helps churches to save administrative time, labor, and resources. Church software also helps the admin team to meet goals, communicate more effectively, stay on the same page, and gain an overview of what’s happening at church. 

Church management software creates a better experience for church members and first-time visitors. By improving communication and creating a user-friendly online experience, a church management solution can make it easier for churchgoers to engage with a church community, learn, and most importantly, grow in their faith.

Popular ChMS' include:

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly Church Management (ChMS) is a cloud-based church management software that acts as an all-in-one solution for churches to provide membership management, financial management, event management, and more. 

Here are just a few of Tithe.ly’s key features:

First, Tithe.ly Church Management provides a powerful platform for church administrators to automate workflows–helping faith teams to meet deadlines and accomplish goals without a lot of back-and-forth. 

Next, Tithe.ly provides engagement tools to help better manage and communicate with members. This includes a member database to organize contacts, a powerful communication tools for sending out email communication and text messages, and marketing tools to create a beautiful website, a robust church app, and awesome church media.  

Robust reporting is one key aspect of church management, and Tithe.ly offers extensive reporting for keeping track of attendance, finances, engagement, and more. This includes robust custom reporting to help church leaders gain the insight they need to thrive. At the end of the day, this can give church administrative teams a clear overview of what’s happening at church–and what they can expect for the future. 

Tithe.ly makes it easy to give, with a range of donation options for church members. Donors can give online, on their mobile phones, at a kiosk, or with a text message–or even with cryptocurrency. 

Finally, Tithe.ly’s help and support is also clutch for providing a great user experience. Tithe.ly’s church management solution comes with responsive support, making it easy to get help when needed. 

Tithe.ly is both an affordable church management solution and a complete church management system. Tithe.ly handles every aspect of churches without requiring a high financial investment. At $99/month, Tithe.ly provides a cost-effective solution for churches to provide an amazing experience for both their faith teams and congregants.

To learn more about how Tithe.ly can help you get the benefits of saved time and labor–and serve your members–click here.

Breeze

Breeze is a cloud-enabled church management software that helps churches with a range of helpful features and tools. 

Breeze’s member management tool helps church staff manage unlimited contacts, store and filter custom data, and send both email and text communications. Their giving platform helps generate donor statements, tracks giving, and shows donor trends over time. And their event management tool helps ministry leaders coordinate worship services and provides child checking functionality. 

Although it certainly comes with some core benefits, Breeze doesn’t provide a comprehensive suite of marketing tools. It won’t help you build a church website or a church app. However, it’s extremely affordable–at $50 per month, this may be a good option for very small churches or church plants.  

Church on Cloud

Church on Cloud is a church management solution that offers a few different features to help churches manage contacts, generate reporting, and store data. One of the most unique aspects of Church on Cloud is its emphasis on reaching unchurched people. The church software also includes outreach tools such as an interactive map that show how many Christians live in a particular area and extensive reporting that measures the percentage of Christians per province. 

Other than its outreach tools and directory, Church on Cloud is extremely limited in functionality, however. It doesn’t offer engagement tools, donation options, accounting tools, or marketing tools–key features for efficient church management.

Faithful Steward 

Faithful Steward is a church management solution that offers both a cloud-based software and a desktop (downloadable) version. It offers a basic donation platform, accounting tools, and member management. It doesn’t, however, offer the ability to build a website or an app, or tools to engage or connect with members. And its pricing increases with church size, making it expensive to scale. 

ParishSOFT 

ParishSOFT is a church management tool that’s tailored for Catholic parishes, and dioceses. It has a few key features, such as accounting tools, a church directory, and a giving tool (that promises to help you see an increase in donations). And, it has a special tool for managing Catholic education–a priority for Catholic churches. 

ParishSOFT is certainly comprehensive for certain kinds of churches. But it doesn’t include some of the key tools that church administrators need to create a better experience for members. For example, ParishSOFT doesn’t have tools for looking at volunteer management and volunteer history, workflow automation, service planning, or marketing. 

Servant Keeper

Servant Keeper is a church management tool that’s also tailored more specifically for Catholic churches. It has a suite of features to help with data entry, contact management, communications, donation management, and more. Like ParishSOFT, it also lacks project management and reporting features–tools that create easier workflows for ministry leaders, and a better experience for congregants. 

Planning Center  

Planning Center is a cloud-based system that helps you to run your church more efficiently with a platform that includes child check-in functionality, group management, a giving platform for online contributions and donor management, a calendar to help with planning events, and more. 

Planning Center is not an “all-in-one” platform, but rather offers a set of features that you can purchase as needed. The downside of this is that as you add more features and scale your church, the price continues to increase. 

ChMS / Church Management Software FAQs 

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about church software.

What Are the Features of Church Management Software?

How Much Does Church Management Software Cost?

What are Examples of Church Management Software?

Questions to ask when selecting a ChMS 

What Are the Features of Church Management Software? 

Church management software typically has features that support:

  • Contact management, including membership records
  • Attendance tracking, including weekly attendance and monthly attendance
  • Giving and tithing
  • Communication with church members
  • Volunteer management for keeping track of volunteers
  • Event planning

In some cases (such as with Tithe.ly Church Management), church software offers:

  • Project management tools to help automate workflows, aid activity planning and activity scheduling, and keep everyone on the same page...
  • Marketing and media tools to help create an awesome online presence and serve new visitors….
  • Robust reporting for measuring activity involvement across the church....
  • A powerful communication tool for communicating with members and staff in a variety of ways, including the ability to message cont
  • Specialized tools for planning the weekly worship service...
  • Donor development tools for encouraging donors on their generosity journey...
  • And payment tools to make setting up a bookstore (or coffee shop) easy and efficient.

Ultimately, the features of church management software will range from tool to tool. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to consider what your church needs, and which powerful tool can best fill your requirements. 

How Much Does Church Management Software Cost? 

Church management software tools typically charge per month. Some tools increase their price as church size increases. If the church management software is not cloud-based, it may come with a high one-time fee for download (plus additional fees for updates).  

You can generally expect a church management software tool to cost between $50 per month and $200 per month. Remember that cheaper pricing is not always better. For example, some cheaper tools may come with such a limited range of features that you’ll need to pay for additional software tools (For example, if your software does not come with a tool for building a website, you’ll need to factor in that additional cost). Make sure that your tool has good value for money.

What are Examples of Church Management Software?

Examples of church management software include those listed above, as well as tools like ChurchTrac, Simple Church CRM, Church Community Builder, and Blackbaud Church Management. 

Questions to ask when selecting a ChMS 

When selecting a ChMS, you’ll want to ask a few key questions. 

First, how much time to do you have to make a ministry impact? Are you drowning in administrative work at the expense of taking a fruitful approach to ministry? If so, you’ll want to select a tool that’s tailored towards improving workflows and bringing everything onto one streamlined platform. 

Next, do you have a strong online presence? In 2021, there’s no excuse for not having a beautiful website, an easy-to-use app, and a powerful social media presence. Tiny churches, midsize churches, and megachurches alike can all have a powerful online presence with the right tools. Choose a tool that can help you build an online presence with ease of use. 

Finally, are you meeting your goals? Maybe you’d like to start a community outreach program, but you don’t have the administrative bandwidth. Or maybe you’d like to build a weekly email newsletter for the entire church. Consider how a cloud-based church management software can help you create organized systems to reach your goals. But before selecting a tool, check to make sure it has the specific functionality that will help you meet your goals. 

Tithe.ly offers a “freemium” version that allows you to test-drive their some of their features and functionality before diving into the full suite of tools. To learn more, click here.  

Over to you

The decision is up to you. How will you best utilize technology to make the most of your resources, time, and energy at church? The ultimate goal of any of these tools is to help your church members, ministry leaders, and staff thrive. When you’re able to offload tedious data input, organization, and communication to a system, that means you have more time to devote to ministry–and to advancing the Kingdom of God. 

video transcript

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