When choosing a church management software, you'll want a tool that can do more than just help you with running church services and attendance tracking (although that's certainly important).
You'll also want a tool that offers innovative solutions for church administrators–providing better workflows for church admin, strategies for organizing people and groups, and advanced features for volunteer management.
Fellowship One vs Planning Center vs Tithely
All three of these platforms include helpful features for both church leaders and church staff to better manage workflows and projects. A complete church management system will also include powerful reporting tools.
However, each suite of tools differs in pricing and overall functionality. In the following article, we'll take a deeper dive into each all-in-one online solution.
Why Do You Need a Church Management System?
A church management solution typically includes database integrations that make it simpler to communicate with church members. Depending on the tool, it may also include automation tools for making sure that projects and tasks are completed on time.
At the end of the day, cloud-enabled church management software is designed to help your administrative team save time on staying organized and engaged with your church community.
Which Church Management System is the Best?
The church management system that's the best will be a powerful, yet cost-effective solution that doesn't represent a massive extra cost for churches.
How to Choose the Best Church Management System
To help you choose the best church management system, we've take a closer look at Fellowship One, Planning Center, and Tithely. While each of these tools was designed with churches in mind, they do offer different end experiences.
Tithe.ly Church Management (ChMS) is an amazing solution for administration teams to run church services, engage community, generate financial reporting, manage giving, and more.
How Tithely Works
Tithe.ly charges one low fee–$49 a month–to use their ChMS. Between the three platforms, it's the cheapest solution.
Fellowship One Overview
Fellowship One is a church management tool that provides a digital giving solution, accounting and payroll tools, church website designs, and more.
How Fellowship One Works
Fellowship One can be used as a comprehensive software system for your church. It's a CRM and ChMS. They do not display per-month pricing on their website.
Planning Center Overview
Planning Center is a church management tool that provides seamless integrations for churches to manage their staff and plan upcoming events, as well as church database software.
How to Use Tithely
Tithely is a powerful, yet cost-effective solution that provides solution for teams that are uniquely church-oriented. With Tithely, you get all the advanced features you need to effectively run and manage your church. You pay one low monthly cost for all the tools–no additional costs for extra features.
How Planning Center Works
Planning Center works by charging your church per tool. For example, if you only use their check-in tool, you pay $149 a month for 200 daily check-ins (the price scales as users increase).
How to Use Fellowship One
Fellowship One offers a free trial to help your administration team decide if they want to get onboard with their platform for service planning, running payroll, receiving online donations, and more.
How to Use Planning Center
With Planning Center, your church admin only uses what they need. So, you can use individual tools–such as their calendar or giving tool. The downside of this is that you can end up paying a high cost, instead of using a cost-effective, all-in-one online solution.
Comparing Fellowship One, Planning Center and Tithely
To help churches make the best choice for their church management software tool, it's important to compare them across three core areas: flexibility, simplicity, and pricing.
A flexible church management system means that users are able to use exactly what they need, customize forms with design options, and integrate with other systems.
Thankfully, all three of the platforms described above rate well in terms of flexibility.
- Tithely's ChMS gives you the options to use features as needed. Tithely also offers a number of key integrations that makes it easy for you to transition to using their system.
- Fellowship One has different options for admin and users to access important information.
- Planning Center provides the option to pay for what you need does provide a customized plan for your church management needs. However, one customer said, that Planning Center is "not quite as customizable as [they] would like."
Church management software should be simple to navigate. An approachable format means that admin teams have a more positive experience with the tool.
Here's how Tithely, Fellowship One, and Planning Center stack up in terms of simplicity.
- Tithely is simple to use and simple to understand. One customer said it best: "It's clean, easy to use and you can tell that a ton of investment went into the UI [user interface]."
- Fellowship One is "easy to navigate," according to one customer.
- Finally, Planning Center has also been reviewed as easy to understand and simple to navigate.
Let's not forget about pricing. Your church management software should be affordable for your church organization.
- Tithely Church Management is the most affordable option by far. To use Tithely ChMS, it costs just $49 per month, no extra charges for additional features.
- Fellowship One costs $169 per month–more than 3x as expensive as Tithely.
- Planning Center also escalates in price very quickly. You can easily reach the $500-$1,000 per month range if you'd like to use all of their tools.
Fellowship One Vs Planning Center Vs Tithely Feature Comparison
At the end of the day, the best way to choose a church management software tool is to compare the top features.
Fellowship One Top Features
The top features of Fellowship One's church management system includes:
- A CRM for managing contacts
- Accounting tools
- Volunteer management
- Check-ins for children's ministry
- Online giving
Planning Center Top Features
The top features of Planning Center include:
- A calendar for event scheduling and setup
- An online giving tool
- Group management
- A CRM for managing church members
Tithely Top Features
The top features of Tithely ChMS include:
- People and member management to make it easy to manage membership, communicate with your congregation, follow up with first-time guests, and more
- Child and volunteer check-in to make it safe and easy to check people into services
- Group management for managing small groups with ease and efficiency
- Online giving, making it simple to give one-time gifts or recurring gifts from a laptop or phone
- Reporting features to help you make informed, proactive decisions
- And much more
Who Should Use Fellowship One?
Fellowship One has the features that most churches need to run efficiently. At $149 a month, however, the price is pretty steep for all but the largest churches.
Who Should Use Planning Center?
Likewise, Planning Center has a range of helpful tools and features for churches. Unless your church is very small, however, the price becomes astronomical very quickly.
Who Should Use Tithely?
Tithely is ideal for small- to mid-sized churches that are looking for a one-size-fits-all solution. Tithely has everything you need to run and manage your church, gain insight, and provide a great experience for church members. To learn more about Tithely, click here.
Picking a church management tool is a super important decision. The right tool can help you save time and money, and create a more positive experience for your administrative staff and church members. The wrong tool can waste money and cost you in time and efficiency. Choose wisely!
Compare Popular Church Management Systems to Tithe.ly
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