How to Choose a Church Management Software
So you’ve decided to look into a church management software (ChMS), but aren’t quite sure where to start? When trying to decide which ChMS is right for your church, there are a few things you need to consider.
You do a lot for your church. Your responsibilities include managing volunteers, leading your staff, event planning, keeping your website up to date, adding events to the church calendar, staying in constant communication with your members, and so much more. With such a wide range of responsibilities, you need to pick a ChMS that can do just as much as you do!
But when it comes to deciding which management software is the right fit for your church, there’s a lot to consider. Not every ChMS offers the same features and some have expensive add-ons to use all the bells and whistles.
So here are four major things you need to consider when choosing a church management software:
It is the 21st-century and the days of giving your tithes by check or cash are gone for the majority of churchgoers. That means your church needs to offer the ability to give online. But the number one concern when it comes to online giving is security.
You don’t have to be an expert in online security or know all the lingo and latest vulnerabilities in fraud, but an easy way to confirm security is to check to make sure the system you’re considering is a PCI-Compliant Service Provider (like One Church Software). PCI stands for Payment Card Industry and they represent the highest set of security standards in the industry.
Here at One Church Software, our giving platform uses 256-bit SSL technology for data transactions. All personal, credit card, and bank information is submitted using 256-bit encryption. There is no stronger form of protection than this encryption.
Read More: How to Know if a Church Giving Solution is Secure
Customer Service + Training
Regardless of which ChMS you choose, you will have questions along the way. Whether you need help setting up a feature, contextualizing a feature for use, or reporting an issue you’re running into, you’ll want to know in advance that you can get help.
Check to see what contact options each church management software offers before you buy. Do they have a phone number where you can access support easily? A chat feature? A good test is to try their support contact information and see how quickly you get a response.
You should also double-check to see if they offer training for the software or if they have an online help center. (This is also a great way to get a look under the hood before you commit!)
Integration & Functionality
There are some features every church should have like volunteer management, kid’s check-in, event management, and service planning. One of the mistakes often made when choosing a ChMS is picking one that only does one thing or requires costly add-ons to get access to additional features.
When you choose a ChMS with too few features, you typically end up with numerous monthly fees and have to spend extra time learning a new system each time. With an all-in-one solution, you’ll only need to learn one system and it will likely have all the features you’ll need as well as some others you didn’t know you needed.
Some additional functionality to look for is automation, room management, group management, and communication management. You want the software you invest in to work for you!
Consider Cost and Efficiency
For a ministry, cost is often at the top of the list (and sometimes it is the entire list!) when considering which ChMS to get. That is completely fair!
While cost should certainly be a factor, be sure to balance that out with the value and efficiency a church management software will bring you. Have you ever tallied up the number of hours you spend individually contacting your volunteers? Or making a schedule and then re-making it? How long does it take each week to plan out a service, link music, and share it with your team? What gets forgotten in the midst of sermon planning each week? A good ChMS will save you hours on behind-the-scenes tasks so that you can focus on what you do best—connecting and encouraging people.
Start your search with One Church Software and benefit from our all-in-one solution which includes volunteer management, kid’s check-in, background checks, online and text-to-give giving options, service planning, small group management, sermon archives, push and text notifications, automation, and more! You can try One Church Software for free for 14 days, no credit card required.