Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Communication Software & How They Help Lead

Churches today are complex operations with lots of activity and deep roots in the community. Thanks to church communications software, it’s now easier than ever to communicate with congregations, keep people engaged, and maximize attendance. 

The Best Church Communication Software

Here’s a shortlist of the best church communication solutions: 

  1. One Church Software
  2. Planning Center 
  3. Elexio 
  4. Aplos 
  5. Servant Keeper 
  6. Breeze  
  7. Church Windows 
  8. Neon One 
  9. Trumpia 
  10. Pushpay

Church Communication Solutions: Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best church management system for communication? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean, attractive, and appropriate for church use?
  2. Usability: Is it easy for non-professionals (such as church members) to master? Does the company offer tech support, user support, tutorials, and training that works with church needs (like a contact center available on weekends)?
  3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other church management tools? Are there any pre-built integrations? Does the tool connect with all popular communication solutions, like email, social media, SMS, website notices, and anything else you use daily?
  4. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for nonprofit organizations? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible?

Church Communication Tools: Key Features

Here are some key features to look for when selecting church communication software:

  1. Supports your preferred messaging channels: offers a range of options to tailor your communications (from social media to text messages)
  2. Database management: enables you to update your list of contacts easily
  3. Engagement tools: offers features designed to increase engagement from members of the congregation
  4. Integrates with popular church management software: works with church accounting, church management software, etc.
  5. Simple to use: makes it easy for inexperienced team members to start using the software
  6. Scalable: grows as your church and its requirements develop
  7. Faith-based compliance: designed to be suitable for use by most faith-based or religious groups

Overviews Of The 10 Best Church Communication Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the best church management software solutions with membership communication features. I’ll go over some best use cases, feature highlights, and provide screenshots to give you a glimpse of their inner workings.

1. One Church Software – Best for empowering volunteers

One Church Software Church Communication Software Screenshot
OneChurch helps you stay in touch with visitors and increase return visits.

This cloud-based church management system helps ministries reach out to local communities and streamline daily operations. Features include text messaging, workflow creation, and volunteer management. 

One Church Software allows you to update contact preferences, send follow-up messages through the system, and inform members of upcoming church events. You can automate text in church messaging, emails, communications, and promotions.  

One Church Software costs from $24/user/month and a free 14-day trial is available.

2. Planning Center – Best for managing church resources

Planning Center Church Communication Software Screenshot
Planning Center helps you to organize music and other scheduling items for each service.

Planning Center is a suite of cloud-based applications designed to support church leaders in planning, scheduling, and managing church programs. The software is modular in design, so you only pay for the tools you need.

The publishing module allows you to create content and share it with your congregation. You can use customizable pages and the Android/iOS mobile app to distribute sermons and other messages. 

Planning Center costs from $14/user/month and a 30-day free trial is available. 

3. Elexio – Best for mass email communication

Elexio Church Communication Software Screenshot
Elexio allows you to keep detailed congregation contact records.

Elexio church administration software helps you to communicate with your members using text, mass emails, or voicemail. The system integrates church management software with church website design, check-in, giving kiosks, and a church mobile app. 

Key features include attendance tracking, contribution management, and automated workflows. You can also coordinate worship services and schedule volunteers. 

Elexio costs from $35.13/user/month and a 30-day free trial is available. 

4. Aplos – Best communication software with cash balancing

Aplos Church Communication Software Screenshot
Aplos tracks donations, tithes, and contributions to your church.

This cloud-based solution offers a range of software tools to help large and small churches run more efficiently. Aplos offers custom communications, along with fund accounting software, church membership management, donation management, and reporting.

With Aplos, churches of all sizes can handle all their communications and group management needs in one place. This user-friendly software is well suited to small groups and medium-sized churches. 

Aplos pricing starts from $29.50/user/month and a free trial is available.

5. Servant Keeper – Best for digital discipleship

Servant Keeper Church Communication Software Screenshot
Servant Keeper allows you to contact any member by email from right within the app.

This church management solution helps faith-based organizations organize operations more efficiently. It’s easy to communicate with members by email, track attendance and pinpoint volunteers with skills needed for specific events.

Visitors can be excluded from member-only communications. Other features include modules for child check-in, online scheduling, and accounting. 

Servant Keeper is priced from $9.99/user/month and a free trial is available.

6. Breeze – Best for event planning communication

Breeze Church Communication Software Screenshot
The Breeze ChMS church community builder can be used to book meetings, events, and Bible studies.

Breeze church management software is a cloud-based solution for small to medium-sized churches. The intuitive interface allows you to search and find contact information quickly, tag people as required, and customize accordingly.

Breeze also offers features to help with event registration, printing name tags, and tracking attendance. Alerts can be set to highlight individuals who have ceased attending for a given number of weeks.

This software suite costs from $50/month and a free demo is offered.

7. Church Windows – Best for membership reports

Church Windows Church Communication Software Screenshot
Church Windows offers a range of church management functions, including label printing.

Church Windows helps religious organizations manage administrative tasks and day-to-day interactions with followers. The system can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premises. You can also build a unified church calendar to keep track of community happenings, track your budget, and pay church employees. 

This software suite enables church administrators to view and track household and individual records, record interaction notes, perform accounting duties, and create visitation reports. Church Windows’ customer support is top-notch and they can help you make the most out of the tool according to your needs. 

Pricing starts from $80/user/month. There is no free trial option.

8. Neon One – Best for communication & marketing solution

Neon One Church Communication Software Screenshot
Neon One offers a full suite of nonprofit management software tools.

Neon One is a cloud-based contact management solution for nonprofit organizations of all sizes. The built-in fundraising tools include add-ons for email blasts, donor management, and automated membership renewals. They offer different modules for communication management, customer relationship management (CRM), fundraising, payroll, and website building. 

The system can be customized to match the look and feel of an existing website, and event pages can be configured as required. Administrators can send automated event notifications to registered attendees. They integrate with apps like QuickBooks, Mailchimp, TrueGivers, Eventbrite, and Windfall.

Neon One pricing starts from $49/user/month. There is no free trial, but a demo can be arranged. 

9. Trumpia – Best texting software for churches

Trumpia Church Communication Software Screenshot
Trumpia facilitates managed communications for churches and other nonprofit organizations.

Trumpia helps churches communicate with members through an automated SMS platform. Administrators can easily send messages, collect contacts, conduct outreach, engage with visitors or new members, and improve attendance. 

Features of the system include mobile keywords, mass texting, one-to-one texting, text giving, auto-response, and contact cleanup. Multiple campaigns can be run via SMS, email, or social media platforms.

Trumpia costs from $36/user/month. A free trial is available. 

10. Pushpay – Best for building a church smartphone app

Pushpay Church Communication Software Screenshot
The PushPay dashboard helps you keep tabs on church management functions.

This cloud-based solution assists churches in managing a range of operations. Church admins can create a database of donor information, including contact details. PushPay offers a no-code solution to building a smartphone app for your church, including a dynamic home screen, visual customizations, interactive notifications, and a built-in audio player. 

Data can be imported from third-party sources or uploaded through the PushPay portal. Customer support is available via an online knowledge base. 

Pushpay pricing starts from $199 a month. There is no free trial. 

Other Church Management Software Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Click Nonprofit – Best for free Google advertising
  2. Church Teams – Best for discipleship communications
  3. CDM+ – Best for complete data integration
  4. Excellerate – Best for automated follow-up letters
  5. Faithful Steward by Diakonia – Best for an affordable solution
  6. Donarius – Best for tracking contributions
  7. Wild Apricot – Best for building an online store
  8. Attendance Now – Best HTML email builder
  9. Church Software by Grplife – Best free church website & hosting
  10. TouchPoint by Pursuant – Best for fundraising analytics
  11. Together+ by Aware3 – Best forms & registration tools
  12. ChurchTrac – Best for service outlines with a song library
  13. FellowshipOne – Best for background checks
  14. Connection Card Pro – Best for large churches 
  15. FaithLife – Best for sermon prep

Other tools to consider include ACS and Tithe.ly

What software do churches use?

Most churches today use specialized church management (ChMS) software to run their organizations efficiently. Many different software vendors develop applications specifically for this large, growing market. Pastors may require specialized functionality for venue upkeep, website & app building, real-time communication, discipleship tracking, fundraising & collections, event management, and even accounting & payroll.

What is ChMS software?

Church management software (also known as ChMS software) is the range of applications used by churches and related institutions to manage operations more effectively. ChMS software covers everything from attendance recording to people management and helps to simplify complex church procedures.

What Do You Think About These Church Management Systems and Communication Tools?

Do these systems help you communicate with your congregation, or are the old ways better? Let us know what you think in the comments below. While you’re here, be sure to check out this article on streaming software for churches, too.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Facility Management Software To Optimize Your Spaces

Church properties often have a variety of facilities to manage, from public meeting spaces, to libraries, community resource hubs, washrooms, and A/C or heating systems. The more people use these assets, the more value they provide to your congregation and community. Managing these resources isn’t easy, but the church facility management software can help.  

This article will look at some great platforms churches can use to accomplish basic facility management. Our list contains two types of tools. The first is software designed specifically for church management. These tend to have features built with places of worship in mind. Then there are tools designed for business or NGO properties in general. These often have similar features and can be just as good as church-specific software.

Both types of software have their pros and cons. I’ve done my best to outline how every item on this list can help with church facility management. 

The Best Church Facility Management Software List

Here’s a shortlist of the best facility management software for churches:

  1. One Church
  2. Church Social
  3. Church MemberLink 
  4. Church Office Online 
  5. Blackbaud Church Management
  6. eFacility
  7. Perfect Mind 
  8. Hello Club
  9. Mazévo
  10. ChurchStaq by Pushpay 

Facility Management Software Comparison Criteria

The best church computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) excel at streamlining facilities management. Here’s a summary of the evaluation criteria I used when choosing what to put on this list: 

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Church leaders have a ton of duties on their plate and may not have much free time to spend struggling with a complex user interface or cluttered menus.
  2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Remember your congregation may use the software. It should be usable for even non-tech-savvy members.
  3. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Are there any pre-built integrations? Website, calendar, communication, and payment software integrations are vital for many churches. 
  4. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? I also look for free trials so you can test the tool before buying. 

Church Facility Management Software Key Features

The church management software tools on our list cover a wide range of use cases. Some have simple features suitable for small churches. Others have complex functionality designed for large organizations. 

Whichever kind of church facility software you choose, look out for the following features:

  1. Booking: If you open your facilities to people in your congregation, choose a tool that enables people to book rooms, space, or equipment.
  2. Calendars: Tools with calendars automatically reflect all bookings made via the software, so everyone can see what is happening and when.
  3. Payments: You may need to accept, send, or record payment for facility use, facility upgrade, or facility repair. A digital payments system can help keep track of this.  
  4. Maintenance: Some of the tools on this list let you schedule maintenance for facilities. 
  5. Lights and doors: If you manage multiple spaces, consider a tool that lets you manage access to your building and lighting remotely. 

Overviews Of The 10 Best Church Facility Management Software

Here’s a brief description of each church facility maintenance management solution. We’ve included best use cases, feature highlights, and screenshots to showcase the look and feel of each tool. 

I have included both tools designed for churches and all-purpose (and usually more complex and feature-rich) facility management software.

1. One Church – Best for booking rooms

One Church Screenshot
One Church uses forms to collect event signups and registrations.

One Church is an all-inclusive church platform with powerful facilities management features that make organizing your church’s space easy.

Central to this is the powerful booking platform. Use the tool to schedule your rooms and resources. Those in charge can quickly see if the facilities they need are available and then make a request. Simplify the booking process by adding facility managers to each listing who can approve bookings.

One Church is a cloud-based app and is available on all your devices. You can manage your church’s facilities at home, while at your place of worship, or on the go via your smartphone. It also has a user-friendly interface you’ll have no problem getting to grips with.

Pricing depends on the number of profiles you expect to track. The lowest-cost plan is $24/month for 250 profiles. You can grab a 14-day free trial to test the software before committing. 

2. Church Social – Best for calendar management

Church Social Screenshot
Church Social’s calendar overview provides everyone with easy access to upcoming events.

Church Social is management software designed to help your congregation stay connected. It can help schedule regular facility maintenance, book spaces for events, and provide bulletins about the goings-on around the building. Members can contribute to the calendar to ensure community events are visible. 

A cool feature is the ability to set up recurring events. This ensures that groups that meet regularly don’t have to reserve their space before every meeting. You can view the calendar within the app, and it’s also easy to display it on your church website using the Church Social WordPress plugin or by connecting to the tool’s API.

Pricing starts at $50/month for up to 200 members. You can get a free 30-day trial to test out the software. 

3. Church Member Link – Best church bulletin board

Church Member Link Screenshot
You can access Church Member Link via desktop or smartphone app.

Church Member Link is a web-based church bulletin board with features such as attendance, calendars, and outreach tracking. It also has a facilities management tool. This allows you to set up profiles for each of your facilities and other resources and then schedule each one. The tool summarizes who is scheduled to use assets at different times. 

A feature I like is that you can set up conditions that must be met for each resource. This means people know exactly what is expected of them when they rent spaces or equipment. 

Church Member Link has a simple pricing plan that costs $50/month or $500/year when bought annually. There are no add ons or extra costs. You can sign up for a 14-day free trial to test the software. 

4. Church Office Online – Best for custom form building

Church Office Online Screenshot
Easily add rooms and equipment to Church Office Online.

Church Office Online is a complete church management solution with custom registration form building for event management, equipment rentals, or facility maintenance. The calendar is where you manage your church’s rooms and equipment. Just create an entry for each facility and provide essential information so people know how to use the asset correctly. 

All bookings show up on the calendar for a complete overview of who is using what and when. The calendar also integrates with your website, so events and reservations made on your website are automatically added to your calendar. This saves you from having to enter details manually. You can access all these features via desktop or on the go via the mobile app. 

Church Office Online pricing depends on the number of people at your church and starts at $35.13/month for 1 person and goes up incrementally by $0.12+ per additional person. The software offers a generous 2-month free trial. 

5. Blackbaud Church Management – Best for engaging your congregation

Blackbaud Church Management Screenshot
Blackbaud Church Management helps you manage facility events with in-app SMS and email support for alerts.

Blackbaud Church Management is the church solution from team management software Blackbaud, which specializes in fundraising and grant management tools for social causes. You get all the company’s software and team management expertise, plus features built explicitly for churches like fundraising and congregation communication. 

It’s easy to add all your spaces to the software. You can add further information to each listing and then price them effectively. All bookings and events are synced with your church’s calendar, so you get a quick overview of when your church’s facilities are being used. 

Blackbaud doesn’t publicize pricing, but you can request more information on the website. 

6. eFacility – Best for large churches

eFacility Screenshot
eFacility floor plans let you manage the booking of individual seats within a room.

eFacility is enterprise CMMS software. It has powerful features that go well beyond those offered by church-specific solutions. These give you granular control over all your facilities.  

The asset and inventory management toolkit tracks asset usage, helping you avoid unexpected and costly breakdowns. Use the tool to set preventive maintenance schedules, create templates for everyday maintenance tasks, and schedule inspections for each of your church’s assets. When the time comes for repairs, the software has robust work order management features to help. 

You also get powerful space management features. This lets you track, manage, and book space in your church. You can see a real-time overview, so you always know what is going on in your buildings. The floorplan feature even lets you rent specific seats within a room.

eFacility pricing depends on the specific software modules you want access to. The company doesn’t publicize its pricing, but you can contact the team via the website for a quote.

7. PerfectMind – Best interactive facility map

PerfectMind Screenshot
The PerfectMind has interactive maps with clickable pins and color-coded availability indicators.

PerfectMind is membership management for community-based businesses. It’s not explicitly designed for churches, but many of its features are great for this use case. 

The software’s facility management software can handle multiple types of booking, including recurring contracts. You can sell add-ons within the booking process, which is a good way to generate extra revenue while providing the people who book your room with more flexibility. 

Another feature I like is the automated lighting software. This lets you set which times you’d like to turn lights on and adjust your prices accordingly. Other features include maintenance management, waivers, contracts, and plenty of automation to simplify your workflow and save time. 

PerfectMind doesn’t publicize pricing for its community tool. You can contact the team for a quote and a product demo. All plans come with unlimited users. 

8. Hello Club – Best for integrations

Hello Club Screenshot
Hello Club provides a detailed overview of facility usage so that you can estimate where maintenance and upgrades are needed most.

Hello Club is a tool built for managing clubs. It has many features that help pastors with facility stewardship. Like the other tools on this list, it helps you manage bookings and events. It’s easy for your congregation to rent facilities when they need them. All the bookings sync to your calendar, which gives you an in-depth overview of facilities usage. 

A feature that caught my eye is the lights and doors management tool. This lets you set up automated lights and door rules for different facilities and bookings. The tool also has plenty of integrations. For example, you can use Stripe to collect payments via credit card and manage your church bookkeeping with Xerox. 

Pricing depends on the number of members in your congregation. The most popular plan costs $50/month for up to 300 users. You can sign up for a free trial on the website.

9. Mazevo – Best for church event management

Mazevo Screenshot
Mazevo’s calendar view provides an overview of all your church’s bookings.

Mazevo is software designed specifically for churches that want an event management system to help with facility resource allocation. The software has powerful booking features. It automatically avoids schedule conflicts by only showing rooms available for dates the scheduler has chosen. 

When listing space you can add detailed information about each room, including its type and how many people it is suitable for. All events are synced to the tool’s calendar. You can view this in multiple ways to get an overview of events on both a daily and monthly level. The tool has an app for easy phone access, and the UI on both mobile and desktop is easy to use. 

The company doesn’t publicize pricing, but you can request a demo on the website. 

10. ChurchStaq by Pushpay – Best for engagement metrics

ChurchStaq by Pushpay Screenshot
ChurchStaq lets you set up profiles for all members of your congregation so they can check-in as an audience member or volunteer.

ChurchStaq by Pushpay is a tool that lets you create optimized journey’s for your congregation designed to boost engagement. Each member of your church creates a profile that includes crucial contact information, event details, and contributions. Part of the engagement strategy is encouraging your congregation to join events. 

The software makes it easy for group leaders to rent space to hold meetings. They can then add members and communicate with other people in the group. The tool has an easy-to-use app that all congregation members can download to stay connected. It’s an easy way to connect with individuals and ensure that everyone stays engaged. 

ChurchStaq has three plans that provide access to different features. The company doesn’t promote pricing but you can contact the team via the website. 

Other Facility Management Software Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. Some are church-specific tools that understand the niche; others are more general facility management solutions for all building maintenance and upkeep needs. 

  1. Imagine Mobile Church – Best for church administration 
  2. UpKeep – Best for managing church maintenance 
  3. Grplife Church Edition – Best for included church social network
  4. Hippo CMMS – Best equipment maintenance
  5. iOFFICE – Best for optimizing space use
  6. AkitaBox – Best for asset mapping 
  7. BlueFolder – Best for tracking assets

What is church facility management?

Church facility management is all the activities you do to organize your buildings, assets, spaces, and rooms. Tasks typically include managing facilities usage and keeping all your assets well-maintained. You can use facility management software to streamline this work. 

Is there any free church facility management software?

Many of the tools on our list have free paid trials you can use to test out the software before committing. There are no free church-specific facility management software options. But free general facility management tools are available:

What Do You Think About These Facility Maintenance Software Solutions for Churches?

The best facility maintenance software for your church will depend on what you want from the tool. 

A simple calendar that shows when people are scheduled to use your rooms and spaces will suffice for many smaller churches. But the larger your church, the more you’ll benefit from advanced features like granular asset management tools, maintenance functionality, and work order software to manage work requests.

If you want to find out more about how software can help you manage your church, then check out some of our other church management software reviews.

Categories
Insights Tools

10 Biggest Streaming Churches And The Software They Use

Technology is rapidly changing the way churches are welcoming people to worship services and sermons. 

“Whether you are joining us in person or online, we invite you to experience our services and be a part of the Lakewood family.” This is how the nondenominational Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, welcomes those who visit the church’s website. On March 15, 2020, 4.6 million worshippers accepted this invitation and followed the church’s live streaming service. 

When the Covid-19 pandemic started wreaking havoc across the world at the beginning of 2020, church services had to be suspended in many parts of the world in compliance with government regulations. If this was a time to panic for many other businesses, the story was different for streaming platforms, businesses offering streaming software, and social media companies.

In this article, I focus on the 10 biggest live streaming churches. I will also look at the reasons the number of live streaming churches is growing. The article also identifies the software these churches use for video streaming of their Sunday service or any other services for that matter. 

Churches Have Always Embraced Technology 

Even though sermons on platforms like YouTube, Facebook Live, and Zoom may be gaining traction because of Covid-19, churches have been embracing technology for some time now. Before churches could live stream, many recorded their sermons and distributed them either for free or for a fee. Others had their Sunday services aired by major broadcasters. 

An article published by TheGuardian.com tells the story of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and how it was already embracing basic software by 2008.

The Guardian reports that, as far back as 2008, the church was already using software to track children in church and register them for Bible studies. Congregants could also “go online to request counseling on a variety of spiritual and personal matters.”  

In 2009, Daniel Terdiman wrote an article for the technology website Cnet.com entitled “Technology and the megachurch.” He starts his article with a question: “If you’re in charge of what is thought to be one of the most powerful, influential and important megachurches in the United States, if not the world, how do you make sure that your message is reaching the largest possible audience?” 

The answer to Terdiman’s question comes easily for Brady Boyd, the lead pastor at the New Life Church: “technology.” 

In case a one-word answer was not sufficient for Terdiman, Boyd extends his answer: “Churches have to stay current. We’re in the communications business.” Adding, “The whole purpose of a church is to communicate a message of truth … We have to stay informed, and we have to realize that most of the world is rapidly advancing in their ability to communicate.” 

Photo of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Texas for Church Streaming Software
Prestonwood Baptist Church, Texas is an early adopter of streaming technologies.

Why Churches Are Resorting To Live Streaming  

Churches have always been conscious that technologies like video streaming could assist them in reaching bigger audiences. This is a view also acknowledged by the Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic. According to Panasonic, “Producing an immersive, remote worship experience can also extend the reach of your church beyond the local community and give congregants the opportunity to view missed services through on-demand video.”

Like all other sectors of society, churches realize that the consumption of messages is mostly happening online. This is a reality noted by commentators like Matt Binder, who writes for the digital media platform Mashable.com. The headline of his article tells the whole story: “The live streaming boom isn’t slowing down anytime soon.”    

Referring to the future of worship services after the pandemic, Binder quotes Eli Noam, a Columbia Business School professor. Noam asks some pertinent questions: “If a church, for example, continues to Livestream services after the pandemic, will the elderly, sick, and people with children just find it easier to attend virtually? Will people participate in more services because it’s easier to attend from the comfort of home?

Binder quotes Noam saying, “Maybe the churches will be emptier but people’s religious lives will actually be enriched.” Adding,  “This [live video] is not temporary; the temporary situation [pandemic] is the accelerant .” 

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Live Streaming Software For Churches

If the need for real-time church service broadcasting is growing, providers of church streaming software, streaming solutions, and technical support have not been left behind. Here are some of the live streaming service providers that make it possible for both large and small churches to live broadcast their sermons and services. 

Boxcast: Live Streaming Software For All Worship House Sizes

Boxcast Streaming for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Boxcast is suitable for first-time and seasoned streamers.

If there is one video streaming service I see in every list of the best church streaming software, it’s Boxcast. Boxcast’s promise: “Whether your congregation has 1,000 members or 100, our features and plans have been crafted to meet the needs of both first-time broadcasters and seasoned streamers.”

You can live stream on the Boxcast free trial for 14 days before deciding whether the live streaming software is for you. If you decide that it is, pricing plans start at $99/month and go all the way to $999/month.  

Wirecast:  Best Church Streaming Software For Beginners

Wirecast Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
If you’re just starting out with church streaming then Wirecast is a great choice.

Describing the Wirecast video streaming service, the Director of Music Ministries at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, Don Doss, says, “Yes, it’s true that the ‘BIG’ churches have all the cool equipment, but it’s also true that some smaller churches with smaller budgets can now produce quality video with the help of Telestream’s Wirecast software.” 

Wirecast comes with a free 30-day trial limited to two Rendezvous guests and does not permit ISO recording (an isolated recording of one camera in a multi-camera production). The service has two paid plans for both Mac and Windows: Wirecast Studio ($599) and Wirecast Pro ($799).  

Propresenter: Best For Both Pros And Beginners   

Propresenter App for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Propresenter has some powerful editing features.

“Whether you’re a Photoshop expert or technology isn’t your friend, we’ve got you covered. Create beautiful graphics with our built-in editor.” This is how the developers of Propresenter market their software. 

Among the several features, you’ll find on Propresenter is the ability to record your screen for further editing, switch video outputs, and capture and output audio. The service also presents live streaming tutorials on its website. 

Propresenter has a free version, which is not designed to be used in front of an audience. The HoW (House of Worship) plan starts at $399 per year for a new account or $275 per year when renewing.   

Dacast: Best Live Streaming Solution For Churches On A Budget

Dacast's Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Dacast’s multiple bitrate streams optimizes broadcast across devices.

Visit Dacast.com, and you will realize that this live stream software promises every feature and functionality a live streaming church service needs. The service has 24/7 support, high-quality live streaming with top-tier CDNs, an all-device HTML5 player, VODs and live video integration, and customization that allows users to monetize their videos. 

Another valuable Dacast feature is that it allows you to set up multiple bitrate streams using Wirecast video or vMix broadcasting software. These multiple bitrate streams ensure that your live streams can be watched on different devices and internet connections with varying bandwidths.    

Dacast has a free 30-day trial. Paid plans start at $39 a month.  

vMix: Best For Building A Custom Live Production System

VMix Software Video App for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
vMix captures the power of expensive hardware as software.

vMix is a software video switcher and mixer that also functions as a live streaming software that works on Windows. Some of the software’s features include “LIVE mixing, switching, recording and LIVE streaming of SD, full HD and 4K video sources including cameras, video files, DVDs, images, [and] Powerpoint.”  

The vMix software is customizable, based on the user’s production needs. All these features can be enjoyed on a free 60-day trial. Paid plans start with the Basic HD, which costs $60, and go all the way to the Pro plan that costs $1200. The software’s developers say that “Each purchase does not expire and includes Free Version Updates for one year from the date of purchase.”

Churchstreaming.tv: Best For Broadcasting A Church Service To Various Sources 

Churchstreaming.tv Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Churchstreaming.tv makes it easy to broadcast across various sources.

“Video streaming simple enough for a church plant, powerful enough for worldwide ministry.” This is how Churchstreaming.tv advertises its service. The software makes it possible for a church service to be broadcast to various sources like YouTube, Facebook, or Apple TV. 

Churchstreaming.tv also frees bandwidth with real-time transcoding. The streaming solution allows for plugins that make it possible to customize viewer layout by embedding navigation links.  

Churchstreaming.tv has a free 30-day trial. Paid plans are based on the number of hours you need per month, the resolution, and video storage capacity. The plans start with the basic plan at $79/month. The Advanced Plan is the most expensive at $139 a month. 

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS): Best Free Live Stream Software 

Open Broadcast Software App for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Open Broadcast Software is a free option great for newly planted churches.

If your church is still new and wants to use free live stream software, the best place to find this is at Open Broadcast Software (OBS). Even though OBS is free, it compares well to other church streaming software out there. For example, it doesn’t restrict the number of scenes you can seamlessly switch between using custom transitions. 

The OBS project is sponsored by several tech giants, including Facebook and YouTube. 

mimoLive: Best Live Streaming Software For Mac 

MimoLive Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
mimoLive is professional-grade event recording software for Macs.

mimoLive provides professional live streaming tools for live streaming to Apple products, including Mac, iPad, and iPhone. The software promises “an all-in-one live switcher, video encoder, editor, and streaming software for Mac. It enables you to switch multiple cameras, insert presentations, add graphics, overlay lower-thirds, social media comments, transparency with green screens.” 

mimoLive’s 14-day free trial allows you to test drive the product. If you like it at the end of 14 days, you can get the Studio License at the cost of $699 per year or $69.99 per month. 

StreamShark: Best For Churches That Want A Month-To-Month Solution  

StreamShark Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
StreamShark focused on developing a simple, intuitive interface for beginners.

The developers of StreamShark say that they “understand the pressures involved when live streaming.” Consequently, they have designed a workflow that aims to “ease the burden on the stream operator.” 

StreamShark’s leading features include instant stream archiving, real-time statistics showing viewer engagement, and live DVR rewind that allows viewers who join late to rewind and see areas they have missed.  

StreamShark’s pricing starts at $199 per month, and the most expensive plan is $999 per month. The advantage of using this software is that you can cancel your plan anytime. 

TruthCasting: Best For Ad-Free Streaming 

TruthCasting Website for Church Streaming Software Screenshot
Thruthcasting makes it easy to Livestream from any device.

To show how easy the developers of TruthCasting believe their software is, they say, “If you can count to three, then you can live stream.” The software can be used whether you’re streaming from a webcam or a professional video camera. 

You can also use any encoder to send your video to the streaming platform. As long as audiences have an internet connection, they can view videos broadcast through TruthCasting on any device, wherever they are. 

TruthCasting offers a 15-day free trial. Churches with less than 2,000 members pay $39.95 a month to broadcast. YouTube and Facebook Live add-ons are available at $10 per month.

10 Biggest Streaming Churches 

Here are some of the biggest streaming churches I found on YouTube. To determine how big a church is, I looked at the number of subscribers it has on YouTube. 

Lakewood Church & Joel Osteen

Lakewood Church & Joel Osteen YouTube Channel  Screenshot
Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen tops the list with 2million+  YouTube subscribers.

Together, Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen (its pastor) have 2,202,000 subscribers on YouTube. According to Osteen’s YouTube channel, “More than 10 million viewers watch his weekly inspirational messages through television, and over 60 million people connect with Joel through his digital platforms worldwide.” 

Lakewood Church’s live stream goes out every Saturday at 7 pm and Sundays at 8:30 am and 11:00 am CST. Apart from delivering the message to its 304,000-audience on YouTube, Lakewood Church also uses Facebook Live.    

Elevation Church

Elevation Church App Screenshot
Elevation Church even have their own app.

The work of Elevation Church is evident in its mission statement: “Elevation Church exists so that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ.” This Church does not seem to only target those far from God with its live streams; it’s also connecting those far from the church or each other.

The Elevation Church’s YouTube channel has around 1.99 million subscribers. The church’s YouTube worship channel has 2.85 million subscribers. It uses Vimeo and Comcast Technology Solutions as its video hosting solutions. 

Hillsong Church

Hillsong Church Youtube Channel Screenshot
Hillsong stream live from locations all around the world.

The mission of Hillsong Church is “To reach and influence the world by building a large Christ-centered, Bible-based church, changing mindsets and empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life.” If Hillsong’s online following can be used to assess how well the church is living up to its mission, then it’s clear that the church is succeeding. 

With 409,000 subscribers on YouTube, Hillsong says that it has a global audience of 150,000 every week. Its video hosting platform is YouTube and Vimeo. 

Saddleback Church

Saddle Church Youtube Channel Screenshot
Saddleback makes effective use of Youtube with 389,00 subscribers.

Saddleback Church’s motto is “one family, many locations.” With 389,000 subscribers on YouTube, this is a motto that the church seems to be living by. Its YouTube channel has more than 53,930,000 views.

Saddleback Church uses YouTube and JW Player as its hosting services. 

Life.Church

Pastor Ryan Sharp from Life.church  Screensshot
Life.Church hosts 90 services a week on five platforms.

Life.Church has a dedicated online service. The church has a message for those searching for meaning, connection, community, truth, and answers: “This is where you’ll find it.” Through its streaming service, Life. Church invites everyone to “come to join a community of people from around the world who are discovering answers, truth, and what it means to belong.”

According to Life. Church, has more than 90 online services every week on five platforms, accessible on any device. Its video hosting service is YouTube and Wistia. 

Bethel TV

Bethel TV website  Screenshot
Bethel TV’s streaming service is super-slick.

With its live streams, Bethel TV calls itself “your front-row seat to all that God is doing at Bethel.” The church invites all to “Watch anytime, anywhere.” This is an invitation that 296,000 people have already responded to on YouTube, where it has more than 33,500,000 views. 

Bethel TV’s hosting platform is JW Player. 

International House of Prayer

International House of Prayer's Livestream Screenshot
IHOPKC hold themselves to a 24/7 service.

The International House of Prayer‘s (IHOPKC) mission statement reads, “The IHOPKC community exists to partner in the Great Commission by advancing 24/7 prayer with worship and proclaiming the beauty of Jesus and His glorious return.” 

A church that uses 24/7 to describe anything certainly needs some streaming service. This is what IHOPKC is doing using its YouTube channel that has over 296,000 subscribers. 

VOUS Church

VOUS' Channel Screenshot
Vous has multiple channels to cater for different audiences.

The VOUS Church says that it has a simple mission: “to bring those who are far from God close to him.” The church has a dedicated team called the Crew Live that live streams to the church’s 194,000 YouTube subscribers.   

REVERE

REVERE's Youtube Channel Screenshot
Revere’s make good use of multiple digital channels as well as streaming.

REVERE is a community of worshippers with 181,000 subscribers on YouTube. The church says that Christianity experienced a massive shift a generation ago when “The formality of corporate worship gave way to ‘intimacy,’ and we were forever changed.”

The shift wasn’t just in the area of Christianity; it was also in the way people worship. Today, REVERE members have several options to listen to sermons and worship songs: Spotify, Apple Music, Facebook, the Church’s website, and Instagram.

John Gray Ministries

Pastor John Gray of The Relentless Church Screenshot
Pastor John Gray of The Relentless Church.

John Gray Ministries is led by a man who lives by the mantra, “We have a limited number of days on this planet, so give as much as you can, serve as best as you can, and love as hard as you can.”

Gray emphasizes the message above to the 114,000 YouTube subscribers on his ministry’s channel. The channel has a total of 3,461,300 views and counting.  

With numbers fluctuating, the world constantly changing, how can you measure success? Here’s an article that will help you make sense of the numbers: What Every Lead Pastor Needs To Know About Church Metrics.

If you’re looking for conferences to attend this year, check these out:

10 Best Church Leadership Conferences In 2021

The Best Church Technology Conferences 2021

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Presentation Software In 2021

Church presentation software helps churches engage with their congregation during a service. The software solution enables congregation participation during a church service by making song lyrics, video, PowerPoint, Keynote, sermon notes, Bible scripture, and information visible on a large screen or screens. 

Also known as church projection software or worship presentation software it’s the best presentation solution for projecting song lyrics during worship and share Bible verses during preaching in a service or meeting.

But what is the best church presentation software in 2021? Whether projecting video files, sermon notes,  PowerPoint from a Windows PC or Keynote from a Mac OS, find check out our pick of the best cross platform solutions allowing Linux or operating system agnostic support, in our list below. We’ve included some free church presentation software along with open source, and Android remote app options as well as paid options with ease of use, top of mind in our selection.

Best Church Presentation Software

  1. OpenSong – Best free, open-source church presentation software
  2. OpenLP – Best free church presentation software for  Linux and FreeBSD
  3. Song of Songs – Best free church worship presentation software
  4. FreeWorship – Best for small churches with basic features
  5. Presenter – Best for large churches with advanced features
  6. Slipity – Best Mac iOS remote app for sermon 
  7. Praisenter – Best for lyrics projection software 
  8. Quelea – Best for sermon note integrations
  9. SlideDog – Best for simple stage display support
  10. Big Screen – Best for multilingual Bible verses 

Church presentation software could be the tool you need for creating presentations that can be displayed at church services and church events. 

Proclaim Church Presentation Software Feature-Rich Media Library Screenshot
Proclaim Church presentation software feature-rich media library.

The software allows you to display and present song lyrics, Bible passages, and quotes, as well as announcements, and updates on a screen so that it’s visible to everyone in the congregation.

Some presentation tools can also integrate with online Bible resources and song repositories to fetch content and stream it live during sermons, prayer meetings, and church services.

Why use church presentation software?

Church presentation software helps to make your church service accessible to the whole congregation. With a dynamic presentation displaying lyrics and scripture, the congregation can join in together. Here’s why you should consider using the software for your church:

  • Enables congregation participation during worship 
    In the past song sheets or song books have been used but with church presentation software, this is no longer necessary.
    When song lyrics are projected onto a big screen, or screens, it means that the whole congregation can easily read the song and sing along without getting lost. It makes the service accessible to everyone, to the same extent, without having prior knowledge of the song.
  • Provides the congregation with quick (and multilingual) access to scripture 
    Many people don’t want to carry around a Bible with them, as they’ll use their phone instead. But using church presentation software for sharing scripture references means your congregation don’t get distracted while they start looking up Bible verses! What’s more, some solutions have multilingual functionality and can simultaneously display scripture in multiple languages which can be great for multilingual congregations.
  • Provides easy access to important information
    Church presentation software enables you to share your church notices and announcements either passively before and after the service, or together with verbal announcements. 
Easyworship Church Presentation Software Song Lyrics Screenshot
Easyworship church presentation software song lyrics.

Church presentation software functionality

Many of the church presentation software include feature rich functionality for the needs of churches to allow seamless church presentations:

  • Presentation streaming for worship services
  • Scripture database to display bible verses 
  • Video file playing from worship software
  • Custom slides to allow a slideshow of notices or information
  • Slide integration from Windows or Mac PowerPoint, Mac Keynote, or Google Slides
  • Layout management and customizable slide layouts
  • Multi-Screen display support
  • Multilingual Bible and Bible translation support
  • Drag and drop presentation tools
  • Media library to allow playlist support including Spotify, YouTube or VLC 
  • CCLI SongSelect (Christian Copyright Licensing International) usage tracking
  • Remote control (often within a functionality for the preacher to 
  • Countdown for the service to begin
  • Stage display or stage view preview

It’s also worth considering plugins for other church management software support, as many, like Planning Center, offer support and integrations. 

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Presentation Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the church presentation software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. OpenSong – Best free, open-source church presentation software

OpenSong Screenshot

2. OpenLP – Best free church presentation software for  Linux and FreeBSD

OpenLP Screenshot

3. Song of Songs – Best free church worship presentation software

Song Of Songs Screenshot

4. FreeWorship – Best for small churches with basic features

FreeWorship Screenshot

5. Presenter – Best for large churches with advanced features

Presenter Screenshot

6. Slipity – Best Mac iOS remote app for sermon 

Slipity Screenshot

7. Praisenter – Best for lyrics projection software 

Praisenter Screenshot

8. Quelea – Best for sermon note integrations

Quelea Screenshot

9. SlideDog – Best for simple stage display support

SlideDog Screenshot

10. Big Screen – Best for multilingual Bible verses 

BigScreen Screenshot

Other Church Presentation Software

  1. VideoPsalm
  2. Worship Him
  3. ZionWorx
  4. Worship Extreme
  5. Sharefaith Presenter
  6. Mediashout
  7. Christie
  8. EasyWorship
  9. Renewed Vision ProPresenter
  10. Faithlife Proclaim
  11. WorshipStorm
  12. Yodeck

If you’ve ever wondered how the really big churches do it, here are the 10 Biggest Streaming Churches And The Software They Use.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Website Builder

Keep reading this post to find all you need to know about the best church website builders for 2021. 

We assessed each website builder’s ease of use, features, integrations, customization options, value for money and pricing, templates, and put their website building  and website design through their paces.

Keep reading this post so you can build your new website and choose a website builder for your church that suits you and your church best.

Best Church Website Builder Shortlist

  1. WordPress – Best for church website future flexibility
  2. SquareSpace – Best for easily creating  a beautiful design
  3. CloverSites – Best for integrated church content 
  4. Abundant – Best for integrated church website functionality
  5. The Church Co – Best for speedy one-week turnaround
  6. ShareFaith – Best for church specific website features
  7. Nucleus – Best for integrated church community & comms features
  8. Subsplash SnapPages – Best for full featured out the box templates
  9. Tithe.ly – Best for embedded live streaming
  10. Aplos – Best for beginner-friendly approach 

Church website functionality to consider:

Content and news:  Your church site and content should be easy to discover and interact with by consolidating it all into an easy to use, intuitive, and delightful feed that includes your social media. This will enable you to highlight events and gatherings to encourage participation and show your latest sermon, podcast, Bible study, blogging and more

Events calendar: You’ll want to be able to list your regular Sunday services, mid-week groups, Bible study, prayer meetings, courses and other activities, on your church website.

Sermons, podcasts & media player: Often people check out a church’s media library or podcast, before visiting a church. Plan to put videos of your sermon recordings or audio on your website to accommodate this; you’ll want an easy way to host both the content and media player.

Giving and donations: If you plan to take donations through your website, then you need to make sure that your church website will support this, and connect with your church accounting software. 

Registrations and forms: For certain events you may need to limit registrations or attendance so integrated forms and submissions maybe be important. A range of contact forms will also help to build your church and ability to respond to your church’s needs better.

SEO: It’s no good having a website if no one can find you; you want a website builder that enables you to maximize your search engine visibility through custom titles, meta descriptions, internal linking, URL structuring, custom domains, and alternate domain names for special events or ministries. 

Extendibility: As your church grows, you want a website builder that can keep up – think about what church software you need to integrate with, what add-ons are available, plugins you can use, 

Church app:  A church app can be a great way to engage your church on the go through their mobile devices. By having a church app that runs from the same content and data as the church website, it’s less administration and useful to remind members of events, host the church podcast, enable giving, and more.

Members’ area: You might want to have some content, like the event details and contact details only available to registered church members.

Design and templates:  Good web design and design flexibility matters! Pick a church website builder that has a wide variety of church website content templates and ability to make changes with little website know-how. Think about what you want to communicate, and how you want to do that – you’ll want features that enable you to have a professionally designed church website template to make your site look beautiful and function like one of the best church websites around. A good drag-and-drop editor will help you easily customize the design, add images, update colors and more, so you can create a church website that matches your church’s brand.

Different user accounts and permissions: You’d probably want to have certain church members (volunteers) be able to update the website when needed, without giving them access to everything. Think too about step by step tutorials available and customer support on hand to help them do that! 

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Website Builder

Here’s a brief description of each of the church website builder on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. WordPress – Best for church website future flexibility

WordPress Screenshot

2. SquareSpace – Best for easily creating  a beautiful design

SquareSpace Screenshot

3. CloverSites – Best for integrated church content 

CloverSites Screenshot

4. Abundant – Best for integrated church website functionality

Abundant Screenshot

5. The Church Co – Best for speedy one-week turnaround

The Church Co Screenshot

6. ShareFaith – Best for church specific website features

ShareFaith Screenshot

7. Nucleus – Best for integrated church community & comms features

Nucleus Screenshot

8. Subsplash SnapPages – Best for full featured out the box templates

Subsplash SnapPages Screenshot

9. Tithe.ly – Best for embedded live streaming

Tithe.ly Screenshot

10. Aplos – Best for beginner-friendly approach 

Aplos  Screenshot

Other church website builders:

We’ve not yet had a chance to check out these website builders for churches yet, but it’s worth taking a look to see if they meet your needs.

  1. Weebly
  2. Wix
  3. Appypie 
  4. Elexio 
  5. FellowshipOne
  6. Church Dev
  7. Church123
  8. Ministry Designs
  9. Digital Church Platform
  10. Ekklesia360
  11. FaithlifeSites
  12. FaithNetwork

Consider too, that many church management software includes website functionality.

White label website builders

Maybe you’ve got a few church websites you’re trying to build – if so, think about using a white label website builder like those listed below:

  1. https://agency.weblium.com/
  2. https://sitegalore.com/
  3. https://www.duda.co/website-builder/white-label
  4. https://webwave.me/
  5. https://www.ucraft.com/whitelabel
  6. https://offsprout.com/
  7. https://www.motocms.com/customer-services/reseller-white-label-website-builder/
  8. https://www.monosolutions.com/platform/website-builder

What church website builder do you like best?

Have you discovered or used any good church website builders recently? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for inspiration? Here’s our list of the 20 Best Church Website Designs In 2021.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Accounting Software Of 2021

Find the best accounting software for your church. Compare product reviews, criteria and pricing in our in depth review of the best church accounting software. 

Churches need to track income and expenses like any other organization – but they also have some more specific requirements that some accounting software can’t easily support. Features like managing individual donations and tithes (and providing tax receipts) are unique. Similarly, keeping detailed reports of which church ministries and projects are funded, and how those funds are utilized are crucial to the success and transparency of a church accounting system.

Furthermore, while most accounting software is set up for the needs of businesses and requires some basic knowledge of accounting and bookkeeping. Church accounting software, by contrast, is typically geared toward non-accountants, making it easier to use.

Finding the right tools to maintain compliance and balance the books can be a challenge with so many hoops to jump through. We reviewed the best church accounting software platforms based on reputation, ease-of-use, features, price, and more. Here are ten of our top picks.

Best Church Accounting Software Shortlist

  1. Xero – Best accounting software for small churches
  2. QuickBooks Online + Breeze – Best for medium-sized churches
  3. Sage Intacct – Best for larger churches
  4. ACS Technologies – Best for church oriented systems
  5. IconCMO – Best for web-based system
  6. PowerChurch Plus – Best for all-in-one system
  7. AccountEdge Pro – Best for local installation
  8. ZipBooks – Best for free church bookkeeping
  9. Botkeeper – Best for automated bookkeeping
  10. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT – Best for nonprofits

What is Church Accounting Software?

Church accounting software is simply an accounting system that helps churches keep their books balanced. It’s a general ledger used to track income (accounts receivable) usually in the form of member and donor contributions usually from regular tithing, and giving, as well as managing fundraising, gift days, grants. It includes budgeting management, expense tracking, and provides an accounting solution for tracking the pay of vendors or staff.  

Most churches are registered as nonprofit or have charity status. Because of this, church accounting software offers similar functionalities as traditional nonprofit software, such as donor management and fundraising. It’s no surprise that these accounting features can be found in many standard accounting software solutions.  

Many churches don’t have experienced accountants on staff, so the needs of churches are perhaps different from other nonprofit organizations. Churches, particularly small churches, need user-friendly accounting software that’s easy to use and set up, with the categories and types of transactions churches need to track. Accounting software that offers pre-made reports can also be helpful for presenting a church’s financial picture to church members and stakeholders.        

How Much Do Church Accounting Software Programs Cost?

Most church accounting software is cloud-based and available for a monthly subscription. The convenience of having the platform online eliminates the need for churches to buy the right computer for their software. In most cases, any current computer with internet access will do. 

We found that subscription-based church accounting software typically ranges from $16 to $79 per month, with $350 being the high end. Many offer tiered pricing options based on the features a church needs. Higher tiers typically include more advanced finance features like payroll processing and advanced reporting.     

Features of Church Accounting Software

While each software solution will be different, these are some of the most commonly found features in a church accounting software solution:

  • Accounting: Covers things such as accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR) and a general ledger (GL). Given the nonprofit status of most churches, the AR functionality will usually work in unison (or be replaced) with a donor management, fundraising, or fund accounting functionality.
  • Payroll: Manages employee compensation: wage calculation, ACH deposits, check printing, and compensation tax reports
  • Donor management & fundraising: Know how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis and provide annual giving statements to the members for tax reporting purposes. Solicit donations with targeted campaigns. Create campaigns that to encourage smaller donors to contribute more.
  • Membership tracking: Manage information on your members such as attendance, frequency of gifts, personal information such as address, volunteer details, interested, activities, and more. Analyze trends to see when attendance is increasing/decreasing.

Benefits of Church Accounting Software

The best kind of church organization has taken advantage of two things: knowledge, and efficiency. While recording information via paper spreadsheets may be cost-effective, is not the most efficient way of your time. Having to go back through records in different file cabinets or different offices is slow and cumbersome. The key is finding the right balance.

Organize Your Member Contributions and Attendance

A majority of church income comes from member contributions, so tracking member contributions is a needed function to give you insight into how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Now only does this allow you to give annual giving statements to members for tax reporting purposes, but it also helps keep your financial reporting as clean as possible.

Having more advanced reporting on who is giving, and when, can help you solicit donations with targeted campaigns. Larger donors can be targeted for capital campaigns, or even encouraged to have the church listed as a beneficiary when they are creating their estate plans. Smaller donors can be worked to contribute more frequently based on numerous small events or projects the church may be working on.

Get A Better Grasp At Finances With Church Accounting

Accounting will work as accounting should. So what features make it exclusive to managing a church organization?

One ability that may go overlooked is the ability to print accounts payable and payroll checks in a self-mailer format. Mailings may seem like a thing of the past with the prevalence of emails and online newsletters, but sometimes an old-fashioned mailer sent to a members home is a great reminder of their past gifts and an easy way to encourage them to keep giving. It is especially beneficial for the technology-averse crowd.

Nonprofits should look for a solution with the intent of saving time. Online training is a great tool for self-paced learning, which is beneficial when you have a part-time staff composed of volunteers.

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Accounting Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the church accounting software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. Xero – Best accounting software for small churches

Xero Screenshot

2. QuickBooks Online + Breeze – Best for medium-sized churches

Quickbooks Online Screenshot

3. Sage Intacct – Best for larger churches

Sage Intacct Screenshot

4. ACS Technologies – Best for church oriented systems

ACS Technologies Screenshot

5. IconCMO – Best for web-based system

IconCMO Screenshot

6. PowerChurch Plus – Best for all-in-one system

PowerChurch Plus Screenshot

7. AccountEdge Pro – Best for local installation

AccountEdge Pro Screenshot

8. ZipBooks – Best for free church bookkeeping

ZipBooks Screenshot

9. Botkeeper – Best for automated bookkeeping

BotKeeper Screenshot

10. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT – Best for nonprofits

Blackbaud Financial Edge Nxt Screenshot

Other Church Accounting Software

  1. Givelify 
  2. Church360 Ledger 
  3. ChurchPro 
  4. Aplos
  5. CDM +
  6. Church Windows Software 
  7. MartusTools
  8. PowerChurch
  9. ShelbyNext Financials
  10. FlockBase
  11. Breeze
  12. ACS Church Accounting
  13. Shelby Systems
  14. Elexio Church Financials
  15. Paxton Charities Accounting
  16. ExpensePlus
  17. Jewel
  18. PowerChurch Plus 
  19. Breeze ChMS
  20. ChurchTrac
  21. AccountEdge Pro

Church Management Software and accounting

If you’re looking for a more integrated accounting and church management solution, that combines financial management with church management, you should check out our list of church management software. Many of these tools integrate church accounting functionality. 

What church accounting software do you use?

Have you discovered or used any church accounting software recently? What did you think of it? Let us know if the comments below.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Management Software In 2021

Looking for church management software? Then check out our list of the best church management software. It’ll give you a simple, easy comparison of the best church management software on the market in 2021.

In this complete ChMs review, you’ll discover the best church management tool options along with a simple explanation of the criteria for choosing high-performing tools.

You’ll also find overviews of each tool, screenshots, to give you a quick and that will help you narrow down the choices.

On top of that, I answer all the commonly asked questions about church management software; you’ll learn what church management software is and how it can change the way you deliver you manage and run your church in a more effective and productive way.

Best church management software

Our shortlist of the best church management tools:

  1. Wild Apricot – Best free ChMS for small churches
  2. Elvanto – Best all-inclusive ChMS
  3. Breeze – Best for ease of use
  4. Chmeetings – Best for price
  5. TouchPoint – Best mobile app experience
  6. Blackbaud – Best for managing people, ministries, and payments, all in one place
  7. Excellerate Church Management – Best for on-site local network installation
  8. Fellowship One – Best all-in-one solution
  9. Shelby Systems – Best CHMs for larger churches
  10. Servant Keeper – Best for expandability

What is Church Management Software?

Church Management software (sometimes referred to as ChMS) is a suite of online tools that helps churches organize, automate and manage their daily church operations. 

Now you’ve seen the eclectic mix of church management software in our list, you’ll see it’s a wide range of software and SaaS tools that make running a thriving and growing church more effective, easier, and better. It does this by providing a combination of tools that support and in many ways, automate, church administration.

Related Read: What Every Lead Pastor Needs To Know About Church Metrics.

What can Church Management Software do for my Church?

Church Management software is designed to streamline church administration,  providing functionality for a host of different needs that churches have including communication, membership management, small groups and event registration, mass communication, check-in, and donor management. Below we break down the functionality you can expect and look out for in the tools listed below.

Church Management Software Functionality

Church management software (ChMS) features typically include:

  • Membership management – maintain an up-to-date member directory including family and contact information for your congregation.
  • Attendance tracking – Keep track of your congregation’s involvement and facilitate Covid-19 contact tracing.
  • Donor & Giving management – provides a secure channel of collection and management of tithes, donations, online giving, and other contributions from church members.
  • Financial accounting – assists in the management of resources, tracking of expenses, and reporting.
  • Communication tools – Send mass emails and/or text messages to all members
  • Events management – easily organize events for social activities and outreach opportunities
  • Volunteer management – Scheduling tools to manage large groups of volunteers to make running your church services as smooth as possible.
  • Check-in and child security management – a vital tool to ensure the safety of all minors placed in the care of church leaders during Sunday School or other activities.
  • Website builder – Tools to allow you to create and deploy your church website.

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

The 10 Best Church Management Software Overviews

In this post, we’ve tried to cover a broad spectrum of software, considering complexity, price points, and functionality. But as much as anything, it’ll come down to your church and what features and functionality you need to make it function better. Have a look and sign up for some trials to test-drive and find the best church management software for your case.

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. When you click through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

1. Wild ApricotBest free church management software for small churches

Wild Apricot Church Management Software's In-Built Website Builder Interface Screenshot
Wild Apricot church management software’s in-built website builder interface.
  • Price: Free for up to 50 contacts
  • Trial: Free 30 day trial (no credit card required)

Wild Apricot is a powerful, easy-to-use, web-based church management system for churches and non-profits to help manage administrative tasks, membership, website, event registration, and other activities.

Wild Apricot is a complete membership management system. Easily manage your contacts, process payments, send out emails, and register event attendees. You can also build a website for your organization using professionally designed and mobile-friendly templates.

Wild Apricot is designed for volunteer-run and small staff organizations with a user-friendly interface that doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge. You will also have access to the user community of peers and experts to get support and share knowledge of best practices.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Competitive pricing
  • Highly customizable

Cons

  • Limited choice of website templates

2. Elvanto – Best all-inclusive ChMS

Elvanto's Homepage Screenshot
Elvanto’s homepage.
  • Price: $50/month
  • Trial: Demo call available

Elvanto is an all-in-one cloud-based solution with many innovative features. Elvanto streamlines pastoral and administrative duties. Plan worship activities, manage finances and engage with church members. 

Elvanto has an all-inclusive range of tools with no add-on modules and no extra charges. Some of the main features include access control, customizable forms, custom reports, mobile apps, event management, group management, email and SMS messaging, volunteer scheduling, and attendance tracking.

Elvanto makes the planning of worship services and managing volunteers simple. Create run sheets, schedule your volunteers, access your song database, lyrics, and chords. It has a simple drag and drop interface that makes quickly creating service plans for your team a breeze.

Child check-in, privacy, and safety are some of the key features integrated into Elvanto, vital for children and youth leaders to ensure all in their care are accounted for.

Elvanto also has powerful features for accessing financial data, contribution management, and has the ability to connect with various online giving providers.

Pros

  • Great integration with 3rd party financial partners

Cons

  • Some features like check-in don’t always work reliably.

3. Breeze – Best for ease of use

Breeze's Report Generating Interface Screenshot
Breeze’s report generating interface.
  • Price: Starting at $50/month
  • Trial: Instant Demo available

Breeze is an easy-to-use web-based church management system designed with small churches to mid-sized churches in mind. With Breeze, you can easily add new data, send mass emails and text messages, track attendance and check-in children securely, and process donations online and by text message. Breeze requires no contract or set up fee and offers a data migration service to get you started quickly.

Breeze makes it easy to manage your church’s database, communicate with your members via email or text message, offer online and text giving, safely check-in children, manage events and volunteers, run reports, and much more!

Pros

  • easy data transfer from other systems
  • responsive customer support

Cons

  • Some features are quite basic

4. CHMeetings – Best for price

CHMeetings Dashboard Screenshot
CHMeetings Dashboard.
  • Price: Free for 100 people. Starting at $10/month for up to 250 people.
  • Trial: Not available

CHMeetings is a powerful church management system designed for churches of all sizes and denominations. Easily manage church membership, groups, events, follow-up, and broadcasts.

CHMeetings transforms your workflow by doing it all online. You can create registration forms, see who already submitted theirs, and view attendance data of all events. Check-in is easy for leaders and members via the app. You can also offer your members an easy option to manage their online giving and event fees and easily generate up-to-date financial reports.

Managing the legal, security, and privacy aspects of your data are made easy, and with account restriction settings you have total control over which data individuals can access. CHMeetings include state-of-the-art security features and firewall technology. No matter what device you access data from, it will be secure. CHMeetings also makes daily backups of your data.

Pros

  • Very affordable, tiered pricing based on church size
  • Up-to-date security and firewall features

Cons

  • The mobile app could use some improvements

5. TouchPoint – Best mobile app experience

Screenshots from TouchPoint's Mobile App Screenshot
Screenshots from TouchPoint’s mobile app.
  • Price: $300/year (based on a 100-member church)
  • Trial: Not available

TouchPoint is a substantial cloud-based church management software solution that equips church leaders and administrators of mid-sized churches to large churches looking for an off the shelf ChMS which is also highly customizable. A fully-integrated mobile app helps you with membership management, volunteer management, child check-in, discipleship groups, ministry engagement, tithes, events, media, and more.

Pros

  • Responsive tech support
  • Best-in-class mobile app

Cons

  • Initial setup has a steep learning curve
  • Slow to implement updates

6. Blackbaud – Best for managing people, ministries, and payments, all in one place

Blackbaud's Congregation Summary Page Screenshot
Blackbaud’s Congregation summary page.
  • Price: Contact Blackbaud for a quote
  • Trial: Not available

Blackbaud Church Management Software is a cloud-based tool that can effectively manage your people, gifts, communications, events, and volunteers all in one place.

Better understand how your congregation is engaging with your church through a single source of data. With connected Financial Management, Payments, and more, on one digital platform. Simplify tithes and online giving for your congregation with one-time and recurring giving options via a connected giving app. With Faith Journey tracking you can get a better understanding of your members using comprehensive member and family profiles.

7. Excellerate Church Management – Best for on-site local network installation

Excellerate's Serve Point Scheduling System Screenshot
Excellerate’s Serve Point scheduling system.
  • Price: Free for 50 members. Starting at $145 for 100 members (some features omitted).
  • Trial: Not available

Excellerate Church Management Software is a comprehensive and flexible solution that is highly adaptable to your church needs, including membership management, visitor follow-up, small groups, fundraising, child check-In, volunteer scheduling, and more.

Pros

  • A choice between cloud-based or on-site installation.
  • No monthly subscription for on-site installations and cost varies based on church size

Cons

  • Accessing technical support costs extra
  • Some knowledge of SQL is helpful.

8. Fellowship One – Best all-in-one solution

Fellowship One's Member Profile Interface Screenshot
Fellowship One’s member profile interface.
  • Price: Starting at $19.60 per month
  • Trial: Not offered

Fellowship One’s church management software suite of tools allows for easily accessible and automated management of member data. Rapidly assimilate new visitors and reduce the workload of your staff. Members can access and update their own data and stay connected to the community through a central, online environment.

You can automate communication with mass email, using attractive newsletter templates and easily target specific demographics or groups, and maintain quality personal connections with all your members as your church grows in size

Pros

  • All-in-one solution

Cons

  • Not so user friendly
  • Outdated Interface

9. Shelby Systems – Best CHMs for larger churches

Shelby Systems Groups interface Screenshot
Shelby Systems Groups interface.
  • Price: Starting at $35.13/month
  • Trial: Not offered

Shelby Arena is a full church management software solution with strong, ministry-oriented tools and seamless integration with Shelby Financials and ShelbyNext Giving. Shelby Systems can help you increase your outreach in many ways to both current and potential new members.

Designed for mid-size to large Churches, it is a cloud-based membership management tool that helps with child check-ins, attendance tracking, room reservations, and more.

Pros

  • Unlimited access to technical support and training resources
  • Competitive monthly pricing based on church size

Cons

  • The desktop app is Windows only
  • The complex interface requires some technical knowledge
  • The software is not updated regularly

10. Servant Keeper – Best for expandability

Servant Keeper Contributions Overview Page Screenshot
Servant Keeper contributions overview page.
  • Price: Starting at $10/month + app licenses
  • Trial: Free demo available

Powerful, easy-to-use church management system for attendance tracking, donor management, mass communication via email or text, child check-in, custom financial reporting, and much more! Available across multiple platforms, including Windows/Mac and iOS/Android. Servant Keeper offers a cloud-based solution or an on-site solution that runs on your church’s network.

Pros

  • Choose between an on-site or cloud-based solution

Cons

  • The desktop app requires an expensive license for every computer it’s run on.

Church Management Software Comparison Criteria

It’s worth thinking about what makes a good church management software solution. To be featured on this list, I evaluated the church management tools based on the following criteria:

  • Value for money: How appropriate is the price for its features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
  • User Interface (UI): How well-designed is it? Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation?
  • Usability:  Is this resources management system easy to learn and master? Are there tutorials and training? Does the company offer good tech and user support?
  • Features & Functionality: How many of the key features and functions does it provide, and how powerful are they?
  • Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
  • Customizable: Can you customize and adapt the software to your church and team’s specific needs?

It’s worth comparing different tools as they’re set at different price points, different functionalities (such as timesheets, expenses, approval workflows, task management), and different 3rd party integrations.

Other church management software

None of the above work for you? Check out the list below for additional church management software tools:

  1. Faithlife Equip
  2. ChurchTrac
  3. CFS Live
  4. Churchteams
  5. Ministry Tracker
  6. Elexio
  7. CCIS
  8. Church Community Builder
  9. Parishsoft
  10. Power Church Software
  11. Realm
  12. Kyrios
  13. Raklet
  14. Text In Church
  15. CDM+
  16. Planning Center
  17. SeekerWorks
  18. Church Windows

Other church technology tools you should consider

Other types of church management software and technology you should also consider including in your toolkit:

Which Church Management Software Do You Recommend?

What do you think we’re missing? Which other tools do you recommend, and what would you add to these church management software reviews?

If you’re looking for something specific like donor management software, here’s our 12 Best Donor Management Software Comparison.

We’d love to hear if you’ve got any suggestions, tips or thoughts on using this kind of software – why not share them using the comments below?

Here’s a bonus for you looking to improve your church technology as well as management skills: The Best Church Technology Conferences 2021.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Church Software For 2021

Church software is designed to assist churches structure and manage daily operations. Typically on Sunday’s that the event planning, volunteer management, child check-in and attendance tracking. Mid-week it could be Sunday service follow up tracking and church administration, event management or small group meetings or running background checks on volunteers. 

Whether you’re a small church, mid-sixed church, or even a large church, as a church leader you know you need a reliable and efficient system, that’s user friendly and that will equip both your congregation and staff to operate effectively.

Most broadly, church software is any software that specifically designed for use by a church. Church software can be sourced to meet a specific need but is often bundled together with a wide range of functionality within a chms, or church management software.

You can find church software for:

If you’re looking for church management software, or specifically an all-in-one church management system, check out our list which contains all the best church management software solutions. 

Our pick of the best church software

This list of church software is what we think are the best in class church software platforms, across all functionality, our reviews below include functionality and pricing information.

We’ve made this shortlist primarily on what we consider to be forward-thinking and more cutting edge church chms software that is demonstrated by user-friendly interface, communication tools such as text messages, availability of mobile app (including android), child check-in, volunteer scheduling, event registration, text giving, and excellent customer support that would be suitable for churches of all sizes.

  1. Wild Apricot
  2. Servant Keeper 
  3. Aplos
  4. Breeze ChMS
  5. MinistryTracker
  6. Elexio
  7. Subsplash
  8. Tithe.ly
  9. ChurchStaq
  10. Blackbaud Church Management

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the church software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. Wild Apricot

Wild Apricot Screenshot

2. Servant Keeper 

Servant Keeper Screenshot

3. Aplos

Aplos Screenshot

4. Breeze ChMS

Breeze ChMS Screenshot

5. MinistryTracker

MinistryTracker Screenshot

6. Elexio

Elexio Screenshot

7. Subsplash

Subsplash Screenshot

8. Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly Screenshot

9. ChurchStaq

ChurchStaq Screenshot

10. Blackbaud Church Management

Blackbaud Church Management Screenshot

Other church software

  1. Church Social
  2. One Church
  3. Faith Teams
  4. ChurchTrac
  5. SimpleChurch CRM
  6. Rock RMS
  7. Donarius
  8. IconCMO
  9. CahabaWorks Church
  10. Church Community Builder
  11. Excellerate Church Software
  12. Church Office Online
  13. Chmeetings
  14. Church Community
  15. CDM+
  16. Planning Centre
  17. Realm
  18. Churchteams
  19. ProPresenter
  20. MediaShout
  21. FellowshipOne

What church software do you use?

Have you discovered or used any good church software recently? What did you think of it? Ever wondered what kind of software is best for streaming? Here are the 10 Biggest Streaming Churches And The Software They Use.

Do you have any idea what to make of the data you’ve been gathering? We’re here to help with this article: What Every Lead Pastor Needs To Know About Church Metrics.

Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re looking for even more help, here’s our list of the 10 Top Church Technology Resources For Leaders in 2021.

Categories
Tools

10 Best Worship Software & Tools For Your Church

Worship software is often also called church presentation software. But it’s more than that – as you’ll see in our list of worship software and tools below, there are other tools and software that you can use to help your worship band lead – and congregation engage in worship.

Keep reading this post to discover our shortlist of the best worship software for 2021, and you’ll discover tools that provide additional functionality beyond presentation – but help the worship pastor, worship band and team create the best worship service to help people encounter Jesus.

Best Worship Software

Here’s our list of the best church worship software and tools to help you plan worship, schedule people and manage music and projection:

  1. Planning Centre – Best for worship planning & musician app
  2. WorshipTrac – Best for simple, no frills solution
  3. WorshipTeam – Best for a stand-alone worship workspace
  4. Worship Planning – Best for low price solution
  5. Sunday Sounds – Best for MainStage worship patches and templates
  6. MultiTracks – Best for giving your worship sets a fuller sound
  7. FellowshipOne – Best for integrated ChMS functionality
  8. PraiseCharts – Best place for downloading sheet music for songs
  9. Worship Extreme Music Stand – Best for chord sheets and lyrics
  10. Transposr – Best for transposing songs to different keys

What is Worship Software?

Now you’ve seen the eclectic mix of worship software in our list, you’ll see it’s a range of software and SaaS tools that make planning, coordinating and running Sunday services and church services easier, and better. It does this by providing tools that support and automate the preparation and coordination efforts of pastors, worship leaders, musicians, and volunteers.

Other worship software for church presentation

If you’re specifically looking for ways to project lyrics, images and video onto a screen, you’re probably looking for a church presentation tool. For that, check out our full list of church presentation tools here.

What to look for when choosing worship software

  • Script/Playlist/ Presentation Order Creation/Editing
    Church services typically use a combination of songs, graphics, videos and countdowns. Sequencing these items should be easy and fast. Ask yourself – how easy is it to reorder a service should when the need arises?
  • Song Importing
    How easy is it to import songs into the software? Songs tend to come from a variety of sources (web, e-mail, Word docs, other databases, etc.); how capable and flexible is the software?
  • Song Editing
    Once the songs are in there, how easy is it to edit them? This includes changing words, changing the order or creating custom verses and choruses.
  • Song Background Support
    Unless you put white text over black backgrounds, the way the software handles background images and video is important. How do these three compare?
  • Audio & Video Handling
    Video playback can include files and DVD; SD & HD; controls and format capabilities.
  • Speaker Support
    We do a lot of sermon graphics and text slides. How do we do it, and how well does it work?
  • User Experience (For Training Volunteers)
    The most powerful software in the world is useless unless people (in our case volunteers) can use it. How quickly can non-professional volunteers pick it up and run with it?
  • Remote Editing
    I like to create the playlists during the week from my laptop. How easy is it to do this and then move the entire show to the presentation computer?
  • Price
    How affordable is this, for a young church plant, and for larger churches
  • 3rd Party Integrations
    How well does this play with other church management software

Worship Software Functionality

  • Volunteer (band/worship team) scheduling – Who’s playing and serving, when.
  • Worship plans – Create unique plans for each service, including details on people, songs, and notes.
  • Order of service – What’s happening, in what order.
  • Rehearsal tools – Song library, transposing and media player
  • Song & lyric projection – The song lyrics, on screen. Sequencing these items should be easy and fast. How easy is it to reorder a service should the need arise?
  • Video projection – Videos, and background graphics.

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Church Worship Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the church worship software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. Planning Centre – Best for worship planning & musician app

Planning Centre Screenshot

2. WorshipTrac – Best for simple, no frills solution

WorshipTrac Screenshot

3. WorshipTeam – Best for a stand-alone worship workspace

WorshipTeam Screenshot

4. Worship Planning – Best for low price solution

Worship Planning Screenshot

5. Sunday Sounds – Best for MainStage worship patches and templates

Sunday Sounds Screenshot

6. MultiTracks – Best for giving your worship sets a fuller sound

MultiTracks Screenshot

7. FellowshipOne – Best for integrated ChMS functionality

FellowshipOne Screenshot

8. PraiseCharts – Best place for downloading sheet music for songs

PraiseCharts  Screenshot

9. Worship Extreme Music Stand – Best for chord sheets and lyrics

Worship Extreme Music Stand Screenshot

10. Transposr – Best for transposing songs to different keys

Transposr  Screenshot
Categories
Tools

12 Best Donor Management Software Comparison

To run a successful organization that depends on donations, it’s important that you have an excellent system to organize your work. You’ll need to manage a donor database, on-board new donors efficiently, store donation forms, run social media campaigns, and generally streamline your fundraiser processes. Without the right software and campaign management tools in the form of donor management software, this can be a challenging undertaking.

Donor management software is like customer relationship management (CRM) software; only it’s for non-profits. The software is essential for large and small not-for-profit businesses that want to run non-profit CRM, donor communication, event registration, outreach, and other fundraising efforts.

In this article, we look at the best donor management software on the market today. Keep reading to discover how you can use contemporary tools to manage your donor engagement and donor membership management. 

The Best Donor Management Software List

Below is our selection of the 12 best donor management software for fundraising campaigns, peer fundraising, managing direct mail with donors, storing donor information, and maintaining the donor base at the levels you want.

  1. Kindful
  2. Aplos
  3. Salesforce for Non-Profit
  4. Blackbaud
  5. Donorperfect
  6. Bloomerang
  7. Salsa Labs
  8. Little Green Light 
  9. Servant Keeper
  10. Donor Tools
  11. Church Community Builder
  12. Virtuous CRM

Donor Management Software FAQs

Before I look at the best donor management software in our list, let’s start by looking at some of the main questions I often encounter when talking about donor management tools that can help non-profit teams run some of the best fundraising events.

What is Donor Management Software?

Donor management software is a kind of computer program that assists teams in non-profit organizations involved in fundraising understand and take maximum advantage of their relationships with donors. These programs assist organizers in managing donor data and analyzing the data to ensure that donors keep funding projects.

Donor management software helps teams automate processes and manage workflows better. The technology ensures that processes that would take days when done by hand can be done in real-time in seconds. The software accomplishes this by providing user-friendly templates that can be customized for different campaigns.

Data gathered by these tools allows organizations to segment and sort both potential and current donors. This makes it possible to operate strategically and apply different approaches for diverse donors. This data includes donor behaviors and financial capacity, thus providing non-profit organizations with specific, actionable takeaways and fundraising strategies.

Why is Donation Management Software Important for NGO Teams?

Donor management software helps non-profit organizations run their processes more efficiently in a coordinated way. It makes tasks that would have taken hours, if not days, easily accomplished in minutes, if not seconds. It reduces the workload of staff members and frees up more time to concentrate on finding more donors.

The software helps organizations to put in place systems that improve relationships between the donor and the non-profit organization by building trust through secure transactions. The donation tool makes it possible for donors to share their personal and financial information without worrying that this will compromise their security. 

Analysis of the donor data acquired can be used to segment the donors. Based on their experiences, messaging and support can be personalized.

What Should Non-Profits Look for in a Donation Management Software Tool?

When you’ve decided on getting software for your non-profit, there are several elements you should consider: the capacity or member size the tool can handle, how easy the tool is to use, and the type of support you can expect from its developers or vendors. 

Find out the essential features that help you know who your donors are, how much they donate, the times they are likely to donate, and whether the donors have seen your correspondence. You also need to consider whether the software will assist you in monitoring donor retention.

The best way to get a grasp of each tool’s features is to ask for a demonstration. Check how many users can have accounts, as well as their access levels.

Testimonials are essential to the selection process. Reach out to the fundraising tool’s previous and current clientele to get real, unbiased, and independent user feedback.

Donation Management Software Comparison Criteria

To search for the best donation management software for non-profits, I use the following criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI) and Functionality: Is it clean and attractive? Does the software solution come with more functionality than others? 
  2. Usability and Reliability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the software offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training? Will it have mandatory upgrades to improve online fundraising processes and security?
  3. Integration with Other Tools: Does the software integrate with other tools, such as church management tools, non-profit management software, accounting software, and others?
  4. Efficiency: Does the software make teams more efficient through the consolidation of systems?
  5. Metrics and Analytics: Will the software assist the user in managing and analyzing donor data?
  6. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use cases? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?

Donation Management Software Key Features

Below are some of the most critical features that software delivering donor management solutions should have:

Tracking Donation History

Donor management software should help teams track all volunteers, donors, and event attendees in one place. An important feature for monitoring fundraising campaigns and activities of the non-profit is the ability to provide a history of donors.  

Email Marketing

In donation management, communication is vital. Therefore, it is important that you consider if the fundraising software you want will allow for automated email marketing. This can help maintain and improve the donor list and donor retention because your projects remain in the donors’ minds. Also, donors want news about what their donations are being used for.

Reporting and Tracking

It is important to track all your activities to determine areas that are working and those that need improvement. Reports should tell you which campaigns are raising the most money, which campaigns lead to the most engagements, and which donors are donating to each campaign.

The ability to produce automated custom reports is also a feature that allows you to define the report you wish to have and when to get it for quick reviews of trends.

Process Automation

Process automation improves the efficiency of your organization. Some of the features you will find in the leading donation management software include creating personalized emails, receipts, and statements. All this can help to create a positive relationship with the donor community.

Online Donation Portal and Recurring Giving

Software Advice, an online resource for software buyers, carried out a study that showed that 20% of shoppers considered an online donation portal a “must-have” feature for organizations that want donations. Online donation portals allow donors to select how often they make donations and set recurring donations as well. They also allow donors to make donations as they make purchases. 

Event Planning and Project Management

For most non-profit organizations, event management is an inevitable task. Therefore, the right software should allow non-profits and their teams to put their focus where it is required: attracting more donations. They can work with a greater number of donors across different fundraising campaigns and events.

The software should also allow teams to collaborate across campaigns and get an idea of what the workflow looks like. This will ensure that projects are completed within budget and planned timelines. The project management feature also allows team members to get an idea of where each campaign is in the pipeline. 

The Lead Pastor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.

Overviews of the 10 Best Donor Management Software

Here’s a brief description of each of the donor management software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.

1. Kindful – Best donor management software for donor relationship building

Kindful Screenshot
Kindful keeps track of recent transactions and donations from donors.

Kindful is donor management software that focuses on building relationships with donors. It offers fundraising, donor management, and communication tools. The software also comes with tracking and reporting tools. 

Pricing for Kindful starts at $100 per month.

Pros

  • Excellent and timely customer service
  • Scalable and focuses on helping non-profits grow
  • Supports unlimited donation pages per account with numerous page designs and customization

Cons

  • Takes a while to learn and get around
  • Pricey for small non-profits with inconsistent income
  • Report design options are limited and lack customization

2. Aplos – Best software for donor management accounting 

Aplos Screenshot
Track cash balance and net income over time.

Aplos is a software that assists non-profits or churches in getting a grasp on their accounting. Other features provided by the software include donor or member management and communication, automatic tracking of gifts and recurring donations, fundraising tools, and much more.

Pricing for Aplos starts at $59 per month. 

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Specifically built to help non-profits or churches manage their accounting
  • Great all-round solutions for donor management

Cons

  • Facility management is not available
  • Uses Gusto, a third-party business, to maintain payroll
  • Not responsive on mobile devices

3. Salesforce for Non-Profit – Best donor management software for non-profits

Salesforce For Non-Profit Screenshot
Salesforce for Non-Profit offers a donations dashboard that breaks down donations by month, program, and other metrics.

Salesforce’s Non-Profit Cloud unites constituents and organizations. The software promises to help “build and maintain trusted and lasting relationships with supporters and beneficiaries by delivering the experiences they need in changing times.” 

Salesforce for Non-Profit is designed mainly to cater to the needs of non-profits, educational institutions, and foundations that provide grants. 

Salesforce for Non-Profit pricing starts at $48 per user per month.

Pros

  • Easy to use 
  • Great customer service 
  • Customizable reports that help filter out unwanted data

Cons

  • Too many functionalities make it challenging to get around in the beginning
  • Report generation can take a while
  • Poor integration with mobile platforms

4. Blackbaud – Best donor management software for data and analytics 

Blackbaud Screenshot
Record donor information, donation history, and transaction history.

Built by Microsoft Azure, Blackbaud is designed to meet the marketing and fundraising needs of non-profits. It provides excellent insight via its data intelligence.

Blackbaud pricing is available upon request.

Pros

  • Mobile responsive
  • Great with records generation
  • Comprehensive in terms of features

Cons

  • Takes a while to get accustomed to
  • Poor customer support
  • Expensive for small non-profits

5. Donorperfect – Best for donor segmentation and communication 

DonorPerfect Screenshot
Donorperfect’s organization dashboard allows users to view donation history, donation by region, donor retention, and more.

Donorperfect is a suitable fundraising solution for non-profits. It provides insight into the drivers of donations, donor segmentation, and communications via personalized emails. Event managers can use its auction management tools to manage silent, live, mobile, and online charity auctions.

Donorperfect pricing starts at $119 CAD per month.

Pros

  • Easy to use and intuitive
  • Allows for customization 
  • Great for tracking donors 

Cons

  • Lackluster report generation
  • Too many upgrades

6. Bloomerang – Best software for donor retention 

Bloomerang Screenshot
Bloomerang offers a donation dashboard as well as CRM features such as logging calls with donors.

Bloomerang focuses on retention and engagement solutions. It allows fund transactions and management to be carried out efficiently and on time.

Pricing for Bloomerang starts at $99 per month.

Pros

  • Great user interface
  • Great customer support
  • It is affordable for all sizes of startups and non-profits

Cons

  • Difficult to use when tracking grants from foundations
  • Report customization is limited
  • QuickBooks integration isn’t smooth

7. Salsa Labs – Best software for advocacy and event management 

Salsa Labs Screenshot
Get donation and fundraising insights broken down into relevant amounts of time.

Salsa Labs provides solutions for donor management, fundraising, advocacy, events, and marketing automation. Its primary focus is on providing intelligent insights and reports.

Salsa Labs pricing is available upon request.

Pros

  • Unlimited capabilities
  • Great customer support 
  • Relatively easy to learn and use

Cons

  • Scheduling in email setup needs improvement  
  • Easy to lose some contact names when importing contacts 

8. Little Green Light – Best software for simplifying processes

Little Green Light Screenshot
Easily search for donors and constituents, track volunteering hours, and measure fundraising totals.

Little Green Light describes itself as “your natural next step to simplify your donor management.” It promises, “With our intuitive fundraising platform, you can consolidate your spreadsheets, letting you see and analyze your data more clearly than ever before.” 

Little Green Light pricing starts at $39 per month.

Pros

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface
  • Seamless integration with third-party software
  • Mail and online support

Cons

  • Mobile support is lacking
  • Difficult to manage families 
  • Advanced analytics are complicated

9. Servant Keeper – Best church donor management system

Servant Keeper Screenshot
Servant Keeper allows users to track donations and income against monthly budgets.

Servant Keeper is a church management solution by Servant PC Resources. It caters to churches and other faith-based organizations by helping them manage and run their business operations, including tracking member attendance, skills, donations, and pledges.

Servant Keeper pricing starts at $299 for one-time license cost for a small church.

Pros

  • Great customer and technical support 
  • Great customization of reports
  • Seamless integrations with a variety of third-party software

Cons

  • Difficult to use 
  • Setting up groups is a bit taxing
  • Lots of learning material and resources to consume 

 10. Donor Tools – Best volunteer and donor management software 

Donor Tools Screenshot
Find and filter donors and volunteers.

Donor Tools offers solutions for donation tracking, massive spreadsheets, data entry, and high volunteer turnover. 

Pricing for Donor Tools starts at $39 per month.

Pros

  • Provides donor history as far back as several years
  • Affordable for small non-profits 
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use

Cons

  • Reports are standard and limited
  • Social integration is not fully supported
  • Email automation is limited

11. Church Community Builder – Best software for facilitating communication 

Church Community Builder Screenshot
Church Community Builder allows users to measure and analyze church attendance, donations, and servers.

Church Community Builder reinforces communications amongst church or faith-based organization members. There is a coach solution feature on the platform. 

Church Community Builder pricing starts at $90 per month.

Pros

  • Feature-rich software 
  • Seamless integration with various third-party software
  • Great customer support

Cons

  • Mobile responsiveness is still catching up
  • The learning period takes a while 
  • Recurring events are difficult to schedule

12. Virtuous CRM – Best software for mid-to-large organizations 

Virtuous CRM Screenshot
This donation management and CRM software provides users with an at-a-glance look at donor history, financial giving totals, and communication history.

Virtuous CRM is a software that works great for mid-sized to large non-profits. It is responsive on mobile phones, and focuses on building donor relationships. 

Pricing for Virtuous CRM starts at $350 per month.

Pros

  • Excellent customer support via chat and email
  • Finds duplicated data from imported contacts
  • The scoring of donors is based on several criteria

Cons

  • New contact profile creation is cumbersome
  • Difficult contact import tool 
  • Chat and phone support are not so great

Share Your Thoughts about Other Donor Management Software Comparison Options

If you’ve tried any of the above-listed software, please share your experiences and recommendations in the comments section. If your preferred software isn’t listed, please let us know in the comments section, as well as why you prefer it.

If you’ve ever wondered about how big churches run things, here’s the 10 Biggest Streaming Churches And The Software They Use.