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:
- Wild Apricot – Best free ChMS for small churches
- Elvanto – Best all-inclusive ChMS
- Breeze – Best for ease of use
- Chmeetings – Best for price
- TouchPoint – Best mobile app experience
- Blackbaud – Best for managing people, ministries, and payments, all in one place
- Excellerate Church Management – Best for on-site local network installation
- Fellowship One – Best all-in-one solution
- Shelby Systems – Best CHMs for larger churches
- 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.
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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.
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1. Wild Apricot – Best free church management software for small churches
- 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.
- Easy to use
- Competitive pricing
- Highly customizable
- Limited choice of website templates
2. Elvanto – Best all-inclusive ChMS
- 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.
- Great integration with 3rd party financial partners
- Some features like check-in don’t always work reliably.
3. Breeze – Best for ease of use
- 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!
- easy data transfer from other systems
- responsive customer support
- Some features are quite basic
4. CHMeetings – Best for price
- 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.
- Very affordable, tiered pricing based on church size
- Up-to-date security and firewall features
- The mobile app could use some improvements
5. TouchPoint – Best mobile app experience
- 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.
- Responsive tech support
- Best-in-class mobile app
- Initial setup has a steep learning curve
- Slow to implement updates
6. Blackbaud – Best for managing people, ministries, and payments, all in one place
- 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
- 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.
- A choice between cloud-based or on-site installation.
- No monthly subscription for on-site installations and cost varies based on church size
- Accessing technical support costs extra
- Some knowledge of SQL is helpful.
8. Fellowship One – Best all-in-one solution
- 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
- All-in-one solution
- Not so user friendly
- Outdated Interface
9. Shelby Systems – Best CHMs for larger churches
- 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.
- Unlimited access to technical support and training resources
- Competitive monthly pricing based on church size
- 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
- 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.
- Choose between an on-site or cloud-based solution
- 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:
- Faithlife Equip
- CFS Live
- Ministry Tracker
- Church Community Builder
- Power Church Software
- Text In Church
- Planning Center
- 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:
- Church software
- Church website builder
- Church presentation software
- Church accounting software
- Worship software
- Congregation Management Software
- Membership Management Software
- Donation Management Software
- Nonprofit Software
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.