There are seemingly countless church database solutions available, so figuring out which one is best for you is difficult. You want to store, manage, and retrieve information related to church members, volunteers, events, and other relevant data but need to figure out which tool is the best fit. I've got you! In this post I make things simple, leveraging my experience working as an assistant youth pastor for a megachurch and my exposure to dozens of different tools to bring you this shortlist of the best church database software.
What is Church Database Software?
Church database software is a type of software used to manage administrative and ministry tasks, such as member and visitor tracking, donation management, event scheduling, and communication. It provides a centralized and secure database where churches can store and organize information about their members, including their contact details, attendance records, and ministry involvement.
Church database software can also generate reports, graphs, and other visualizations to help churches gain insights into their ministry and make data-driven decisions. With the increasing complexity and demands of church management, church database software has become an essential tool for churches of all sizes to operate efficiently and effectively.
Churchtrac is an all-in-one church management software you can use to manage your church membership database so you can get to know your members better. You can use it to plan worship services and schedule volunteers, ensuring that worship services will go smoothly. It has a giving feature to help you accept donations through checks, online donations, and text giving, ensuring that you have enough funds to sustain your ministry and all of its programs.
Churchtrac is the best database software for your church if you want to find group members because of its unlimited tagging options easily. With Churchtrac, you can tag members in the different groups and use the tags as filters making searches easier. You can create custom tags if you have unique groups that don’t match pre-set tags.
Churchtrac is free church management software but has paid plans that start at $5/month/up to 75 members, and they offer a 30-day free trial.
Elvanto is a SaaS church management system for handling administrative tasks like maintaining your church calendar, managing membership database, worship planning, volunteer scheduling, and donor management. It has built-in templates allowing you to send mass emails and SMS to relay critical information to all members. Elvanto has a mobile app version that works on iOS and Android mobile devices so church volunteers can participate in event planning and collaborate with fellow volunteers.
Elvanto is the best church management system if you want to create custom forms to obtain membership details because of its form builder feature. Elvanto’s form builder feature provides you with customizable forms you can use for group memberships, worship services, fund-raising events, and others. This gives you complete control over the type of information you want to obtain for your church database software program. You can embed forms on your church website so you can automatically sync information, ensuring that your church database is constantly updated.
Elvanto integrates with other church management and productivity apps like SongSelect, PayPal, MailChimp, and Stripe.
Elvanto pricing starts at $50/month/license, and they provide a free demo upon request.
ACS is a church management software database you can use to capture and manage member profiles, contact information, history, family relations, and notes, allowing you to get to know your members better. You can use the software to create picture directories to place faces on member names and have a visual aid to recognize members faster. ACS Suite can also help you keep a database of your interactions with church members that you can use as a guide on how to proceed with future interactions and plans on how to improve stewardship programs.
ACS is the best church database software if you need to present church information because it has customizable pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs, and reports you can use. It also lets you create up to three statistical reports with custom setup options so you can prepare and present the data that you require. With the help of ACS’s reporting capabilities, you can take an in-depth look at the state of your church membership, so you’ll know which areas you need to improve on.
ACS Suite pricing is available upon request.
ChurchSuite is a cloud-based church management software solution for keeping your church members’ details in a secure, centralized location. It can help you maintain a database of important member information like contact details, family members, birthdays, and anniversaries, ensuring that you have access to critical information that will help you minister to members effectively. It has a suite of communication tools so you can send emails or text messages to church members and communicate crucial information about church events and services.
ChurchSuite is the best church management software if you have many young members because it allows you to securely track and manage your church’s youth and children’s ministry. It has a built-in child check-in functionality to help assure parents that the church is looking after the security and welfare of their children. You can use ChurchSuite to sort children by age group to help you formulate age-appropriate programs and events.
ChurchSuite pricing starts at $21.50/month/license, and they offer a 30-day free trial.
Faith Teams is an all-in-one church management system you can use to maintain an updated member directory, ensuring you can get in touch with members to minister to them. It has a contribution management feature so you can track contributions and print year-end statements for donors for transparency. Faith Teams allows you to add an unlimited number of members into your database, making it ideal for large churches and small churches hoping to increase its membership.
Faith Teams is the best church database software to provide excellent worship services to church members because it has a service planner feature. The software lets you maintain a database with all the tools you need to deliver successful worship services, including a database of songs, sermons, Bible texts, and multimedia presentations. Faith Teams also allows you to automate the sending of guests’ follow-ups so you can concentrate on making every worship service a success.
Faith Teams cost $40/month/account, and they offer a 10-day free trial.
ChurchTeams is a church management software with different features like membership management and volunteer management you can use to attend to the needs of your congregation. It has online giving and donation management features to connect to your church accounting software for financial reporting and ensuring compliance with accounting principles. You can use ChurchTeams to share news, sermons, or upcoming events with church members using emails, text messages, your church website, or social media accounts.
ChurchTeams is the best church database software for your church to streamline workflows because it has an automation feature. For example, when you add new members to your church database software program, the system can automatically add new members into classes or groups according to pre-set rules, saving you time from manually looking for a group where a new member will fit. During event registrations, you can design an automated workflow that sends thank you text messages to attendees with a link to future church gatherings or events.
ChurchTeams pricing starts at $37/month/up to 200 people, and they offer a 30-day free trial.
Blackbaud is a church management software database with people and event management capabilities to help you grow your church. It has a reporting and analytics feature to help you gain insights about your church and how you can guide your ministries. You can use Blackbaud’s email function to send follow-ups to specific members or provide updates to the entire congregation about upcoming church events and activities.
If your church conducts many events and activities like outreach programs, family weekends, or Sunday schools, then Blackbaud is the best church database software program for you because of its volunteer management feature. You can use Blackbaud to store volunteer information enabling you to match specific roles to volunteers ensuring that volunteers get assigned roles that match their skillset. You can also use Blackbaud for attendance tracking of volunteers, so you know which volunteers have records of absences so you can reassign them to groups that will pique their interest.
Blackbaud pricing and demo are available upon request.
FellowshipOne is a church management software database you can use to create a membership database allowing you to get to know your congregation better. It has a mobile app version that church members can use to update their personal information and contact details, ensuring that you always have updated information about your flock. You can also use the software to maintain a database of church resources like facilities, volunteers, media files, equipment, and others.
FellowshipOne is the best church database software to ensure a faithful database software program of your church’s funds because it has a built-in church accounting software. FellowshipOne’s church accounting software is easy to understand and use, making it ideal for churches and non-profit organizations with no full-time CPA employee. You can use the software to track bills, deposits, and budgets, ensuring that you can access financial information in a centralized location. FellowshipOne lets you track receivables and sync them to your central chart of accounts, so you have a financial database to use in assessing your church’s financial health.
FellowshipOne pricing is available upon request, and they offer a 30-day free trial.
Planning Center is a suite of tools you can use to record and maintain critical information about your church and its members. It has a calendar functionality you can use to schedule events and track rooms and resources to avoid scheduling conflicts. Planning Center has a membership management feature to record and organize the personal details of church members like contact information, group memberships, church history, and others.
Planning Center is the best church database software if your church has many active small groups because it has a group management feature you can use to maintain a database of groups and their members. The software lets you add a comprehensive description of a group and its goals to help encourage new members. You can also use Planning Center to share useful documents, videos, audio, and other files to specific groups to help both the group and its members grow.
Planning Center integrates with other church management tools, including ProPresenter, PushPay, Worship Extreme, Zapier, etc.
Each Planning Center module starts at $14/month, and you can get as many add-on modules as you need.
Tithe.ly is a giving platform that churches of all sizes can use to provide members with a wide variety of options for providing financial assistance to the ministry. You can use Tithe.ly to add or update your church members’ contact details, profile images, family members, and other important details you can use to minister to them. Tithe.ly also allows you to conduct background checks for new members and volunteers, ensuring that you protect the other members of your congregation.
Tithe.ly is the best church management system if you want to manage your church’s fund-raising efforts because it has digital giving tools. You can use this ChMS to keep track of your church’s offline and online giving, like cash and check gifts, ensuring that you can keep tabs on your cash inflow. You can use Tithe.ly to generate comprehensive reports of your gifts, deposits, and other financial transactions, giving you a clear idea of your church’s financial health.
Tithe.ly pricing starts at $19/month/license plus a one-time setup fee of $149.
How I Selected the Best Church Database Software
If you're wondering how I selected the best church database software, here's where I'll break it all down for you. First of all, I started with best database apps for churches that have high user review and satisfaction ratings. Then, using my experience in church management, I discerned what key criteria were most important for the best database app for churches and compared how each of them stacked up against the rest.
I empathize with how much time it takes to source the right software for a job. I do this work so that you don't have to. I've been using and reviewing the best database solution for churches for years so you can trust me to do the heavy lifting and compile all the facts you need to make your final decision.
After careful consideration, I've determined that these are the most important criteria when selecting the best church database software. Here's a brief list outlining the whats and whys of my selection.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is important when choosing a church database software because it affects the efficiency and productivity of the church staff and volunteers. If the software is difficult to navigate, understand, and use, it can lead to frustration, errors, and wasted time. A user-friendly software that is easy to learn and operate allows the church to focus on its primary mission rather than getting bogged down in technical details.
Record management is important when choosing a church database software because it enables effective tracking and management of the church's members, donations, attendance, and other important data. A good database software should allow easy input, retrieval, and analysis of data, as well as provide customizable reports and insights to help the church leaders make informed decisions. It should also ensure the security and privacy of sensitive information, comply with legal requirements, and facilitate communication with members.
Customer service is important when choosing a church database software because it ensures that the church has access to timely and effective support whenever it encounters issues or needs help with the software. A good software provider should offer various channels of support, such as phone, email, live chat, or a knowledge base, and be responsive and knowledgeable in addressing the church's questions and concerns. It should also provide regular software updates and bug fixes, as well as offer training and resources to help the church make the most of the software.
Software integrations are important when choosing a church database software because they enable the church to streamline its workflows and increase productivity. A good church database software should be able to integrate with other software tools and applications that the church is already using, such as email marketing platforms, accounting software, event management software, and social media platforms.
Pricing is important when choosing a church database software because it affects the church's budget and financial sustainability. A church needs to carefully consider the total cost of ownership, including the upfront cost, ongoing maintenance fees, and any additional costs for upgrades, integrations, or support. It should also consider the features and functionalities that come with different pricing plans, be they free or paid, and choose the one that best meets its specific needs and requirements.
- Membership management: Allows users to maintain a database of church members, their profiles, and contact information
- Volunteer management: Allows church leaders to maintain a database of church volunteers and assign tasks during church events.
- Fund accounting: Allows users to keep a database of church funds and the projects and activities they support
- Donation management: Allows users to accept and maintain a record of donations.
- Communication tools: Enables church leaders to communicate with church members via messages from the church website, its social media account, text messages, or emails.
How to Use Church Database Software?
The specific steps for using church database software may vary depending on the software’s features and functionalities. However, here are some general guidelines on how to use church database software:
- Choose technology that meets your church’s specific needs and requirements.
- Set up the software by configuring its settings and importing data from existing sources.
- Input member data, such as contact information, attendance records, and ministry involvement.
- Manage donations and contributions, including online giving and recurring donations.
- Schedule and manage events, such as services, classes, and volunteer opportunities.
- Communicate with members through email, text messaging, or social media.
- Analyze data and generate reports to gain insights into your ministry’s performance and impact.
- Ensure the security and privacy of sensitive information by setting user permissions and following data protection regulations.
- Train staff and volunteers on how to use the software effectively and efficiently.
- Continuously monitor and improve the software’s performance, and stay updated with new features and updates released by the software provider.
What are the Benefits of Church Database Software?
There are many benefits to using church database software, including:
- Efficient member management: Church database software provides a centralized and organized database where churches can store and manage member information, such as contact details, attendance records, and ministry involvement. This helps churches stay up-to-date with member activities and needs, and ensures effective communication and engagement.
- Streamlined donation management: Church database software enables churches to manage donations and contributions more efficiently, including online giving and recurring donations. It also generates donation reports and statements, and tracks fundraising campaigns and goals.
- Improved event scheduling: Church database software allows churches to schedule and manage events, such as youth services, classes, and volunteer opportunities, with ease. It also sends automatic reminders and follow-ups, and tracks attendance and feedback.
- Data-driven decision-making: Church database software provides churches with real-time data and analytics, allowing them to track their ministry’s performance and impact, identify trends and patterns, and make data-driven decisions.
- Enhanced communication and engagement: Church database software facilitates communication and engagement with members through email, text messaging, or social media. It also provides tools for outreach and evangelism, such as visitor follow-up and discipleship tracking.
- Improved administrative efficiency: Church database software automates many administrative tasks, reducing manual data entry and duplication of effort. This helps churches save time, reduce errors, and focus on their core mission.
Overall, church database software can help churches operate more efficiently, improve member engagement, and enhance ministry impact.
What Software Do Churches Use?
Other than church database management, you might also consdier:
Church Database Management for All
A church needs a record of its members and resources to minister to its flock effectively. Armed with an extensive database, a church leader can plan worship services, outreach programs, and group activities that will suit the needs of church members.
Aside from church database software, there are other useful software that church leaders can use to manage their congregation, and you can learn more about them by subscribing to The Lead Pastor newsletter.