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Managing a church can be a tough gig: you juggle dozens of tasks simultaneously. More than preaching and counseling, you'll find yourself reviewing budgets, working schedules, supporting volunteers, generating financial reports, acting as defacto HR, and filling out piles of paperwork. Overwhelming, even on a good day.

But free church management software can make all that a lot easier.

I’ll explain everything about free church management software, from its robust member management to streamlined volunteer coordination. Read on to discover its top trends, standout features, and practical benefits.

Why Trust our Software Reviews?

Since launching TheLeadPastor.com in 2019, my team and I—pastors and church leaders ourselves—have dedicated ourselves to the rigorous task of testing and reviewing church management software. We understand the weight and challenge of choosing the right tools for our ministries.

We commit to thorough research to equip our readers with the insights needed to make informed software purchasing decisions. Over the years, we've tested more than 2,000 tools for various church management scenarios and crafted over 1,000 detailed reviews.

Quick note:

Quick note:

Check out how we stay transparent regarding affiliate commissions, and dive into our selection criteria for the software you’ll read about.

Those of us who thrive in ministerial roles tend to have more difficulty with administrative tasks. Our goal is to support your ministry by simplifying your administrative tasks so you can focus on what you do best: leading your congregation and impacting your community.

The 10 Best Free Church Management Software Summary

Tools Price
Realm Pricing upon request
Gracely From $45/month (billed annually)
ChMeetings From $12/month
Bitrix24 From $49/user/month (billed annually)
Raklet No price details
ChurchCRM Free church management software
ChurchInfo No price details
TextEmAll No price details
CahabaWorks No price details
Flocknote Flocknote has a free plan for churches with under 40 members. Paid plans cost from $8/month. And up depending on the length of your contact list.
Preview Image - <h2 class="c-block__title b-summary-table__title c-listicle__title h3" > Compare Software Specs Side by Side</h2>

Compare Software Specs Side by Side

Use our comparison chart to review and evaluate software specs side-by-side.

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How to Choose Free Church Management Software

Your decision making process will be as unique to other folks as you and your church are. As you consider the various options, though, I recommend keeping the following points in mind:

  • Ease of Use for Non-Tech-Savvy Volunteers: Choose software with a simple, intuitive user interface. This will help your non-tech-savvy church members and volunteers to pick it up easily. For example, a system with a clean dashboard and minimal training requirements can prevent frustration and enhance productivity f
  • Comprehensive Member Management: Look for a system that offers comprehensive member management features. For instance, software like ChurchTrac allows you to easily track member involvement and engagement, helping pastors identify and minister to those who might be slipping through the cracks.
  • Robust Communication Tools: Effective communication is crucial in ministry. Your chosen software should offer tools like mass email, SMS, and event notifications.
  • Event Management and Scheduling: Managing multiple church events and coordinating volunteers can be a logistical nightmare. Look for software that streamlines event scheduling, volunteer coordination, and resource booking. Planning Center offers features like calendar management and volunteer scheduling to make event organization hassle-free.
  • Donation Tracking and Reporting: Keeping accurate records of donations is essential for transparency and compliance. Software like Tithe.ly or Givelify provides donation tracking and generates comprehensive financial reports. That makes it easier to manage contributions, send year-end giving statements, and maintain financial integrity.

Each of these considerations plays a key role in finding a solution that aligns with your church’s specific needs, allowing you to focus on ministry while minimizing administrative burdens.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Free Church Management Software

Here’s a brief description of each free church management system. I’ve tried to showcase each platform’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots.

Best for reporting and analytics

  • Free trial available
  • Pricing upon request

Realm is an all-in-one church management solution that offers integrated tools and services for pastoral care, ministries, administration, and other church operations. It offers a free trial for its Inform plan, ideal for pastors and church staff looking for better ways to simplify data management and gain insights for church decision-making.

One of the standout features of Realm is its robust reporting tools. These tools allow church administrators to generate a variety of reports that provide insights into membership trends, financial health, and event attendance. This capability is ideal for tracking the growth and engagement of the congregation, and for evaluating the effectiveness of different church programs and initiatives. Additionally, the ability to run and customize these reports ensures that church staff can focus on specific data points that are most relevant to their operational or strategic goals.

Furthermore, Realm enhances administrative efficiency through streamlined data entry and management processes. This includes simplified pathways for entering contributions, managing fund accounts, and tracking donor engagement. The integration of these administrative tasks into a single platform saves time and reduces the likelihood of errors that can occur with manual data handling.

Best free church management software for people management

  • Free plan available
  • From $45/month (billed annually)

Gracely is a church management software designed to assist churches in managing administrative tasks, communications, member data, event organization, and more. 

One standout feature is Gracely's people management capabilities. Users can create and manage profiles for church members, allowing for easy access to personal information and history. You can also track attendance for various events and services, and send customized emails to individual members to enhance communication and engagement.

Gracely also handles donations and tracking, accepting various forms of payments. For a better user experience for your members, it even allows you to customize your church portal's web pages and create videos.

The platform has a free plan for up to 30 members. It also offers free data migration from your old system.

Best free church management for small churches

  • Free version available
  • From $12/month
Visit Website
Rating: 5/5

CHMeetings is an all-in-one church management software solution used by more than 2,000 organizations. It has robust features that help you track and store group and member data and then turn this information into reports with the click of a button.

A cool feature is the contact builder that lets you create and send SMS messages and email to your congregation. It’s an easy way to ensure everyone is up-to-date with happenings at your church. You can access it on your PC or on mobile devices running both Android and iOS.

Meanwhile, powerful event management tools let you create single or recurring events and then collect event registrations. It’s easy to add people to different roles and then add notes to provide more information. When it’s time for the event, you can print off name tags for attendees.

CHMeetings has a limited free plan for up to 100 people, making it good for small-sized churches.

Best free church management software for for activity & events

  • 15-day free trial + free plan available
  • From $49/user/month (billed annually)
Visit Website
Rating: 4.1/5

Bitrix24 is more business-focused than the other tools on this list. Nonetheless, it has a free version for unlimited users and plenty of features that—while not explicitly designed for churches—will definitely help.

The communication tools are central to the platform. These enable you to create a powerful social networking platform. Your congregation can message, email, and communicate within the community for free.

Beyond this, there are a huge array of management tools. There’s CRM, project management, contacts, and even a visual website builder. These are the features that are more business-aligned, and many of them cost money. You’ll have to decide whether they are worth paying for.

Best free church management software for integrations

Visit Website
Rating: 4.7/5

Raklet bills itself as a community engagement platform. Its features aren’t church-specific, but there’s still plenty available to help places of worship grow.

Central to the tool is its contacts feature. Use these to create profiles for everyone in your church. Just upload a list of email addresses and create profiles for each person. You can then segment these people however you’d like, making it easy to create groups within your overall membership.

It’s easy to connect with these contacts through features like email and SMS messaging. You can use this for use cases like an email newsletter that keeps everyone up-to-date about your church.

I like that the tool lets members communicate with each other. They can create and comment on topics as well as send private messages. It’s like a private social media site for your church.

Other features include the ability to create webinars and accept payments. There is even event planning functionality. The tool also integrates with plenty of the tools you and your congregation use every day like Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and more.

Best for churches with a website

  • Free demo
  • Free church management software

ChurchCRM is a free customer relationship management (CRM) system with features designed specifically for churches. It’s an online, cloud-based tool meaning you can access it from anywhere via an internet browser. The dashboard looks great and is user-friendly. It provides a quick snapshot of everything you need to know about your church, as well as links to the most important features.

The tool has all you need to manage a church. Create member profiles, add phone numbers and email addresses, set up small groups, or organize events and enable check-in. It’s also easy to track member contributions so you can see how much everyone has donated. It’s even available in 25 different languages.

The tool is completely free; you just need to pay for a hosting plan. If your church has an existing website, you can install it on a subdomain without paying an extra cent.

Best free and open-source church management software

ChurchInfo is database software that enables online giving and helps with church membership management. It’s a web application which means you can access the information from anywhere with an internet connection.

A feature I like is the self-service interface. This allows your church members to manage their own profiles from within the software. Each person can edit their details and make donations from within the tool via its integration with Vanco. Their volunteer management system is also helpful. Just create opportunities and then assign them to people from within the software.

ChurchInfo has an affordable option you can use and they’ll even set it up for you. There is also a version that runs on your PC. This is useful if you don’t want to pay for hosting and you don’t need to access cloud-based features.

Best for one-and-done text blasts

  • The free trial gives you access to all the features, although it is heavily limited by the fact you can only send 25 messages.

Text-em-all is a super helpful tool for managing church communication via text messaging. The tool allows you to create and schedule SMS messages to go out to your congregation. You can then manage replies from within the tool. It’s a helpful way to keep people updated about the goings-on at your church.

The tool has several features that make texting easy. There are several templates you can use for different situations. You can give messages a personal touch by automatically adding the name of each recipient. Manage all these features from within the web-based dashboard.

As a messaging platform, Text-em-all doesn’t offer some of the features available on other tools on this list. For example, you can’t track attendance and there’s no volunteer scheduling.

The free trial gives you access to all the features, although it is heavily limited by the fact you can only send 25 messages.

Best free church management software for desktop

CahabaWorks is church management solution designed to help you track money, including payroll, member contributions, and fund accounting. There’s a free version of the software that is suitable for small churches.

The free version contains three modules: members, contributions, and financials. The first module lets you create profiles to organize member information, while the latter provides some insight into your church’s contributions and financial management. These are all useful features for those in charge of church administration.

Other tools like group management are only available on paid plans.

The tool is desktop-based which means it is only available on the computer you install it on. The good news is that you can add unlimited people and users to each piece of software.

Best free church management software for messaging & communications

  • Flocknote has a free plan for churches with under 40 members. Paid plans cost from $8/month. And up depending on the length of your contact list.

FlockNote is another church communication platform. It lets you send both email and SMS messages to your congregation from within the online dashboard. The drag and drop email composer is a useful feature. It makes it a breeze to create and customize great-looking emails filled with multimedia. Once you’ve sent the email, you can respond to any replies from within the dashboard.

The tool also offers analytics features. These show whether people are opening your outreach emails as well as what they click on once they do. Use this information to optimize future emails around the content you know people respond best to.

The free plan provides churches with complete access to all the features and unlimited emails and messages but is limited to 40 users.

Editor's Recommendation:

Editor's Recommendation:

Church management software is just one tool available to pastors looking to streamline their operations.

Selection Criteria for Free Church management Software

When selecting free church management software, focus on capabilities that meet the practical needs of your church. Having personally tried and researched these tools, I know the following criteria will help with your decision:.

Core Features - 25% of total weighting score

Free church management software solutions typically include member database management, tracking of attendance and donations, volunteer and event scheduling, reporting, mobile app access, and document storage.

To be considered for inclusion on my list of the best free church management software, the solution had to support the ability to fulfill common practical situations, such as:

  • Tracking member engagement and attendance
  • Managing donations and generating financial reports
  • Scheduling volunteers and events
  • Sending mass emails and SMS messages
  • Organizing and accessing member data

Additional Standout Features - 25% of total weighting score

Beyond core capabilities, some options go above and beyond generic church management software by offering innovative features. I looked for:

  • Automated Reporting: Planning Center provides real-time attendance and financial reports to minimize data entry.
  • Event Management: Breeze makes event creation and registration seamless, even for non-tech-savvy users.
  • Customizable Workflows: ChurchTrac allows pastors to automate onboarding and prayer requests with ease.
  • Donation Tracking and Online Giving: Tithe.ly integrates online giving directly into member profiles for quick, accurate donation tracking.

Usability - 10% of total weighting score

Usability determines how well the software balances power and complexity with ease of use:

  • A clean, intuitive dashboard that’s easy for non-tech-savvy volunteers
  • Drag-and-drop calendars for scheduling events and volunteers
  • Simple managing of member data and communications
  • Easy navigation between modules and minimal learning curve

Onboarding - 10% of total weighting score

Onboarding measures how quickly and easily you can start using the software:

  • Availability of training videos, templates, and interactive product tours
  • Clear instructions for migrating existing data into the new system
  • Chatbots, webinars, or tutorials for immediate post-purchase support
  • Step-by-step guidance to quickly realize value

Customer Support - 10% of total weighting score

Customer support is crucial when navigating new tools or solving technical issues:

  • Availability of live chat, phone support, or email responses
  • Comprehensive help center or knowledge base for self-help
  • Community forums or peer support networks

Value for Money - 10% of total weighting score

Value for money assesses how pricing compares against competitors:

  • Free versions that include essential features for small churches
  • Transparent pricing tiers that clearly outline features in paid plans
  • Ability to scale up with paid features as the church grows

Customer Reviews - 10% of total weighting score

Customer reviews provide insight into the tool's effectiveness and reliability:

  • Consistent praise for features like member management or communication tools
  • Positive feedback on customer support responsiveness
  • Common complaints or issues related to usability or onboarding

These are the criteria that we’ve developed over the past years. We are confident in this matrix, which yields great results.You can find free church management software that meets your unique needs and frees you up to focus more on ministry and less on operations.

Free church management software continues to evolve as 2024 unfolds, as industry-leaders continue to release new features and enhancements that help church leaders spend less energy on operations and more on ministry. We’ve been keeping our ears to the ground, keeping our fingers on the pulse by evaluating recent product updates, press releases, and release logs. Here’s what we’re seeing:

Enhanced Church Engagement Tools

  • Automated Communication is more prominent now than ever before. Automated workflows allow users to send follow-up emails to new members, ensuring consistent and personalized engagement without extra effort.
  • Member Journey Mapping is available in some tools as well, allowing pastors to visually track and support individuals' growth.
  • Smart Scheduling Algorithms now auto-assigns volunteers based on availability and skill sets, minimizing manual adjustments.

Advanced Donation and Financial Management

  • Direct integration with donation platforms, providing seamless online giving that automatically syncs with member profiles.
  • Enhanced reporting features include automated giving statements and customizable financial summaries. 

Innovative Event Management Features

  • Virtual Event Hosting is increasing, enabling churches to organize online conferences and webinars directly through the platform.

In Decline: Traditional Communication Channels

  • Traditional email newsletters are becoming less important. Recent user feedback indicates lower engagement with newsletters. Many users prefer text or in-app messaging for communication.

These trends reflect the shifting landscape of free church management software landscape, emphasizing automation, personalization, and user-friendly interfaces.

What is Church Management Software?

Church management software is software that helps pastors and church leaders organize their congregation's information, donations, and events.

It uses member databases for a variety of tasks: tracking attendance, basic donation reporting, and features for scheduling services, Bible studies, etc. Think of it like a church directory, volunteer scheduler, and financial tracker all rolled into one integrated tool.

Many of the options you’ll encounter in the ChMS space offer free versions that come with basic features. They’re designed to help you spend less time on admin tasks and more time on ministry.

Features of Free Church Management Software

When selecting church management software, look for the features that help you spend less energy on operations. For example:

  • Member Database Management: A centralized member database tracks each member's attendance, involvement, and contact details. Get quick access to important member information for more personalized ministry.
  • Automated Reporting: Automated financial and attendance reports reduce administrative burdens. Tracking donations and congregation trends is much simpler with digital tools
  • Volunteer Scheduling: Assign tasks and organize teams easily, ensuring events run smoothly and reducing the time spent on coordination.
  • Event Management: create events, set up registration and schedule follow-up notifications for a fraction of the hassle.
  • Mass Communication Tools: Mass email, SMS messaging, and notifications keep everyone informed. Reach everyone quickly and reliably.
  • Donation Tracking and Online Giving: Donation tracking and online giving features ensure financial transparency and make giving easier for the congregation, simplifying year-end reporting and reducing administrative stress.
  • Customizable Forms and Workflows: Customizable forms and workflows automate onboarding processes, prayer requests, and volunteer sign-ups, reducing paperwork and follow-up tasks.
  • Document Storage and Sharing: Centralized document storage ensures church policies, training materials, and financial reports are easily accessible to staff and volunteers, fostering collaboration and reducing information gaps.
  • Mobile App Access: Mobile app access allows pastors to manage church operations on the go, providing real-time updates on member engagement, giving, and event registrations.
  • Integration Capabilities: Integration with existing software like accounting systems or email platforms streamlines administrative processes, eliminating duplicate data entry and reducing the burden on staff.

These features provide the operational support needed to lighten the administrative load, allowing you to focus on your calling and spend more energy on ministry. Choosing software with these capabilities can transform the way you manage your church, freeing you up to do what you do best: lead your congregation spiritually.

Benefits of Free Church Management Software

For lead pastors exploring new ways to simplify church operations, there are many tools to streamline and enhance your ministry impact. Here are five primary benefits:

  • A unified database allows pastors to easily track attendance, engagement, and contact details, enabling more personalized ministry and stronger connections with the congregation.
  • Automatic donation tracking and customizable financial reports help churches maintain transparency and compliance, freeing up time spent on manual bookkeeping.
  • Volunteer scheduling features make assigning tasks, organizing teams, and communicating schedules easy, reducing the workload on pastors and event coordinators.
  • Mass emails, SMS messages, and in-app notifications help pastors keep their congregation informed and engaged, ensuring consistent communication across various church groups.
  • Simplified event scheduling, registration, and follow-ups enable pastors to organize and manage church events seamlessly, allowing more time to focus on meaningful interactions.

Choosing the right software can transform how you lead, providing you with more time to focus on what matters most—ministering to your congregation and growing God's kingdom.

Costs & Pricing for Free Church Management Software

This article focusses on software tools that allow free access, or have a zero-cost entry point. Most free plans have escalations or upgrades into paid plan. I recommend looking into what those upgrades involve as you narrow down your own list.

Review the different plan types and pricing below, and find a solution that aligns with your church's size and needs.

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features
Free Plan$0Limited member database, basic donation tracking, event management, simple communication tools, limited reporting.
Basic Plan$30/monthExpanded member database, volunteer scheduling, mass email, donation tracking with reporting, attendance tracking, calendar and event management.
Standard Plan$70/monthAll features of Basic Plan, plus automated workflows, customizable forms, SMS messaging, comprehensive financial reports, volunteer check-in, and mobile app access.
Advanced Plan$150/monthAll features of Standard Plan, plus virtual event hosting, smart volunteer scheduling, member journey mapping, API integration, unlimited users, and dedicated customer support.
Enterprise PlanCustom PricingAll features of Advanced Plan, plus multi-campus support, custom workflows, advanced reporting, personalized onboarding, and priority customer support.

Starting with a free entry point is great for small congregations or new churches. Most of these options allow you to scale up pricing as your needs increase.

Free Church Management Software - Frequently Asked Questions

How secure is my congregation’s data when using free church management software?

Most reputable free church management software vendors prioritize data security and implement industry-standard measures like encryption, firewalls, and regular security audits to protect your congregation’s data. Some tools, like Tithe.ly and Planning Center, comply with GDPR and other data privacy regulations. Be sure to review the vendor’s privacy policy and inquire about security protocols before committing.

Are there any hidden fees associated with free church management software?

While most free plans offer basic features at no cost, some vendors may include optional paid features or transaction fees for online giving and text messaging. Carefully read the pricing details and terms of service to understand any potential charges. Most platforms provide transparent pricing information, but it’s always wise to confirm directly with the vendor.

Can I import member data from our existing system or spreadsheets into the new software?

Yes, many church management software solutions include data import features that let you migrate member data from existing systems or spreadsheets. For example, Breeze and ChurchTrac provide guided import processes and templates to help you transition your data seamlessly. Some platforms also offer migration assistance through their customer support teams.

How reliable is the customer support for free church management software?

Customer support varies depending on the vendor and plan. Free plans often come with limited support, such as email-only assistance or access to a knowledge base. Paid plans typically offer more robust support, including live chat, phone support, or dedicated account managers. It’s important to assess your support needs and review user feedback to ensure the level of service aligns with your expectations.

Are there integrations with other tools we already use, like accounting or communication platforms?

Many church management software solutions provide integrations with popular tools like QuickBooks for accounting, Mailchimp for email marketing, and Zoom for virtual meetings. Some platforms, such as Planning Center and Tithe.ly, also offer open APIs that allow you to build custom integrations. Check the integration capabilities of each platform to ensure compatibility with your existing tools.

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Joshua Gordon
By Joshua Gordon

Joshua Gordon is a lay-pastor, author, and editor of TheLeadPastor.com. Over the last two decades, Josh has worked closely with pastors and other christian leaders, helping them to sharpen and elevate their messages. Today, Joshua pastors at New Life Fellowship, a thriving church he helped plant in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.