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Website & Technology

Church Management Software: the Best Options in 2022

Author: Sonia Urlando
October 11, 2022
🕑 18 min read

Religious organizations do so much for their communities—from bringing people together for fellowship, to hosting family friendly events, to performing acts of service for those who are less fortunate.

With such a focus on community, church staff want to spend their precious time being of service—not on mindless administrative tasks. That’s where church management software can help!

The right church management system can take those tedious tasks off your to-do list, saving you countless hours and money in the process. So, we’ve put together a little guide to help you find the right tool to fit your needs.

What is church management software?

As we mentioned above, church management software is an all-in-one tool that can help take care of time-consuming administrative tasks.

This kind of web-based church management system lightens your workload by taking care of several functions, like a website builder, a church database for all your online contacts, a communications system, a payment portal, event management features, and more.

To really get into the nitty-gritty, here’s what functionality you should expect from your church management software:

  • Instant processing for online donations, payments and fees
  • The ability to set up recurring donations so members can set up tithing automatically
  • A website builder that makes it easy to create and update your website
  • The ability to create an online event calendar and other resources
  • A way for church members to sign up for events online
  • Tools to create automated invoices, emails, and newsletters
  • Robust database software for churches to search, filter, and update their contacts
  • Financial reports, analytics, and membership summaries
Click through to claim your 60-day trial of WildApricot to create effective QR codes that will speed up event check-in.

What can a church management system do for my church?

Church management software offers a ton of benefits for religious organizations! They help your church do more with less, so you can spend your time serving your congregation. Where nonprofit software can support any organization, you want to make sure you choose the one that best supports your church’s needs!

Some examples of benefits you can reap from using church management software include:

  • Manage members of your congregation. With database software for churches, you can easily create profiles for members of your congregation, keep up with membership forms, add contact details and interests, and update each entry as needed.

  • Communication tools. Create and send emails or even text messages to specific segments of your congregation.

  • Improve church admin. An all-in-one platform can automate emails, help you better track members of your congregation, list upcoming events on your website, and even build a website from scratch.

  • Small group event registration. A church management system can make it simple to run your events, including promoting your events via email and allowing your attendees to register for events online.

  • Donor and donation management. Set up an online donor portal within your management software. From there, it’s easy for your congregation to make secure donations online!

6 features to look for in church management software

You can save time, money, and effort when you use membership management software to manage your church. While there’s a wealth of church management software available, look for a platform that can automate many of your administrative tasks and includes tools such as:

  1. Website builder. Comprehensive church management software will include an easy-to-use website builder where you can host an event calendar and online resources—all without any coding knowledge needed.

  2. Member management. Maintain a full church database of your members that’s easy to search, filter and update.

  3. Attendance check in. Church member software will make it simple for you to check people in as they show up for services or events. You can also see which events are well-attended and fine-tune your programming.

  4. Donation and payment processing. Instantly process online donations, payments and fees, as well as allowing recurring donations so members can automate their tithing.

  5. Communication tools. Improve member communication with software that provides automated invoices, emails, and newsletters.

  6. Event registration. Look for software that allows church members to sign up for events online—this also makes it easier for you to plan and promote upcoming services and special events!

Pro tip: Set up a free church database template quickly and easily. 

How much does church management software cost?

As with most software, the cost for a church management system can vary widely based on your unique needs. If you’re a larger church with more contacts from your congregation to include in a database, you’ll likely pay a bit more for your tool.

As you’ll see from the next section, some options start as low as $5/month and can swing as high as several thousand dollars monthly. The pricing will depend on the features and functionality you require.

If you only need a basic tool with limitations on features, there are also some free alternatives for church management software. And some of the tools outlined below also offer free trials or demos to let you try out the software before committing to it.

Try the #1 Church Membership Management Software for Free!

WildApricot is used by over 100 churches across the United States and Canada. It’s rated #1 as an “Established Player” on Capterra’s Shortlist of Church Management Software.

You can try a free, 60-day trial of WildApricot and have your church set up with a professional-looking website and easy-to-search member database in just an afternoon.

Free Best Nonprofit Software

3 Examples of Churches Using WildApricot

Here are three churches currently using WildApricot to build their website, plan events, receive donations and manage their members.

1. Baptist Church Ministry Network

church management software

2. Grossnickle Church of the Brethren

church management software

3. Hindu Temple of Central Illinois

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25+ leading church management software options to choose from

1. ACS Technologies (Realm): Best for keeping staff in the loop

Realm puts your most important ministry responsibilities such as administration, accounting, and community tasks all under one roof. It’s one place where everyone can sign in, making sure staff can stay informed, connected, and focused on multiplying your ministry.

  • Pros: Whether it’s member management, donation/payment processing, event planning or reporting, Realm does it all.
  • Cons: Some features are only available with an additional one-time payment.
  • Price: Contact for quote
  • Trial? No free trial, but live demos are available.

2. Aplos: Best for keeping finances organized

Aplos has everything is another all-in-one tool for streamlined nonprofit and church management. With online fund accounting made for nonprofits and churches of any size, the software is built on a platform that also includes giving tools, people management, and robust reporting.

  • Pros: Aplos’ cloud-based accounting offers multiple user accounts and makes it easy to keep finances organized. The layout is clean and simple and easy to use.
  • Cons: You can’t link family members within the member database, and the wealth of reports available can be overwhelming for newbies.
  • Price: Packages start at $39.50/month
  • Trial? Yes

3. Blackbaud: Robust platform with customization options

Blackbaud is a cloud fundraising and relationship management solution built on Microsoft Azure specifically for non-profits and faith-based organizations. The platform pulls together fundraising tools, contact management, event management, and email marketing.

  • Pros: Blackbaud has a lot of useful tools for fundraising, donor management, and grant writing. Customization is also available for your organization’s specific needs.
  • Cons: You need to spend a lot of time on the front end to ensure you learn the tool. Blackbaud requires training to get the most of this software because it has so many features.
  • Price: Contact for a quote
  • Trial? No

4. Breeze: Great for easy automation

For churches looking to automate their tasks alone, Breeze is a fantastic choice. From donations, to event planning, emailing, and contact management, Breeze can handle it all without extra costs!

  • Pros: For small to mid-sized churches, Breeze is a great, simple and inexpensive solution to all administrative needs with minimal setup time.
  • Cons: Breeze isn’t an all-in-one tool—it’s great for automating some tasks, but doesn’t include features like accounting or donation management.
  • Price: Pricing starts at $67/month
  • Trial? Yes, free trial available.

5. CCIS (Shield): Best for churches that just need member management

As one of the few cloud-supported church softwares, Shield by CCSI is ideal for churches frequently traveling with their members and on a budget.

  • Pros: They offer all the standard member features offline such as reporting and member preference management at a very low cost (since there aren’t many more features). For those needing a simple, portable database and member manager, Shield is a great solution.
  • Cons: Shield from CCIS is a light tool, which means that any additional features a church needs comes at a price.
  • Price: Pricing starts at $19.99/month
  • Trial? No free trial, but live demos are available after sign-up.

6. CDM Plus: Best for a well-rounded tool with a great starting price

For churches that like to get every feature they can, CDM plus offers just that. Through their system, users have access to data about members, contributions, accounting/payroll, event registration, and check-in/check-out, plus easy-to-use tools for online donations, event registrations, member directories, and mass communications.

  • Pros: With all these features, pricing starts fairly low. A variety of modules allow you to link information about individuals and families including their attendance, giving, and groups with which they are associated. A mobile version of the software provides access to much of the data on mobile phones.
  • Cons: There’s a bit of a learning curve, particularly when it comes to running reports that combine different data. .
  • Price: Pricing starts at $25/month
  • Trial? Yes, free trial available.

7. Chmeetings: Best tool for a bargain price

Chmeetings is an easy and professional application to organize members, events, follow-ups, and more. Our church management software is used in managing more than 3,000 churches and ministries.

  • Pros: Don’t let the price fool you — Chmeetings has a variety of features like attendance tracking, donation management, event management, member communications, and more.
  • Cons: The user interface isn’t always intuitive and some features take some time to find. Some users also report bugs when first implemented.
  • Price: Free plan for up to 100 people; Pricing starts at $10/month
  • Trial? Yes, free plan available.

8. Pushpay (formerly Church Community Builder): Best for donor development

Pushpay is a leading technology company that delivers digital solutions to help churches achieve their missions. Their tools include ChurchStaq, ParishStaq, and Resi Media help simplify engagement, giving, administration, and video streaming.

  • Pros: Lots of great features for donation management, including online, text, and mobile giving for members. Some tiers also offer a donor development dashboard and tools to encourage giving.
  • Cons: It can be difficult to run custom reports. To remove admins or users from your account, you also need to contact the company (no access control).
  • Price: Multiple tiers are available, but you’ll need to contact for a quote.
  • Trial? No free trial available.

9. Church Windows: Best for buy-what-you-need features

Church Windows is a flexible, user-friendly software produced by a well-established industry leader. All basic features like payment processing and event planning are present, while modules like member management are exceptionally detailed allowing users to give great depths of personal information.

  • Pros: You can pay a lower cost for a smaller number of features, and add on more modules once you’re ready. You can also choose between purchasing a desktop version of the software, or online hosting for live updates.
  • Cons: The Church Windows platform is Windows only. And running reports can be difficult at times.
  • Price: Packages start at $189.50 plus hosting for $58/month.
  • Trial? Yes, free trial available.

10. Churchteams: Best for medium and large churches that need extra features

For pastors who want to use today’s tech but don’t have IT pros on staff. Churchteams cover all the basics (membership, communication, groups, giving) and advanced (check-in, volunteers, registration, workflow automation) features you need to keep all your people data in one place.

  • Pros: Online giving is beautiful at the lowest price in the industry. Text-to-Church makes giving, registration, check-in, digital connection cards, links to anywhere, access to my stuff with a text.
  • Cons: No offline features available, meaning there’s no local saving of data for when you don’t have access to internet.
  • Price: Pricing starts at $37/month.
  • Trial? Yes, free trial available.

11. ChurchTools: Best for managing organizational tasks in multiple languages

ChurchTools is church management software that facilitates the central administration of contact data, resources, event planning (including songs), documents, and calendars.

  • Pros: Many organizational tasks are combined in one place and the tool can be customized to fit your unique needs. The web app is available in English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French.
  • Cons: You need to familiarize yourself with the concepts of groups, teams, the structures etc. and assign the permissions accordingly (who is allowed to do and to see what). The platform is also only available in select countries.
  • Price: Free plan is available; Pricing starts at $29/month.
  • Trial? Yes, free plan available.

12. ChurchTrac: Great for getting the most for a small budget

ChurchTrac is a powerful tool that enables you to track your spending, monitor funds, and create budgets to plan for the future. Features include exportable reports, online giving, check printing, memorized transactions, and more.

  • Pros: For those looking to spend the least amount and get the most for it, ChurchTrac is a great fit. With features like contribution tracking, online giving, child check-in, attendance tracking, budgeting and accounting and congregation access, it’s hard to picture the starting price at $6/month.
  • Cons: The interface is described as outdated, and the calendar doesn’t offer as much functionality as typical tools like Outlook.
  • Price: Free plan is available; Pricing starts at $6/month.
  • Trial? Yes, 60-day free trial available.

13. DonorKite: Best for in-depth donor management

DonorKite is a complete donation management software that empowers churches, charities, and non-profit organizations to track every single donation that they receive and maintain digital records. It is designed to help reduce workloads so resources can be focused on the cause to maximize impact rather than to manage donation and donor data.

  • Pros: A budget-friendly tool for religious organizations that primarily need donation management features..
  • Cons: While the donor management features are deep, if you need other tools or features (like a website builder, member database, etc.), you’ll need a supplemental tool.
  • Price: Pricing starts at $35/month.
  • Trial? Yes, free trial available.

14. Elexio Community ChMS: Best for engaging members online

Elexio Community church management software is simple, easy to use, and integrated, giving you a whole church management system at your fingertips.

  • Pros: Elexio is a comprehensive platform that includes a website builder, livestreaming features for services, donation management, background check tools, cloud-based accounting, and an app that makes it easy for attendees to access sermons, events, and giving options.
  • Cons: Generating financial reports can be tricky, and multiple users have reported bugs and downtime.
  • Price: Free plan available; Pricing starts at $35.13/month.
  • Trial? Yes, free trial available.

15. Elvanto: Best all-inclusive ChMS

Elvanto is an all-in-one, 100% cloud-based church management system with no add-on costs. All accounts are securely hosted on servers across the USA, Australia, and Canada to comply with local security and privacy laws, and can be accessed from virtually anywhere.

  • Pros: Includes a wealth of features, from donation management, accounting integration, email marketing, event management, member database/directory, online giving, and online payment processing.
  • Cons: Migrating data to Elvanto from a previous platform can be cumbersome. Child check-in can create duplicate entries during registration.
  • Price: Pricing starts at $50/month.
  • Trial? Yes, free trial available.

16. Excellerate Church Management: Best for on-site local network installation

Excellerate Church Management is a church management solution that handles all of the critical areas of your church, without all of the frustration of complex software. Excellerate offers churches either a desktop or cloud-based solution.

  • Pros: Adaptable and customizable to meet the needs of churches of all sizes (and to grow with your church).
  • Cons: Because the platform isn’t web-based, it isn’t available from anywhere (like mobile devices).
  • Price: Pricing starts at $49/month.
  • Trial? Yes, free trial available.

17. Faith Teams: Best for small- and mid-sized churches

Faith Teams is a simple and affordable, all-in-one church management software with a wealth of features your church needs. Tools include attendance check-in, automated guest follow-up, online giving, text donations, volunteer scheduling, and background check features.

  • Pros: The flat-rate pricing structure includes all their features and is easy to understand.
  • Cons: Because all the features come in a single package, it’s not as easy to adapt and customize based on individual church needs.
  • Price: Pricing starts at $40/month.
  • Trial? Yes, free trial available.

18. FellowshipOne: Best all-in-one solution

FellowshipOne is an all-inclusive church management solution covering every possible administrative need churches might have. From mobile check-in to website payment processing, the software can handle everything.

  • Pros: They focus on custom solutions for each church rather than selling customers specified packages
  • Cons: Because FellowshipOne offers a wide variety of features, keep in mind that your price can climb quickly.
  • Price: Contact for a quote.
  • Trial? Free trial available.

19. Flocknote: Best for following up with members

Flocknote helps churches manage their member database, reach their congregations at a moment’s notice, and collect payments — all with the same tool. This results in higher attendance, increased stewardship, and a more connected church.

  • Pros: Flocknote focuses on helping churches stay in close touch with their members. So, their features center on attendance tracking, small group management, member management, and member communications.
  • Cons: Donation management features aren’t as robust (for example: It doesn’t support text donations) and the platform isn’t integrated with the database feature (it’s a separate system).
  • Price: Paid plans start at $8/month..
  • Trial? Free plan available.

20. IconCMO: Best accounting tool plus great purpose-built features

IconCMO aims to help connect churches with their congregations. The platform provides features to manage membership, contributions, fund accounting, and member access. Because all these functions are centralized, church staffers can spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on serving their members.

21. Kindred: Best for encouraging donations and giving

Kindrid empowers churches to help their congregations give on any device: by text, on the web, and even through your church’s app or kiosk. This simple, intuitive, and seamless solution helps churches see increases in total giving and new givers.

22. ParishSOFT: Best purpose-built tool for Catholic parishes

ParishSOFT is a platform of different softwares all helping with church administration, specifically Catholic parishes and dioceses. Customers can choose from a selection of products rather than paying for individual features, and can combine each product if needed.

  • Pros: ParishSoft covers all basic features in their series of video tutorials, making the onboarding process pretty quick and simple. If you’re looking for a custom solution with solid support for troubleshooting and setup, ParishSoft is a great solution.
  • Cons: Some users report that some of the functionality can be a bit clunky (like navigating from one tab to another) and slow at times.
  • Price: Contact for quote.
  • Trial? No trial available.

23. PowerChurch Plus: Best established church management system

PowerChurch is one of the oldest softwares in the game, servicing churches since 1984. The software might look dated, but don’t let it fool you. There are a variety of functions available such as member management, event planning and accounting without any extra fees for users.

  • Pros: With many softwares, you’re stuck with a specific payment plan and add more features, which are often too expensive. PowerChurch prices are extremely transparent and give you exactly what you pay for.
  • Cons: The interface is a bit outdated, it’s exclusive to PCs (can’t run on IOS), and they run very few system updates.
  • Price: Download entire software for a one-time payment of $395.
  • Trial? No trial available, but you can try via a free demo.

24. ServantKeeper: Best for expandability

ServantKeeper is a large-platform software capable of handling mid-sized to large churches. There are many features to take advantage of such as attendance, contributions, groups, pledging, donor statements, mass email/text, secure child check-in/out, mail merging and robust custom reporting.

  • Pros: You can select out of a handful of pricing plans so you don’t pay much extra for unused modules, and choose between downloading the software or internet access. Overall, ServantKeeper is a great solution for churches with more than 200 regular attendees, since smaller churches won’t use more advanced features included in monthly costs.
  • Cons: New users might experience a bit of a learning curve, but ServantKeeper provides a variety of resources (webinars, a self-serve knowledge base, and more) to help newbies overcome that curve.
  • Price: Paid plans start at $49.99/month plus transaction fees.
  • Trial? No trial available, but you can try a free demo.

25. Shelby Systems: Best ChMS for larger churches

Shelby Systems is a full ecosystem of cloud-based software solutions for memberships, financial reporting, website management, and even includes a mobile application.

  • Pros: This solution is perfect for large churches with over 200 active members since the solution is very broad, covering the needs of larger groups.
  • Cons: While Shelby Systems is a robust tool with a variety of features, users report that integration between all the partner software isn’t completely seamless. Some also say that reports are also clunky to customize and save.
  • Price: Paid plans start at $35.13/month.
  • Trial? No trial available, but you can watch a variety of demo videos.

26. Text in Church: Best for modern communication

Text in Church is an easy-to-use tool that lets you engage people in a simple, meaningful way that’s familiar to them: texting! Use texting to help first-time guests come back, keep regular attendees informed, and encourage more people to grow in their faith.

  • Pros: This solution is great for creating automated workflows, sending texts and emails, and integrates with other member databases. It’s wonderful for building online communities and bulk-sending communications to your congregation.
  • Cons: You can’t currently schedule sends for text bursts for specific dates or times.
  • Price: Paid plans start at $31/month.
  • Trial? Yes, free 14-day trials are available.

27. Church Giving: Best for donation management for large churches allows churches requiring very minimal tools to use the software free of charge. The upgrading pricing tiers encompass a large number of features from mobile donations to website management.

  • Pros: One of their biggest selling factors is their front user facing app allowing churches to develop their own application for members to use instead of logging into a website portal. Fantastic solution for large-scale churches, as well as small churches looking to test church management software for the first time.
  • Cons: Customizing the platform can be a little finicky.
  • Price: Paid plans start at $19/month.
  • Trial? Free plan is available.

28. TouchPoint: Best mobile app experience

TouchPoint is a powerful cloud-based church management system for midsize-to-large churches looking for a ChMS solution that is ready-to-use AND customizable. The fully integrated mobile app helps churches with contact records, membership management, volunteer management, child check in, discipleship groups, ministry engagement, contributions, events, media, and more.

  • Pros: For churches looking to give their congregations access to an app, TouchPoint is an industry leader with its mobile app experience.
  • Cons: The tool doesn’t have a full financial suite, and some information in the app isn’t native but instead links back to the website.
  • Price: Paid plans start at $45/month.
  • Trial? Yes, a free trial is available.

29. UCare: Best tool to access from anywhere

UCare is another fantastic solution for churches seeking every possible feature. Their software includes features for membership management, attendance, small groups, reporting, finances, payment processing, event management, digital ticketing, mobile check in, children’s check in, forms and integrates with Mailchimp and Planning Centre.

  • Pros: All features are available via their website, or their application for phones and tablets, making them one of the most accessible softwares on this list.
  • Cons: The cost is marginally higher than the majority of other solutions, but seamless integration of many large features can make up the value.
  • Price: Paid plans start at $89/month.
  • Trial? Yes, a free trial is available.

Other church tools you should consider

While member management is a crucial tool religious organizations need to better manage administrative tasks and communication with their congregation, you can benefit from additional features like:

  • Member login. Allow members to create their own password protected profiles and access exclusive resources on your website.
  • Church website builderCreate and maintain a website for your church to promote upcoming meetings, events, and news.
  • Donation management software. This tool allows your congregation or businesses and members of your community to pay tithe and make donations to your church online.
  • Email software. Send sleek newsletters and professionally designed emails to your congregation.

Moving forward with church management software

Now that you have a wealth of tools to choose from and some essential criteria to help you choose the right church management software for you, it’s time to get started!

If you want to empower your church with powerful membership management features, you can try a free, 60-day trial of WildApricot. Within an afternoon, you can set up a professional-looking website and easy-to-search member database for your church.

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