As churches grow in membership and attain larger leadership teams, tasks that were once simple to manage with a small team become more complex and costly. Church management software was developed to aid in church member communication, involvement, and fundraising in order to streamline these processes.
There are several church management software systems. Since almost all of these programs offer free trials, it’s easy to test a few and discover which system will work best for your church.
What is a CRM?
CRM stands for ‘customer relationship management’. Simply put, a CRM is a technology to manage interactions among existing and potential members of an organization. CRM’s aid in business growth because they focus on the organization’s relationship with its members throughout the entire church experience, while simultaneously attracting new members and managing interactions in a way that drives success. A church CRM is a great tool for leaders and ministers to care for their congregation’s wellbeing and future.
Benefits of Church Member Management
The software provides tools to aid in attendance tracking, mass communication and announcements, and organization of groups. The majority of these software systems are available on mobile apps. This makes it easy to view statements, edit profiles, and keep up to date on the church’s happenings.
If church groups are ever in need of volunteers for an event or simply want a headcount of members at a service or meeting, church management software can help. Having access to these numbers helps immensely when planning future events. The software can also allow members to keep track of special events whether it be a baptism, marriage, or birthday. Keeping a calendar improves organization within the church too. Facility management, equipment reservations, and event approval are taken care of far in advance.
Make Member Profiles
Member profiles on the church app or website are a great way to build community, just like on other social channels. This can come in handy to track birthdays and family events, connect with volunteers or people who would like to schedule a formal request from church staff (i.e. baptisms, funerals, counseling, weddings, etc…), and allow members to connect with each other in a safe platform. . Profiles are also an easy way to have everyone’s contact information available and easily accessible should an emergency email or last-minute announcement needs to be sent.
Digital payment systems are bringing places of worship into the modern age when it comes to tracking donations. Not only is this a safer way of collecting money from the congregation, it eliminates much of the mundane accounting tasks that church secretaries are required to do, and provides more convenience for members who regularly donate. Many church management software programs allow the administrator to see the history of an individual’s donations or offering, whether it be weekly, monthly, or annually. Having fund and accounting features within these systems allows church organizers to view all of this financial information in one place, in one report.
Once church members input their information, others can download this into their saved contacts on their mobile phone or cloud accounts, making it easy for members to contact each other directly. People can quickly send mass texts and emails. Church updates continue to come to everyone even if people are out of town or busy, thus keeping everyone in the loop even if they couldn’t come to church in person.
Most apps allow for visitor management where potential new church members can check out the system, get to know current church members, and decide if they want to be involved. At this point, features reserved for members would become available. This kind of service tailored to the user is typically an attractive selling feature.
Things to Keep in Mind
Church size: Target groups for these software systems vary. Some are designed for small churches while others are designed to accommodate more infrastructure and people. Look into the software’s features to ensure your church will have everything it needs in a software system.
Usage: Make sure to announce and encourage usage of whatever software program your church chooses. There’s no use investing in new software if there is no demand among members to use it.
Customizability: Rather than forcing church members to adapt to a software, choose a software that will adapt to the needs of the church. With so many software options available, it’s important to research which management system will meet and exceed church needs.
Which program is Best for My Church?
There is an increased demand among religious organizations for church management software. Every system varies in capabilities, target audience, and special features. Below are some of the most popular church CRM options and the main functions they offer.
- Encourages generosity
- Manages workflow to ensure all tasks are completed and everyone is happy
- Focuses on the care of small groups within a church
- Children and volunteer check-in program
- Plan services including timing, volunteers, and song choices
- Focused on fueling church engagement
- Scalable and easy-to-navigate platform
- Offers extensive customer support through phone, app tutorials, and administrative assistance
- Focused on saving members time and money
- Able to integrate a trusted online payment processor
- Manages funds and tracks credit card expenses using a checkbook management function
- Well suited for growing religious organizations
- Offers an application where churches can store sheet music and playback audio
- Idea of making web-based processes manage everyday church to-do’s
- Offers creative presentation options for sermons, meetings, and other church activities
- Local network allows for data sharing and promotes collaboration