Tithely has been a great addition to our online giving mechanism. The forms presented to the user are super clean and easy to use. We have had no major issues at all. Any questions we have had have been answered by the Tithely support people quickly.
Tithely makes it easy to track online giving. Users are immediately issued a customizable giving receipt when donations are made. Reports can be run with just a few mouse clicks. There are options for recurring giving, which makes it easy for people to setup automated donations on a recurring basis.
Emails to notify that donations have been received are sent only once per day. These emails contain no details whatsoever how much was given, how many donations were received, etc. Clicking a link in said email is required to view the actual donations. This isn't terrible, and I can see why they did this (for privacy reasons, as well as to keep the admin's inbox from getting cluttered with repetitive emails), but a tad more info, such as the total for the day, would be nice to have.
Likelihood to recommend: 10/10
Overall, I'm excited to see how Tithe.ly ChMS transforms our daily work flow and impacts church growth. It's seems like a very cool company that has a great product and we're happy to be partnering with them!
What's great about Tithe.ly ChMS is how discipleship-centric it is. The People manager is easy to use and easy to manage. The People Flow feature gives a very unique and useful way to place people - new guests, people on discipleship pathways, etc.. - in a specific flow so that they don't fall through the cracks. We'll now have the ability to get some true metrics beyond just attendance on Sunday. My other favorite feature is the Services feature, which gives us the same capability as Planning Center, but doesn't have the people limitations. We will soon drop our Planning Center subscription because Tithe.ly fills that need.
The part of the experience that was the least enjoyable was migrating data from our old system to Tithe.ly. First line support seemed to be out of order in where we were in the process. Once we got connected with our migration specialist at Tithe.ly, it got a lot better. He was very knowledgeable and was able to answer just about every question.
Likelihood to recommend: 10/10
We've been with Elvanto since 2012 . It now supports all the core activities of daily life in our congregation - in one program, with one subscription, and without any software compatibility hassles. This is easier for our staff who ride one learning curve then rise to draw on all Elvanto's capability. This is also empowering for the congregation, because we use Elvanto in a way that empowers the congregation. They plan, communicate, and take action though Elvanto. As a result... We follow up and support our people better through accurate attendance and directory information. We know more specifically what's been happening through the wide range of reports on hand. We plan our calendar more clearly and book facilities and resources with more confidence. We communicate more frequently and clearly with our congregation in our emails and SMS. We organise more effectively for our worship life through the rostering, service planning, and song selection capability in Elvanto. We equip people with resources through blog posts, sermon outlines, and documents whenever needed. We have learned to use the new functionality of a program that is in active development [in a good way], as they are responsive to user feedback. We relax over costs because we only pay for people who are actively involved in church life now - and can still keep in touch with others as Contacts. We have even more ways we COULD use Elvanto but choose not to so far - such as the online giving or the small group attendance. Why Elvanto compared to other church management software [CMS] solutions? It was flexible pricing, customisable functions and appearance, software-as-a- service convenience, and a complete set of functions across the board - pastoral, worship, communication, and calendar planning. Elvanto fulfils and exceeds our congregation's expectations and agendas. Criticisms? Frankly the larger challenge with CMS is the church culture. For some, church life is a sanctuary which they wish was free of passwords or pins. This shift is small pain for large gain, if they take it up. The usage curve is far from level - about a quarter of our people use E most days - and about a quarter log in maybe once every few months. I'm ok with that. In short, choosing to go with a CMS, and Elvanto specifically, has been the single most significant step forward in organising church life that we have made in the past ten years.
A very comprehensive solution to church management, with flexible pricing, customisable appearance and functions, secure access control, and freedom from software compatibility issues.
Getting the broader congregation to draw on its capabilities. Staff and key leaders have taken this up well. There can be cultural expectations that church life is 'low-tech' and simple - I can respect this is some ways. But passwords and online comms are as common as cars and phones in the 21st century. It's ok for people to have to learn.
Likelihood to recommend: 9/10
After a year of searching for an "all inclusive" church management software, we landed on Elvanto. Unfortunately, it's been difficult to implement, not user-friendly, and most of the features we look for ended up being such long processes it's never really stuck. Support is a timezone away and many of our issues come back with a "not our fault." 3 years in, and we've had so many bad experiences that half our staff team is unwilling to even try to make it work anymore. This may be a one-stop-shop, but without serious tech experience on your staff, and a high commitment level from the users, it's just not worth it.
[Should be] everything in one: it was meant to get rid of the myriad of different systems we used for child checkin, accounting, communications, booking venues, and volunteer follow up... They recommend having a dedicated technician for the first 2 years full-time to help integrate. I can see why, but that's just not in our (or many church) budgets, and without it we just couldn't seem to get off the ground.
Child checkin: only supports one printer (the most expensive & most glitchy), doesn't work well with Macs, couldn't get the iPad/tablet system to work at all, and tech support was pretty slim. After 3 years, parents still aren't used to the system (not intuitive). Bookings: allows users to double book spaces without flagging problems to an overseers - people assume since they "booked it" it's fine, but program just puts duplicate entries rather than denying access. Accounting: after a month of training, our accountants vetoed using the software, saying it was too complicated and didn't accomplish their needs. Volunteer management: allows for some management, if you have a consistent team. If your team changes weekly, then you might as well just email them yourself - there's no nice solution for this.
Sorry to hear about your bad experience Kirsten.
It really sounds like our customer support was lacking in your case as some of the issues you have faced (like setting up multiple check-in printers and getting them to work) should be easy to sort out.
At this stage we are stuck with DYMO label printers (those expensive ones you mentioned) simply because other label printers don't have good web support. We are keeping an eye on the other manufacturers and will integrate with them as soon as we can!
Bookings I believe we did have a bug where it wasn't bringing up conflicts but this has been fixed since. We're constantly improving and fixing any bugs that appear.
Accounting is not something we fully support. We focus on tracking giving and let proper accounting software to handle that side of things. We plan to create some integrations though.
Lastly volunteer management. We've recently released scheduling preferences that should help make it easier to manage volunteers.
Likelihood to recommend: 3/10
Overall organizational unity and efficiency. Streamlined, standardized and unified volunteer coordination. Centralized mass communication, and a highly user-friendly worship service planning platform and the ability to store the church worship song inventory online for all to utilize as needed.
I like how intuitive it is and how easy it is to figure out. I can teach functions to even the most tech-challenged people in our church and they are able to know what they need to do with ease. I also like the umbrella of functions it has under the one program for the price point offered. When you go from 100 to 200 active users the price doubling is a bit steep (this is why I gave value 4 stars), but it is comparable to similar programs, but easier to work with. Lastly, the customer service as well has been fantastic from day one and that was a major reason I chose Elvanto over other programs. Their speed of response is typically within 1 day, despite being in Australia, while I'm in the US.
More than anything it is their phone app, which is fairly useless at this time compared to just logging into the website on your phone (this is where 4 stars on Features comes in). The phone app has yet to be integrated with the majority of functions offered and the development has been too slow to get it going. Elvanto has a community Post board, which we love as a church, but to not have that on the phone app that can give you notifications of a new post seems like a huge oversight. The normal software I really have no issues with at all, if there is something hard to understand or more complicated, there is help available in the forms of tutorials or customer service is an email or chat away. The phone app, however, needs to be pushed through development and in big ways and then Elvanto will be a force to be reckoned with, and our church would have greater integration as people who don't get in front of a computer on a daily basis (i.e. young moms, blue-collar workers, etc.) would have it in their phones too.
Likelihood to recommend: 10/10
A free 21-day trial is available, after which:
Up to 50 active adults: €10.80/month (billed annually) or €13.50/month (billed monthly)
Up to 100 active adults: €21.60/month (billed annually) or €27/month (billed monthly)
Up to 200 active adults: €43.20/month (billed annually) or €54/month (billed monthly)
Up to 500 active adults: €108/month (billed annually) or €135/month (billed monthly)
Up to 1000 active adults: €129.60/month (billed annually) or €162/month (billed monthly)