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Realm vs Planning Center Comparison

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Good recommendations?

Realm logo

Realm

90pts

Overview

Category Leaders

Realm by ACS Technologies is a church management system with an emphasis on online community

Category Leaders

Planning Center is an all-in-one church management system made to help you organize information, coordinate events, communicate...

  • Platforms supported
  • Web-based
  • iPhone app
  • Android app
  • Windows Phone app
  • Typical customers
  • Freelancers
  • Small businesses
  • Mid size businesses
  • Large enterprises
  • Customer support
  • Phone
  • Online
  • Knowledge base
  • Video tutorials
  • Platforms supported
  • Web-based
  • iPhone app
  • Android app
  • Windows Phone app
  • Typical customers
  • Freelancers
  • Small businesses
  • Mid size businesses
  • Large enterprises
  • Customer support
  • Phone
  • Online
  • Knowledge base
  • Video tutorials

Video & Screenshots

No screenshots yet

Pricing

Starting from

ic-pricetag

No pricing info

  • Free trial available
  • Credit cardless trial
  • Free account
  • Subscription based

Starting from

0

Per month

  • Free trial available
  • Credit cardless trial
  • Free account
  • Subscription based

User reviews

4.4

269

5

4

3

2

1

148

96

18

4

3

  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
93%
would recommend this app

4.7

1.1K

5

4

3

2

1

842

248

37

1

0

  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
99%
would recommend this app

Pros

Our overall experience with Realm has been great, we truly enjoy using this product; our senior members love using the Realm app for their giving and enjoy the accounting module.
Probably the best part might be the database end. It's pretty good at keeping all the information for our people, and creates a nice directory.
The directory is helpful, and the customer support is good. My favorite part about Realm is the annual conference.

Pros

We love and enjoy nearly all of the products from them. They are so great to work with and they are always open for feedback and much of the growth and change has come from using its users opinions.
The People Module is the best. I love the ability to update the people/family information on the fly is great.
This is a great tool of scheduling volunteers and laying our the plan details. This is super helpful if we have a wide variety of things going on and its easy to list them all out here.

Cons

As a former IT/programmer this software is the worst... very frustrating to use... slow.
I am constantly calling Realm to see if there is a solution to one problem or another, and every time I am basically told "we don't do that" and "we have no plans to do that.
Sometimes confusing for users when it comes to privacy management and notifications.

Cons

Additionally, the inability to get support personnel on the phone is a pain at times. Having to run support strictly through email can be a huge barrier and waste of time.
The user experience isn't conducive to those who have no tech experience and can be very confusing.
The one negative I have run into is it is not as customizable as other software I have used.
  • Vendor responds to reviews
  • Last review3 months ago
  • Vendor responds to reviews
  • Last review7 days ago

Key features

  • Total features39
  • API
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Accounting Integration
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Activity Tracking
  • Alerts/Notifications
  • Attendance Management
  • Attendance Tracking
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Budgeting/Forecasting
  • Built-in Accounting
  • Campaign Planning
  • Cataloging/Categorization
  • Child Check-in
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Communication Management
  • Compliance Management
  • Configurable Workflow
  • Contact Database
  • Contact Management
  • Content Library
  • Content Management
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Customizable Fields
  • Customizable Forms
  • Customizable Reports
  • Customizable Templates
  • Data Import/Export
  • Document Management
  • Document Storage
  • Donation Management
  • Donation Tracking
  • Donor Management
  • Drag & Drop
  • Electronic Payments
  • Email Management
  • Email Templates
  • Event Management
  • Event Scheduling
  • Event Ticketing
  • Financial Reporting
  • For Nonprofits
  • For Religious Organizations
  • Forms Management
  • Fund Accounting
  • Fund Management
  • General Ledger
  • Gift Matching Management
  • Historical Trend Analysis
  • Image Library
  • Media Library
  • Member Communication
  • Member Directory
  • Member Portal
  • Membership Management
  • Mobile Access
  • Mobile App
  • Mobile Giving
  • Multi-Location
  • Online Calendar
  • Online Giving
  • Payment Processing
  • Payroll Management
  • Personalization
  • Playlist Management
  • Pledge Management
  • Receipt Management
  • Recurring Giving
  • Recurring/Subscription Billing
  • Registration Management
  • Reminders
  • Reporting & Statistics
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Role-Based Permissions
  • SMS Messaging
  • Scheduling
  • Search/Filter
  • Small Group Management
  • Summary Reports
  • Template Management
  • Third-Party Integrations
  • Usage Tracking/Analytics
  • Visitor Tracking
  • Volunteer Management
  • Website Management
  • Worship Planning
  • Total features76
  • API
  • Access Controls/Permissions
  • Accounting Integration
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Activity Tracking
  • Alerts/Notifications
  • Attendance Management
  • Attendance Tracking
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Budgeting/Forecasting
  • Built-in Accounting
  • Campaign Planning
  • Cataloging/Categorization
  • Child Check-in
  • Collaboration Tools
  • Communication Management
  • Compliance Management
  • Configurable Workflow
  • Contact Database
  • Contact Management
  • Content Library
  • Content Management
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Customizable Fields
  • Customizable Forms
  • Customizable Reports
  • Customizable Templates
  • Data Import/Export
  • Document Management
  • Document Storage
  • Donation Management
  • Donation Tracking
  • Donor Management
  • Drag & Drop
  • Electronic Payments
  • Email Management
  • Email Templates
  • Event Management
  • Event Scheduling
  • Event Ticketing
  • Financial Reporting
  • For Nonprofits
  • For Religious Organizations
  • Forms Management
  • Fund Accounting
  • Fund Management
  • General Ledger
  • Gift Matching Management
  • Historical Trend Analysis
  • Image Library
  • Media Library
  • Member Communication
  • Member Directory
  • Member Portal
  • Membership Management
  • Mobile Access
  • Mobile App
  • Mobile Giving
  • Multi-Location
  • Online Calendar
  • Online Giving
  • Payment Processing
  • Payroll Management
  • Personalization
  • Playlist Management
  • Pledge Management
  • Receipt Management
  • Recurring Giving
  • Recurring/Subscription Billing
  • Registration Management
  • Reminders
  • Reporting & Statistics
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Role-Based Permissions
  • SMS Messaging
  • Scheduling
  • Search/Filter
  • Small Group Management
  • Summary Reports
  • Template Management
  • Third-Party Integrations
  • Usage Tracking/Analytics
  • Visitor Tracking
  • Volunteer Management
  • Website Management
  • Worship Planning

Integrations

  • Total integrations2
  • Blackbaud CRM
  • Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT
  • Bloomerang
  • ChMS
  • Constant Contact
  • DonorHub
  • Gmail
  • Google Analytics 360
  • Mailchimp
  • Meta for Business
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • PayPal
  • Planning Center
  • QuickBooks Online Advanced
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud
  • Stripe
  • Twilio
  • Zapier
  • Total integrations31
  • Blackbaud CRM
  • Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT
  • Bloomerang
  • ChMS
  • Constant Contact
  • DonorHub
  • Gmail
  • Google Analytics 360
  • Mailchimp
  • Meta for Business
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • PayPal
  • Planning Center
  • QuickBooks Online Advanced
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud
  • Stripe
  • Twilio
  • Zapier

User reviews that mention these apps

DS
AvatarImg

Dave S.

Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

Share this review:

Realm logo

Realm

A decent web-based database

Reviewed 4 years ago

The customer service has been good, and their demo was reasonably well done, though their app crashed for their employee multiple times. I asked some tough questions about features that they said they were still building, and they admitted that they really couldn't compete with planning center in terms of a service planning module, but other things seem pretty good. My preference would have been Planning...

Pros

Because we were previously on ACS, it was easy to import previous data. The online interface is much friendlier than the old version, and it generally has good features and capabilities, but as with any database/CRM, it's all in how you set it up and implement use. Overall, it's a solid choice.

Cons

Being a Planning Center Services user who's dabbled in other Planning Center products, I prefer the integration and user interface of planning center. Overall Realm feels more PC than Mac - sturdy, but not as pretty and at times a bit frustrating with the number of clicks you need to do to get to where you want to go. It's functional, but it feels like it'll take longer for people to learn how to set things up and do things properly, which will impede good rollout and ultimately depth of functionality because of that.

KJ
AvatarImg

Kelly J.

Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

Share this review:

Realm logo

Realm

Realm is easy to use and has data at my fingertips!

Reviewed 3 months ago

Great support and prompt help. Tons of resources to learn more online. I love having one place to go for everything - check-in, member data-base, directory, giving, registration/events, etc.

Pros

Ease of use. I can add, edit, unactivate, or even delete profiles in seconds. Online giving is the best! Having used other providers, the ability to create separate giving page links, funds, text giving is far superior to any other product I have tried. Plus, it all pulls over into reports got me to look at YTD data in a moment.

Cons

Integration of Pathways. We still struggle with utilizing this tool as it seems cumbersome. And when an event is created in a group, it can't be shared outside that group. I would love group events to show up in "Registrations" with a way to hide repeating events or have repeating events show up as just 1 event with the next one shown. I also would appreciate the ability to delete profiles that gave 7+ years ago. We have no need to keep them. Wish there was a service planning option so we didn't need to use Planning Center anymore!

AN
AvatarImg

Andrew N.

Religious Institutions, 1,001-5,000 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

Share this review:

Realm logo

Realm

Church Membership Projects and Sacraments

Reviewed 4 years ago

I work on our membership records, groups, the Realm app, events, registrations, classes, and even meals. I able to schedule all of these in Realm and push them out to a congregation of over 4,000 with relative ease. As a communications tool for a large congregation, Realm is our software of choice.

Pros

I like that, when used properly, Realm allows us to create profiles and provide a 360-degree story of a member's engagement with our church. Births, baptisms, marriages, deaths are dome of the events that we need to tell a member's story. Using the attachment feature allows us to attach all letters, documents, certificates, an communications that allow us to tell these stories. Realm allows us the...

Cons

There is an occasional hiccup where we receive error messages, such as "504 Gateway Timeout" or "Internal Error." These are usually easily resolved when we contact the service center.

LT
AvatarImg

Lindsey T.

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Realm logo

Realm

Realm is very user friendly and the customer service representatives are very helpful.

Reviewed 7 years ago
Pros

We have had Realm for 3 years and seen the software improve a lot over that time. I am very impressed at their constant ingenuity to continue developing the product to meet customer needs. We love the check-in platform which is extremely simple to use.. even better now with customizable badges! We have met with the Realm team several times regarding various new program updates. The team would show us a sample of a new concept and ask for our feedback. It was fun to be a part of new innovation and it was especially exciting when we saw our suggestions implemented in the software.

Cons

Realm does not interact with our Planning Center Services account or our Resources calendar. Because of this, we have to duplicate information and ultimately manage 2 databases of people (PCO and Realm). This hasn't been a major issue but it would be nice if profiles that were updated in Realm would be automatically updated in PCO. Also, our small group leaders have found the mobile app to be limited in its functionality. Understandably, the app has less features than the web version but it would be really nice if, for example, a small group leader could add a new guest from the mobile app.

JP
AvatarImg

Joy P.

Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 1-2 years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Realm logo

Realm

Realm Software

Reviewed 4 years ago

I have had a positive experience with Realm. I have not had any questions that couldn't be answered or any tasks that could not be accomplished.

Pros

The software is extremely easy to use. I appreciate the Realm help center and Ministry Smart training platform. The software was easy to implement and to train others to use. Switching to Realm went smooth; I had no issues developing my chart of accounts, producing financials, recording a pledge campaign and pledges. Our membership data base stays up to date with the access our members have to the software. Our directory is never out of date.

Cons

I have not found any missing features. The software was easy to impliment.

LO
AvatarImg

Lily O.

Nonprofit Organization Management, 11-50 employees

Used daily for less than 6 months

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

Share this review:

Realm logo

Realm

Very happy we chose Realm!

Reviewed 6 years ago
Pros

Not in any particular order: 1. Cloud-based 2. Communication Feature within Groups - our group leaders are loving this feature and are engaging more and more with participants in their groups. Attendance marking has also increased since converting to Realm 3. Dashboard/Reporting - helping us greatly in doing ministry effectively: reaching the disengaged, cleaning up data, and planning 4. Merging...

Cons

1. Our church does A LOT of events throughout any given month - currently we've experienced some limitations within Event Registrations (i.e. being able to search for a specific event using keywords/tags). Our end user currently has to scroll down a very long list of events to find the event they want to register for. 2.

KM
AvatarImg

Kevin M.

Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Planning Center logo

Planning Center

I couldn't imagine church service planning without PCO!

Reviewed 7 years ago

It revolutionized my planning and communication process. It made it so much easier to see who is serving when and to know whether or not they've been sent certain communication pieces and resources. It also makes it simple to collaborate with others on the planning process.

Pros

I've been in church music ministry for over 14 years now. I've tried and evaluated several pieces of software over the years. I always came away with the sense that software packages certainly worked for someone, but I would have to change several things to fit into most of them. That was until I found Planning Center. During my first contact with the product, I was thinking, "Who has been spying on...

Cons

One feature I'm hoping for soon is the ability to incorporate calendar invitations into people's serving schedule. As it stands now, you can subscribe to a calendar of your PCO activity, but it's a separate calendar. Not everyone will do that. As a result, I've been inviting people to Google Calendar events based on who is serving when, just to try to make sure it gets on people's schedules. It would be nice for that functionality to be integrated into PCO instead of doing it separately. When someone accepts an invitation to serve, they get a calendar invitation sent to the email address they indicated was their primary calendar. Other than that, I really have no complaints.

JH
AvatarImg

Jason H.

Arts and Crafts, 1-10 employees

Used daily for 2+ years

Review source

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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Planning Center logo

Planning Center

Interface

Reviewed 5 years ago

I would also take a moment and think through the basics of the site. If the goal is to do something basic like add a song, or even to rehearse a song [Which is difficult to do, or at least not clear to my older choir members], then it should be easy to see, and easy to execute. I love the fact that things are customizable, and that I can plan my service down to the second, but the moment I go to...

Pros

The things that Planning Center does well, it does very well. It always delivers notifications and I feel that it is reliable. Every single time that one of the people on my team have had an issue with the software, it was incredibly simple to resolve, and usually was a case of user preferences that needed adjustments. For the majority of the people that benefit from the software, the experience...

Cons

My experience with Planning Center is not limited to, but mostly within the realm of "Services" so that is where I will spend most of my time. Before that, however, I will mention that while I know of a number of people who enjoy the "Music Stand" app, Planning Center does not offer the best deal for the service. Apps like Onsong, while expensive up-front, are not a monthly expense and allow for many...