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Realm

Community-focused online church management system

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Realm Reviews

Reviews summary

Pros

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.

Heather N.

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The customer support is amazing. And their help file is one of the best I've seen of any software anywhere.

Sherri J.

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So far it has been positive. Getting the whole staff on board was a process but moving along with excitement and anticipation of getting the group leaders using it as well.

Denise B.

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Cons

Being told that the problem is what it is - is terrible support and they should not market a product that does not function that they will not fix.

Doug B.

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Her work system is "locked down" so she cannot update her browser. The value of Realm is when everyone in the church uses it, because of this restriction our utility is severely compromised.

Robbie F.

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I feel that I am forced to call the help desk. Usually after searching for at least a half hour down many dead ends, the I call the help line and there's another 30 minutes explaining my problem.

G. H.

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Overall rating

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90%
positive reviews
93%
would recommend this app

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219 reviews

recommended

Overall Rating

Realm is AWESOME!!!

Reviewed 9 months ago

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

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Realm has been an excellent resource for our congregation and staff.

Reviewed 3 years ago
Pros

We use Realm Connect - the level that allows for congregants to log in and use the app feature as well. Realm is easy to use and intuitive to figure out. The staff love being able to get to it anywhere and that they can even work on their phones on things if needed. Realm has features that make life easier for church staff, while also allowing the congregation to connect with each other. The Realm development team is always looking at ways to make it easier for people to know where to go, while also trying to find ways to make the church staff's lives easier as they input the data. Additionally, the support staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. I rarely have to wait for support help and if they cannot fix an issue while I am on the phone with them, they are quick to follow back up.

Cons

There are still areas they are building out and things that are not there yet. For example, today we tried to copy a list of people from a registration event into a group roster as the group decided they wanted to be able to communicate with each other during the study. This was not a feature that was available yet, so the person entering the data had to manually add the people to a group. But, they...

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

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A decent web-based database

Reviewed 6 months 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.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend1/10

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Serious Gaps

Reviewed a year ago

Frustration is the best word that describes my experience with Realm. Frustration on finding information, frustration on looking for help, and frustration even on the help desk. When I write an email, it is almost as if I am getting a computer response telling me only a simplistic response that does not consider my question on the background that I provided. It seems that my complaints fall on unconcerned ears when i express them to the Staff.

Pros

I like the ability to use a check scanner with the giving software

Cons

There are serious gaps in the way Realm relays information. When certain payments are made online, the software does not notify the Administrator of their receipt. I have to go and look for the payments (such as VBS registrations) without the software telling me that it has come in. Then it does not list the deposits from the registrations, only the individuals that made payment, after I go outside...

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Realm is a good church database

Reviewed 2 years ago

Overall Realm is a good a product. It was first rolled out to small churches and it shows that. It seems that the programmers and decision makers still look at the small churches instead of larger churches when adding features.

Pros

It is a communication tool as well as a database. They keep improving Realm. Ease of finding duplicate entries. Customer support is the best in the industry.

Cons

There are many features that larger churches need to use the software the best and Realm does not seem to be in any hurry to provide those features. They make larger churches figure out work arounds which is never good. Difficult to get the needed reports for our auditor each year. Contributions is not done by the best practices for debits and credits. They line through entries when a charge back is made at the bank instead doing a debit, which shows a money trail for audit purposes.

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

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REALM is Easy

Reviewed a year ago

We enjoy the products ability for us to track giving, children/youth that are registered to track for attendance. We track worship service attendance that is required by our Diocese and of course giving is imperative and the system allows us to do this an efficient matter.

Pros

The best part of the feature that all religious institutions could benefit from is the giving module. The online giving is very easy and user friendly and processing of the gifts is very easy for the administrators of the church. We recently rolled out groups and have a BETA group using it. They are very excited about the capabilities and have added their own members and published documents for them to use and communicate. We use the product for event registration and that process has been easy as well, it is intuitive and provides a lot of options for tailoring to particular event needs.

Cons

Currently the serving module needs to be built out more for us to fully utilize it. We are trying to avoid having the serving team send emails back and forth about coverage and needs. We also would like more customizable features when it comes to background color and newsletter type communications.

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

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Realm Software

Reviewed a year 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.

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

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Enjoying using Realm

Reviewed 2 years ago

Our admin staff is really enjoying using Realm. We're always excited when we discover something new. Makes our jobs easier, better, and more interesting. We are looking forward to launching Realm Connect to our entire church.

Pros

Easy to use Ability to add notes to profiles Excellent reports capabilities Pathways!! Groups functionality Communication capabilities

Cons

Don't like that so many things come up on my tasks for pathways in particular. If I am a step leader it comes up on my tasks even if I'm not responsible for that step.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend6/10

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Good church financial produce...still needs some work.

Reviewed 7 months ago

Overall, I really enjoy Realm. The ease of use is my number one thing. It has cut my time down by half from the previous software.

Pros

I love that Realm is cloud based and can be used anywhere. Everything is in one place instead of having several different programs to pull together.

Cons

Other financial software programs offer better ability to edit transaction that have already been processed. In Realm, you have to completely void and reenter it. Church Windows offered greater ability.

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

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Combined all of our software into one product.

Reviewed a year ago

We are doing much less duplicate work,

Pros

We were using so many different products to do our daily tasks. None of which spoke to the other. Now we have all of our work in one place and we can see the big picture.

Cons

Not be able to choose what label you will be printing to or the ability to print on envelopes.

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

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Realm is Great!

Reviewed 7 months ago

We have been able to run much better reports for our Executive Committees and we absolutely love the dashboard feature!

Pros

I like that Realm is very user friendly. Also, if there is a problem I cannot solve, the helpdesk is super easy to contact, right from the app, and they are always very knowledgeable and helpful.

Cons

There may be a couple of features that would be helpful to add, i.e. being able to run a report from the pending page of online batches to see what was given on Sunday during the worship service, but nothing major. I haven't found any difficult aspects in using Realm. They have a great help section and videos to show you how to perform certain tasks. The integration for membership was outstanding, because Realm was able to pull our membership in from our previous software. The accounting side was a major task because we had to do it ourselves, but we're working with it and are satisfied.

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

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Church Membership Projects and Sacraments

Reviewed a year 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.

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

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Good product and always improving

Reviewed 2 years ago

Tech support is very helpful if you just need basic help in making something work. They don't seem to know the "big picture" to make suggestions or improvements on what you are asking. However their developers are very accessible, so I like that I can reach someone else with a question or when I need guidance on setting up something.

Pros

It is very user-friendly and easy to train new employees on it. Being a new product, they are constantly updating and improving on the features. It was developed from years of software experience, so it is very relevant in everyday church use.

Cons

Several of the newer releases address needs we've been asking for, but they are done in a somewhat complicated way. It addresses the need, but not as directly and simply as I would like. I feel like they need to take a step back from some new features and refine and improve what they currently offer.

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

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Realm - Excellent Church Software

Reviewed 2 years ago

Realm has facilitated communication in the church and is extremely versatile given its use on a computer or mobile device. By enabling parishioners to directly engage with each other, with their own profile and church groups they are in - it not only provides the staff with a powerful software tool, but enables the entire church to engage and connect. This is probably the greatest strength of Realm: its function as a staff tool (database management and financial accounting) as well as ability to create engagement, connection and community within the parish. All in one place.

Pros

Realm is exceptionally easy to learn and use - and it's relevant to how a church operates its ministries as well as how a church manages its finances and its people database. Developers solicit input from users for program enhancements and continue to release new functionality that just makes the software better and better. Both the database management component (how we manage the people in our church) as well as the financial accounting component are exceptional. The bonus is how the functionality also supports how we operate our ministries (managing volunteers, coordinating education opportunities, communication and engagement)

Cons

Not sure I've found anything I don't like. At this point, Realm continues to amaze me.

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

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Tremendous organizational tool! A bit lacking in some desired features and user-friendliness.

Reviewed 3 years ago
Pros

Realm has been our only experience with CHMS and it has been well worth every penny. As a small church of about 200, we know there's so much more that this software is capable of doing that we simply do not have a need for at present. We love the organization Realm has given internally to our church staff and volunteers. The ability to track giving (both regular offering and pledge funds) through...

Cons

The calendar is not as functional as we had hoped and does not allow for integration with Google Calendars. This has led to our avoiding any use of Realm's calendar. We have also not made use of the Events feature in Realm as there is no public-facing side of Events Registration (that we have found) that could tie in with our church website. The interface is not very intuitive/user-friendly and...

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

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Congregational Care Tool

Reviewed 4 years ago

Realm is the key tool to care for our congregation in intentional ways.

Pros

First we love that all of our systems are now in one place. Moving from running ACS OnDemand, AccessACS, and The City to just using Realm has created efficiency. Realm has allowed better care of our large congregation and opportunities for closing the back door. That's what we like most. With nearly 4,000 attenders on a weekend, knowing when people are disconnecting is difficult. With easy attendance...

Cons

Communication via Realm needs some minor improvements. The ability to share a message with multiple groups is missing at present. The option to reply to an email notification and have the message go back to the original thread in Realm is missing. Those two improvements would make a big difference in communication, as well as the ability to "feature" a post within a group to make it stay at the...

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

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Great product and support!

Reviewed 5 years ago

This product is not as robust as some of the other big products out there, but it has almost everything you need to get the job done. Many organizations do not need or want all the bells and whistles that those products have, nor the cost they come with. Realm manages people and their contributions with ease. It has the ability to use groups to track attendance and facilitate communication among...

Pros

I like that the software developers take the time to listen to the users and frequently upgrade the software with features that users need, not what they think we should have. The UI is intuitive and easy to use. The wikis are robust and use lots of pictures so there is not confusion as to what needs to be done. The support team in knowledgeable.

Cons

The search engine is not as robust as some other products, but that is improving as the product develops.

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

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REALM: user friendly software with exceptional customer support!

Reviewed 2 years ago

I highly recommend the investment of time and finances to get the full benefit of the software by getting the training needed! I wish we had done so when we got it. I feel we would be so much further along with the benefits of the software instead of still struggling to search through helps and webinars to find how to do something simple.

Pros

I love the ease of using the software. Everything is easy to navigate and it manages people and contributions very easily. They are always adding improvements which is a plus. I know that there is so much more to this software but we haven't got there yet. At the time that we transitioned from ACS on demand to REALM we were not able to get the training needed to transition more smoothly and regret...

Cons

Can't complain much since I don't feel like I have had the training I need to properly use it to its full potential. The complaints I might have are probably not a software problem but lack of training problem...I have just been winging it and limping along for the most part but the things that I have learned to use have been pretty awesome.

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

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Chapel in the Pines Review

Reviewed 3 years ago

Overall our church and it's members enjoy using Realm. We just got it in 2017 so don't have a lot of experience with it. I do think the communication functions will be a big help to us. Your support staff has always been very professional and friendly. I think in 5 years we will be using it as our main communications tool.

Pros

The cost is probably the best feature for us as a small church. It also allows our members and friends to donate an online gift and have it immediately posted to the member's statement. It is also very user friendly.

Cons

When creating the photo directory with family information, there is no "refer to" for couples who have different last names (i.e., Bob Warren and Karen Fisher, Nathan Kotecki and Garrett Southerland). Access ACS had that feature. When creating a .pdf file of the directory, there is no way to password protect it without running it through a different program. Access ACS had that feature. In the photo...

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

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Great, user-friendly software and world-class help desk.

Reviewed 3 years ago

Easy to learn and to use. Helps us track everything from giving to attendance, as well as trends. On-line (as opposed to desktop loaded) software keeps the worry out of losing data. Affordable, even for a smaller church.

Pros

Realm is extremely user-friendly. I love that they have teamed with Vanco for donations/payments and the payments are recorded directly into the person's record in Realm. The pastor likes to do analytics and uses that feature all the time. I work in the contribution section every week and it couldn't be easier. The "icing on the cake" is the world-class Customer Service. After two quick prompts, a real person answers the phone within seconds. I don't get transferred. The person is very knowledgeable, friendly, polite, and most of all can answer my questions. They will also log onto my computer - with my permission - if that is the best way to help me.

Cons

I can't get all the reports I used to get in ACS People. Also, I have not found a way to link different families together (i.e. showing one family is a mother and father to another family). I also wish that Realm Financials would stop pushing back their timeline to include Payroll so we can switch from ACS Financials to Realm for that part of business, also.

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

Reviewed 4 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.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Using Realm for People and Accounting

Reviewed 5 years ago

I have been using Realm to manage people (contributions, attendance, etc.) for about 8 months. I have also had the privilege to be a part of the pilot program for Realm Accounting. People management is very straightforward. Accounting process will be very familiar for existing ACS Financial Suite users. Chart of Accounts structure is a bit different, but I like the use of Account Codes (core accounts) that are available across funds. Accounting might be a little too strong for one-person office environments, especially those accustomed to QuickBooks functionality. ACS partners with Vanco for processing gifts and registration payments. Vanco is great to work with. Together, they have just launched text giving for Realm.

Pros

I've been able to successfully check-in people from Windows tablet and have labels waiting at the check-in station (label printer shared from another Windows computer). I like being able to verify attendance with a tablet during service. Text giving in Realm is included with online giving. Dashboards readily available and can be customized for Giving, Attendance, and Involvement. Plus the Overview can provide quick insights to your database.

Cons

Built-in reports have a ways to go.

Overall Rating
  • Ease of use
  • Customer support

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Probably Will Go with Realm

Reviewed 5 years ago

We are comparing PowerChurch, Servant Keeper and Realm. Of the three, Realm is the most robust, organized and simplest to jump right in without a lot of training. We can track records in our Adult Spiritual Education program. We can track visitor outreach. We can track attendance collectively and individually. Gift entry is awesome! You must enter a batch first, meaning the full dollar amount of...

Pros

No pros were added to this review

Cons

No cons were added to this review

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

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Love this product!

Reviewed 3 years ago

It's a really robust software. The customer support is amazing. And their help file is one of the best I've seen of any software anywhere!

Pros

We have been using Realm as our church management software since 2016. We were upgrading from a really old software system that we'd been using since the 90s or before. Realm walked us through the transfer which was very involved. And I think our transfer took longer than usual but they held our hands through the process. But since we've been up and running, it's been smooth sailing. They're constantly updating the software. I haven't had any problems with it. We haven't rolled out the member portion of the software yet. We have an older congregation and getting every logged in would be a challenge. As a small (under 100 members) Church, Realm has more than met our needs. I believe it's a software we can easily grow with for years to come.

Cons

We opted to handle the personalization of the software ourselves. Well...that hasn't happened. With running a church and everyone wearing multiple hats, we just haven't had time. So, I know we're not getting all the value from the software that we could. That's not Realm's fault. If I remember correctly, it was a cost thing that caused us to do it ourselves. Perhaps Realm needs a customization price for small churches like ours.

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

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Realm is Excellent!

Reviewed a year ago

Realm allows us to keep current our members data and contributions in a flash so reports are always up to date. The support center is amazing, always there to help even with on screen assistance. The Connect mobile app allows you to call members in your group from your cell phone. There is so much that Realm does through the dashboard, reports, attendance, check-in, giving, its just endless. We've used Realm from the beginning and updates and new features are always being added.

Pros

Being able to work in the software from the church office or home made this a game changer. Having the use of the mobile app has taken it to a new level. From the administration side reports are so easy and communication in ministry groups amazing.

Cons

I honestly can say Realm is covering so many areas I have no complaints. We started with ACS Technologies before the Realm roll out.

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

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Relatively easy management of church administrative functions

Reviewed 3 years ago

A plethora of reporting options! Master membership rolls. Class check-in (and child safety/security). Communication with members on Connect.

Pros

It appears that ACS has put in a lot of homework in looking for things that a church might do and how they actually do business. The Connect aspect is only as useful as the people who use it, but the Realm engine in very powerful and has a lot of features that just about any church would want or need. The cloud-based platform is also helpful because 1) our software/interface never need updating and 2) there is no risk of us losing our data. The reporting options are also very flexible: our denomination requires annual reports on numbers and finances, and (I think) we can create enough custom reports to cover these annual reports all within the confines of Realm! That is a huge time saver no more spreadsheets!

Cons

Sending invites to Realm seems to be tricky, especially if a child has grown and now has an e-mail address. We can't just send an invite from the person's profile page (hint: make this an option). Also, in order to do child check-in or Sunday School sign-in sheets, there is a lot of layering that is required in order to get the final product. ONce complete, it is fairly simple on a weekly basis, but getting there can take some time (but not difficult time). Coming from a Database Administrator perspective (that's my job), I fully understand the need for such layers, as it keeps things working right, so this is not something that must be fixed. However, for the average user, it might seem tedious.

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