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If your church is losing membership faster than ever, it is time to reflect on what can be changed in the ways you manage and interact with the members. Some of the reasons that potentially affect membership include lack of communication with members, mismanagement of donations and pledges, and something as simple as losing member data.
Churches can deploy church management software for:
Storing and updating member data so that no contact gets misplaced.
Managing volunteers and tallying their schedules for congregations.
Tracking donations to make sure that financial contributions are safe and accounted for.
Fostering communication between members and ministers through text messages, emails, etc. to boost engagement.
Tracking member attendance and analyzing reports to identify areas of improvement.
Despite the evident benefits, it could be tough to convince the church staff to invest in a software tool. A major reason behind this is the lack of confidence that technology can help religious establishments drive their mission.
To help churches make informed technology choices, we have put together this guide with the necessary information that will get them started. Here is the information we will cover:
Church management software is a tool that helps churches take care of their administrative tasks such as managing memberships, donations, and congregations.
It is important to understand which deployment option is more suitable for your church. Here is a brief explanation about the two options available with church management software:
Cloud-based deployment (SaaS): Under this option, the software is hosted and maintained by the vendor. The software can be accessed from computers or mobile devices over the internet, giving greater flexibility. Churches only need to pay for the preferred subscription plan, which is typically based on monthly/annual renewals.
On-premise deployment: Under this option, a church needs to procure the licensed copy of the software and install it on their own computers. Associated costs such as software upkeep are church responsibility. The upside to on-premise tools is that the control over data rests with the church.
Key question to ask a SaaS vendor before you buy: Does your product have a native mobile app?
Key question to ask an on-premise vendor before you buy: Do you provide implementation assistance and/or training on using the product?
Now that you have read about the deployment options for church management software, the next step would be to learn about the features of the software. Here is a brief description of the important features you should be aware of:
Membership management: Store personal information of church members, such as their names, membership status, and phone numbers, at a central place. This allows for quick access to details of all members for sending out notifications/reminders.
Donation management: Accept donations via different modes, such as cash, credit card, or online, and maintain record of every donation made by a member or volunteer.
Attendance tracking: Record member and volunteer attendance at congregations. Tracking attendance details helps in understanding member engagement and identifying areas for improvement.
Volunteer management: Capture volunteer details such as name and contact number and track their past volunteering activities. Understand volunteer interests to determine suitability for upcoming congregations and send notifications to prospective ones.
Member outreach: Reach out to registered members over various channels, such as emails, text messages, and phone calls, to notify them about upcoming congregations/events.
Key question to ask a vendor before you buy: What are the additional features available with your software?
*Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.