Did you know CRMs aren’t just useful for for-profit businesses, but can also prove essential for church management and community building?
Without a reliable church management system, tasks like attendance tracking, contact management, and worship planning become easily disorganized and overwhelming.
As a web designer and long-term employee of the tech world, I have ample experience with CRMs, including church management CRMs.
Between my expertise and devoted research (lab testing, independent trials, third-party reviews), I’ve compiled a list of the best church management software for your ministry in 2023.
What is a Church CRM?
A church CRM (also known as a ChMS [church management software]) is a tool that churches and ministries can use to organize and communicate with their members, donors, and volunteers.
It’s similar to the type of CRM (customer relationship management) tool that for-profit businesses might use to keep track of their clients and contacts.
For churches, CRM software can be extremely helpful when it comes to increasing the quality of communication with church members.
Improved communication can easily help facilitate growth in church commitment from volunteers and visitors, a factor that ultimately strengthens the overall church community. ,
Furthermore, CMS systems help with back-end duties by reducing the margin of error and labor when it comes to data entry and member inventory.
Usually, church management software is cloud-based and accessible from any device.
Some of the concrete abilities of these systems include:
- Sending reminders to church members and volunteers
- Tracking donations
- Volunteer management
- Automating data input for members and donors
- Organizing contact information
- Streamlining church communicating
- Increasing online giving
Think of a church management system as a sort of online church community builder. These tools help religious organizations stay better connected to their community.
How to Choose a Church CRM?
Understand Your Needs
Analyze the size of your church and your most pressing goals so that you can look for relevant features in a church CRM.
You don’t want to end up overpaying for features you won’t use, or underpay and find your CRM not as helpful as you’d anticipated.
This is also a necessary step because many of the CRMs on this list require a consultation for configuring pricing. During this consultation, you’ll need a list of features and requirements so that the CRM provider can accurately price their services.
Talk With Your Team
This step goes hand-in-hand with the first.
Ensure your church family is on the same page regarding your church’s goals and needs before actually purchasing CRM software.
There may also be features needed for different organizational departments that one church leader wouldn’t be able to gauge on their own.
This is a valuable time to educate your staff about the purpose of a CRM so that they can maximize its use.
Test Drive a CRM Below
Most of the CRMs in this list offer either free trials or demo options.
These features are invaluable because they allow you to make sure their software works for you before you financially commit.
Make a Selection
This is pretty self-explanatory!
With sufficient research, team discussion, and test driving, you should be ready to choose the right CRM for your organization.
Benefits of a CRM for Churches
Cutting Costs for the Church
Church management software can be super helpful when it comes to cutting costs, therefore saving time and money for your staff.
Because this software often comes with event planning functionality and communication tools, these tasks are easier to execute and not as laborious for your team.
By streamlining operations and activities, staff can save money by decreasing the amount of time spent managing church affairs.
Church CRMs also provide benefits to staff members by doing away with the need for manual paperwork, cutting back on personnel costs, and increasing donor engagement.
Automated workflows enable staff to save time and resources while improving productivity, setting a pathway for further growth of your church organization.
Reducing Human Error
Church management software is also much more reliable than manual data entry and communication.
With automated church management software, it’s highly unlikely that a mass email won’t get sent or worship won’t get scheduled because the system is going to forget the automation you’ve set up!
This technology reduces the margin of error present in entirely human-run tasks.
It’s also much easier to crunch numbers and keep track of important data with a CRM while maintaining accuracy.
Freeing Up Your Time
Church CRMs have essential tools that help church staff become more efficient and spend less time on mundane tasks.
By leveraging these management systems, employees can optimize their daily activities and focus instead on expanding the congregation as well as further developing existing initiatives.
This free time can be used to seriously enrich your church’s sermons and worship sessions, rather than having to be spent on manual tasks like data entry and member organization.
Church communication devices can simplify the process of connecting with church members and make it easier for staff to manage their time.
In addition, having donation features in place will save valuable hours spent managing finances by accurately tracking contributions and donor information.
Automating Mundane Processes
A good church management system will come with automation options for tasks like weekly reminders, communication, scheduling, and more.
This automation will make the life of your church organization tremendously easier.
It’ll also allow you more time to focus on enriching your parish and focusing on nurturing relationships with your community.
The things that can be automated with church management software are often distractions from more substantial and meaningful religious interactions — so why not let go of mundane tasks to free up time for yourself and your staff?
Best Church CRMs of This Year
Our CRM experts and I are constantly on the lookout for new developments in the CRM industry, so this list is frequently updated.