Capterra Church Management Blog

How pastors and administrators can manage their church with technology

Comparison of the 5 Biggest Vendors in Church Management Software

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Update May 17, 2017: This piece has been updated to reflect our most recent research into the top 20 most popular Church Management Software systems, from August of 2016. We also added videos and updated pricing where necessary.

Searching for church management software can be intimidating.

Especially as a large church. After sorting through all the options that are out there, you’re probably coming away asking yourself which systems are proven to work? Which ones are the largest, most popular and well-known systems?

church management

While the small software companies can be just as good as the big ones, below I’ve outlined five church management systems that are considered to be some of the largest and most popular vendors, based on our Top 20 Church Management Software infographic.

Love these options?

Discover the top 20 most popular Church Management Systems!

The 5 Biggest Church Management Software Vendors

Here are the five biggest vendors in church management software in order of Capterra’s Market Score, which is a number from 0-100 based on the following three-part formula: 40% total number of customers, 40% total number of users, and 20% reviews and social media followers.

1. ACS Technologies

Capterra Market Score: 97

ACS, which has now been around for almost 40 years, provides churches with tools for managing their members, events, groups, finances, donations and donor relationships, volunteers, scheduling, and child care. Customers include Asbury United Methodist and Peace Baptist Church.

Pricing starts at $279.95 (one-time) for the basic church management and accounting package, but is highly variable based on the different modules and upgrades offered. Church management products within the ACS Technologies brand include Realm (administration and community for smaller churches), The City (social network), and Headmaster (school administration, pricing not available).

Pros/Cons

ACS Technologies has an abundance of robust features and is great for large and mega churches especially. A great plus is their church accounting software integration.

Some drawbacks, according to user reviewsare that it can get expensive and the interface can be a bit clunky.

Have you tried ACS? Please leave a review!

2. Servant Keeper

Capterra Market Score: 89

Servant Keeper is approaching its 25th birthday, and its market score has been steadily gaining momentum during the past several years. It now has more than 35,000 customers and almost 22,000 Likes on Facebook.

Pricing starts at $9.99 per month, and Servant Keeper offers a free demo.

Pros/Cons

Users say that Servant Keeper is very user friendly and highly versatile; it offers cloud, desktop, mobile, Windows, and Mac deployment. Reviewers also praise Servant Keeper’s help desk.

One setback is that Servant Keeper does not have built-in accounting, instead offering QuickBooks integration.
Have you tried Servant Keeper? Please leave a review!

3. ParishSOFT

Capterra Market Score: 74


ParishSOFT is (Catholic) church management and accounting software for parishes and dioceses. Their products help churches manage their members, schedules, religious education, online giving, and also have features that help to connect the diocese with church staff, parishes and families.

They charge per module (and support and updates for the first year are free) or for a “family suite” of the basic features. The Family Suite ranges in price from $1,300 (for up to 100 families)-$3,850 (for up to 2,000 families), and if you have more than 2,000 families, it is $650 per 1,000 families.

Pros/Cons

ParishSOFT is great, according to testimonials, because it synchronizes the parish with the diocese, they understand Catholic parish management, they have great tracking capabilities, and they have a helpful customer service staff.

A downside mentioned is that ParishSOFT cannot operate on Apple computers or products.

Have you tried ParishSOFT? Please leave a review!

4. PowerChurch Plus

Capterra Market Score: 74

In addition to an awesome name, PowerChurch has a great reputation, earning an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Capterra. It cracked the top five on Capterra’s Most Popular Church Management Software list on the strength of its nearly 38,000 customers, second only to mighty ACS (as of 2016).

Pricing starts at a one-time fee of $395, and PowerChurch offers a free demo. PowerChurch comes in at No. 14 on Capterra’s Top 20 Most Affordable Church Management Software list.

Pros/Cons

PowerChurch offers a robust accounting module that is a hit with users, and our reviews also indicate that customer support is a big strength.

On the downside, PowerChurch keeps a very low social media profile—with no Facebook or Twitter accounts to speak of—making things difficult for users who prefer to communicate online via those channels. Users also found that the learning curve can be very steep.

Have you tried PowerChurch? Please leave a review!

5. Church Community Builder

Capterra Market Score: 70


Church Community Builder is web-based church management software that includes online giving, volunteer management, member profiles, and event management.

CCB offers graded pricing based on the size of the church, and you must submit information in order to receive a quote. However, according to current customers, their Standard Package for a church of about 800 will be in the thousands. Pricing is based on a church’s normal weekly attendance, and total cost for the first year’s subscription equals the base price for the version you choose (essential, standard, deluxe,), plus a one-time setup fee, and the fee for their recommended services (training, custom, implementation and data migration).

Pros/cons

Church Community Builder has a great, clean look, and is very attractive, has good website integration, is very intuitive and easily navigated, and has many videos and knowledge base articles to help users.

A drawback is that some features are quite intricate and may require extensive training in order to fully implement them.

Have you tried Church Community Builder? Please leave a review!

Your thoughts?

Have any more insight or advice about these systems? Please leave a review using the links above, and add your thoughts in the comments below!

Also check out these articles, which compare more of the most popular ChMS systems, to guide you on your search for the right church management software:

Looking for Church Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Church Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Andrew Conrad

Andrew is a content writer for Capterra, specializing in church management and project management software. When he’s not striving for the perfect balance of information and entertainment, Andrew enjoys the great outdoors and the wide world of sports. Follow him on Twitter @CapterraAC.

Comments

Leah, how do you think these compare up against http://churchteams.com ? I was recently asked by them to work on promoting their software and am looking for some outside sources for their thoughts on their church management software and how it compares to others. Have you considered doing an similar article on “the little guys”?

Leah,

Thanks for sharing more about all of these companies. Having worked in the ChMS industry for many years I can assuredly say that any of them would serve a church well, and none of them, including Church Community Builder whom I work for, are the right fit for every church. That’s why comparisons such as you’ve provided are a valuable resource as a church is beginning the journey of finding the best solution to support their ministries.

Just for clarity and to be certain your readers are receiving accurate information, I wanted to let you know that Church Community Builder does include support through our Church Leader Support Team. This is over and above the online help desk, and is available for all of our Church Partners at no additional cost. I’m not certain who shared with you that we don’t have offline support, but I knew you would want to be sure to share accurate information.

Thanks again for the share!

One thing to keep in mind for anyone that reads a comparison of software (church or otherwise) is to consider “the source” and how they came to the conclusion of who the top 5 or 10 are based on some graph of either relevant or irrelevant information. What was the criteria? – ie clients, price, modules offered, followers, members, etc.

It appears they reviewed followers of church software, customers (which further breaks down into members – from what I see is a guess to as how many members are using the software), – hardly an indicator of a top software company, and social media.

Example – Looks like Servant Keeper was in the top 5 according to their chart in every area – but wasn’t included above. Hmmm. Not saying that Servant Keeper is a good product because my opinion is its out dated, however taking a chart and handpicking certain ones to show as the top 5 is skewing the information – to say the least, and at worst, out right lying.

Remember – Capterra is an advertising website that charges money to advertise on it which many of the ones above have a premium listing.

Side note – None of these software companies have the number of members that is listed on Capterra’s info-graph. For example ACS has 125,000,000 members. What they did was take the 50,000 clients that had ACS and multiplied it by 2500. So they are saying that every client in ACS portfolio has 2500 church members – anyone that knows the church market knows this is a fallacy because only a small percentage of churches even break the 1000 church member barrier. At 2500 you are considered a mega church – which means that ACS only has mega churches in their portfolio of clients. I only used ACS to prove a point but the same can be said about the other numbers in the info-graph in the membership column. The numbers are fictitious and rely on no real data for the membership number or even the customer number – ACS does not have 50,000 clients that are active with their software. They may have sold 50,000 products in the lifetime of the organization, but they do not have 50,000 active clients – which is a more accurate. Church Comm Builder is worst at each client over 3,000+ members per customer.

Jimmy (disgruntled church software vendor?),
You could just ask for clarification before assuming the worst. Leah was very open about the criteria. Our infographic marks vendors as small, midsize or large by employee counts and she selected the five highest ranking large vendors. Servant Keeper is clearly not marked as a large vendor so they were not included in this particular post. How much more explicit does she need to be?

And the top 20 infographic is clearly marked as “most popular”. We never state or even imply that they are the best. They simply have the most traction in the marketplace based on our estimates of number of customers , members, and online presence. And to your other comment about Capterra being an advertising channel, please notice how many of the top 20 vendors are not active advertisers of ours.

Regarding the estimates that we provide for customers and members…yes, they are not perfect. In fact, they become outdated the moment we publish them. On top of that, some are a bit off the mark. This is the nature of estimates. That is why we have a process for regularly updating them based on new information and feedback. ACS happens to be one of the ones being revised downward. This is the beauty of greater transparency in the marketplace. It leads to greater accuracy and awareness over time.

We’re out in the open, willing to make mistakes, and correct them. Please continue to offer suggestions and criticisms. But instead of accusing us of lying, maybe try asking us first the next time you question our methods or data?

Michael – I like how you advised that someone should never assume something but you did in the first sentence – disgruntled…. I will leave that go since you don’t know anything about me.

Second the infograph that you said is very clear states – that Servant Keeper has the most following but it in not in the list above. Why? You did not mention any reason for it as of yet. By the way I don’t work for them or anyone else in the church market but I do do analysis of church software and match churches to the most appropriate software – so yes I have insider knowledge of the market and its solutions. I also have very close relationships with many of the providers. Basically I have recommended every one of the solutions to a church that you have in your list at one time or another.

Third, the issue with ACS and others has been brought up to your company before in another thread by a commenter. I didn’t see it changed from that post to this one. That is why I called you on it. I don’t expect people to be perfect, but when someone calls you on it and you keep publishing a second article referring to the skewed data, then one can only assume that you want to continue skewing the results. In my eyes that is lying to the people that read your information. How would you take it if you didn’t work for Capterra and came across a website that you informed them of bad data and they didn’t fix it on the next post?

I am disappointed to see Church Community Builder on this list, given their refusal to do business with churches that don’t adhere to their specific version of Christianity. Sadly, many churches sign contracts with church management software companies without reading the terms and conditions. If they did, they would discover that Church Community Builder only wants to build heterosexual communities of “Bible-believing Christian churches embracing traditional Christian theology.”

Section XXIX of CCB’s Terms and Conditions states their intent to deny access to or terminate Service to churches who in its opinion are in conflict with its Statement of Belief. That Statement of Belief specifically rejects homosexuality, lumping it together with acts of sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, stealing, greed, drunkenness, slander, swindling, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, factions, or envy.

Read this list again. Apparently, ANY church doing business with Church Community Builder should be prepared to have their database service cut off, since the church does not yet exist that can claim to be free from “gossip,…discord, jealousy,…factions, or envy.”

In response to Peg’s post above, it looks like the terms of service were changed last year. You can read the latest at http://www.churchcommunitybuilder.com/terms-of-service/ and it doesn’t include the text that you are mentioning.

Just thought you would like to know.

How do the above applications handle blended families?
How do the above applications handle member listings with family members with different last names?
How do the above applications handle multiple families living under one household?
Any answers?

Hi David,

I don’t have that specific information, but I would suggest picking 2-3 ChMS options you like and reaching out to the vendors themselves with these questions. I wasn’t able to find answers to these questions on their websites, but using a forum or, email form, or livechat may help you get them answered.

Regarding:

Comment by Peg Weissbrod on April 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm
Comment by David Coons on February 12, 2015 at 11:56 am

So the vendor no longer refuses services to congregations that hold homosexual activities as sinful.

Note that Google sets forth the threat to deny services (Google Apps domains) to organizations that regard homosexual activities as sinful.

So basically, the vendor is more open-minded than Google.

Interesting that the Christian vendor is more tolerant. 😉

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