[Editor’s note: This post was updated 1/13/2016]
As you sift through the many church management software solutions available, you’ll notice that price points are all over the place.
How do you which pricing structure is best for you? Or what features are worth paying extra for?
Here’s how to see exactly what your options are and what you can expect to pay for the features and functionality you need.
In addition to this post, we also have a handy Church Management Software Pricing Guide where you can compare the cost and pricing details of 38 popular church management systems side-by-side. Clicking on the name of each product will reveal more details about the system’s features and functionality, as well as reviews from real product users.
Church management solutions come in three pricing structures. I’ve described them below, and added price ranges, as well as examples of each.
The first question is how often you’ll pay. There are three options: Monthly, yearly, or one-time.
These days, a monthly fee is the most common pricing structure for church management software. The vast majority of vendors in our guide charge a monthly fee. A few charge annually without the option of paying monthly.
Paying monthly means lower setup costs. It also makes it easy to predict your expenses, instead of getting hit with upgrade charges. Paying monthly means you can switch providers at any time without worrying about the sunk cost of installation.
Price range: Free to $179/month for month-to-month, and $179 to $420 for annual billing.
The other option is paying one time. It’s used for installed solutions. You pay a one-time purchase/installation fee, with occasional yearly fees for updates and support.
Price range: Starting prices (lowest features and support) range from free to $400.
The second question is how much you’ll pay for your organization. There are three options: Flat, per member or per active member/attendee, and per user.
These options are mostly just for monthly- or annual-payment models. Installed, one-time payment solutions come with a flat fee, and no flat-fee vendors that I know of charge per member or active member/attendee.
This is a common pricing model in which you pay a certain amount per month, or per year, depending on how many total members or records you have in your church (the definition of a member will vary—often children are not counted, and sometimes one member or record means one whole family). For some solutions, there is an additional setup fee.
Price range: These solutions can be anywhere from roughly $0.07 per member/record per month, up to $2.00 or more per member/record per month.
Same thing, but you pay for every person who logs into the software on your admin team. This is less common than charging per member/attendee.
ChurchWorks charges a $30 monthly flat fee but is free for church plants.
Diakonia starts at $20 monthly for cloud-based access, with fund accounting for $20 extra per month. Or you can get the desktop version for $199.
Helpmate Technology Solutions charges monthly based on the number of families in your church.
Have any feedback or other pricing models you’ve observed? Add it in the comments below!
Header by Rachel Wille
Looking for Church Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Church Management software solutions.