If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It: How ChMS Simplifies Reporting

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How do you run the right type of reports to determine if your church is healthy?

New Basilica Mexico City

While many people argue that there are better things to measure than offerings and attendance, these things, plus your events, are still crucial components of your church that should be tracked and measured. These are reports that should be run consistently and accurately, and, luckily, you can use a technological solution to gather this data and make your life a whole lot easier. Truly speeding up your church growth will require simple but in-depth reports—digging down into the numbers is the key, and church management software can help:

Offerings/Donations

Church management software will provide you with the tools to assess and increase giving in your church.  With it you can take a deeper look into the motivations your members have for donating, and what could possibly be preventing them from doing so.  This information allows you to analyze where you need to make the most changes in order to increase the donations that you get.  Here are some examples of the types of reports that you should run:

First time or top givers

There are many contribution reports that can show you who your first time givers are, who your top givers are, and also how many people have given a certain number of times within the selected time period.  Reports like these are easy to run, and on a lot of systems can be completely customized—you can choose which funds you’re looking at, and what information should be included in the report.  This will help you to identify which time periods receive the most donations and which time periods don’t so that you know where to focus your efforts.

powerchurch contribution report

Contribution statistics

You can separate all of your donation information by many different demographics—you can compare giving over certain periods based on age, amount given, marital status, zip code—often you can also customize these reports or graphs as well so that you can choose what demographics you want to use. This information helps you to see what circumstances affect giving so that you can cater to people of all different ages and in different stages of life.

contribution statistics chart

Funds donated to

You can run many reports that will summarize how much is contributed to each fund—tracking this will help you see which funds are getting the most money, which ones are lacking, and how much is being donated outside of the church (missions and needs outside of the church) and how much goes to the church itself for upkeep and general maintenance.

churchoffice online donation report

Attendance

A church management system will help you to get an accurate look of how effective your ministry is based on your attendance. While every church may have some type of system to count attendance, church attendance on its own does not necessarily equal a healthy church.  So what types of reports can your church use that really measures the effectiveness of your ministry?

Frequency of attendance

If you improve how often people attend, you will impact your church volunteers, donations, and growth.  Identify how many people on average attend your church each Sunday, and how many of those people are actually members—this will give you a good idea of how well your church is doing at connecting people to your ministry. There are features in many church management systems that let you track and measure how active each church member is throughout a week.  Having the ability to pinpoint those of your members who are just occasional attendees will help you to know where to focus your efforts and keep more people coming back.

sunday attendance

Ratio of guests to old attendees that no longer attend

You may think that because your first time visitor numbers are increasing that you’re doing great! But if you aren’t actually retaining any of these first time visitors, it doesn’t really mean anything.  Even if your church grows significantly every year, are you tracking to see how many attendees you’re losing as well?  A church management system will simplify this process by helping track your attendance and retention.

visitor loyalty report

Number of unidentified regular attendees

You want this number to be zero, or as close to zero as possible!  Statistics have shown that close to 90% of guests will return to a church if someone follows up with them on the same day as their visit.  Make sure that you are recording your first time visitors and staying on top of following up with them.   Your church software can help you with this—and it can also make sure that you’re tracking all of your efforts as well.

visitor followup

Events

A church management system will help you track and manage your event attendees—it can also help you identify what types of events are the most successful by running reports on which were the most popular, how much each raised, etc.  It will also allow you to send out surveys to members in order to receive feedback on what events they like the most and collect their ideas for future events.

Number of attendees per event

Running event attendance reports will help you keep track of which events, or certain types of events, attract the most people—this helps you to know where to focus your efforts and what kinds of fundraisers and other events you should focus on holding, and which ones aren’t worth having again.

churchcommunitybuilder attendance report

How many people who register for an event are church attendees

You might get the word out for an event and attract many people who don’t even go to your church—this is important to track as you may find that the majority of attendees for an event are not even members—this is good for spreading awareness and getting new members, but may be a downside if your actual church members are not participating in events.

event attendees

Event feedback

Many churches will offer surveys for after their events –this allows you to see all of the pros and cons of the event and what you can do better for next time so that more people will be satisfied, promoting your events, and coming back for more. Many church systems provide this event management feature as well.

survey questions

What other types of church reports can you run with your church management software to measure the success of your church? Add them in the comments below!

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

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About the Author

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Leah Readings

Leah Readings is a Software Analyst for Capterra, a company that connects buyers and sellers of business software. She specializes in church management software along with several other software directories. When she’s not helping software buyers, she is, among other things, reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.

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