Software from small companies is often associated with less power and functionality. However, having a small business doesn’t mean that your product or service is any less than the big guys out there.
In church software there are actually lots of benefits to using the product of a small company, like having more personalized customer service and fewer departments to go through if you need help, in some cases. If you’re not sure which software companies would be in the “small vendor” category (any company with 1-50 employees), I’ve listed six of some of the smallest but also most popular church management systems below.
Servant Keeper is a simple to use installed software system. They help churches manage their members, groups, donations, and accounting. Customers include Sojourn Church and LakeView Church.
They offer a small church package for $250 total, and the standard package is $499 total.
Servant Keeper has a responsive and helpful support team (they won the Campbell Award for user satisfaction in 2011), the record keeping ability is great, and the system is easy to navigate and use.
Some cons would be that the system cannot be synced with offsite locations, and the system can be a bit overwhelming at times due to its versatility.
PowerChurch has been around for over 25 years and offers both installed and online versions. They help churches to manage their memberships, contributions, events, and records. Customers include Southern Baptist in North Carolina and Covenant CRC.
PowerChurch Plus is their installed option, and it costs a one-time fee of $395. PowerChurch Online is $39.95/month or $455/year, plus a $99 one-time setup fee for new customers.
PowerChurch has a good value for a very reasonable price, they have an excellent user satisfaction rating (it has won them two Campbell Awards in 2009 and 2011), and they have in-depth financial management.
Some downsides are that it is mostly just PC software—the online version is available for Mac, but the check-in addition for PowerChurch Online is not. Additionally you can only have two users at one time when you are using it online, and reviewers have claimed the interface is a bit dated.
Church Windows is a software system for churches and non-profit organizations. They offer two main products, Church Windows (installed) and Church Windows Web (web-based), which help churches to manage their members, schedules, donations, accounting, and payroll. Customers include Church of the Nazarene and Gethsemane United Methodist Church Inc.
Church Windows allows you to purchase by module and each ranges in price from $250-$380, with a base price of $495 (small churches) or $695 (standard).
Church Windows allows you to purchase modules separately so that you can pick and choose what exactly you need, and they have excellent training and customer support.
Some negatives are that it is not available for Mac, non-standard reports can be difficult to create, and following certain transactions in your expense accounts can be a bit cumbersome.
CCIS offers installed church management software that helps churches with memberships, accounting, and church payroll. Customers include Moore Memorial United Methodist Church and Chevy Chase United Methodist Church.
CCIS offers three different software suites that range in price from a $295-$595 one-time fee.
CCIS has helpful customer support, is reported to be very user friendly, captures all member information, and has good security features, such as multi-level security.
Some setbacks are that some reports could be improved, and custom queries are difficult to produce.
Excellerate software offers both web-based and installed options, and helps churches of all sizes to manage their members, groups, classes, donations, and child check-in. Customers include Kingdom Christian Ministries and The Life Church of Memphis.
Prices range from free (for up to 50 members) up to $3,845 total (unlimited members). There is a $49 per concurrent user per month fee for Excellerate Cloud.
Excellerate is always updating and improving, has good customer support, and integrates everything into one functional system. One difficulty would be that it is not accessible on Mac.
By The Book is installed church management software that helps churches and nonprofits to manage their memberships, contributions, visitors and volunteers, and child check-in. Customers include The Summit Church, Living Hope Church, and For the Nations-Refugee Outreach.
Prices range from $129-$1,959 one-time fee, depending on the number of members in the database.
By The Book has very helpful and responsive customer support, is easy to install and use, and has useful, instructional tutorials.
A few issues are that the report customization could use some more flexibility and the query tool is a bit cumbersome at times, according to users.
Check out other small (and large!) church vendors at our Top Church Management software infographic!