11 BEST Free Church Management Software In 2021 [COMPARISON]

A Detailed Review & Comparison of the Best Church Management Software with Pricing & Features to Select Free or Commercial Church Management Solution:

Church Management Software (CMS) is a niche product that can help church administrators to manage various aspects of their church. Selecting the right solution however requires an understanding of the products available in the market including their Features, Pricing, and Use cases.

Church Management Software

In this tutorial, we will be looking at the top Church Management solutions to help you decide the one that might be the best fit for you. We will be looking at the Pricing and Features along with the answers for some of the frequently asked questions regarding CMS to put your mind at ease.

What Is Church Management Software?

Church Management Software is a set of tools rolled into one solution that allows administrators to manage churches. Here, the users can find an elaborative set of tools that can help them manage their church from taking donations and accounting to managing members & communication.

Uses

It is used to manage churches. With many activities going in the management of a church, CMS makes it easy to manage the various aspects required by its administrators.

General Features

CMS comes in all shapes and sizes. Many solutions also offer a modular framework. This means that you only get and pay for the functionality that you need.

Factors To Be Considered

One of the biggest factors to be taken into consideration is whether you want the software to be cloud-based or not.

This is for two reasons. The first reason is that of pricing. Cloud-based software typically requires no upfront fee and instead is paid monthly. The second is access. Cloud-based software can be accessed from any device without installing or maintaining apps.

Fact Check: The CMS market is growing, with Technavio estimating a 5% CAGR growth between 2018 and 2023. This growth is fueled by the increasing number of benefits that Church Management Solution offers to its users.

Stats on Church Management Software market

Pro Tip: Pick a solution that can grow with you. Do not think of something that is a perfect solution just for now, but select something that aligns with your long-term goals. This will allow you to grow seamlessly without having to reinvest your efforts into a new solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q #1) How much does Church Management Software cost?

Answer: The prices of church management tools vary from one supplier to another. Prices start from free and go all the way up to $300 or so per month.

The amount that you pay will generally depend on two things i.e. the features that you need and the size of your church. Cloud-based solutions can also allow you to spread the cost where you can pay a monthly fee instead of one lump sum amount.

Q #2) I already have an accounting system. Do I have to pay for this feature?

Answer: The answer to this question depends on the software you choose. Some providers offer this service while others do not. The providers that do offer an accounting system bundled with the church management software may also offer this as an add-on i.e. you have the option of opting out.

If you already have an accounting system, then you might need the church management tool and your existing accounting software to talk to each other, thereby simplifying the process of updating your balance sheets. This is called ‘Software Integration’.

The software provider should be able to help you with this as different systems have different integration methods.

Q #3) What do you mean by Cloud-based Software?

Answer: Cloud-based software, sometimes referred to as SaaS (Software as a Service) is the software delivered as a service i.e. you do not get any software to install and update. Instead, you pay a monthly or yearly fee for the service the software offers.

This kind of software can take away many of the headaches that come with the traditional software including installation, server maintenance, updates, and security to name a few.

Furthermore, instead of paying one lump sum, you pay a much smaller access fee without the need to worry about any of the underlying infrastructures. Generally speaking, cloud-based software can be accessed from anywhere including your mobile devices, thereby giving you increased flexibility and visibility.

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List Of The Top Church Management Software

  1. Breeze chMS
  2. ACS Technologies
  3. Church Windows
  4. Servant Keeper
  5. PowerChurch
  6. Aplos
  7. ChurchTrac
  8. Tithe.ly
  9. Church Teams
  10. Elexio
  11. Blackbaud

Comparison Of Best Church Management Tools

Software NamePriceFree TrialCloud-basedRating
Breeze chMSFrom $50YesYesStar_rating_5_of_5
ACSPORNoNoStar_rating_4.5_of_5
ChurchWindowsFrom $379YesOptionalStar_rating_4.5_of_5
ServantKeeperFrom $299YesOptionalStar_rating_4.5_of_5
PowerChurchFrom $295YesOptionalStar_rating_4.5_of_5

#1) Breeze chMS

Best for Small to medium-sized churches.
Price: $50 monthly. A free demo is also available.

Breeze CHMS

Breeze is one of the easy to use web-based church management software around. It features most management tools for small to medium churches, except for accounting.

It also allows you to import data from previous software when switching over. If you do not have the necessary expertise, then they can also do it for you at a free of charge.

Features

  • People, groups, and volunteer management.
  • Donation and gifting.
  • Events, check-in, and schedules.

Verdict: Customers love the easy to use interface, easy reporting, and the check-in system. It is a great choice for small churches, however, it doesn’t feature accounting.

Website: Breeze chMS


#2) ACS Technologies

Best for Medium to large churches. However, it can be tailored to fit the needs of churches of any size.
Price: On Request

ACS Technologies

ACS Technologies is one of the most popular church management solutions available in the market. It contains everything that your church needs and can be customized to the needs of your church and staff. It’s a complex software and generally, it is not very easy to get used to.

Having said that, ACS Technologies does have excellent customer service as well as many seminars for all the users which indeed can make the process of learning the system easier.

Features

  • Accounting
  • Member information, Group, and Volunteer Management, Communication tools, etc.
  • Entirely cloud-based

Verdict: ACS Technologies is a sophisticated church management tool. It is loved for its functionality and customer support. It is also cloud-based, thus it can be accessed from anywhere at any time.

Website: ACS Technologies


#3) ChurchWindows

Best for Small to large churches.
Price: From $379. A free trial is available.

Church Windows

ChurchWindows is a church management software solution that features most of the things that any church might need. You can also choose the features you need, thus you don’t pay for those you are not going to use. For Example, if you only need a system to manage donations, then you can get only that and pay less.

There are four modules in total i.e. Membership/Scheduler, Donations, Accounting, and Payroll. You can pick one, two, three, or all four of them.

Features

  • Accounting and donations.
  • Church calendar and schedules.
  • Member’s database

Verdict: According to the customer reviews, ChurchWindows is great for accounting and membership management. The interface, however, is not very intuitive and is known to have a bit of a learning curve.

Website: ChurchWindows


#4) ServantKeeper

Best for Small to large churches.
Price: Small church $299, and Full price $599. Free 30 days demo is available.

servantkeeper

ServantKeeper is a church management tool that can be used as a cloud-based solution or locally based. The software is easy to use and features a user-friendly interface. Fields in the member database can be easily customized to fit the particular needs of different churches.

The ServantKeeper dashboards can give you a succinct picture of finances, memberships and other valuable insights.

Features

  • Accounting and donation.
  • Managing members, volunteers, children, and groups.
  • Events & attendance, sacrament management, etc.

Verdict: ServantKeeper is a user-friendly church management software. Customers are mostly happy about the customizable fields, mailing options, as well as the reports and insights it offers.

Website: ServantKeeper


#5) PowerChurch

Best for Medium to large churches.
Price: $295 for desktop software, and $455 yearly for online software. A free demo is available.

PowerChurch Software - Church Management Software for Today-s Growing Churches 30-01-2020 13-41-41

PowerChurch is a church management system available online or as desktop software. The online version allows you to access the software from any device. It features all the necessary tools that one might require for church management.

The software also features a few additions, including a check-in system and OneBody Hosting.

Features

  • Membership and contribution management.
  • Accounting
  • Events and calendar.

Verdict: Customer reviews state that PowerChurch is very easy to use and has great customer support. The price is more affordable for medium to large churches as it doesn’t have special prices for small churches.

Website: PowerChurch


#6) Aplos

Best for Small and mid-size churches and non-profit organizations.
Price: From $59 per month. A 15-day free trial is available.

Aplos

Aplos is a cloud-based church management software solution. It is an all in one management tool that can take care of all the aspects of small to mid-sized church or non-profit organization.

It is simple to use and features training programs for all users. Alpos also has a children’s check-in system and an online donation feature.

Features

  • Accounting and donation management.
  • Event management and fundraising tools.
  • Custom communications

Verdict: Alpos is easy to use and easy to access church management software. It is cloud-based and features everything that a church might need. According to customer reviews, Alpos is very simple to use and has excellent customer support.

Website: Aplos


#7) ChurchTrac

Best for Small to large churches.
Price: From $5 to $57 per month. A 30-day free trial is available.

ChurchTrac

ChurchTrac is a web-based church management software that was created by a pastor. It has low prices and you can choose one of the three plans, out of which one is free. The free plan features member management only. Pricing depends on the number of people you will enter.

Their Standard plan has all the features except accounting while the Plus plan adds accounting.

Features

  • People management tool
  • Online donations, events, and volunteer management.
  • Accounting

Verdict: ChurchTrac is easy to use. It also keeps the pricing affordable. The flexible pricing on offer allows you to only pay for the number of tools you need depending on the size of your church.

Website: ChurchTrac


#8) Tithe.ly

Best for Medium to large churches.
Price: $50/month + $149 setup cost. Free 45 min demo.

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly is a cloud-based church management system that can be accessed from any device, at any time. It is intuitive to use and user-friendly but still features powerful tools for church management.

It was designed for medium to large churches, thereby helping them increase donations and memberships. Tithe.ly allows you to track every aspect of the church.

Features

  • People, member, and group management.
  • Online and mobile giving.
  • Child and volunteer check-in.

Verdict: According to its customers, Tithe.ly shines when it comes to the calendar, volunteer scheduling, and room reservation functionality. It is fairly easy to use and has great reporting functions.

Website: Tithe.ly


#9) Church Teams

Best for Small to large churches.
Price: Starts from $37 a month to $297 a month. A 30-day free trial is available.

Curchteams

Church Teams is a cloud-based church management tool optimized for use on any device. It is very flexible and can easily adapt to the needs of your church. The interface is very intuitive and easy to use.

It even offers 6 different payment plans for a different number of people, starting at 200 people and going all the way up to 20,000 people.

Features

  • Members, group management, and check-in.
  • Online and text giving.
  • Robust flexible reporting

Verdict: Church Teams is appreciated among its customer base for its flexible reporting, simple interface, as well as brilliant customer support.

Website: Church Teams


#10) Elexio

Best for Small to medium-sized churches.
Price: Starts from $35. A 60-day free trial is available.

Elexio

Elexio is a web-based church management software solution. It has a user-friendly and clean interface and features all of the most important functions that churches need. Their pricing is based on the number of people you wish to enter into the system.

Elexio also has many add ons, such as accounting, live streaming, church websites, and much more.

Features

  • Events management and volunteer scheduling.
  • Church communication and smart check-in.
  • Reporting and dashboards.

Verdict: Customers enjoy using Elexio, mostly for its simplicity and good pricing. It can be a very good option for small churches as you pay for the exact number of people you have in the database.

Website: Elexio


#11) Blackbaud

Best for Small to large churches.
Price: On Request

Blackbaud

Blackbaud is one of the leaders in cloud-based technology and offers software solutions for non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and churches alike. Their church management solution is completely cloud-based and is very powerful.

It includes all the tools that the churches of different sizes might need.

Features

  • Church member management
  • Insights and analytics
  • Online and offline donations.

Verdict: Blackbaud is a leader in cloud-based solutions and their software might be a great choice, however, the pricing cannot be found on their website and has to be requested.

Website: Blackbaud


Conclusion

Like many other software solutions, church management software comes in all shapes and sizes. The important thing here is to understand what your requirements are now and where you would see your church in five years.

Best overall winner: Breeze chMS

While the race is a tight one, we had to declare Breeze chMS as the overall winner. Their pricing system is super affordable. It has many of the features that Church Management Systems should have and it also makes it easy to switch over from the existing solutions.

Being web-based is a plus, with many software providers in the Church Management Systems market as well as software providers in other markets switching to SaaS models.

The only downside is that the software does not include accounting software however there are specialized accounting software solutions that offer a more accounting-focused solution that can bridge the gap.

Our Review Process:

Time Taken to research this article: 10 hours
Total Tools Researched: 20
Top Tools Shortlisted: 11

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