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Church Management Software: Managing the Financials While Shepherding the Flock

Let’s be honest. The reason you’ve dedicated your time and energy to your church probably has more to do with doing the Lord’s work, than the resulting bookkeeping! But, for many churches and other faith-based organizations, tedious financial management tasks are one of the main things standing in the way of the primary ministry goals. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. There are many, many great church management software programs on the market. They cover a wide range of administrative and financial tasks. Finding the right church management software is a critical step to responsible church financial stewardship. So, let’s take a look at some of your options and how they can benefit you and your organization.

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The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter

Church Accounting Software

As a not-for-profit organization, you have a fiscal responsibility to ensure the contributions from your members are spent appropriately and further, that you can provide documentation as to how those funds are spent. Often times churches will rely on volunteers or part time employees to manage the entering of donor contributions or possibly manage the accounting. Larger churches may have an accounting staff that manages these functions. No matter the size of your church, you still need to track the finances for the organization and ensure the dollars donated are going to the right place.

Why purchase a solution geared toward religious organizations?

Oftentimes organizations will look to the shelves of a retail store to purchase an accounting solution but what those organizations don’t realize is that the solutions you see on the shelf are, for the most part, not designed for not-for-profit organizations, let alone churches.

Most churches have a need to segregate their funds. You have a general fund which is used for general organization finances…paying utilities, rent/mortgage, supplies, etc. Maybe you offer Sunday School for the young members of your congregation. Wouldn’t it be great if you could track contributions made by students in Sunday School and then appropriately allocate costs to the Sunday School? You can track supplies purchased specifically for Sunday School used for projects, books, salaries (if applicable), etc.

Churches will often set up separate funds for specific projects. Maybe you need to replace the roof on the church or you are a new church that rents space and want to build your own facility. Having a building fund that specifically tracks contributions made for the purpose of facilities can help you segregate your funds and ensure that you are saving for that new building or that you have a fund available for emergency repairs.

Many churches also have group meetings such as a bible study or hold events outside of regular services that need to be tracked separately from the general fund. Finally, spreading the word of your organization through missions is also important. This means you have volunteers who are traveling locally or globally to preach or provide community services. Often times, the church acts as a pass through for funds collected. Hold special collections during the service or special events that raise funds specific to supporting the mission of the organization. Allocate those dollars to the mission fund and track how those funds are spent.

The overall goal with churches is to reinvest any dollars into the mission of the church. Having the right accounting software will help you automate some of your processes which in turn, reduces the amount of time your staff (or volunteers) spend working accounting and increases the time they spend on faith initiatives such as expanding the churches reach, mission work, community service, etc.

Track Member Contributions and Attendance

At the core of a church accounting system is the ability to track your members. A strong member management system will allow users to enter in weekly contributions by your members. This information is used for a few of purposes:

Member Contributions

For most churches, the majority of the income comes from member contributions so tracking those contributions and including those in your financial reporting is critical. A church specific software solution will help you:

  1. Know how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis and provide annual giving statements to the members for tax reporting purposes.
  2. Solicit donations with targeted campaigns. Create campaigns that to encourage smaller donors to contribute more. Target larger donors for capital campaigns or encourage large donors to include the church as a beneficiary when creating their estate plans.
  3. Know who is attending your services. By tracking contributions, you will have a better understanding of your demographic.

Why not just use a spreadsheet? Seems like a few columns could accomplish what you need? A spreadsheet may work fine to start, however, as you add members and add the weekly contributions that you need to track, that spreadsheet will very quickly become very comprehensive. Utilize a software program that has been designed specifically for tracking of members and member contributions. Avoid bulky spreadsheets and avoid potential spreadsheet mistakes.

The right contribution software will not only track the dollars each member contributes, but it will also help you with identifying groups of members for targeted campaigns. Maybe you want to increase the dollars given by members in the 25-35 age group. You can use the member database to filter out those members and create a targeted campaign to focus on increasing the contributions given by members in this age group. Or maybe you want to create a bible study but want to focus on retirees.

Having a strong donor database will help you better track your members contributions but also track member data to better understand who your membership is.

Attendance

What kind of church would take attendance? Well, the Pastor, Priest or other leader will not stand at the front of the church and call out everyones name, however, included in the Member Management functionality is attendance tracking. This functionality allows you to analyze your weekly attendance. Analyze trends to see when attendance is increasing/decreasing. What factors are causing attendance to slip or what are you doing as an organization that is causing large increases in the weekly attendance.

In addition to the services, your organization may offer weekly classes during the services for kids. It is important to also track these students to know who is attending, to ensure you have enough staff to educate the students.

Use your volunteers but limit their access

A strong volunteer base is like having a great support system. Volunteers can make or break an organization. Thing about it, churches that have a large volunteer base will have members who are actively involved in the day to day operations. They sit on the church’s board of directors or participate in committees. They participate in service, count contributions and may even provide accounting services free of charge. Whatever their role may be, you want to give them access to your systems, but need to create some user limitations.

The last thing you want is ten volunteers accessing the general ledger system or even looking at the amount contributed by each member. That is why you set-up user restrictions in the software. The right church accounting solutions will allow you to set up user defined restrictions. This allows you to have volunteers enter in membership contributions, print out and mail contribution reports to members. Maybe you have a volunteer that is an accountant and you want to provide them full access to the software to create organizational financial reports, but don’t want them to have access to payables functionality.

Setting up user restrictions gives administrators control over who sees what information while still relying on volunteers to perform much of the work.

Solutions geared to religious organizations can help you better manage your finances, better manage your membership base and reduce administrative costs by utilizing volunteers. Allow us to help you find the best solution with our free search service.

Popular Church Management Software Products

Looking for software for your religious organization? Over the years, we’ve helped match thousands of organizations just like yours with great software. Below you can check out a list of the options most commonly considered by others in your industry. Browse for fits or let us help you find the best choices for your needs.

Which software is right for you? Get quick and accurate recommendations.

What if you could simply tell someone about your software needs and they’d find your best choices? Look no further. We’ll listen to your needs and find your top software matches. That’s it. There’s no pressure, no cost.

The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter
  • Shepherd's Staff by Concordia Technology Solutions

    Shepherd’s Staff complete church management software provides the organizational tools you need so you can focus on what matters most—the spiritual care of your members. Whether you're a ministry leader or administrator, this Windows-based software...

  • Gabriel Church Management by Emerald Consulting Partners

    Gabriel helps churches manage Family and Member information including Language, committee/ministry membership, Fund Raising (Pledges/Contributions), Religious Education, Ministry Scheduling and more. It is built using the latest Microsoft .Net...

  • IconCMO ‑ Church Management Online by Icon Systems

    IconCMO - Church Management Online is the only web-based church management software with membership, accounting and parishioner access module. Icon Systems is the best choice for solving the technology needs of your church. Why IconCMO?...

  • ZionWorx by Jubilate Software

    The process of developing quailty software takes a lot of effort, and we want to use our time and skills to create something that is truly affordable. Why? Because there are many church communities around the world that are simply too small or...

  • Seraphim by Seraphim Software

    *We are passionate about churches, not just software.* We started Seraphim to bring modern technology to churches. We saw that in our professional and personal lives, technology has erased barriers like location and time, but in churches some of...

  • ShelbyNext Financials by Shelby Systems

    Shelby2000 is a totally integrated system - financial modules among themselves as well as with the database and accompanying records for members and participants. Designed on true fund accounting principles following FASB guidelines. Financial...

  • CDM+ Church Management Software by Suran Systems

    CDM+ is church management software, but it's also much MORE! CDM+ is a dynamic system for complete church information management that is ideal for other faith-based ministries and non-profit organizations, too. CDM+ is powerful database software...

  • TKFlex Church Accounting by TKDatabase Solutions

    TKFlex Church Accounting For Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP™ A Complete Church Accounting System Tracks unlimited fund accounts Tracks donations for unlimited donors Tracks 1099 Information All donations received on one...

  • Acolyte Church Management by Acolyte Technologies

    Acolyte Church Management System maintains church records of: Parishioners and family members All ministries and parish organizations Weekly and special collections Multiple funds and pledges Baptisms, Confirmation, Death,...

  • ACS by ACS Technologies

    Centralize, streamline, and simplify all your finances. Manage the financial information for your organization easily, quickly, and efficiently with the ACS Financial Suite. A true fund accounting system that is designed to handle the...

  • CCIS AccountAbility by CCIS Church Management Software

    CCIS AccountAbility is a true fund accounting program designed especially for churches and non-profit organizations. The program is sophisticated enough to meet all your accounting needs, while simple enough to keep your office running smoothly....

  • Church Growth Software by Church Growth Software

    To grow a purpose driven church there are church growth principles that need to be applied. Church Growth Software is a church management software, that makes it easy in applying Purpose Driven principles. You will spend less time in keeping track...

  • Church Helpmate by Helpmate Technology Solutions

    Provides church leaders, administrators and secretaries an easy-to-use yet effective tool to ease their administrative burdens, and better serve their congregation and community. Church Helpmate...simply powerful...powerfully simple! ## Church...

  • Church Office Online by Church Office Online LLC

    ## Individual Access Give individuals in your church access to their personal information through our church management software. Individual access provides secure access per individual where they can update their own information, view...

  • Churchsoft by ChurchSoft

    Assist 4.0 For Windows is a professional, full featured church management software package for Windows 95 and higher. Assist 4.0 is state of the art, user friendly church software that is being used by thousands of satisfied churches...

  • CMTS by Torbert Data Systems

    Are you tired of shuffling papers or typing updates to church rosters and mailing lists? Are you able to track donations and print annual donor statements without hours of work? Are you able to effectively organize financial records and provide...

  • Church Windows by Computer Helper Publishing

    Church Windows software provides an easy way to track the church congregation, its happenings and its giving. Available in its classic form or under one of nine denominational versions, Church Windows efficiently handles the church receipts and...

  • ParishSOFT and Church Management Solutions by ParishSOFT / Church Management Solutions

    ParishSOFT data management is designed to meet all the needs of a Catholic church. Church Management Solutions meets the various data needs of Non-denominational and Protestant churches. Both packages are supported by our desk top and web...

  • RDS Advantage Church Management Software by RDS Advantage, Inc.

    RDS Advantage provides churches, not-for-profit institutions and denominational offices with easy to use features for ministry management. ## Accounting Managing a church’s finances is important for good stewardship. Solid accounting...

  • Logos II Church/Donor Management by Logos Management Software

    Often, the culprit in people leaving a church not plugged in or unnoticed is because of lack of organization. We know you are shepherds at the core and it breaks your heart to hear stories of people falling through the cracks. With that in mind,...

  • CCIS Membership Management by CCIS Church Management Software

    CCIS's Membership Management program allows you to manage your member's Contributions, Pledges, Activities, and Attendance. In Contributions module, you can establish fund goal amounts, group funds, print contribution statements and labels, and...

  • ACS People Suite by ACS Technologies

    The ACS People Suite is designed to empower users by tracking, analyzing, and reporting on simple and complex people-related information. It's an effective and efficient set of tools that helps you make a personal outreach or track personal growth....

  • Revelations by Icon Systems

    Revelations, award-winning church management software, is helping thousands of churches to manage membership and contribution information. Revelations will enhance communication, build fellowship, manage finances, and automate office tasks in your...

Your Church Management Software Recommendations

Ready to find out which software solutions are best suited for your business? Great! Understanding that you are searching for your religious organization gives us a good start. We’ve helped many companies find everything from single modules to full financial management systems. With a bit more information about your unique needs, we’ll narrow down to the choices meeting your specific functional requirements.

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