Managing a Spiritualist Center
What is Church Database Software?
Church database software-at it's essence-is basically a database of your members. In the past before the advent and wide availability of computers there were records of each individual members and their families kept on paper files locked away in filing cabinets. Today those filing cabinets are 1's and 0's stored on a secured server. A church database software is an application that sits on ones desktop or an application on a website that accesses and delivers facts to an administrator.
There's all kinds of church database software and membership databases out in the market. There are a bunch of free applications in the market and in-fact if you're clever and technically savvy you can use Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel to run and manage your database. Google Docs is also another application that you can use if you feel inclined, but for church leaders that are looking for something that is more advanced or if you are managing a "mega church" you are going to want to get a database that is going to be good fit for you needs.
What to Look For?
Obviously if you're looking for a strong membership management software you are going to need something that is going to manage your members effectively. So first check the dashboard or the UI of the real spot where you are actually managing the members. Is it user-friendly? Do you have to be a programmer to work it? Is it easy to navigate through?
Many church leaders that get their first church database software are surprised by all the add-on's that they need. Basically you have a native application which is your software that comes right out of the box, but if you want more features you have to install "add-ons", most of the time these "add-ons" are paid. If you need payroll make sure that your membership management software has "add-on" ability.
Most churches are very concerned with the growth of their church. Most religious organizations want to grow by leaps and bounds, and if they don't have a church management database that can effectively and efficiently follow-up with their new members there are going to be significant problems with growth.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could keep track of your attendance effectively. Imagine if you could effectively keep track of people that haven't show up to your church in over three weeks, and you could send out an automatic post card saying, "We Missed You!!". An effective church management software can do that for you.
Stewardship & Giving:
This part of the database goes without saying, if you don't have church membership application that keeps track of tithing you might want to find one that does.
So there are calendars and then there's CALENDARS, we all know that churches don't just give sermons they also give many other activities, retreats, holiday events, parties and trips. So getting a church management software doesn't just manage you members it also manages your organization's time.
How much should you pay?
The thing about church management software is you get what you pay for, and everybody that invests in church software know that it's all about the bottom line and ROI (return on investment). The reality of it is that for a medium-sized church or larger church that have significant payroll for staff might actually save payroll dollars by investing in a church management software. For example if you buy $10,000 church management software this might actually save you $100,000 in payroll because you don't need spend unnecessary hours or hire accounting support staff.
You have to do your due diligence so basically what you want to do is demo three or four products within your price range and then possibly demo a couple products out of your price range and keep track of all the pros and cons.
Mark is a professional copywriter for one of the top church database software organizations in the US. Web Church Connect™ has launched one of the top church management software applications on the market today: http://www.webchurchconnect.com