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106 Questions to Ask before You Buy Church Management Software

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Your church management software decision touches many lives—members, visitors, staff, and volunteers. From research to final purchase, every step of your investigation is important.

Between 30 years of church management software experience and input from 3,500 customers, our team understands how difficult it can be to sort through options. To help you navigate this process with confidence, we’re offering a free, interactive webinar that features our inside information on how churches like yours shop smart for software solutions.

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106 Questions to Ask before You Buy Church Management Software

  1. 1. Church Management Software Checklist 106 Questions to Ask before You Buy Church Management Software
  2. 2. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Introduction Peter Frank Manager Concordia Technology Solutions peter.frank@cph.org (314) 268-1408 (800) 325-2399
  3. 3. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software ConcordiaTechnology Solutions • Developing Church Management Software (ChMS) since 1984 • Two ChMS Products • Shepherd’s Staff (since 1994) • Church360° Members (since 2012)
  4. 4. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Survey • Surveyed over 3,500 of our current customers • Received hundreds of responses • Feedback from pastors, office managers, treasurers, volunteers, and more
  5. 5. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Guide • Questions you should ask the people who will be using your church management software. • Questions you should ask the sales representative with the software you’re considering.
  6. 6. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Decision 1. “Why are you moving away from your current software solution?” 2. “What brought about this change in software?” 3. “What do you not like about your current solution?” 4. “What do you like about your current software?”
  7. 7. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Decision (…continued) 5. “What’s your time frame for making a decision?” 6. “What’s your budget?” 7. “What is the process at your church for making the decision to purchase new software?” 8. “Who needs to be involved in making the decision?”
  8. 8. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Decision (…continued) 9. “Who will review the different software options?” 10.“Who has the final say on what to purchase?”
  9. 9. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Users 11.“Who will use the new software?” 12.“What level of computer knowledge do the users have?” 13.“Does your church staff use PCs, MACs, or both?” 14.“What other software does the church staff use on a regular basis?”
  10. 10. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Users (…continued) 15.“Does your church utilize a computer server?” 16.“Who is your on-site technical support person?”
  11. 11. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software General 17.“Do you prefer a web-based or server- based solution?” 18.“If web-based, do you plan on using the software on mobile devices?” 19.“Do you prefer a one-time fee or regular billing?” 20.“If regular billing, do you prefer to pay monthly or annually?”
  12. 12. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software General (…continued) 21.“Does it allow the number of users you need?” 22.“Does it allow for different user permission groups?” 23.“Will the price change if the church changes in size?” 24.“Does it integrate with other standard software?”
  13. 13. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Membership 25.“How many people do you have recorded in your database?” 26.“How many members do you have in your church?” 27.“How many member households do you have in your church?” 28.“Does it limit the number of records that can be kept for individuals?”
  14. 14. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Membership (…continued) 29.“If your church grows, can you easily upgrade the software?” 30.“What information do you ask visitors to submit?” 31.“Does it allow you to quickly add visitors to the database?” 32.“Does it allow you to print mailing labels?”
  15. 15. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Membership (…continued) 33.“Does it provide a denominational report for your church?” 34.“Does it automatically group your members based on the data?” 35.“Does it allow you to track involvement in small groups?” 36.“Does it allow you to keep track of individuals’ skills, hobbies, etc.?”
  16. 16. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Communication 37.“Where does your master church calendar reside?” 38.“Does it have the functionality to serve as your church calendar?” 39.“What is your primary way of communicating to members?” 40.“What information do you regularly communicate to members?”
  17. 17. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Communication (…continued) 41.“Do you want the software to communicate with your website?” 42.“Does it provide a desired level of integration with your website?” 43.“Does it allow you to send mass emails for no additional charge?” 44.“Does it support text messaging at no additional charge?”
  18. 18. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Communication (…continued) 45.“Will it allow you to securely post your member directory online?” 46.“Does it allow your members to securely communicate online?” 47.“Does it integrate with an automated phone tree service?” 48.“Will the software allow you to manage your facility schedule?”
  19. 19. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Attendance 49.“How do you take attendance at your church?” 50.“Who enters the attendance information into the database?” 51.“Would you like for attendees to check in electronically?” 52.“Does it allow you to enter attendance in your preferred manner?”
  20. 20. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Attendance (…continued) 53.“Does it allow you to quickly enter attendance for each church service?” 54.“Does it provide quick access to the list of absentees?” 55.“Does it allow you to easily track member activity?”
  21. 21. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Check-In 56.“Do you have a need for secure check- in?” 57.“Do you currently have secure check-in software?” 58.“What is your current process for recruiting volunteers?” 59.“Does it integrate with a background check provider?”
  22. 22. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Check-In (…continued) 60.“Does your church’s layout limit the entry/exit of attendees?” 61.“Does the software provide a secure check-in process?” 62.“Does it support check-in for multiple events at the same time?” 63.“Does it allow check-in for events that do not need security?”
  23. 23. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Check-In (…continued) 64. “Does the check-in software require touch screen monitors and barcode scanners?”
  24. 24. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Offerings 65.“In what ways do members contribute?” 66.“To what funds do members contribute?” 67.“Who enters, or will enter, the offerings into your church database?” 68.“Who distributes the contribution statements?”
  25. 25. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Offerings (…continued) 69.“How do you distribute the contributions statements?” 70.“Does it allow you to quickly enter offerings in your preferred way?” 71.“Does it integrate with your preferred online giving vendor?” 72.“Does it support offering envelopes?”
  26. 26. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Offerings (…continued) 73. “Does it allow you to easily renumber envelopes when needed?” 74.“Does it allow users to enter offerings without seeing the names?” 75.“Does it convert the list of offerings into a deposit in your church finance software?” 76.“Does it allow for recurring offerings?”
  27. 27. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Offerings (…continued) 77.“Does it allow you to enter pledges for each contributor by fund?” 78.“Does it allow for easy distribution of contribution statements in your preferred manner?”
  28. 28. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Finance 79.“Do you plan on changing your finance software as well?” 80.“Who uses your church finance software?” 81.“What is their level of accounting knowledge?” 82.“Do you currently have a solution for processing payroll?”
  29. 29. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Finance (…continued) 83.“Does it allow for quick and easy entry of transactions?” 84.“Does it require knowledge of credits and debits?” 85.“Was it developed specifically for churches?” 86.“Does it provide a secure audit trail?”
  30. 30. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Finance (…continued) 87.“Does it allow you to print checks?” 88.“Does it allow you to process payroll?” 89.“Does it integrate with your preferred third- party payroll software?” 90.“Does it integrate with your online banking?” 91.“Does it help you in the budgeting process?”
  31. 31. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Company 92. “How long has the company been developing church software?” 93. “Does the company currently have a large customer base?” 94. “Is the average church size of their customers comparable with your church?” 95. “Do they offer live/online product demonstrations?”
  32. 32. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Company (…continued) 96. “Do they have printed materials available that provide more information on their products?” 97. “What are the future plans for this software?” 98. “Are there any upcoming specials or promotions?”
  33. 33. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Implementation 99. “How long does software implementation typically take?” 100.“What kind of training is offered?” 101.“Is the training free, or does it cost extra?” 102.“If training costs extra, are there any discounts for new users?”
  34. 34. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Implementation (…continued) 103.“Does technical support cost extra?” 104.“If support costs extra, are there any discounts for new users?” 105.“What is the availability of technical support?” 106.“Are upgrades released on a regular basis?”
  35. 35. 106 Questions to Ask beforeYou Buy Church Management Software Conclusion Download the complete Church Management Software Checklist at: bit.ly/ChMSChecklist

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