Realm

Realm

Community-focused online church management system

4.5/5 (168 reviews)

Realm Overview

Realm is a church management system by ACS Technologies which places its emphasis on online community building.

Realm provides a unified church database, including a photo directory, empowering church members to connect both online and offline. Users can add unlimited custom fields into profiles for whatever data they need to collect, create associations between family profiles to manage any information updates in one place, and assign roles to staff and volunteers with set permissions to control what personal information individuals can access.

Realm offers a range of donor giving options, including scheduled and recurring donations, mobile and online giving, and the choice between staff entry or full donor management of pledges, including which fund they wish to donate to, and start and end dates for recurring contributions. Users can view full giving histories for all donors, which are also accessible for donors to use for their records.

Realm includes a variety of customizable report templates, and reports produced can be shared between staff, who can view new reports on their next login. Users can also create mailing lists of people from reports, such as attendees of a specific event, allowing communications to be targeted for greater relevance to individuals.

The system can be extended for multi-location churches, including information on location-specific security, the ability to analyse trends at different locations, and sharing of processes and content between all staff and volunteers.

Pricing

Starting from
$29/month
Pricing options
Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

United States

Supported Languages

English

Realm Reviews

Overall rating
4.5/5
94% positive reviews
95
Excellent
63
Very good
8
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
Joshua H.

Tremendous organizational tool! A bit lacking in some desired features and user-friendliness.

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/03/08
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

Realm has been our only experience with CHMS and it has been well worth every penny. As a small church of about 200, we know there's so much more that this software is capable of doing that we simply do not have a need for at present. We love the organization Realm has given internally to our church staff and volunteers. The ability to track giving (both regular offering and pledge funds) through Realm is very sound and ensures accuracy in our financial record keeping. It also makes creating and sending year end giving statements a breeze! This software seemingly has no ceiling in its ability to query any information we want to gather from our people (as long as we have imputed the information when adding profiles). We can then quickly generate a report from that information that is easily shareable. Creating groups is also a great feature that has helped us, internally, better understand who is doing what and has subsequently helped us to be more intentional and effective in our communication. Routine tasks that we use Realm for on a weekly/daily basis include: recording giving, finding pertinent information about our people, generating reports/labels, adding profiles of our people and assigning them to groups, and communicating via Realm's email feature with various groups in our church.

Cons

The calendar is not as functional as we had hoped and does not allow for integration with Google Calendars. This has led to our avoiding any use of Realm's calendar. We have also not made use of the Events feature in Realm as there is no public-facing side of Events Registration (that we have found) that could tie in with our church website. The interface is not very intuitive/user-friendly and has held us back from opening up the software for use by more volunteers to handle tasks such as Check-in and Pathway's. This has also prevented us from allowing group leaders to manage their own groups' members, record attendance, coordinate events or activities, or to communicate directly with one another. The online giving feature does not currently allow for any embed code to make for a more seamless online giving experience.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

7.0/10
Jenn B.

Congregational Care Tool

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2017/08/09
Review Source: Capterra

Realm is the key tool to care for our congregation in intentional ways.

Pros

First we love that all of our systems are now in one place. Moving from running ACS OnDemand, AccessACS, and The City to just using Realm has created efficiency. Realm has allowed better care of our large congregation and opportunities for closing the back door. That's what we like most. With nearly 4,000 attenders on a weekend, knowing when people are disconnecting is difficult. With easy attendance through the app for all of our classes/events/offerings, and indications coming to the surface in reports when people begin to disengage, we can intentionally follow up with them for potential ministry opportunity. Along the same lines, being able to have family/individual profiles which really show a complete picture of a person and their involvement, along with what processes they're involved in, what events they've attended, what milestones they've met, and any notes pertinent to pastoral care for them as individuals, we are in a better position to care for our congregation than ever before.

Dashboard reports are great and put a lot of actionable data at ministry leaders fingertips.

Cons

Communication via Realm needs some minor improvements. The ability to share a message with multiple groups is missing at present. The option to reply to an email notification and have the message go back to the original thread in Realm is missing. Those two improvements would make a big difference in communication, as well as the ability to "feature" a post within a group to make it stay at the top of the group's News Feed. Need to be able to turn off ability to comment on a particular post, yet not delete it -- something that's informative in nature, but we're not necessarily looking for responses on.

Emails coming out of Realm need to be more customizable to have the look and feel the sender is going for. Calendar/events in Realm needs some help too. We are not to the point yet where we could use it as the one place to see events, as it's listing all service times and things we don't necessarily want to show in the events listing (things that are a given and don't need to be listed as events -- however they have to be in there so attendance can be marked/entered). A few enhancements need to be made in event registration as well, though it has come a long way.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Lynnette W.

Great product and support!

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2016/06/24
Review Source: Capterra

This product is not as robust as some of the other big products out there, but it has almost everything you need to get the job done. Many organizations do not need or want all the bells and whistles that those products have, nor the cost they come with. Realm manages people and their contributions with ease. It has the ability to use groups to track attendance and facilitate communication among the groups/ministries of the church. The customization fields allow for tracking needs specific to individual ministries as well.

For attendance, there is a check in system that can be utilized that can be set up to provide security labels for children's ministry. It can also be used to check in for Sunday School or other events as well. This is tied to the attendance so that if the check in is utilized, the support staff/volunteer posting of attendance is reduced as well.

Then you have the support. If you ever run into a question or issue, there are wikis to help you along. The wikis are not just a long list of stuff, but are set up so that when you click the "?" button, it opens the wiki that is specific to the page you are on, so no more searching for what you need in a long list. If that doesn't help, you always have the support team standing by so you can call and get assistance as well. They are always ready to serve and never talk down to you because you ask a "dumb" question.

Pros

I like that the software developers take the time to listen to the users and frequently upgrade the software with features that users need, not what they think we should have. The UI is intuitive and easy to use. The wikis are robust and use lots of pictures so there is not confusion as to what needs to be done. The support team in knowledgeable.

Cons

The search engine is not as robust as some other products, but that is improving as the product develops.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Jilliane P.

Realm has been an excellent resource for our congregation and staff.

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/06/12
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

We use Realm Connect - the level that allows for congregants to log in and use the app feature as well. Realm is easy to use and intuitive to figure out. The staff love being able to get to it anywhere and that they can even work on their phones on things if needed. Realm has features that make life easier for church staff, while also allowing the congregation to connect with each other. The Realm development team is always looking at ways to make it easier for people to know where to go, while also trying to find ways to make the church staff's lives easier as they input the data. Additionally, the support staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. I rarely have to wait for support help and if they cannot fix an issue while I am on the phone with them, they are quick to follow back up.

Cons

There are still areas they are building out and things that are not there yet. For example, today we tried to copy a list of people from a registration event into a group roster as the group decided they wanted to be able to communicate with each other during the study. This was not a feature that was available yet, so the person entering the data had to manually add the people to a group. But, they have an enhancement request portal where Realm staff users can enter ideas in on what to change or add and they follow that portal very closely. The things that are not there yet are a small trade-off in my mind, as overall Realm is incredible software. And knowing that those things will come soon makes it easier for me to help my staff realize that if they can be patient for a little bit longer, everything will be in one place. They really like that!

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Gerald W.

Chapel in the Pines Review

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/09/06
Review Source: Capterra

Overall our church and it's members enjoy using Realm. We just got it in 2017 so don't have a lot of experience with it. I do think the communication functions will be a big help to us. Your support staff has always been very professional and friendly. I think in 5 years we will be using it as our main communications tool.

Pros

The cost is probably the best feature for us as a small church. It also allows our members and friends to donate an online gift and have it immediately posted to the member's statement. It is also very user friendly.

Cons

When creating the photo directory with family information, there is no "refer to" for couples who have different last names (i.e., Bob Warren and Karen Fisher, Nathan Kotecki and Garrett Southerland). Access ACS had that feature.
When creating a .pdf file of the directory, there is no way to password protect it without running it through a different program. Access ACS had that feature.
In the photo directory, there is no way to flag various people (like ordained minister, staff, non-member friend, etc.)
The .pdf document created is static, not dynamic (in other words, you can't click on an email address and go straight to an email, nor can you cut and paste phone numbers, addresses, etc.)
The mobile app for Realm Connect opens automatically to the "news" feed. Since we don't use the news feed, people who are using the app to get contact information do not easily find that information. It would help if we could choose which feature Realm Connect opens with.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10

Realm Pricing

Starting from
$29/month
Pricing options
Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

Pricing is based on typical weekly attendance, which includes kids, but only counts people once no matter how many services they attend. There are no contracts and there is a money back guarantee!

Inform:
1-50: $29/month, $79 setup fee
51-100: $39/month, $99 setup fee
101-150: $59/month, $149 setup fee
151-200: $79/month, $199 setup fee
201-300: $119/month, $279 setup fee

Inform + Connect:
1-50: $44/month, $109 setup fee
51-100: $59/month, $129 setup fee
101-150: $89/month, $199 setup fee
151-200: $119/month, $250 setup fee
201-300: $179/month, $350 setup fee

For a typical weekly attendance of 300 or more, contact ACS Technologies for a pricing quote.

Realm Features

  • Access Control
  • Automatic Notifications
  • Credit Card Processing
  • Custom Fields
  • Customizable Reporting
  • Electronic Payments

  • API
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Activity Tracking
  • Attendance Management
  • Automatic Reminders
  • Communication Management
  • Contact Database
  • Contact Management
  • Customizable Branding
  • Data Import/Export
  • Email Integration
  • Mobile Integration
  • Reporting & Statistics
  • Third Party Integration

Additional information for Realm

Key features of Realm

  • Attendance tracking
  • Automated emails
  • Automatic address correction
  • Automatic data backups
  • Batch entry
  • Check scanning
  • Controlled user access
  • Custom fields
  • Custom report builder
  • Direct messaging
  • Donor statements
  • Email list targeting
  • Event registration
  • Executive dashboards
  • Follow-up triggers
  • Fund management
  • Group calendars
  • Group discussion threads
  • Group pages
  • Group resource sharing
  • Invite-only events
  • Mobile giving
  • Multiple payment types
  • Name badge printing
  • Online giving
  • Personal notifications
  • Scheduled and recurring donations
  • Self-managed profiles
  • Self-service check-in
  • Serving opportunity listings
  • Skill and interest tracking
  • Volunteer check-in

Benefits

Realm gives donors a wide array of giving options, including text based giving, online donation, full management of payment methods, and recurring and scheduled donations, details of which can be entered by staff or managed fully by the donors themselves.

Users can create an unlimited number of custom profile fields to suit their needs, and assign staff roles and set permissions to control access to personal information stored in profiles.

Realm includes multiple customizable report templates, and custom reports can be shared with other staff members, who are notified on their next login.

Staff can centrally manage check-in kiosks, help check people in, see attendance in real time, and run attendance reports, and for group events, group leaders can take attendance at the beginning of, during, or after meetings.

Members can include notes on important information such as allergies or specific care instructions when checking their children into events.

Realm FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions for Realm.

Q. What type of pricing plans does Realm offer?

Realm offers the following pricing plans:

Starting from: $29/month

Pricing model: Subscription

Free Trial: Available

Pricing is based on typical weekly attendance, which includes kids, but only counts people once no matter how many services they attend. There are no contracts and there is a money back guarantee!

Inform:
1-50: $29/month, $79 setup fee
51-100: $39/month, $99 setup fee
101-150: $59/month, $149 setup fee
151-200: $79/month, $199 setup fee
201-300: $119/month, $279 setup fee

Inform + Connect:
1-50: $44/month, $109 setup fee
51-100: $59/month, $129 setup fee
101-150: $89/month, $199 setup fee
151-200: $119/month, $250 setup fee
201-300: $179/month, $350 setup fee

For a typical weekly attendance of 300 or more, contact ACS Technologies for a pricing quote.

Q. What are the main features of Realm?

Realm offers the following features:

  • Attendance tracking
  • Automated emails
  • Automatic address correction
  • Automatic data backups
  • Batch entry
  • Check scanning
  • Controlled user access
  • Custom fields
  • Custom report builder
  • Direct messaging
  • Donor statements
  • Email list targeting
  • Event registration
  • Executive dashboards
  • Follow-up triggers
  • Fund management
  • Group calendars
  • Group discussion threads
  • Group pages
  • Group resource sharing
  • Invite-only events
  • Mobile giving
  • Multiple payment types
  • Name badge printing
  • Online giving
  • Personal notifications
  • Scheduled and recurring donations
  • Self-managed profiles
  • Self-service check-in
  • Serving opportunity listings
  • Skill and interest tracking
  • Volunteer check-in

Q. Who are the typical users of Realm?

Realm has the following typical customers:

Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profit, Small Business

Q. What languages does Realm support?

Realm supports the following languages:

English

Q. What type of pricing plans does Realm offer?

Realm has the following pricing plans:

Subscription

Q. Does Realm support mobile devices?

We do not have any information about what devices Realm supports

Q. What other apps does Realm integrate with?

We do not have any information about what integrations Realm has

Q. What level of support does Realm offer?

Realm offers the following support options:

FAQs, Forum, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Phone Support, Video Tutorials