Planning Center

Church management software with Mailchimp integration

4,7 /5 (924 reviews) Write a Review!

Planning Center Overview

What is Planning Center?

Planning Center is a church management solution that helps churches of all sizes manage memberships, process online donations, and conduct background checks on volunteers. It allows administrators to create digital sign-up forms, set event reminders, assign tasks, share training notes with volunteers, and monitor participation for various activities.

The solution enables managers to collaborate with team members on a centralized dashboard to schedule events, book rooms, discuss event setup requirements, and more. Authorities can utilize Planning Center to accept donations in real-time, record donor details, view deposit statuses, track individuals’ donation commitments, and analyze trends to forecast monthly donations. It also allows teams to assign and schedule specific roles to volunteers according to their team positions or preferences and share rehearsal files such as song libraries or chord charts with concerned individuals.

Planning Center lets professionals create and share customizable sheet music with musicians and utilize the page-turning functionality to swipe or scroll through the songbook. Managers can utilize the platform to create online groups for encouraging participation in church activities to cultivate commitments.

Planning Center Overview

Pricing

Starting from
US$14,00/month

Pricing options

Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

A 30-day free trial is available after which the product is available on module-based pricing outlined below.

Calendar (10 rooms, unlimited events) - starts at $14
Check-ins (50 daily check-ins) - starts at $14
Giving (100 monthly donations) - starts at $14
Groups (125 group members) - starts at $14
Publishing - starts at $14
Registrations (20 event attendees) - starts at $14
Services (25 team members) - starts at $14


Planning Center Features

Devices
Business size
S M L
Markets
United States
Supported Languages
English

Media

Planning Center members' profile
Planning Center role preferences
Planning Center profile status
Planning Center video Planning Center screenshot: Planning Center members' profile Planning Center screenshot: Planning Center role preferences Planning Center screenshot: Planning Center profile status

Planning Center Reviews

Planning Center Reviews

Overall rating
4,7
/
5
Excellent
680

Very good
215

Average
28

Poor
1

Terrible
0

Value for Money
4,5
Features
4,5
Ease of Use
4,4
Customer Support
4,6
97% recommended this app
Tyler H.

So. Much. Better.

I was the XP at a church that used Planning Center. I went to another church that used one of their main competitors. After 18 months, we are on Planning Center. I'm much happier and the rest of the staff is much happier. I think that pretty well sums it up.


Michael H.

Easy to use, but ease of use leads to fewer options, it seems

Enjoy using this product. Although the simplicity does mean soome needed functionality isn't there, it's ease of use and reliability make it an excellent product and value! Can't beat their prices anywhere.


Karen N.

Part of it Works for Us

At this point, it is used in a minimal way, to lay out our order of service and schedule 2 ministry teams out of the 10+ teams that serve at each of our services.


Verified Reviewer

Best service planning software around

Around Services and Check ins, Planning Center has been exceptional with customer service and helping us sort through issues. Their tutorial videos are also great. We didn't have great luck with customer service around the financial module, hence the choice to go another direction with our overall database while continuing to use Services.


Verified Reviewer

Excellent Church Management Software

Overall my experience with Planning Center has been a fantastic one, and I'm looking forward to using their current and new products in my church now and in the future!


Tyler H.
Industry: Religious Institutions
Company size: 11-50 Employees

So. Much. Better.

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2020/05/02
Review Source: Capterra

I was the XP at a church that used Planning Center. I went to another church that used one of their main competitors. After 18 months, we are on Planning Center. I'm much happier and the rest of the staff is much happier. I think that pretty well sums it up.

Pros

When we switched from our previous software to Planning Center, I worked with our staff to see how it was going. The responses I got were always akin to "well, it is frustrating learning a new system...but this is better than what we were on." Basically, in one or two days our staff was less frustrated with Planning Center than they were continually with a system we had been on for three years. As we've been on it longer, the frustrations have decreased and the benefit to our church has increased. Moving to Planning Center has been the best organizational choice we've made in a long time.

Oh, and it is about $100 (33%) cheaper each month. And that's on month-to-month vs an annual contract with the old guys. And when our online giving agreement runs out and we switch the Planning Center giving, we'll save another $200 or so a month. And their support is incredible, typically responding within an hour (vs 2 business days on the old platform).

Cons

To my understanding, Planning Center set out to make a great stand alone tool for Check Ins, a great tool for Registrations, a great tool for Giving, etc...to do this, they set up separate development teams for each module.

I understand this, having worked with some tools that started as a great online director or great giving tool or great event tool and tried to expand to do much more. The result is often complicated bloat.

I do think Planning Center's model largely avoided this because each thing has to stand on its own. In my estimation, I'd like to see some tweaks to certain modules, but overall each of them accomplishes what I need.

The one drawback to this, though, is that the tools don't integrate quite as tightly as I'd like. Everything talks back to their People module, but sometimes it would be good to have them talk to each other a little more. E.g., when we set up an event in Check In, we also have to go into the Calendar module to set up the event to request the room. This can be a bit of a hassle.

To be fair, it does seem like they are moving in this direction with new features, so hopefully their biggest weakness (to me) will continue to shrink!

But, again...this is minor compared to the frustrations I've had with other systems. I've been on ones that I hated even logging into because I knew I was going to get mad. I genuinely like using Planning Center.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 10.0/10

Michael H.
Industry: Nonprofit Organization Management
Company size: 2-10 Employees

Easy to use, but ease of use leads to fewer options, it seems

Used Weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2021/01/02
Review Source: Capterra

Enjoy using this product. Although the simplicity does mean soome needed functionality isn't there, it's ease of use and reliability make it an excellent product and value! Can't beat their prices anywhere.

Pros

I like how Services and Music Stand work so well together. I also like the seamless integration with CCLI and Song Select. PC has done an excellent job developing integrations that actually seem as though they are part of the native app! Once you connect CCLI and Song Select, you actually don't know you're using them going forward. The same for Faithlife Proclaim.

Cons

Music Stand by Planning Center needs more core functionality. For example, you can't mark up the PDF chord sheets to save and recall later (as you can on Music Stand by Worship Extreme). This is a hassle. You also can't mark up the cord sheets and send them out to the band. They have to mark up their own cord sheets. While you can save the PDF chord sheets for each song, mark ups like highlighting and notes on the chord sheet have to marked up each and every time.

Response from Planning Center

Hey Michael - Thanks for the review! Music Stand actually does come with the ability to save and recall personal annotations! Check out this article for more info on doing that and don't hesitate to reach out if you run into problems with that. https://pcomusicstand.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000253707-Add-Annotations-to-Files

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 9.0/10

Karen N.
Industry: Religious Institutions
Company size: 11-50 Employees

Part of it Works for Us

Used Weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/12/18
Review Source: Capterra

At this point, it is used in a minimal way, to lay out our order of service and schedule 2 ministry teams out of the 10+ teams that serve at each of our services.

Pros

Makes scheduling and organizing our order of service very simple for the administration team. When an item such as teaching changes from 30 minutes to 40 minutes, the modifications are easy to implement without having to recalculate the time of day from one item to the next. When that same item is moved someplace else in the order of service it's a simple drag and drop and all times for the service are automaticallly adjusted.

Cons

Not a great tool for our volunteers. The scheduling module is a little difficult to train volunteers to use. They all give it a shot but most revert to using excel spreadsheets. Report templates, unless you are an html programmer, aren't flexible enough to give me the layout I am looking for.

We tried to use it to check in our children but the unreliability of connecting and printing name tags caused huge delays, aggravated our parents and frustrated the volunteers. I am advised they have resolved that problem, however, due to their prior experience our children's church isn't willing to give it another chance.

Response from Planning Center

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the review! Our support team is able to help you with some parts of coding those reports if you'd like to reach out to them for help, and give them an example of how you would like your report to look. They would also be able to give you some tips for making scheduling volunteers easier in Services.

Sorry to hear that hardware issues were keeping your Children's Ministry from using Check-Ins efficiently. If they're willing to give it a second chance in the future, we'll be glad to help troubleshoot those problems up front.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 5.0/10

Verified Reviewer
Industry: Religious Institutions
Company size: 11-50 Employees

Best service planning software around

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2020/10/26
Review Source: Capterra

Around Services and Check ins, Planning Center has been exceptional with customer service and helping us sort through issues. Their tutorial videos are also great. We didn't have great luck with customer service around the financial module, hence the choice to go another direction with our overall database while continuing to use Services.

Pros

Planning Center Services automates really helpful admin and communication work and allows teams to learn and grow with all of the resources they need. From an administrator's perspective, the ability to schedule and view services in matrix mod and keep track of multiple teams of volunteers with various limitations and requests using the preferences and blackouts is easily worth the monthly cost. Services is the backbone of planning center, and there's good reason that it's the standard in mid-sized and larger churches. The interface is intuitive and easy for volunteer users to figure out, and they do a great job of continuing to innovate features and usability.

Cons

While the other modules across planning center have great integration, our church found that the finances side lacked necessary features, meaning we are now running a separate database/CRM while still running planning center services. We wanted to be able to add financial information (givings) into the database without the person entering the data seeing previous data - essentially the ability to enter data blindly. I suspect many other churches are running different databases as well as planning center services, and the multi-system approach isn't ideal, so it would be nice to have a more responsive development team as planning center's interface is generally well built and user friendly.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 9.0/10

Verified Reviewer
Industry: Religious Institutions
Company size: 11-50 Employees

Excellent Church Management Software

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2020/04/19
Review Source: Capterra

Overall my experience with Planning Center has been a fantastic one, and I'm looking forward to using their current and new products in my church now and in the future!

Pros

Planning Center offers a fantastic suite of software that makes behind the sences tasks for church management a breeze.

Cons

The pricing for some of their products is a little higher than what can be found from the competitors, but it is almost always made up in their excellent customer service.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend: 10.0/10

User recommendation
9/10
Based on 924 user ratings
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Planning Center Pricing

Planning Center Pricing

Starting from
US$14,00/month
Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

A 30-day free trial is available after which the product is available on module-based pricing outlined below.

Calendar (10 rooms, unlimited events) - starts at $14
Check-ins (50 daily check-ins) - starts at $14
Giving (100 monthly donations) - starts at $14
Groups (125 group members) - starts at $14
Publishing - starts at $14
Registrations (20 event attendees) - starts at $14
Services (25 team members) - starts at $14

A 30-day free trial is available after which the product is available on module-based pricing outlined below.

Calendar (10 rooms, unlimited events) - starts at $14
Check-ins (50 daily check-ins) - starts at $14
Giving (100 monthly donations) - starts at $14
Groups (125 group members) - starts at $14
Publishing - starts at $14
Registrations (20 event attendees) - starts at $14
Services (25 team members) - starts at $14

Value for Money
4,5/5
Based on 924 user ratings
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Planning Center Features

Planning Center Features

API
Access Control
Activity Dashboard
Attendance Management
Automatic Notifications
Campaign Management
Communication Management
Contact Database
Contact Management
Credit Card Processing
Custom Fields
Customizable Branding
Customizable Reporting
Data Import/Export
Electronic Payments
Event Management
Registration Management
Reporting & Statistics
Third Party Integration
Volunteer Management
Features
4,5/5
Based on 924 user ratings
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Categories

Additional information for Planning Center

Additional information for Planning Center

Key features of Planning Center

  • Attendance Tracking
  • Event Management
  • Mobile Access
  • Volunteer Management
  • Website Management

Planning Center FAQs

Planning Center FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions for Planning Center.

Q. What type of pricing plans does Planning Center offer?

Planning Center offers the following pricing plans:

Starting from: US$14,00/month

Pricing model: Subscription

Free Trial: Available

A 30-day free trial is available after which the product is available on module-based pricing outlined below. Calendar (10 rooms, unlimited events) - starts at $14 Check-ins (50 daily check-ins) - starts at $14 Giving (100 monthly donations) - starts at $14 Groups (125 group members) - starts at $14 Publishing - starts at $14 Registrations (20 event attendees) - starts at $14 Services (25 team members) - starts at $14

Q. What are the main features of Planning Center?

Planning Center offers the following features:

  • Attendance Tracking
  • Event Management
  • Mobile Access
  • Volunteer Management
  • Website Management

Q. Who are the typical users of Planning Center?

Planning Center has the following typical customers:

Small Business, Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business

Q. What languages does Planning Center support?

Planning Center supports the following languages:

English

Q. What type of pricing plans does Planning Center offer?

Planning Center has the following pricing plans:

Subscription

Q. Does Planning Center support mobile devices?

Planning Center supports the following devices:

Android, iPhone, iPad

Q. What other apps does Planning Center integrate with?

Planning Center integrates with the following applications:

Anedot, Clearstream, Kindrid, Mailchimp, Nucleus, PastorsLine, Pushpay, Stripe, Subsplash, Text In Church

Q. What level of support does Planning Center offer?

Planning Center offers the following support options:

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