Who Uses This Software?

Churches, parishes, denominational headquarters, faith-based nonprofits, para-church ministries.


Average Ratings

8 Reviews
  • 3 / 5
    Overall
  • 3.5 / 5
    Ease of Use
  • 3 / 5
    Customer Service

Product Details

  • Starting Price
    $179.00/month
    See pricing details
  • Pricing Details
    Includes your first 500 records.
  • Free Trial
  • Deployment
    Cloud, SaaS, Web
    Mobile - Android Native
    Mobile - iOS Native
  • Training
    Documentation
    Webinars
    Live Online
    In Person
  • Support
    Online
    Business Hours

Vendor Details

  • Shelby Systems
  • www.shelbysystems.com
  • Founded 1976
  • United States

About This Software

In the 40 years that Shelby has been serving the church community, the mission of making disciples has never wavered. With ShelbyNext and Arena, we strive to do this better. The vision of Shelby is to continue to support and enhance the products churches love, while expanding our product offering to provide more SaaS-based solutions. ShelbyNext is a fully-integrated ecosystem of cloud-based software solutions: Membership | Giving | Financials | Websites | Mobile.


Features Checklist

  • Attendance Tracking
  • Built-In Accounting
  • Calendar Management
  • Child Check-In
  • Donation Management
  • Event Management
  • Group Management
  • Learning Management (LMS)
  • Library Management
  • Member Directory
  • Member Profiles
  • Membership Management
  • Multi-Site Management
  • Newsletter Management
  • Online Payments / Giving
  • Pledge Management
  • Volunteer Management
  • Website Management
  • Worship Planning

Product Reviews

Still lacking...

Apr 12, 2017
3/5
Overall
2 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: Not
Likely
Extremely
Likely

Pros: Ties everything related to a church together

Cons: Doesn't work almost half the time

Overall: We used Shelby for years but never to its full extent. When we decided to get a little more training, nothing seems to work 100% of the time. Its always little things like Check-In won't work or a member can't be deleted but can be made inactive. Much of this was due to user error, but tech support isn't very much help. On top of all of this, the interface is from 1995 and has never ever been changed. Perhaps the move to the online version will be better.

Recommendations to other buyers: Go to an online version of either this or another. Database standalone software is soon becoming obsolete and moving to online-based.

A little overwhelming interface, but I'm sure improvements have been made my usage...

Jan 25, 2017
3/5
Overall
3 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Features & Functionality
3 / 5
Customer Support
3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: Not
Likely
Extremely
Likely

Pros: Feature-rich
Seems to be what other churches use mostly

Cons: A little overwhelming interface
Price seems a little steep

Overall: I used Shelby at a past church, and I remember that while the features it offered seemed very abundant, the interface was not as user-friendly as I had hoped or expected (or maybe that I'm used to with other devices and software I use often since I'm a graphic designer). We knew that Shelby was what most other churches seemed to be using, but I'm sure there were features in the system that we never utilized. It also seems a little steep for the pricing with so many web features available today at lower prices or even free if you have a tech-savvy person on your staff.

IT Manager

Nov 17, 2016
1/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
2 / 5
Features & Functionality
1 / 5
Customer Support
1 / 5
Value for Money

Comments: Shebly Next Membership/Financial has potential but stay away for a minimum of another 1-2 years. They launched prematurely and has bugs, very limited capabilities, and a very limited staff to fix the issues. I think it will be a great product but I would recommend staying away until they can get it working properly. We have used V5 for many years and loved it but are very disappointed with Next. When we find issues they put it on a "list" and hope that some day it will be fixed by the one coder. The trainers are still in "training" and if you need support for an issue get ready to wait. Loads of potential but not ready to be live.

Arena vs. ShelbyNext

Jul 19, 2015
4/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
4 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: I just wanted to point out that ShelbyNext is a new product line and the reviews before this date apply to Arena. We use Arena and everything below is generally accurate for it. However, ShelbyNext is designed to be much simpler to implement especially for churches without tech-savvy staff. I'd love to hear some reviews from people using ShelbyNext.

Not for the faint of heart!

Jan 05, 2015
2/5
Overall
1 / 5
Ease of Use
2 / 5
Customer Support

Comments: Our church has used Shelby v5 and recently made the switch to Arena. It is NOT user friendly. As a children's pastor the component I need to be the most solid is check-in. It is not! With only one Funtime Arena administration and one IT person, neither of which are computer code wizards, we are left to try to wade through computer programming that is well beyond our skill set. Most frustrating are the features we grew accustom to in v5 that are not available in Arena, althought they claimed to be. While it may be a powerful tool in the hands of a Computer Science professional, it is not for tech savvy church leaders.

Vendor Response

by Shelby Systems on January 06, 2015

We¿re certainly not happy to hear you¿re having issues with Arena¿s Check-in, Bryan. Due to the wide range of options, it does require a strategy along with a period of setup. I do not see where you have called regarding this issue but I¿m confident that our Support team can assist you. They have been alerted to this and will contact you shortly.

The most flexible ChMS anywhere

Oct 06, 2010
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Customer Support

Pros: We did an exhaustive search of church management systems and came to the conclusion that for our church, Arena was the best choice. You can read our research here: http://tinyurl.com/chmsresearch

Arena provides a customizable solution that will flex to meet your ministry needs and goals. It offers an excellent, easy to use interface and provides powerful tools to keep your staff on task, your people plugged in, and your church moving in the right direction.

Our pastors use Arena to track confidential comments, to find the best location to launch new campuses, and to keep track of thousands of people and programs.

Arena offers the most options for children's check-in, with one official solution and three church-developed solutions providing check-in that meets almost every style and desire.

Arena offers a development program provides ways for your church to develop modules and applications that meet your exact needs.

Overall, we love Arena and we made the right choice.

Cons: Arena is not for a church that isn't clear on what they want to do or that does not have IT staff. The best Arena implementations are ones where the church has a clear leader in charge of the project, and has solid direction from the staff of where they want to go.

Having a developer on staff (or a volunteer) is not necessary, but makes arena even more customizable and flexible.

Overall: Do your homework. If you have the right staff and environment in place, Arena is an amazing option. HDC has benefitted immensely from Arena and has never looked back or second guessed our decision.

Arena CHMS "The Right Database Product"

Sep 30, 2010
5/5
Overall
5 / 5
Ease of Use
5 / 5
Customer Support

Pros: Follows in the history of Great Product and Service/support from a great vendor.
I haven't found anything that I cannot accomplish (create or make available) for any staff members.
This web savy product leads the way for churches in this web based world.

Cons: Needs better connection with V5 Shelby. The membership links are horrible and create more problems that they are worse. This feature primarily needed for contributions history. Need to have the ability to analyse contributions out of the box like we had in v5. Include a similar choice of statment format type systems.

Overall: Its "The PRoduct" to own. I believe the best on the market. Your company sets the standard for customer service.

Very Flexible System

Sep 30, 2010
3/5
Overall
4 / 5
Ease of Use
3 / 5
Customer Support

Pros: Arena is completely customizable. It allows us to have a system that meets our church's work-flow rather than dictate our processes.

Cons: Because it's soo customizable certain areas (check-in, small groups and reporting specifically) are more difficult to implement. Also, the software requires staff with extensive server experience in a wide area of focus.

Overall: I would recommend Arena if a church has enough IT staff to man the implementation and host the servers (including bandwidth for the website, online giving, event registrations, etc.)