Arena Ratings

Overall
3.9/5
Ease of Use
3.4/5
Customer Service
4.1/5

About Arena

Shelby Arena is a full church management system for medium to large churches with powerful, ministry-oriented tools and complete compatibility with Shelby Financials and ShelbyNext Giving. Arena can help you extend outreach in new ways to both current and potential new members. Learn more about Arena

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Showing 39 of 39 reviews

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Connie T.
Finance Director
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
June 2, 2018

“User for 3 years, Arena is user friendly”

ProsEasily accessible, able to locate files in multiple ways i.e phone #, email, b-day, areas of ministry. Well organized, provides for detailed info (W9s, areas where volunteering/ ministries, individual notes) & easy to edit. Address provides map/directions; feature pastor's use for visitation. Contributions used by Accounting Dept-- Fund Management allows for large number of purpose codes so donations can be categorized for easy access when doing reports. Batch Lists provide donor info; particularly useful when using ShelbyGiving which aids in identifying donors of Online Giving donations. Ability to use Check Scan for large volume of in-house donations to be processed quickly & provides ability to store records of all checks received--a very useful tool to provide copies of checks when bank disputes Deposit Total & deducts funds from account. Annual Contribution Statements can be easily printed for mailing & Contribution tab allows Accounting personnel to give donors quick info regarding receipt of check/donation or to generate statements on demand; a priceless addition which saves time when donor wants mid- year statement. Online giving also allows donors to access their own account at any time during year. Provides ability to email Contribution Statements rather than mail, an option we will use at end of 2018. Contribution analysis offers various breakdowns of data; providing useful info for Elders to make sound financial decisions.
ConsPrinting on tabs at top of individual's account info is too light, sometimes difficult to read. Print is small in body of forms. would like Arena to have longer access time; having to logon repeatedly is frustrating
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
June 2, 2018
Cara O.
Database Administrator
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018

“Arena allows our large staff to work together and mutually benefit each other in productivity.”

OverallWorking with a common purpose as a whole staff. After getting all of the ministries working with a common goal and unified processes work became more efficient and understandable to staff members. It truly helps us work to support God's work in our world.
ProsIt is flexible and allows us to categorize things according to our needs. Maintaining records can be effectively done by a number of people, which in turn benefits the whole organization and makes communication and other work efficient. Maintaining family relationships is easy and clear. Each ministry can have its section but work is done similarly so cross training is easy. Security is specific and granular so it is easy manage the access people have. It is easy to see how people are involved and connect with them according to their interests. The Members Responsive Portal allows congregation participants to manage their personal information, register for events and connect to volunteer positions. All of that updates their records and their record shows their own activity. God's work in this world is supported and furthered because our staff works with a common purpose. The data work is done once, in one place and all are blessed by up-to-date shared information. Development is strong
ConsThe best part of Arena is also its hardest part - its ability to be customized. Each instance of Arena is unique. It takes a lot of work to move in and get ministries set to work efficiently. It takes a strong lead person to have a vision that gets the whole staff working together and moving in the same direction. Ministries are often used to working in isolation from each other. If they don't learn how to standardize the way they work so the whole organization works the same way, everyone fails. Following direction of the trainers is paramount! Incorrect set up of check in, group structure, etc. causes huge headaches and wastes time. Without a well developed strategy for setting up Arena it doesn't work. Strong guidance is needed for efficient set up. Communicating with PARENTS (or split households) of students who are connected to groups or tags is not effective. Custom procedures are needed to do this easily.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018
Erik P.
Director of Technology
Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
8/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018

“For anything more customizable, you'd have to make it yourself.”

ProsI just wrote a review about 6 months ago, but Capterra invited me to write another one. It seems unusual Arena would give you so much customizing freedom. You can totally change up the look, navigation, fields, options, reports, etc. to really fit your needs or make it easier for your staff to get things done. We're using Arena to cross-reference data and automate to streamline processes and help people making meaningful connections. For example, we just started using an Arena driven process where prayer requests are assigned to elders. An algorithm (built with SQL and the Holy Spirit) is used to choose the best connection. Instead of an overwhelming list of all prayer requests, Arena sends an email to each elder each week with just a few requests so they can make more personal connections and they follow up and pray with people. I hear the elders love it. Oh, in response to the recent review, 'Arena check-in system for kids church': Check-in is one small part of the huge program. I would not suggest Arena just for check-in. But, it's check-in is quite customizable with some effort. That flexibility comes with an amount of complexity which takes some training, and if you don't have the resources to make the desired customization, there are companies out there that can help. The friendly guys at Arena can help connect you up.
ConsArena isn't for everyone. You really need a trusted person on staff who understands your culture, processes, and workflows that can then dig into the capabilities of the software and make it fit those needs. But, it's worth it.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018
Elizabeth H.
Mission + Serve Administrator
Non-Profit Organization Management, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
3/5
Likelihood to Recommend
6/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018

“I enjoy using Arena but find challenges in customizing it with only minor SQL experience.”

Overallability to know more about the people in our church, ways to track involvement and collect data. An easy directory system to find out how to contact people, a snapshot of individuals and families--not just actual picture, but a glimpse in ways they are connected to our church. in a large church it helps to know more about people in the congregation.
ProsI really like that it is comprehensive and we are able to customize to make it fit our specific needs. We can add notes, update data, add information easily to people and tags. Sending communication to large numbers of people is easy and easily tracked. Having others who use the software and are happy to share is also a big bonus to use what they are and not have to create something new. Arena works with our finance system. the potential with arena is amazing and so thinking forward is exciting with this product of what could be done and how we might utilize more of its functionality for what we want to do.
ConsThe layers of permission and the skill necessary to take it to a level that is truly customized to what we want is challenging for those who don't have the time or skill level to go deep to create exactly what is desired. The look is not as current or "attractive" as some of the other programs and can be intimidating to those who only look at it on a rare basis--when they have to.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018
STEPHANIE H.
Accounting
Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Features
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
8/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
January 30, 2019

“Arena Shelby for religious organizations ”

OverallI would say my overall experience is good. It provides the level of detail that is needed for the religious organization that I work for . It has many different tools to utilize.
ProsI like the fact that you can be able to go into a members record and track their giving as well as set them up with different committees that they may be a part of within the church. Arena has a function that will allow you to categorize individuals who serve in different areas of the church. Also, it will generate giving statement for end of year and allows you to input service tags for the different services that the church has on Sunday in order to track finances etc.
ConsThe only thing I have just a slight problem with in when you are inputting certain contributions you have to go it will not allow you to select the individual you have to go through the entire batch in order to make corrections within it. It also is not compatible with certain web browsers.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
January 30, 2019
Mark W.
Rock Specialist
Religious Institutions, 201-500 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
3/5
Ease of Use
2/5
Customer Service
1/5
Features
2/5
Value for Money
1/5
Likelihood to Recommend
0/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
October 9, 2018

“Old and Dusty”

OverallWe used it for 10 years. It provided us with more tools than our previous ChMS when we moved onto it in 2007. It was a good tool at the time, but as time passed it never updated with the time and become a better tool. It just did the basics and mostly stuck with them. In the current development environment it is a dinosaur that is unwieldy. One of our happiest days in the past 4 years was when we got to put a bullet in it when we switched to another ChMS in early 2018.
ProsCheckin was very stable and was very consistent.
ConsPretty much everything. It functioned well when it was working. You got what you expected to get. the bugs were minimal, but what you get feels like it is from the late 1990's or early 2000's. To get anything modern requires a herculean effort, and if you want to get that data into another program or application good luck getting it out of the API. Arena had its time and place, but it did not keep up with the times. It has stagnated and no longer has the tools needed for a modern church.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
October 9, 2018
Avatar Image
Vicki S.
Office Manager
Non-Profit Organization Management, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
8/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
August 16, 2019

“Excellent database”

OverallOverall I have had a great experience with Arena and would highly recommend it. The more we use it, the more we learn, the more we can do with it.
ProsCustomizable Comprehensive Moderately easy to learn to use and teach.
Consmust have a developer to make many design changes.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
August 16, 2019
Stephanie J.
Administrative Assistant
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
3/5
Ease of Use
2/5
Customer Service
2/5
Features
2/5
Value for Money
3/5
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018

“Overall decent church database program”

ProsAbility to have child check-in for weekend services, ability to tag individuals to groups and create lists (reports) from said tags. Some areas are customizable which is nice (we've added a field for school attending for our student ministry and a field to track background check dates).
ConsNot very user friendly nor customizable. Have repeatedly had difficulty generating lists without always having to scrub/review for individuals that should not be on list, individuals being left off etc. For check-in procedure we require parents to enter a pager number, in Shelby V.5, I was able to go back and look at who checked-in with which pager. Lost ability to do this with Arena which has been a challenge.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018
Vicki S.
Office Manager/Dir of Older Adults
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 25, 2018

“Arena is part of my every day life! ”

Overallvery easy to use
ProsArena is our database for almost everything we do. I like that i have one place for all of the info for Groups, Members, Check in , Contributions, etc. Having one system to manage all of that has helped with maintaining up to date info correctly! I like that I can now see my contacts online in an easy format for my phone. The system has been easy to teach others who are not regular users of the larger database. Overall, Arena has been a great system!
ConsIn order to customize the look of Arena it requires skills we do not have on staff. We have been able to do a little bit on our own. I wish there were more choices on the front end.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 25, 2018
Shelby M.
Financial Administrator
Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
9/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
September 7, 2018

“Great Church Management Software”

OverallI have really enjoyed using Arena and it has helped us keep track of our growing denomination and all the churches we are adding.
ProsWe use the customizable function of this product to really create what we want. This is helpful because while the product is geared towards churches we have the ability to customize it to our needs as a denomination. The layout is easy to use and we have the ability to take a birds eye view of all our churches. Even our presbyteries made up of an older generation can use it well.
ConsThe reporting function is not the easiest to use. We often have to create our own reports and unfortunately they do not come out like I wish they would.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
September 7, 2018
Verified Reviewer
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
2/5
Ease of Use
1/5
Customer Service
3/5
Features
1/5
Value for Money
2/5
Likelihood to Recommend
0/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
November 1, 2018

“Way behind the times”

OverallThe people at Shelby are nice people, they just aren't up with the times. If they could get ahead and make things easier to use and more attractive or just add simple things like making their group search feature customization so it could be integrated into your existing website's design - and making everything platform agnostic so it would easier to use on tablets and phones, then they'd be halfway there. They're just so far behind and still not catching up that I would really recommend against putting your church management needs in their hands, because if you do you'll be stuck there.
ProsIf you're using arena, it's probably because you used Shelby - they'll port your info from your old Shelby account making it easier to move from one system to the other. It is web based and it generally functions as a decent database.
ConsIf Shelby classic was stuck in the 1990s Arena is stuck in the early 2000's - Shelby is at least ten years behind with everything they do. The small groups search function isn't really useful and doesn't look good when integrated into a well-designed website. All the interfaces are archaic and difficult to use. It isn't intuitive or forward thinking in its interface. It seems stuck in the 80s and 90s when it comes to its way of thinking. It has no worship planning component, no event planning component, no options for creating calendars that are accessible or visible to the public. (though if it did have those features I have no doubt they would be difficult to use and unattractive.) Anyone who is knowledgeable about modern church management software will hate everything Shelby produces.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
November 1, 2018
Barbara C.
Financial Ministry Assistant
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
9/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
June 19, 2018

“We use reports for our weekly attendance and Arena has updated and enhanced our reports.”

OverallIt helps with keeping the different type list organized and available at a moments notice.
ProsVersatility with reports. We use reports to keep up with weekly connection group attendance, we use reports to add our new members weekly, and keep up with all the groups with in the church like Deacons, Ushers, Finance Committee and several other leadership type roles.
ConsThat it doesn't have financials so we still use Shelby and the 2 programs don't coordinate or update well together. As far as contributions go if someone changes a name or address somewhere in Arena we have to manually change it in Shelby to match.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
June 19, 2018
Susan J.
Administrative Assistant/Arena Administrator
Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 24, 2018

“We have yet to tap into all areas of this software and continue to open new areas of information.”

OverallThe ability to access our data base from several different devices. We are still developing some aspects of the software and are looking forward to implementing these areas.
ProsIt is user friendly and can be customized to fit individual company needs. This software can accomplish various aspects of daily business relieving the need for several different softwares.
ConsAlthough it is customizable it does take quite the effort to make it happen. There are areas of the software that cannot not be utilized for any purpose other than what it was created for.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 24, 2018
Jim G.
Business Administrator
Religious Institutions, Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
2.5/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
4.5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Source: SoftwareAdvice
March 26, 2015

“Review of Shelby Arena”

ProsHave been a customer of Shelby Service products for over 20 years. Service and responsiveness is the cornerstone of what Shelby offers when it comes to operational use and implementations. No calling to get Ticket number and waiting for a response, no frustration in the CSR not understanding what you are asking and having someone else call you back after another waiting period. Willing to hand hold admin people on the phone and using webconnect to solve the issue or train the worker. Offering a web based Prodsuct (Arena) that allows us to virtually do what we need to do in and present it in a way that our church expects to see it and identify it.
ConsSometimes the bug fixes take longer to get fixed than they should.
Recommendations to other buyersService and responsiveness is key. You and the staff using it will not understand all the things they will need. Being able to get timely answers is very important. Can you modify and customize its use? They all say yes but often you are very very limited as to what and how you can do things.
Source: SoftwareAdvice
March 26, 2015
Verified Reviewer
Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
3/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
7/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 27, 2019

“Okay Church Management, outdated interface.”

OverallGreat for tracking congregation info, and children check-in. Great for arranging events and sending out emails for those events.
ProsArena can be customized quite a bit, and have an MSSQL database means custom reports are always possible. Being web-based it works on Mac or PC or even on tablets. Except for the check-in software which is Windows PC only.
ConsIt is large and complicated. Hard to find options for things. Support is hit or miss. Some support is great they really know the product. Some support doesn't seem to know the product at all. I wish the email function had a better built-in WYSIWYG editor. Often copy and pasting HTML into it causing issues with formatting.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 27, 2019
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Teresa G.
Accounting Secretary/Preschool Secretary
Religious Institutions, Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
3/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
7/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018

“They definitely need more customer service reps.”

OverallIt integrates well with Shelby Financial. That makes things a lot easier. It's nice to have everything under one roof so to speak.
ProsIt is pretty well all inclusive. Offerings are rather easy to process and to look up information on persons in the system. It is rather easy to enter new people and I do like the fact that it is an online system. That makes it a lot easier.
ConsCustomer service is a very long wait. Way too long in my opinion. I also wish the check reading system, ie, Shelby Teller was also an online system.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018
Melanie M.
Pastor
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
3/5
Ease of Use
1/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
2/5
Value for Money
2/5
Likelihood to Recommend
3/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 24, 2018

“This software has great potential but we have been unable to get the functions to sync with ministry”

OverallWe have enjoyed many of the membership options but are going to need to move to a new software soon if staff continue to struggle with the ease of use.
ProsWe enjoy using the Membership module which includes profile pages, list, search and report functions.
ConsMany of the volunteer tracking, webview calendar option and shelbyweb functions have been difficult to understand and implement. Staff of all ages and abilities seems to struggle in becoming self-sufficient and random errors happen more than we would like.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 24, 2018
Christina V.
GroupLife Associate Coordinator
Non-Profit Organization Management, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
2/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Features
2/5
Likelihood to Recommend
5/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
November 14, 2018

“Ok, but limited”

OverallFine, but it didn't change my world. It works well, but I want to do more and be more efficient, and it's just a little behind what I think a large database management software should do - but this may also be because I'm not fully educated on it's capabilities, in which case I think that's at the fault of Arena support staff. If it has the capabilities to make my job easier, they should be showing that to us.
ProsI like the visual layout of member profiles. It shows all the info I need very simply, cleanly, and in one place. Easy for me to create/edit new groups.
ConsIt is limited in it's capabilities moving forward, but also what I really like least is how it is used and implemented here. It has the ability to take roll via a phone of a member, but we don't use that. Instead we run paper rolls and print them each week and have to enter attendance manually - all this to say I don't think Arena was set up well here - not sure who's fault that was, ours or theirs, but that's how it is and is annoying. Also - the entering of notes on a profile and tracking them is not great or useful, but that would be an important feature. Running reports/lists to get a specific list of what I'm looking for is more difficult and time consuming than it should be; I can work around it and figure it out, but this should be something users should be able to use easily.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
November 14, 2018
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Louie S.
Coordinator - Midwest Church Administration Resources
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
9/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 24, 2018

“We have used Arena for over six years. We have been very pleased with the ease of use & updates.”

ProsEase of use and functionality. While there is a learning curve, there is a lot of help and training available to become a good user of the software.
ConsCommunication is a big issue in today's modern church world. I wish Arena had more communication and feedback features built in. I know the Arena development team is working on some of this.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 24, 2018
Jennifer D.
Communications
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018

“I use Arena every day to keep up with membership information, bulk mailing, and bulk emails. ”

OverallThe appearance and structure of data is much better on Arena than V5.
ProsEasy to navigate, for the most part. Customer service is always friendly and solves my problem the day it occurs.
ConsWhen there are issues due to updates or changes to my computer, I cannot fix it without calling customer support which can be time consuming.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018
Peterson T.
Owner
1-10 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
8/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
January 16, 2018

“Incredibly Thorough and Excellent Support”

OverallThey run the business like a family and are very helpful and very friendly.
ProsThere are many features to this software including multiple ways to track members and prospective members. The accounting portion is robust with an understanding of tax law for churches. Since there are so many features, it is important to get the support needed to pull off the many different searches and actions. Fortunately they provide really helpful, friendly support people. In fact, all the support seems to be in close contact with the programmers, which makes it easier to get answers whenever there is an issue or possible bug.
ConsWhen there is an update, there are sometimes issues. They usually correct them right away, but it can be a pain. The software is easy to use once you know how to do it, and training is required to get the most out of it.
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
January 16, 2018
Kristen M.
Coordinator
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Features
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
7/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 2, 2019

“Took a while to learn”

ProsOnce I learned this software, I was happy with it! I knew how to create groups and organize and use it for my needs!
ConsThere was a steep learning curve for me. Some uses and ways to accomplish a goal in the program weren't simple. Once I learned it l, i didn't have a problem
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
April 2, 2019
Kimberly P.
Business Coordinator
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
3/5
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 30, 2018

“Very robust software, but Shelby needs to realize users are not all IT and computer programmers.”

ProsIt's ability to import into Shelby Next Financials and receive imports from Shelby Next Giving and Teller. Ability to give certain users access to certain features and tabs.
ConsEverything is not setup on your account. You have to call support for every new feature to be utilized.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 30, 2018
Mary Z.
Database Administrstor
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 25, 2018

“As the DBA, Arena is powerful, versatile and helps us know our church is growing. We love it!”

ProsI can customize the data, reporting and screen presentation to meet user needs. Security setup is outstanding. We find new functionality every week.
ConsI'm not thrilled that the Person ID is changed when records are merged. I would prefer the oldest number be kept.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 25, 2018
Matt M.
Director of Children's Ministry
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
2/5
Customer Service
2/5
Features
2/5
Value for Money
3/5
Likelihood to Recommend
5/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
May 7, 2018

“Arena check-in system for kids church”

ProsEnd user (parent) is easy to use. Parents are able to check in simply entering the last four digits of their phone number.
ConsVery difficult to set up to fit our large programs. Managing classes is not as easy as we would like. It doesn't allow as much customizing as we would like.
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
May 7, 2018
Matt M.
Director of Children's Ministry
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
3/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Customer Service
3/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
3/5
Likelihood to Recommend
5/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
December 12, 2018

“We use Shelby Arena for our check in system for families with kids at church.”

ProsIt is fairly easy for the end user (the parent) to check in the kids and select the class. Using the phone number is good.
ConsIt is quite difficult on the administrative side to set up the classes and to customize it to our specific needs.
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
December 12, 2018
Karen R.
Executive Assistant
Non-Profit Organization Management, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
3/5
Value for Money
3/5
Likelihood to Recommend
7/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 24, 2018

“Does provide information I need”

ProsOpening donor page is good for most information I need. Can sort out easy and adjust parameters to obtain information
ConsFind it difficult to use all the features. Some I may want to use, but learning curve is time consuming.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 24, 2018
Verified Reviewer
Non-Profit Organization Management, 501-1000 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Features
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
5/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
October 26, 2018

“Decent Software”

ProsEasy to look up a specific members information.
ConsNot easy to use, prompts are misleading; prompts are unclear when running reports IE: When i go to comprise a list of leaders in bulk is not clear. The steps are not clear. I don't sent bulk emails anymore through Arena.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
October 26, 2018
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Ndikumukiza D.
Accountant
Religious Institutions, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 6-12 months
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018

“Friendly User ”

OverallBe able to connect with our church member and sent accurate statements.
ProsI am able to have church members information and create a group and communicate easily with members whenever necessary. I can send contribution a statement via emails.
ConsSo far I don't have a complaint since it meets my needs. I wish if something is corrected in giving is corrected automatically in membership.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018
Verified Reviewer
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
2/5
Customer Service
4/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
3/5
Likelihood to Recommend
8/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
July 10, 2018

“We use this software in our church. ”

ProsThe things Arena has to offer far exceeded that of the old software our church used. It offers many extra features most softwares to not offer.
ConsWe were promised lots of bells and whistles and I am sure they are out there, but without a dedicated Arena expert we are unable to fully use this software to its potential. We use to have a phone app to use but that longer works.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
July 10, 2018
Mary W.
Music instructor and secretary
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
3/5
Ease of Use
2/5
Customer Service
3/5
Features
2/5
Likelihood to Recommend
5/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
January 16, 2019

“A decent program for managing contacts”

ProsThis program has successfully kept our thousands of prospect contacts organized for many years. We have found it a decent tool.
ConsIt has been difficult to train secretaries in how to use it. Furthermore, the output of data is not easily displayed in an easy-to-read fashion for the average person needing the contact printout. It takes a good bit of explanation.
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
January 16, 2019
Brendan S.
President
11-50 employees
Used the software for: 6-12 months
Overall Rating
3/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
3/5
Value for Money
3/5
Likelihood to Recommend
6/10
Source: SoftwareAdvice
April 18, 2017

“Does the job. UI design is out dated and difficult. ”

ProsCustomer service has been responsive and well trained in their problem solving. Information can be captured but will require a bit of creativity.
ConsThe learning curve is steep. This is not an I Phone and easily usable out of the box. You will need training and after care services.
Source: SoftwareAdvice
April 18, 2017
Teresa S.
Financial Secretary
Non-Profit Organization Management, 11-50 employees
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018

“Arena is pretty user friendly and if you have problems you can call customer service.”

OverallEasier to post payments to members. Easy to navigate.
ProsUser friendly and very easy to navigate. Easy to send out member statements at the end of the year.
ConsI have not found anything that I don't like so far. It is very easy to use. The only major problem we have is when the internet goes down.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018
Austin P.
Groups Pastor
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
3/5
Ease of Use
3/5
Features
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
3/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
February 27, 2019

“Better Databases Available”

ProsThe software is capable of doing so much to help your church implement processes and track data.
ConsYou basically need a full-time developer on staff to make Arena usable for your church.

Vendor Response

By Shelby Arena on February 28, 2019
Austin, Thank you for your feedback. As a software provider it is always important to hear feedback from the user. Please reach out to us so we can discuss training and feature benefits with you. Thank you for being a valuable customer!
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
February 27, 2019
Ben B.
Biller
Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
5/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Features
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
10/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
March 31, 2018

“Wonderful tool for streamlining back end church work”

ProsOur church had been doing things the old way (reams of paper) for years and years. We switched over to Shelby in order to generate some online presence and make it easier for people to donate. It's been wonderful!
Consvery expensive, so make sure you have enough generous parishioners before committing to it. It'll save you a lot of time though!
Reviewer Source 
Source: SoftwareAdvice
March 31, 2018
Randy L.
Chief of Staff
Religious Institutions, 51-200 employees
Used the software for: Less than 6 months
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
5/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
5/5
Value for Money
5/5
Likelihood to Recommend
9/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018

“Excellent. We have already received a great deal of benefit from the software.”

ProsThe fact that ARENA is cloud-based is a tremendous benefit. The staff portal is also beneficial when staff is out of the office. The application is easy to use and very user friendly.
ConsLack of interface with major software applications, reporting functionality, export capability. As a hosted client, the automated mailing interface is a real disappointment. We have to export the names and address and then import them into the old application software.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 22, 2018
Bryan P.
Pastor to Children
Religious Institutions, Unspecified
Used the software for: 1-2 years
Overall Rating
1/5
Ease of Use
1/5
Customer Service
1/5
Features
1/5
Likelihood to Recommend
1/10
Source: SoftwareAdvice
September 12, 2015

“Not a tool for Ministers”

ProsI can view basic member data base information from my mobile devices.
ConsFrom our experiences with Shelby V.5 to our conversion to Arena, we have had nothing but headaches. We are ministers not tech wizards and computer code writers. This puts us at a great disadvantage with this system. Several key features that we had become dependant on in V.5, although promised, we're not available to us in Arena. Shelby systems indirectly acknowledges these inadequacies in the creation of a new "user friendly" program Shelby Next.
Recommendations to other buyersKnow your abilities and limitations. Do your homework and talk to users other than the ones they reccomend.
Source: SoftwareAdvice
September 12, 2015
Justin M.
Director of Technology
Unspecified
Used the software for: 2+ years
Overall Rating
2/5
Ease of Use
1/5
Customer Service
2/5
Features
2/5
Value for Money
1/5
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 23, 2018

“We transitioned away from using Arena because it was too difficult for our staff team to use.”

ProsIt tracks lots of different kinds of data and is customizable if you have the knowledge required to do so.
ConsIt is very difficult to use and many of its features were either very hard to implement or didn't work correctly. For being highly customizable, it's not very flexible with certain things. It requires lots of centralized management to use and is antiquated.
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
May 23, 2018
Brett C.
Executive Pastor
Religious Institutions, 1-10 employees
Used the software for: Less than 6 months
Overall Rating
4/5
Ease of Use
4/5
Customer Service
5/5
Features
4/5
Value for Money
4/5
Likelihood to Recommend
8/10
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
August 14, 2018

“Great Resource”

OverallThose I know still using this service don't care for it much but aren't in an extreme hurry to change. Not the highest recommended amount users.
ProsEffective tool in database and communication reach. Allows many features to ensure you are on track with your people and your staff can track progress. Multiplatform engagement allows use among many ministry areas.
ConsA bit outdated when it comes to other companies like Planning Center
Reviewer Source 
Source: Capterra
August 14, 2018