Planning Center

Planning Center


4.5 / 5
617 reviews

Who Uses This Software?

We love Churches! Any size, any denomination.


Average Ratings

617 Reviews

  • 4.5 / 5
    Overall

  • 4.5 / 5
    Ease of Use

  • 4.5 / 5
    Customer Service

Product Details

  • Starting Price
    $14.00/month
  • Pricing Details
    Free for 30 days, no contracts. Upgrade, downgrade or cancel at anytime.
  • Free Version
    Yes
  • Free Trial
    Yes
  • Deployment
    Cloud, SaaS, Web
    Mobile - Android Native
    Mobile - iOS Native
  • Training
    Documentation
  • Support
    Online

Vendor Details

  • Planning Center
  • planning.center/
  • Founded 2006
  • United States

About Planning Center

At Planning Center, we are passionate about helping churches by making great applications that are affordable, powerful, and easy to use on any device. We do that through several different products: Check-Ins, Giving, Groups, People, Registrations, Resources and Services. Each product is continually updated to make it the best in its market!


Planning Center Features

  • Accounting Integration
  • Attendance Tracking
  • Built-in Accounting
  • Child Check-in
  • Event Management
  • Member Directory
  • Member Portal
  • Multi-Site Management
  • Online Giving
  • Pledge Management
  • Small Group Management
  • Volunteer Management

Planning Center Reviews Recently Reviewed!


Amazing Church Management Software

Feb 20, 2019
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I love that Planning Center makes church management easy and fun. The web interface just keeps getting better and the developers are very active in trying to meet the needs of their customers. Its modular design ensures that it has tools available for all churches no matter how big or small. The prices are fair and you only have to pay for the parts that you use. Planning Center has transformed the way we manage our church and has improved communication between our leadership and our church body. This is a must-have tool for any church interested in improving the way they operate.

Cons: While I know that this is a work-in-progress, I find the lack of consistency across the various modules to be an issue. When a new feature is released in one module, it can take some time for it to migrate across the entire software platform. This causes confusion to those of us who are using nearly every tool offered by Planning Center. Additionally, some modules force users to use the archaic and difficult to use Markdown coding langue to format outgoing emails. To make matters worse, there is no email preview in the Markdown editor. So, it's a mystery if the code was entered correctly until after you hit the send button. Frustratingly, some modules do provide users with a full, rich text editor for correspondence. Why don't all of them?

Overall: Overall, Planning Center is a pleasure to use and the support team is one of the best I've ever seen. They care about their customers and strive to make sure their product works perfectly. The development of these tools is ongoing and new features arrive all the time. Planning Center is a textbook example of how to do church management software right.

A strong suite with a little too much monopoly

Nov 13, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

2 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: I love that it has a variety of different tools that are not only practical but have swiftly become necessary to running ministries in the church. I can't imagine using another software for scheduling teams, checking in kids, or organizing our small groups. This truly is a robust central point for our database management at our church, and it's in a whole other category than any other church management software because of its significantly lower price point.

Cons: Perhaps it's because of the price point, but where Planning Center fails in its ability to stay innovative and continually becoming more intuitive in its design and structure. I can't tell you how many times, even after years of use, I have spent dozens of minutes trying to find a certain feature or settings option that still evaded my insight for where it should go. Also, despite regular suggestions for updates to make the software stronger, I rarely see them innovating. If they didn't hold such a strong monopoly, I would not be surprised to see them ousted by a more aggressively advancing competitor.

Overall: Quality way of maintaining a database of church members that integrates well into scheduling them to serve, checking in their kids, or having them sign up for events or small groups. Nothing else quite like it out there in the market right now!

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on November 15, 2018

Thanks for your honest review, Jonathan! We'd love the chance to chat with you about your comments. You can email us at support@planning.center. We're working hard to update our apps often to keep them competitive. This month, we've pushed out major feature updates to Resources, Registrations, Groups, and Services. We have many exciting updates coming before the end of the year as well!

This is the software you want

Nov 01, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: It is the most user-friendly software. They have more features than you'll ever need and it makes collaboration a breeze. The system always functions as it should and most of the time the development team is several steps ahead, putting out new features that are actually helpful. The fact that they work with groups like renewed vision to integrate with propresenter is incredibly valuable. Everything being cloud based also makes it easy to collaborate between departments on events. Their groups search is easy to use, resolution-responsive and looks great integrated into any website. The kiosk option in their events module makes dynamic calendar-based digital signage really simple. Everyone who has ever resisted adopting planning center at our church has eventually come around to really like it.

Cons: If you have a need for a feature the development team is going to tell you that they may add it one day and never commit to a release. Also they don't offer any training other than videos online - for savvy people this isn't much of a problem because their interface is so user friendly, but if you have staff who refuse to learn things on their own this will deter them from wanting to adopt planning center - though it shouldn't because it is really easy to learn. The pricing model can be somewhat confusing at times and I wish there was more of a discount for people using multiple modules; a large church can get close to spending a thousand dollars a month without much trouble, though I know this is comparable to some other platforms and honestly you get what you pay for.

Overall: I can't reccomend planning center enough. It's easy to use. It looks good when integrated with our website and digital signage. It encourages collaboration between teams. While it doesn't have an accounting module that kind of thing is best left up to the experts; intuit's products handle accounting much better than any church management software anyway. If you're not already using planning center services, you really should it makes planning worship so much easier and once you see how great that is you'll want to get groups, resources, and everything else and by that time most of your database is already populated and the people module is free. You'll be swapped over to it as your main church management software before you even realize it.

When it comes to all-in-one church planning and management, Planning Center is second to none.

Mar 19, 2018
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: It offers almost every feature you can imagine necessary for your church, regardless of your position. As a leader, you have the ability to set up a plan for an entire service, including music sets, speakers, sermon notes, etc. with as much or little detail as you like. You can then share this with any or all members of your team for their reference. Chain emails can be sent for reminders of meetings, worship rehearsals, or other information.

For worship pastors, you are also able to attach chord charts, song files, and list of members for future worship sets, allowing everybody to have access to practice materials and be on the same page. There is also an ability to create your own chord charts for songs you've written, along with personal notes for your band to follow directly from you.

For the congregation, there is a hub for offering/donations that can be done completely electronically. Members can also have their own profiles to check in, register for church events, and more. The best part of all of this is that it's all categorized, making every feature streamlined and easy to setup, use, and view. Most software becomes complicated when jam-packed with as many features as Planning Center, however the folks here have done a fantastic job of laying everything out in a logical and easy-to-use way, for the most part.

Cons: While most features are streamlined, some are buried underneath others, and thus require a bit of digging to figure out every last odd-and-end in the program (of which there are a lot). This isn't detrimental, but it is good to know that you'll have to be willing to invest a little bit of time to truly master everything.

It's core programs are stellar

Feb 22, 2018
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Center is a great all in one suite for a church database. Their customer support is really good. They will respond to your email within an hour. They've had a slack channel that is also helpful for you to learn from others how they are using the software. The majority of their products are great. People, Services, Check-In are best in class in my opinion. Resources and Registrations are good they get the job done.

One of Planning Centers best features is that they are constantly making quality improvements. Their updates keep them at the top of the ChMS game. I've witnessed others get the lead and they play it safe or drop the ball. Or they just built such a large product that its too big to update.

People

-Easy to import and export (this is a must feature in my opinion for any database)

-Customizable (again another dealbreaker for me if a database doesnt have that)

-F R E E

Service

- The best volunteer management software in any industry

Check-In

-Simple to use and straightforward

-Beautiful UI

Cons: Groups and Giving are what I like least about Planning Center. We had to move on from PC Giving because after 2 years of using it they never added the ability to mass import donations or work with outside vendors. I would have loved to have been able to integrate PushPay with Planning Center. It would have saved us H O U R S. I would have loved to have our members see their entire history of giving. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is to manually re-enter every gift. That would take months to complete and we are only 10 years old as a church! Reporting could be much improved too. You can really only search by one category at a time. So if you want to look at everyone who has given to a certain fund by check you'd have to export the info to get that.

Groups is still in beta in my opinion and have been since they launched in June of 2016. It's not complete or usable in my opinion. All it does is take attendance. Our groups are more than just taking attendance. Every group's system has a span of care (coaching structure) but groups don't have anything to assist you with that. It also doesn't receive many updates. The team that works on giving also works on groups so giving naturally gets all the priority.

Finally, one thing that scares me about Planning Center is that some of the staff can be really arrogant. I don't know if it's because of how many users they have and managing all the requests but they don't listen well enough.

Overall: All in one stop shop for Church Database Management

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on February 28, 2018

Hi Nicholas,

Thanks for your review. We've had a lot of changes to our teams in the past two months, and the Giving/Groups team has been split in to two separate teams to help advance both of those products faster.

It still might be awhile before Giving has a way to bulk-import payments, but adding the ability to track external payments in September was a step in that direction.

It's definitely concerning that you feel our staff is arrogant, so if you would like to contact me directly about experiences that contributed to this feeling, I'll gladly look into it with you.

Reagan Helms
Support Team Lead
Planning.center

I couldn't imagine church service planning without PCO!

Jul 21, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I've been in church music ministry for over 14 years now. I've tried and evaluated several pieces of software over the years. I always came away with the sense that software packages certainly worked for someone, but I would have to change several things to fit into most of them. That was until I found Planning Center. During my first contact with the product, I was thinking, "Who has been spying on me and conspiring to make my work simpler?"

Planning Center is designed for church event & volunteer management by people who operate in that realm. They understand the challenges and needs of people serving in churches, and their software makes it incredibly easy to keep people in the loop and keep spots filled.

Their customer support is second-to-none. In their early days, they had some issues with their hosting company. They live-tweeted as someone drove to the server farm, pulled their servers, and drove to a new hosting company that offered guaranteed up-time. We all understand that stuff happens. They won a lot of loyalty as their customers saw them doing everything humanly possible to make their product reliable.

Cons: One feature I'm hoping for soon is the ability to incorporate calendar invitations into people's serving schedule. As it stands now, you can subscribe to a calendar of your PCO activity, but it's a separate calendar. Not everyone will do that. As a result, I've been inviting people to Google Calendar events based on who is serving when, just to try to make sure it gets on people's schedules. It would be nice for that functionality to be integrated into PCO instead of doing it separately. When someone accepts an invitation to serve, they get a calendar invitation sent to the email address they indicated was their primary calendar. Other than that, I really have no complaints.

Overall: It revolutionized my planning and communication process. It made it so much easier to see who is serving when and to know whether or not they've been sent certain communication pieces and resources. It also makes it simple to collaborate with others on the planning process.

Great Church Management Software

Jan 30, 2017
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Customer Support

3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: listed in my review

Cons: also listed in my review

Overall: I love almost everything about PCO, I've used many different CMSs over the last few years, and PCO has been the best. Their best apps are:

The original "Services" is fantastic and the most polished. Works great not just for (all though especially for) worship team. It is also great for Children's/kids church, greeters, ushers, refreshment team, really any team!

The next best is also their fantastic "check-ins" works great! they have thought through these well and made excellent improvements. Fast, reliable, intuitive, versatile, really just great.

The third best and it starts to fall off pretty quickly from here, is their "People" app, it works well, they have mad significant improvements and honestly I think the reason this one does not seem to work as well as i wish it would is because of the other apps they've created... I'll try to explain.

"Giving" seems to really frustrate my finance ladies. One works for several churches and she is not a fan of how things work in PCO, especially if you collect money through Text, or registrations... it seems to become very difficult to resolve on her end... i don't really know finance though, so i can't be more help there.

"Registration" and "Groups" are all great efforts that seem to have too much crossover and convolution with each other but also "Check-ins". It can be hard to tell if a group should be entered into "groups" or "check-ins" or both.Such as Youth Ministry? Group or Check-in? Both take/track attendance, each in different ways with plusses and minuses each way. But good luck getting a useful report out of either them. Also if you use "Registration" to collect funds for an event, it's great for tracking that, but your finance office will hate you because it doesn't seem to report with everything else, so it adds a bunch of extra steps, i thought we were doing it wrong so they called PCO and basically got a "Sorry that's how it works."

These apps all allow you to enter new people into the "People" app, and you also expect to find useful info on member activity in "People" but you really can't find much useful info on individual, just "Lists" of people. Reporting (in "People" or in the apps themselves) fails to be as useful as you need because of the overlap and convolution... want to know who didn't attend this week? No way to find out. Missed 3 times in the last 6 meetings? No way to find out. Want to see how attendance is going in each of your small groups in the church. sorry.

Recommendations to other buyers: in my review

Planning Center is great for organizing church events, worship team, staff members, volunteers, ect.

Apr 06, 2019
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Comments: It makes scheduling team members for your church simple and easy. Honestly, I don't know how we could go without it at this point. It's such a time saver, and the best way to share songs and files with the team. There is a phone app that works really well too, with only a few minor limitations compared to the computer/browser version.

Pros: I've been using Planning Center for many years with multiple worship teams, and it keeps evolving and getting better. I'm an admin with Planning Center for my current church, so I use it quite often. It stores a data base of team members that can be grouped into multiple categories (worship team, audio/lighting tech, sunday school/nursery volunteers, etc). I think PC really shines for scheduling worship services. It stores audio files, video links, and documents which can easily be linked to any new service so your team has the information (music, audio files, videos) they need to be prepared in advance. Your worship team (or for any other aspect of church functions) can be alerted when they are scheduled to serve, and they can accept or reject the invite to serve which will alert the admin so they can make sure that a person for each required position of a service or event has been filled. It can save tons of time for an administrator to put together a team and get them the resources they need. It even links to online calendars so when you accept a position for an event, it can automatically be added to your calendar (in my case Google). Overall, if your church isn't using this, you need to try it - it's a huge time saver!

Cons: It can be a little confusing sometimes, and there is way more to it than we use that I wish we could turn off until we need it, but honestly it's still probably the best options out there that we've found.

Planning Center is THE standard when it comes to Church Planning Software for good reason!

Oct 03, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Center allows me to keep all of my teams and schedules organized with very little headaches along the way. I use Planning Center multiple times each week and use it to keep track of a large database of volunteers. Within seconds I can see what areas we are weak in volunteer wise and schedule accordingly. I have had very little issues with Planning Center, but anytime I need help, their customer service teams are phenomenal.

Cons: On rare occasions there are features that are difficult to navigate. For example, I was recently changing someone's availability within their profile and the dropdown for possible service times wasn't showing the service times it should have. There was a menu I had missed that changed this dropdown to be correct. The Planning Center team fixed the issue for me quickly and taught me how to do it myself in the future so I am definitely not complaining, I would just say there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to navigating all of Planning Center's options.

Overall: Planning Center allows me to keep all of my teams and schedules organized with very little headaches along the way. I use Planning Center multiple times each week and use it to keep track of a large database of volunteers. Within seconds I can see what areas we are weak in volunteer wise and schedule accordingly. I have had very little issues with Planning Center, but anytime I need help, their customer service teams are phenomenal.

Planning Center has stream-lined our whole church volunteer base.

Apr 15, 2019
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: We can literally keep all our church info under one umbrella. We schedule all of our volunteers for worship, coffee ministry, early childhood, sound, kid's wing... everything with Planning Center. We would be lost without Planning Center. We are able to see when our volunteers are scheduled in other departments. We use the kid's check-in app. We have even recently used the "Registrations" app for some of our sign-ups, it's a little pricey but pretty efficient. We run so much of our church with Planning Center.

Cons: It definitely sometimes has weird glitches where some volunteers will not receive emails sent to them all time, or worship team members getting unscheduled. We are not entirely sure if it's Planning Center's fault or some weird planning center fairy messing with us.

Overall: We love Planning Center and it has revolutionized our church's organization.

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on April 16, 2019

Hi Kati! Thanks for sharing the love. We are are so happy it has helped you and your ministry.

We did notice you mentioned some volunteers will not receive emails sent to them. If you notice this happening we'd recommend writing in to our support at support@planning.center and we'd be happy to look into any issues you are having. We want our software to help you and your ministry be the best it can be. So if you have any hiccups, don't hesitate to reach out.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Great at discrete tasks... not yet ready for primetime as a whole-church DB replacement

Feb 12, 2018
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Comments: Planning Center is hard to review because it's not one product, it's actually six different products. That's both a strength and a weakness. Most people using Planning Center are used to its core functionality: Planning Center Services. This is the tool used for actually planning a worship service (complete with tech sheet, ProPresenter integration, etc) and scheduling people to be there. It also has a Check-In component, a Groups component, a Resources (room scheduling) component, and a Giving component. Supposedly, if you add them all together you get a viable whole-church database solution. It's hard to see that being the case, since a lot of the functionality you'd want to see for a whole-church database (especially around reporting, metrics, dashboards, etc) are missing. But the parts that are there mostly work well. It's impossible to overstate how far ahead Planning Center Services is from everything else in the field. Everyone I'm in contact uses Services for service planning. Their other modules, though, are all missing important features. Work is clearly being done to improve those components, but mostly it seems more like rearranging existing features than adding the ability to solve new problems. We'll keep using Planning Center Services, but have transitioned away from Planning Center Groups and anticipate moving away from Planning Center Resources. Luckily our new system integrates well with PCO, so we'll be able to keep our contact databases in sync. This is an underappreciated feature for PCO: a full API to develop and integrate against!

Pros: Great ease of use. Excellent for planning services and scheduling volunteers. Makes it easy for volunteers to respond to schedules without having to remember account details. Solid people management.

Cons: Everything outside of the core (service planning & scheduling) functionality seems half-baked. Very difficult to pull reports, group scheduling & attendance don't work well.

Planning Center is very effective in scheduling volunteers for events, services, and volunteering

Mar 13, 2018
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: I like that we can send our team members invites for weekend services and they can respond via the downloadable app. We continually use this software to see who will be showing up to services/events by who's accepted and who has declined the invites we send out. We enjoy using the service flow capability that allows us to communicate how the services will be run for each weekend. This not only allows us to communicate with those who volunteer on our teams, but they have great features like music stand to help communicate which songs will be played that need to be practiced. Every feature created is to the benefit of the participants and the administrators using it.

Cons: I think the only thing I really don't like about this software is the time it takes to get used to where all the functionality is and what can be used for different situations. It's sometimes a challenge to get newer users on their feet when jumping into this program. Particularly in understanding the structure of how data is recorded within the program.

Overall: We are able to let mass amounts of volunteers know what they'll be doing, when they'll be serving, and where they'll be serving over the weekend services we have. It's a great tool for churches who have volunteers willing to jump in and be a part of a team.

Fantastic church service management software

Mar 19, 2019
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: + I like that I can listen to the songs through the app (YouTube player)

+ I love being able to make annotations on a song, and then accessing those later (provided they are in the same key)

+ I like that I can block out my unavailability on a calendar

Cons: - For Music Stand, Annotations on sheet music in previous keys are rarely available. This makes transposing very frustrating and time consuming

- Cannot access annotations on songs in different keys from the PC online version (have to use the mobile version)

- Custom zoom options are very difficult to manage (if you want to zoom in on Music Stand, it is finicky)

- I should be able to access songs/annotations/sheet music from prior services I have played, but as of now I cannot

- It would be really nice to have a transpose feature (A key is in A but the sheet music is in G - this technology is readily available on other websites, but Planning Center does not currently have this)

- I should be able to share my annotations with other members

- Should get notifications in app if the leader changes the key of a song

Overall: Being able to access my sheet music on the fly with annotations I have written in is a huge game player for playing on a worship team. I used to have a huge physical folder of sheet music, and now I have everything in this app. This app eliminates the need for paper sheet music. I also like that if a team leader changes a key in a song, the new sheet music will be available (although I wish this gave you a notification that the key changed).

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on March 25, 2019

Thanks for your review! Our support team is happy to help you with getting those annotations available. Transposing is also available and we can assist with that as well at support@planning.center

Thank you!

Don't Do Church Music Without This Tool!

Nov 05, 2016
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: It's incredibly easy to use, not only for me but my volunteers.

It is designed to target the needs & issues I face in service planning and volunteer management in a local church.

It integrates with a host of other products I use to help my teams prepare every Sunday.

Cons: Because it's web-based, Internet access is required for most functionality. That doesn't hinder me because I know it's a requirement, so I plan for it.

Overall: I've been a church music director for 13+ years. I've looked into a lot of online products over the years. Most of them looked like something that worked for someone, but I would have to change how I did things to make it work. Enter Planning Center. As soon as I started poking around, I starting thinking, "Who has been spying on me and conspiring to make my life easier..."

Not only is this product incredibly well-made, their customer support is second-to-none. Planning Center makes service planning and volunteer scheduling a breeze. I also use it to handle all of my music stand & chord chart needs.

They also have products available for Event Registration, Giving, Volunteer Check-In, Church Management and more! Their products are designed to serve the local church because that's how they started. They designed products that they themselves needed in their own churches.

All of their stuff is web-based, so it's accessible anywhere from any device. Seriously, do yourself a favor and start using PCO.

Indispensable software, far outshines the competition

May 13, 2019
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Center has a suite of software that integrates so seamlessly and offers so much to help the teams. The team who plans and develops Planning Center has a deep understanding of the unique environment that churches are in, and their software constantly delivers modern tools to navigate it.

I use Services the most, and it does everything you could ask it to. The newly redesigned interface is beautiful, intuitive, and fast. The power user features make editing and managing songs and people easy.

The android and iOS apps are top notch as well. You can do most of what you would need to on mobile, and the apps report any updates instantly.

Oh yeah, pricing is incredibly affordable and there's a free version to boot. Once, the gracious support team even helped me add more members than my plan allowed.

Cons: In services, I wish the apps allowed you to edit more song details, such as adding new keys and changing song sequences. Other than that, there are no cons.

Overall: Planning Center is an absolute must for any church or non-profit. They have everything you need, and they help you organize even better than you thought you could. There's literally no reason not to use it!

Planning Center: Excellent Church Database

Oct 31, 2018
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Center is the perfect business software for our church's needs. We have now implemented the Resources tab into our church and its excellent for reserving rooms/vans. We have one mass calendar that allows us to never overlap. Our ministry leaders love using the service portion to update our schedule and worship services. Members have the chance to approve or decline their volunteer positions which allows our leaders to know if our Sunday's are properly staffed. Sending emails through the database are extremely simple. We are also a very diverse church and I love the demographics and people status feature.

Cons: It was a significant learning curve to understand how to implement the software. I can't even say this is a true con though because with any encompassing software, it will take time to learn all the ins and outs. The only true con is that we are only allowed so many check-in's in one day until the price increases. Since we are a church, we only use check in on Wednesdays and Sundays which leaves 5 days for us to not check anyone in. Even though we are not touching the weekly check-in quota, we would still have to pay more for the two days that we do.

Overall: After the learning curve, you will find that Planning Center helps meet your church needs and will significantly increase your productivity within the church!

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on November 05, 2018

Thanks for your review! Check-In's limit is a daily limit, and the unused check-ins don't roll over to the next day. So there's not a "weekly check-in quota."

Planning Center Support

Great Way to Organize Services

Jan 24, 2019
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

3 / 5
Customer Support

3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: - Schedules are clear.

- I can blockout dates and times

- All schedules and materials for services are easily found within the app.

- I can easily print items from the app.

- Team members are visible and all statuses (confirmed, declined, etc.).

- Personalized to my liking and functionality.

Cons: - Cannot change my choice on confirmations or declining.

- Not super smooth in blocking out dates or finding services.

- Sometimes when I go into messages or a specific service date, I cannot easily go back to the main list of my WHOLE schedule.

- Could get better at recommending to Administrators to fill everything out and keep it up to date for users.

Overall: I really like the accessibility of this app! Simple to use and I can create my own profile. I can see who else I am serving with and what dates I still need to respond to. I can also print out documents on the specific services. Thanks for a great app!

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on January 25, 2019

Hi Elena!

Thanks for you kind words and honest criticism!

If you'd like to walk through any of the issues or hurdles you are seeing in the app, make sure to email our support team, here: support@planning.center. Or through the helpdesk of the app. We take feature requests very seriously and we'd love to hear what you'd like to see change!

Have a great day!

Capterra loader

First year using and Learning curve

Dec 12, 2018
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

2 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: I love that the functionality is well integrated with other aspects of the programs needed in our church. I love that we can schedule all departments and needs for the entire church. The ability to auto schedule is a huge plus.

I love that there's a phone app so I'm able to see everything needed on the go or make changes.

Cons: I do not like that there are not more specific perimeters for schedules. Such as choosing how often people serve in specific roles vs. how many times a month as an over all blanket. I also would have liked a more personal introduction and hands on help when learning the software. A call desk for immediate help would be wonderful. I wish there was better integrated systems for audio files included with membership. Finding the right song, key etc. is tedious and time consuming and really other less expensive programs offer this service so I feel that should be included. So when you add a song from CCLI the audio file should be included.

Overall: We are able to keep everything in real time and schedules are all the same and able to be adjusted easily. Staff and volunteers can respond quickly to requests and resources are used better.

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on December 13, 2018

Hi Ginger!

We'd love to talk to you about some of your feedback. First, thank you for taking time to type this up - it's appreciated!

Our scheduling app, Services, allows for quite specific serving preferences. We'd be happy to help you with this. Also, in regards to finding music, it sounds like some of our searching filters will help ease your searching woes a great deal. We can help with that too!

Lastly, CCLI is a separate company from Planning Center. We have no control over the files they do or do not allow to be integrated. While we certainly think it would be great to be able to auto-import audio files, that's not something CCLI allows, so it's not something we can do. We can auto import audio files from PraiseCharts and RehearsalMix.

Contacting our support staff will allow us to help you with all this and more!

Not sure why ANY church wouldn't be using Planning Center!

Jan 22, 2019
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: My favorite part of Planning Center is that it is ALWAYS evolving. From brand new big-ticket module roll-outs to smaller upgrades within the software - the always advancing nature of Planning Center is a huge plus for us. I also love the "umbrella" that Planning Center brought to our ministry situation. Bringing many weekly-use bits of software under one umbrella has helped in so many ways.

Cons: The only negative experience we've had with Planning Center centers around a drop in our Internet speeds on a Sunday morning while checking in children to our children's ministry. Without adequate internet access, we couldn't adequately accomplish what this software provides.

Overall: Our church staff team has felt the weight of me asking us to go all-in with the Planning Center platform. We currently use "services", "people", "groups", "check-ins", and "giving" every single week - often every single day. PCO has streamlined many of our previous workflows (or, to be honest - helped us CREATE workflows that didn't exist!). Having access on computers and mobile devices is SUCH a blessing. We couldn't be more pleased with our PCO experiences!

Planning Center is the Best Practice for church management tools!

Mar 12, 2019
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I love Planning Center's customer support and how they've helped us to customize/better utilize Services and People for our volunteer teams.

Cons: Planning Center Services seems to change the user interface a little bit too frequently. They change the layout and navigation just enough and, when a change occurs, the walkthroughs tend to be insufficient because each team uses it in a somewhat different capacity. Also, we happen to have a very large database of individual records for our attendees and volunteers, so for users who download the Services app and accidentally open the "people" tab, the app tends to crash or freeze.

Overall: Without fail, no matter how many other options we research, Planning Center is the only software that truly enables our church to grow and it will scale with us! It's become a tool that allows our multi-site church to truly take care of our span of care well.

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on March 13, 2019

We're happy to help you with that app-crashing issue! This should not be happening, regardless of how many people are in your database. Please contact our team at support@planning.center and we'll work with you to get this fixed.

Indispensable tool for managing church services and volunteers

Oct 10, 2017
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Schedule services and communicate with volunteers through one central location

Great mobile app that is not an afterthought. Many of our volunteers only use the mobile app

Song planning made easy - just add a song to a service and add people to a service and they have everything they need to rehearse and show up prepared

The more ministries use it, the more powerful it becomes - managing schedule conflicts across teams gets easier when all of your teams use it.

You can tell the people who write this software are also on church teams. They "get" it.

Cons: It is so robust and flexible, with so many options, getting started can be a little overwhelming.

For even a mid-sized church like us, it is an investment. It costs about the same as our church management system, so it is not insignificant. However, I would say we get much more value out of the software than our church management system, so it is worth it.

Overall: Centralized volunteer scheduling

Centralized song planning and rehearsing

Service planning

Plan to get Planning Center

Sep 25, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: The software is really easy to use. It's a matter of creating an event, selecting the people that are going to participate in the event, and then creating an order/agenda for that event. Since I am a pastor of a church, we put our worship services in this program. So we are able to select the songs, upload them for the worship team to listen to and practice, and then every single participant that we selected will receive an email reminding them they are on the agenda, and it gives them the ability to accept or decline the request. I am able to upload my sermon notes and PowerPoint for the sound team to download in prep for the main service. The fact that we are able to coordinate an entire worship service in this one place allows for efficient planning, and it saves a lot of time.

Cons: The only con that I can think of is that when we first signed up, we had the cheapest package, and eventually we ran out of space. We had to then go back and start deleting previous worship services because of all the files that were previously uploaded. That was an inconvenience that led us to upgrading. Now we don't have to worry about that.

Overall: Our experience has been overwhelmingly positive. As I said, it is an efficient timesaver. If you try on your own to do everything that this service offers, you'll add many unnecessary hours of work to your week.

Capterra loader

Powerful, well-thought out Church Management Software

Jul 08, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: Child Check-in is very intuitive and flexible, with the ability to check-in via computers, tablets, smartphones and customizable labels. You can have manned check-in stations, additional self-check-in kiosks, or roll-sheet style stations.

Services is an amazing way to keep your volunteers organized, so you don't overschedule or overutilize some volunteers while leaving others without much to do. With great notifications, a "Matrix" view that gives schedules excellent at-a-glance views of their preparedness, and a place to save lesson plans, chord sheets, or other information to share with volunteers, this was a HUGE relief for our teams.

People is free and has some great options for tracking and grouping attendees and for setting up workflows for reaching out. It had a bit of a learning curve coming from our last system.

Cons: People has very limited ability to send e-mails without integrating with MailChimp, and that integration was not very intuitive. That said, MailChimp's safeguards to help ensure you're never marked as a spammer make it a really good idea to use it, anyway, for mass e-mails.

Keeps Our Church Teams Organized

Jan 13, 2016
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Although our church uses Planning Center for a variety of things, I use it in our worship ministry, and it allows us to all "stay on the same page". Our church meets in the auditorium of a school, and as such, we only have the building on Sunday mornings. Because of this, our worship team cannot rehearse during the week. With Planning Center, I am able to "post" the music for several Sundays in advance and our team can use the attachments to listen to each song via an .mp4 file, and see chord charts. When Sunday arrives, everyone has been able to prepare on their own and we do a quick run-through. I can schedule team members and see who has responded and who has not. I can add notes to each service for the team members' info. My team members can block out certain dates when they know that they will not be with us. I like the fact that there are different user levels so that some people can actually edit and schedule, while others only have viewing permission. Planning Center also allows us to input each person's contact information, so everyone on the team has the ability to reach others if necessary.

Cons: The mobile app is not as responsive as I would like, but it works.

Recommendations to other buyers: Take advantage of some of the free webinars that Planning Center offers. They are extremely informative, and teach you a lot of tips and tricks and how to best use the program for your particular situation.

Great solution for small churches

Mar 27, 2019
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 6.0/10 Not
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Pros: I love the integration between apps. For small to medium-sized churches, this is a great solution that can grow with you! Being able to add on apps over time as you need them is wonderful.

Cons: Planning Center Giving leaves much to be desired in the area of reporting. Lists in People also have room for improvement. As these features stand right now, I do not feel that Planning Center will be able to support our growing church long-term. We need a system that can handle robust reporting within the platform. At our current size, it is not unreasonable for me to export data to Excel and work the data outside of the system, but this will not be efficient as we continue to grow.

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on March 28, 2019

Hi! Thanks for your kind words and honest review!

As far as your comments on reporting, our team would really like to hear what your needs are in People and Giving. If you'll submit your needs and feature requests through the helpdesk in any of our apps, our team will get back with you most of the time within an hour! We look forward to speaking with you!

Planning Center has revolutionized the way we communicate with our volunteers and teams.

Sep 28, 2017
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Center has revolutionized the way we communicate with our volunteers and teams. From the most tech-savvy teenager to our oldest retired worship team member, this form of communication simply works for everyone. I love the way you can communicate via different ways.

When we first began to transition to Planning Center, we were a traditional church stuck in the 1980's in many ways, especially in our communications. While it took about 3-6 months to get everyone on the worship team using it (probably a rotating team of 40), now we don't know what we would do without it.

Since then, we have expanded with Planning Center's capability. From our Volunteer Greeters, to other teams (Ushers, Safety), it is a tool that serves everyone, and helps us expand our ministry efforts more efficiently.

Cons: While Planning Center is the industry standard, in my opinion, I would love if they incorporated a capacity to either integrate with an e-mail marketing/communications company (i.e., Constant Contact or Mail Chimp) or offer that service themselves so I don't have to keep email lists in 2 different (sometimes 3) places.

Overall: Planning Center has allowed us to expand our ministry capacity through clear lines of communication with our volunteers. Truly an indispensable tool for ministry.

Our church loves using planning center. It keeps everything in one place.

Mar 20, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning center helps keep our church organized. We can collaborate on plans, see everything in advance, and schedule volunteers. The large number of features such as tags or blockout dates make it easy to make sure we schedule people based on availability.

We have also started using ProPresenter, so the link between these two programs is very helpful in creating slides. Everything is stored in Planning Center, and it easily imports in from our slideshow program.

Planning Center giving has made it easy for online donations. Most people don't carry cash or checks around, so having that online donation option is helpful for them. Planning Center was easy to set up and use.

Cons: I don't have many problems with Planning Center at all. Sometimes, the learning curve on advanced functions can be steep, and I may forget the exact steps to do something, but their help guides are there to guide me through. I'm still not sure how to automatically send emails as soon as I schedule someone, but that's a minor issue.

Overall: I love using Planning Center. It's easy to create service plans, link with our slideshow program, schedule volunteers, and easily reference attached documents for songs and Scripture readings. We also use Planning Center Giving to easily provide an online giving option. It was so easy to set up.

Capterra loader

Best Church Managemetn Software

Mar 07, 2019
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: It is easy to learn and imports data from other sources pretty cleanly. The modules integrate with each other seamlessly so that any data change in one place is immediately available in other modules. The user interface is easy to navigate and pleasant to view. One of the great things about the "Services" module is that it integrates with ProPresenter, making putting presentations together much easier and faster. There are still modules we have not explored yet, but we are planning to continue to grow into the service.

Cons: The "People" module is not as flexible as I'd like. Our previous software used certain categories and terms that do not translate to "People" very well. It is hard to make these adjustments after so many years of familiarity with the other app. That said, this is still an improvement. It would be nice to be able to customize everything about the People module to fit with our conventions and denomination.

Overall: We needed an easier, more efficient membership management app. Planning Center offers that, plus so much more. We now use it for giving management as well.

Planning Center Review

Sep 12, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I like that when there is an update to the church service, the choir then knows the order of the service, the songs that we will sing and the capability to learn songs with the audio of each part. I like that I can set my alto part in the song to repeat the recording so that I can listen to it over and over again to learn my part.

I like that I can see who has accepted to attend and who hasn't. Some people however, don't accept or decline the request making it harder for the choir director to know how many and who will be in attendance.

Cons: I don't like that previous services cannot be accessed once the date has passed. I would like to see an archive section to review previous songs.

I wish that sermons could be captured by clicking on the title so that I could revisit past sermons.

Some of the recordings aren't quality so it makes it hard to understand the lyrics to learn them correctly.

I would also like to see the document viewer be better to view the song lyrics.

Overall: I like planning center as a member of the worship team of my church. It allows me the capability to listen to the songs over and over again to learn them. I also like that I receive a notification when updates are added, though I believe the choir director does this manually.

Overall, I give this application an A.

Excellent organisational tool for a range of church users

Mar 23, 2019
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Centre is an excellent tool for church organisation. It has a wide range of features that supports all the key aspects of church service/meeting planning: team management, music group and media management, rota scheduling, and many others. The permissions controls are helpfully graded to allow various levels of devolved access. Calendar integrations are helpful too. The layout and user interface is clean and clear and the design is consistent across the web version and mobile versions.

Cons: There used to be some limitations but technical developments over the past couple of years have really improved functionality and robustness. There isn't anything significant that can be faulted on this software from my use and requirements of it.

Overall: We use Planning Centre primarily for service planning, rotas, and music management. It is an invaluable tool that has revolutionised our organisation and delivery of multiple church services across three different sites. The balance between central control and personalisation is extremely helpful and promotes engagement. The music team users (for whom any digital planning software was new) vary widely in their digital competence but Planning Centre has made it possible to get everyone on board and has improved our delivery and team working hugely.

Great, robust system that helps with the planning for the various teams and safe facilitation of kids during services

Dec 28, 2017
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

2 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Comments: Have been a customer for years and despite some issues, will continue to use it!

Pros: There are many great aspects of Planning Center. We don't use every piece, but the Check-Ins are HUGE. This is THE way to allow kids to be checked in during our Sunday services. Having a barcode scanner makes the process much quicker and easier. The update allowed past registration issues to be fixed (users were listed twice - once as an "employee" and second as "customer"). The second biggest piece we use is the Services portal. Allowing every member of the worship/media team to see the flow of service is great! Everyone can be on the same page while allowing service to flow smoothly - almost without the congregation even knowing there's an order to things...

Cons: Have to jump through hoops to get any type of technical support. The answers aren't always online in the FAQ or Help pages. On top of that, not "anyone" can create a ticket, it must come from the contact person. That's normally fine, but what if they're on vacation, or just happen to be the person who pays the bill? On a Sunday morning when kids are going crazy and parents are looking at you like you did something wrong - it doesn't help.

Planning Center Apps - Pick and Choose

Feb 05, 2019
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: There are several apps Planning Center offers that are excellent. For instance, the services app is second-to-none and the registration app is great as well. You can keep things easy or really get down into the weeds with each and your users will have a fairly easy time adapting to its use.

Cons: The price tiers leave a little to be desired. It can get pricey the bigger your church is (a number size doesn't fit all in terms of financial resources available). Suing Planning Center as a database has taken quite a bit of adjustment, but has worked, overall.

Overall: We began using Planning Center Services as a stand-alone app and quickly fell in love with it and our people adjusted well to using it. When we added People, Giving, Registration, and other apps, there was a bigger learning curve on the part of both staff and our people. Some apps are definitely more valuabel than others (Services, for instance).

I work in Planning Center daily. It's easy to navigate and train others on.

Apr 23, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I love that it's user-friendly and that there are so many training resources. If you can't figure it out on your own you can just jump over to a training video or click on the help questions and usually get the info you need. The customer service is also amazing! We've had to reach out a few times with issues we didn't know how to fix and they jumped right on it.

Cons: I'd say my biggest hurdle is making sure my leaders know how to use it. Because I started as an Admin I never saw what it's like from a "volunteer" standpoint so sometimes I don't know how to answer volunteer's questions or know how to direct them. I've had others log on for me so I could see their account and then walk them through their questions from their.

Overall: Easy scheduling of volunteers.

An easy way to communicate with everyone on your team.

Love the temples for our teams that rotate.

Capterra loader

The best church management software for any size church body & team.

Mar 12, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: The best part of Planning Center is being able to pick and choose which parts of the software you actually need. You don't have to worry about paying exorbitant prices for tons of features you don't need. The pricing is based on what your church needs. And it's so easy to add or remove apps. This may have started as a service scheduling software, but it has become established as a resource, scheduling, and giving database for our church.

Cons: The only con I could see with this software is learning. I've been using this software for many years, but for those who are first trying it out could need some extra time getting started and used to it. They provide great training videos but if they built an onboarding process for newbies, it could make the product that much greater for the larger church management software market.

A one stop shop for church management software. Was very helpful for us to streamline our systems.

Jun 08, 2018
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money

Pros: Very user friendly. Volunteers are able to intuitively use it without a need for training. Works together to give more detail about each user. It's mobile friendly and has various apps across platforms. Very affordable.

Cons: They do lack some more complex reporting features. We've also had issues with the registration module not being very simple for the end user. We've also had issues with registration lacking some basic functionality you would expect it to have.

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on June 11, 2018

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your review. Could you please follow up with us and let us know which reporting features are missing for you? We'd also like to hear about which Registrations features were more difficult for people who were signing up. Registrations has just had some significant updates made to it, so it's possible those issues were addressed in the update.

You can email support@planning.center with that information.

Reagan Helms
Support Team Lead

Capterra loader

Best Church Management Software

Mar 26, 2019
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Center is very easy to learn! I've been using it for years and a first time volunteer can get set up within minutes through the Services app. Scheduling people to serve is a breeze, and their free People app makes for a great church management software. I've tried others but I won't be switching anytime soon.

Cons: I honestly have no complaints about this software personally.

Overall: I use Planning Center on a daily basis as the Associate Pastor if Music at my church. It makes communicating with my church family so easy! I can literally have my church directory right on my phone in their People App. And I get instantly notified when someone that I have scheduled to serve will be unavailable that weekend. They also have a fantastic app for safely checking in people to classes, as well as an app to set up online giving. Their pricing is extremely competitive, and their customer service is second to none.

Capterra loader

Good for just about everything except giving

Feb 05, 2019
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

3 / 5
Features & Functionality

4 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 6.0/10 Not
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Pros: Databse use, services and team scheduling and planning, resource usage, kids checkin

Cons: The giving platform is really lacking in reporting features, time to give via ACH, year end statements and payment bank deposit tracking

Overall: Overall this is a great church management program for church functions, music, scheduling, kids checkin and church congregant databse management. Where they fall apart is on the giving management side. Year end reporting does not allow to exclude statements under $250, ststements are not labeled with donor name on all pages making it extra time consuming to ensure all pages go to the right donor. Giving via ACH for donors can take up to 10 days to clear their bank account making for a huge lag in receiving donor funds. I would rate the giving platform 2 stars and the rest a 4 out of 5

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on February 08, 2019

Thanks for you kind words and honest feedback!

If you'd like to walk through any of the issues you are running into or submit a feature request, would you be up for contacting our support team, here: support@planning.center. Or through the helpdesk of the app. We take feature requests very seriously and we'd love to hear what you'd like to see change!

Planning Center is a major time-saver!

Oct 13, 2016
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Ease of use and intuitiveness

Cons: No major cons, but there are so many options now you need to be intentional in how you set up and schedule your people.

Overall: I began using PCO 10 years ago when I stepped into a worship director position, and I didn't want to spend the countless hours it had taken my predecessor to schedule services and people. Planning Center was a huge improvement to the way we were scheduling people, it allowed access to songs, and allowed you to make songs available to worship team members with ease.

Since 10 years ago, PCO has expanded in thoughtful and effective ways, we were thrilled when they released a check-in module, that was so much less expensive than any of the competition, and it worked great with our kids ministry.

Planning Center has so many various customization options, you could spend hours trying to figure out how you should use it. It's imperative that you set it up in a way that is effective for your own work processes.

The Help videos are extremely helpful in learning about all the new features of PCO, and their customer service is excellent as well. I have had quick responses each time I have run into a problem with anything (which is infrequent now).

Overall, I highly recommend Planning Center to anyone, and if you aren't using it, I think you're missing out on an effective, cost effective and time-saving product that will allow you to focus on the more important aspects of ministry, like your people!

Extremely well designed, stable, and user friendly church management system

Feb 22, 2019
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Huge features that are independently well designed: volunteer management, donation management, events, customer relationship management, workflows for attendees, and especially kids checkins.

Cons: I have very few cons. Planning Center has grown to include a lot of features that have solved cons that I've had in the past. The church center app (attendee facing and giving app) could use some work and is in its infancy. I fully expect improvements based on Planning Center's track record.

Overall: The best up and coming church management system available. Not clunky and hard to use like some CMS on the market. Volunteer management is the foundation for Planning Center and it has successfully edged into the kids checkin, building management, people management, and now the giving markets extremely successfully. The software's user interface is exceptional and the ease of use is unmatched.

Planning Center Isn't Perfect, But It's Still the Best Choice

Aug 17, 2018
4/5
Overall

3 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 9.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Center allows for quick and easy scheduling of both volunteers and for weekend service planning. It's most basic functions are intuitive for the regular user and the many volunteers that are likely to interact with it. The software becomes less and less intuitive as you use the moderate to more advanced features. However, their help line is one of the best around. There's rarely a wait time and the tech support is responsive and well trained. It's a good value for the monthly fees as it would take several other services to replicate their many offerings.

Cons: When it comes to giving and financials, the software falls short. It simply isn't as well designed as it could be and it requires way too much guesswork, trouble shooting and sometimes even multiple entries of the same data.

Overall: For a reasonable fee, Planning Center does almost everything that a church of any size should need to coordinate and share data in most areas. Using the most basic functions, still worth the cost, it very much aids in coordinating people and volunteers. While the financial management section is not ideal, it is more than usable. They really had the end users in mind when designing this all in one software option.

Capterra loader

Really good church database

Jan 25, 2019
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: PCO is a very full-featured church operating system (except no integrated accounting). It makes so much of the work of church management easier and better integrated. Online registrations, meeting materials, giving, and so much more. Their support staff is also amazing. They respond to questions and problems very quickly, and have resolved some technical issues very promptly.

Cons: Wish that you could set security at a more micro basis. Users have either full permission to the selected modules, or no permission. It would be nice to select functions within modules for permission, for example in Giving, it would be nice to give the counting team the ability to enter a batch, but not finalize it, or not release a finalized batch for further editing.

Overall: What a pleasure to work with a software team that genuinely wants to solve your problems!

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on January 29, 2019

Thank you for your review Doug!

In regards to permissions, specifically in Giving, we plan to introduce additional levels of access down the road. We don't have an exact ETA, but this is on our roadmap of future updates!

You can stay in the loop on new Giving features from our announcements page here: https://bit.ly/2x3Rsyv

Manage Events Like a Boss

Feb 22, 2019
4/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Center is industry standard for events for a reason. I thought we could do without it, but I was so wrong! As a team, we use Planning Center every other week for our staff events, and we managed a conference of 1,000+ people using it as well. Even though the event was literally halfway around the world in another country, the team on the other end was just as familiar with the platform and used it weekly for their events. Our mutual familiarity with the program saved the day! The timer helped us keep organized and on-time as we managed 56 speakers over the course of three days. This software is a powerhouse! There's still so much more functionality to get into that I haven't even explored.

Cons: Planning Center isn't necessarily the most intuitively designed platform, so there's definitely a learning curve as you get started. Be sure to do the training, or have someone familiar with it show you the ropes. The only thing that nearly tanked our event was the remote connection between the app and the countdown timer for the stage, but I think that was a Wifi issue more so than with the software itself. Overall, it has way more pro's than con's.

Overall: Planning Center is just like it sounds - the center for your event planning. Whether you're running a full-service event with all the bells and whistles like we were, or just want a nice run of show and the ability to assign people to event teams - you'll be able to do what you need to with this software. It's a no brainer if you need to manage people and timings.

Centralize Your Team

Mar 23, 2019
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

3 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 8.0/10 Not
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Pros: We started using this software for worship planning purposes and it worked very well because everything was located in one place, even music and song samples. It made it easy to schedule volunteers and took away the need for confusing email chains and group messages.

We also liked that you could use the application individually because we already had a database in place that we were using for other things like check ins, registration, and giving.

Cons: Nothing that I can think of off the top of my head. The price was good and the services app really streamlined a lot of processes for us.

Overall: Very please overall and they continue to add applications and features so that you can use planning center to meet the needs of a growing congregation across a variety of ministries.

A must have for any church, organize you volunteers and staff where they serve

Mar 21, 2018
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I love the ability with the Service portion of Planning Center. With that, we have all the info of our volunteers for each ministry saved in one place and are able to schedule them where needed. The fact the members can mark their availability and accept or decline an invitation to serve has streamlines the whole process and greatly reduced the time it takes to ask people to serve. You can create different teams of people. different events and plan. It is a must have for any church wanting to utilize people in the most efficient way.

Cons: The only complaint I have had is sometimes people new to the app have a hard time figuring it out. As soon as I am able to walk them through it they seem to be able to figure it out.

Planning Center as a one stop solution for Churches

Aug 15, 2018
5/5
Overall

4 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

4 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Planning Center really does just about everything you could ask it to do from managing services, to groups management, to people database, to check ins, to registrations, and so much more. It really is one of the best out there for user experience and as a one stop solution for the entire church.

Cons: Planning Center isn't cheap, but you get what you pay for. There are a couple of things that you have to learn work arounds for as well. Like sending second invitations. The program is designed to have people sign up for service opportunities and to manage themselves. There are work arounds to have your leaders do this as well, but it takes a little getting use to.

Overall: Overall Planning Center is the best one stop solution for the church in my experience.

I love Planning Center!

Nov 12, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Everything! Planning Center is the best software Ive ever used for helping organize church services! We use it every week and Ive used it for almost the past decade exclusively! It has great ways of contacting the teams and keeping everyone on the same page and prepared for the weekend services!

Cons: The only thing Ive ever not loved about Planning Center is planning center resources and that is only because it was a little confusing at first and didn't seem to have a logical system of reserving rooms

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on November 13, 2018

Hey David,

We just made some big changes to Planning Center Resources, and plan to add some more in the near future. Our reservation page looks and functions like a calendar now. If you'd like to give it another try, contact our support team and they can give you another free trail!

Capterra loader

Great solution for volunteer coordination

Jan 08, 2019
4/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

4 / 5
Features & Functionality
Likelihood to Recommend: 7.0/10 Not
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Pros: It was very easy to create a calendar with available dates and blocked dates for church volunteering abilities. It was easy for church leaders then to create volunteer teams based on these calendars.

Cons: Though it was nice to be able to note how many times a month I was willing to serve, I wish there was a greater ability to make this unique for each team I was serving on. For instance, instead of saying that I was only willing to serve every 6 weeks overall, I would prefer to have been able to say on Team A, I was willing to serve 2 times a month, on Team B, I was willing to serve weekly, and on Team C, I was able to serve 1 time a month. Also, it would have been nice to be able to specify serving with different people depending on the team. For Team A for instance, I'd like to serve with my husband, but on Team B, I needed to actually serve opposite weeks as my husband.

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on January 11, 2019

Hi Rachel,
Thanks for writing an honest review with lots of great ideas! If you haven't done so already, would you mind sending in those ideas to us so that we can track them as a feature request? You can send us an email at support@planning.center.

Thanks!

Capterra loader

An Amazing Suite of Church Resources

Aug 27, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: I like that Planning Center has many different programs available for different things. I specifically use "Services" to organize and arrange our church services, "Check Ins" to log attendance and to add an extra security measure for our children, and "People" which we use as our database or our church roster. The integration between each of their applications is pretty awesome, and each program is very easy to use.

Cons: The only negative thing I have to say is that it wouldn't work on my wife's iPhone 6s, but we have a total of 20 something other devices that it has worked fine with.

Overall: Overall, Planning Center is extremely helpful in planning out our church services, and Check Ins makes accountability and security much easier to maintain.

Volunteer Coordination and Communication made easy

Nov 20, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Auto-volunteer contact and reminder texts/emails

Ease of creating assigned roles and positions

Drag-and-drop method for assigning volunteers to a specific role

Custom email/text templates for communication

Rotating schedules can be formed for monthly/weekly/daily volunteers

Information on all volunteers in one place

Integrations with CCLI, ProPresenter, and other softwares

Cons: Can be tricky getting from one area to another for planning

Steep initial learning curve

Overall: I was trained to use planning center to organize our tech volunteers week-to-week. It took me a little while to learn how to use it, but after I got the hang of it, I was able to build a full church service flow from beginning to end, notes on each section, volunteers for each area, drop in our ProPresenter presentation and videos, arrange songs, and setup reminder texts to my volunteers. I also got super quick feedback from my workers who were unable to show up so we could find a substitute.

Planning Center is a powerful tool for any organization having to shuffle a huge volunteer worker pool. Putting in new volunteer information is also fast and easy. I cannot recommend this enough.

Vendor Response

by Planning Center on November 23, 2018

Thanks for the love, and we are glad it is a great asset to you and your ministry. We'd love to hear more about your experience and any suggestions you may have to help with the learning curve. If you'd email your thoughts to support@planning.center, our team would be happy to send any suggestions you have on.

Capterra loader

Every church needs Planning Center

Mar 15, 2018
5/5
Overall

5 / 5
Ease of Use

5 / 5
Features & Functionality

5 / 5
Customer Support

5 / 5
Value for Money
Likelihood to Recommend: 10.0/10 Not
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Pros: Apple said it first, "There's an app for that!" When it comes to church management, Planning Center has an app for almost everything! I like that we can use ONE system for multiple needs: kids' check-in, event registrations, volunteer scheduling, and more!

Cons: Running reports or creating lists using the data collected can be kind of tricky at first. It would be nice if Planning Center offered some basic reports that could be run without having to customize and set them up yourselves for those not naturally gifted in analyzing data.

Overall: This has made my everyday tasks easier and has significantly improved the organization of our church. It has also allowed me to use data collected to analyze trends within our organization and form strategies to effectively meet our goals.