Questions Parish Business Managers Should Ask When Searching For The Best Catholic Software

It’s no secret that your role as a business manager has evolved rapidly in recent years. 

The push to improve everyday productivity, maintain relationships with stakeholders, expand your parish’s reach, and plan budgets while stewarding the temporal goods entrusted to your care can feel next to impossible to manage them all and do it well. 

And when you add in major construction projects, parish consolidations, capital campaigns, insurance, human resources, legal, and technology and security upgrades, the pressure to quickly learn new skills and deliver results for your parish is a lot to demand from one person. 

It’s no wonder 37% of parish leaders in our Catholic edition of the 2023 State of Church Technology report say that when it comes to making technology decisions, they admit that they’re not equipped with the knowledge and understanding of what they need. That figure increased significantly from just 1% in 2021. Your peers on staff are facing similar pressures, too. 

The unique circumstances of replacing legacy systems, declining Mass attendance, and new norms brought on by the pandemic have contributed to the changes impacting your role today. 

Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR, contributed the foreword for this year’s report and agrees with the sentiment: 

“To reach our people and fulfill the mission of the Church, we must use technology, but the question is often where to start, and how deep to go.” 

When choosing technology for your parish, the best place to start is by asking the questions that will get you the best software to meet your ever changing needs. 

An encouraging stat in our 2023 Catholic report revealed that 31% of parish leaders relied on tech recommendations from someone they trust. This circle of trust might include a parishioner, their peers from other parishes, connections at their diocese, or a trusted friend. 

So in this blog, we rounded up some great questions from prospective parish customers to save you time on shopping and research. Keep reading to learn about the popular questions that leaders like yourself asked once they met with our ParishStaq experts, Jonathan Baca and Anthony Welch, both actively involved in their own parishes and helping parish staff nationwide understand church technology.

Top Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Parish Software

Before you buy an all-in-one software for your Parish, consider asking these administration, finance, and operations questions:

1. Is it easy for my staff to use? 

2. How many hours will this free up for my staff and ministry leaders to not have to spend so much time on data entry and be more focused on leading their ministries? 

3. How easily can I get the reports I need on parishioner engagement (spiritual and financial) to share with the pastor, finance council, and parish council? 

4. How easy is it to update sacrament information? 

5. How easy is it for Father to access information about his parishioners? 

6. Which workflows will this software simplify? 

7. Will this software scale with our parish and reflect our specific Catholic needs? 

8. What software can this digital tool or all-in-one solution replace? 

9. How easy is it for ministry leaders to have access to their own reports? 

10. I have a few tools that I’m currently using that’s working really well and want to keep. Will this software integrate with my existing tools? 

11. Does the software provider invest in product growth? What’s on the roadmap and how are updates communicated to customers? 

12. How easy is it to get proactive information on at risk or lapsed donors? 

13. How does this giving solution increase generosity? 

14. Can I run a capital campaign with this software? 

15. How does this software communicate with our accounting software? 

16. What steps do you take to protect personal data? 

Top Questions From Parish Staff Responsible For Evangelization and Communications

1. How will this software help us identify the people who have stopped coming to Mass?

2. How will this help our ministry leaders stay connected with our youth and their families?

3. Does it have mobile capabilities?

4. We already have the bulletin and email.  What’s so much better about having a mobile-first solution?

5. How will this not only bring people back to Mass but also get them more involved in volunteering and serving in other ministries?

6. How will the mobile app make people feel more connected and seen by the parish?

7. Will the app communicate giving, involvement, and other relevant information to the parish database? 

8. Does the app allow users to choose their communication preferences so they do not receive irrelevant communication? 

Bring Your Questions, Our Catholic Software Experts Will Provide The Answers

Choosing a Parish technology provider is a lot like buying a house. You envision yourself in it, raising your family in it, and maybe even growing old in it. But before you decide to buy, you’ll need to do quite a bit of homework, research, interviewing, comparing, and studying your options. Invest the time you need to choose the right technology fit for your parish to ensure a positive experience and a long-term relationship with your software provider. 

So start with these questions and schedule a free consultation today with Anthony or Jonathan. And if it takes a second meeting to help you understand your options, they’ll be happy to accommodate you.  

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