Top 9 Features to Look for in a Parish Management Software

As the needs of a parish grows and technology evolves, finding the right digital solution to engage with parishioners can become increasingly challenging for parish priests. Investing in a scalable, mobile, and user-friendly parish software solution that empowers pastors to lead can make their life easier. But with so many software options available, finding the best fit for your pastor and staff can be difficult. In this blog, we’ll discuss the top 9 features to look for in a church management software system:

1. Easy To Use Interface
2. Comprehensive Parishioner Profiles
3. Event Planning and Management
4. Integrated Communication Tools
5. Data Security Measures
6. Volunteer Management
7. Sacrament Tracking
8. Custom Reporting
9. Cloud-Based Solution

The Importance of Parish Management Software

Discover the top features to look for in a parish management software

A Catholic church management software should give you more control over administrative tasks, deeper insights into your parishioners’ lives, and free up time for ministries. Pushpay’s ParishStaq engages all of your parishioners on one solution that syncs church management software, giving, and mobile apps. The LEAD App tool, allows you to accumulate, organize, and share pertinent data with your ministry leadership to save time.

ParishStaq ensures inclusivity and intuitive design are at the forefront to support and scale with your parish. With detailed reports in the LEAD App, you can monitor and develop your parish’s community engagement, faith journeys, and giving history and options. Track sacramental journeys, send and receive community and personal messages, and oversee fundraisers and giving campaigns all from one interface

1. Easy To Use Interface

A user-friendly interface ensures that every action you take within your church management software saves you time and energy. When your software is easy to use, it becomes easier to implement across your entire parish.

With an intuitive interface, you can:

– Manage parishioners’ contact information

– Safeguard data for your church and parishioners

– Set up and coordinate giving options and campaigns

– Coordinate events for volunteers and hosts

– Monitor event attendance to improve future options

– Harmonize your team to avoid confusion or headaches

– Livestream Masses and events for those unable to attend

In short, the right parish software simplifies your daily and weekly administrative tasks so you can focus on what truly matters.

Pushpay’s LEAD App is designed to make it effortless for parish priests to navigate and complete tasks quickly and efficiently. A priest’s ministry extends beyond Sunday Mass, and your parishioners require support and prayers throughout the week. Having a single platform that manages all their information and needs in an easily accessible and searchable manner enables you to fulfill the Lord’s work anytime, anywhere within your community. The LEAD App helps our customers to:

– keep pastors and every leader in your parish connected while on-the-go

– manage small groups or ministries

– manage process queues and calendars

– add notes for easy follow-up with staff

use the LEAD app to: -keep pastors and every leader in your parish connected while on-the-go - manage small groups or ministries - manage process queues and calendars - add notes for easy follow-up with staff

Compiling comprehensive information can be a daunting task when you have to search through multiple sources and physical copies of data reports. With our ParishStaq ChMS, all member data is stored in one central location, accessible instantly through the LEAD App. Say goodbye to endless searching and welcome efficiency and accuracy.

2. Comprehensive Parishioner Profiles

Remembering every detail about every parishioner is nearly impossible. While it’s admirable to try, even Einstein acknowledged the need for writing things down. Consider the LEAD App as the modern equivalent. A good shepherd may know a lot about their flock, but they can’t remember everything, and neither can you or your leadership community.

Advantages of Parishioner Profiles

Having a platform to store and manage parishioners’ data means that you can have every detail at hand so you can help in the most personal and comprehensive way, whether it’s through administering the sacraments, get-togethers, or talks over coffee. In Scripture, Jesus would take the time to speak one-on-one with those in need; parish management software enables you to know everything you need to offer comfort and guidance at every step of your parishioners’ journeys.

3. Event Planning and Management

Physical newsletters and pamphlets can be forgotten as easily as announcements at the beginning of Mass and after Communion; no one is to blame. It is simply human nature to forget a few things as all of us, clergy and laypeople alike, are bombarded with information daily. When you have a platform you can leverage to stay connected with your parish, you can ensure that every event is well-attended and a success to spread God’s love.

The Role of Events in Parish Life

Finding volunteers for church events is usually the easy part; having people continue to volunteer year after year is a challenge. Another challenge is keeping people motivated and managing to successfully complete the task at hand, even when it gets difficult or stressful. In the LEAD App, you can create clear communication channels and keep volunteers connected and engaged. They won’t have to guess the details of an event  or about what to expect.

Additionally, you can livestream your Masses and events in the custom app to give those who aren’t able to make it to your church to join in worship. Fr. Christopher Walsh of St. Raymond Catholic Church in Philadelphia saw two-to-three thousand churchgoers joining their livestreamed Masses.

4. Integrated Communication Tools

Built upon the pillars we’ve mentioned so far, the LEAD App simplifies communication to your churchgoers in order to strengthen and deepen their engagement to your parish. Physical flyers and bulletins can be lost; announcements at Mass can be forgotten (for any number of reasons), and scrambling for details about events can cause confusion.

Benefits of Integrated Communication

A solidified, central communication tool eliminates those administrative burdens and maximizes attendance. Not only can you have all vital information at your fingertips in a user-friendly church management platform to make calls or visits, but you can also have all inbound messages in one centralized location to help others immediately. Whether through outreach, a conversation, or group meetings, you can also connect with other members of your flock to create more robust support systems within your parish, forming deeper bonds for everyone.

With the LEAD App, you can instantly view your parishioners’ sacraments journeys and group them into households for even greater convenience. With easy-to-access records, you can guide your members through each sacrament and offer help however they need at any point. Additionally, you never need to worry about language barriers with any parishioner, as the LEAD App has integrated multilingual translation so that you can communicate with anyone and everyone at their comfort level.


5. Data Security Measures

Peace of mind for you and your parishioners is paramount when it comes to data security in parish software. At Pushpay, you can rest easy knowing your data is protected with:

  • PCI-DSS Compliant giving and payment processing
  • Machine learning fraud protection to stay up to date on bad-faith actors
  • A dedicated security team bolstering and reinforcing security measures and addressing any incoming concerns


6. Volunteer Management

Volunteer work comes with a lot of moving pieces and questions you need to answer to maximize your efforts towards good works:

ParishStaq and the LEAD app simplify the process of nurturing volunteers to be parish leaders. You can see which events they’ve worked on, which ones they’re interested in, and all of their contact information to speak with them directly and immediately when a new opportunity arises. For more information on how to create a guidance path for volunteers, download our step-by-step how-to guide.

Value of Effective Volunteer Management

An engaged community is a thriving community, and volunteering is an easy way to bring your parish together for a common goal and accomplish your acts of service and kindness easier and faster. With an effective volunteer management strategy and church management software behind it, you empower your parish community to:

  •   Fill all open roles
  •   Define talents based on interest and experience
  •   Communicate all details efficiently
  •   Set expectations for the events
  •   Build relationships
  •   Strive to spread the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus

The more you engage with your community, the more they’ll engage with you and each other.

7. Sacrament Tracking

Knowing the details about your parishioners, even the younger ones, can help you offer the proper guidance in their journey with God to go out into the world and be disciples. Rather than having scattered documents (whether physical or digital), aligning their progress through the sacraments is a simple step to helping them more effectively and personally. Once you enter their information in the app, it’s simple to pull it up at any time and gives you the power to talk with them about their next sacrament or faith formation journey.

Significance of Sacrament Tracking

use the LEAD app to quickly see every parishioner's sacrament journey.

As you know, the sacraments are holy traditions in the Catholic Church meant to bring us all closer to God so that we can know His love. By knowing and understanding where a parishioner is on their sacrament journey, you and your parish community can foster their relationship with God and help them continue to grow. With the LEAD App, you can see every parishioner’s journey instantly and nurture their progress. Each sacrament is a crucial step in their lives, and you can inform them all of the importance of the sacrament, how they need to prepare, and the benefits of completing it.

The more data you have in one place, the better you can use and leverage it to help others. In the LEAD App parish software, you can filter members by a number of options and metrics and can therefore target your messaging more effectively.

8. Custom Reporting

Reports help parish leaders understand the people they serve. It helps them identify how to better engage with parishioners based on preferences or participation, improve parish planning and resources, track finances, and more. A comprehensive system will give you an accurate view of your parish’s health.

9. Cloud-Based Solution

In the simplest terms, a cloud-based church management platform means that you can access any piece of data from any device at any time. Say you’re out leading a prayer group and are asked to make a house call for a sick parishioner; in an older church management program, you would either need to know their address, call your staff to find their address in a database on a computer or in a record book or go back to your Church or rectory to find that information yourself. A solution that’s not cloud-based creates unnecessary stress when you should be clear of mind to offer help in someone’s time of need.

The LEAD App and ParishStaq as a whole make managing your parish a much simpler process. Everything is in one place where data and information are secure and easy to find. You’ll free up time and confusion for yourself and your parish leadership. Help your parishioners grow as Catholics and extend your community. Want to learn more about how Pushpay can help your church? Schedule a demo with our team to see how we can work for you.

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