Why Your Church Needs Registration Software (26-3)

Why Your Church Needs Registration Software
Asaf Darash

Registration software plays a major role in your church—both for you and your members.
Effective registration software shouldn’t break the bank, especially for smaller churches. But it should allow you to manage all sorts of ministry programming—from Vacation Bible School, to volunteers, to summer camp and more.

Best of all, registration software can even help with church marketing. Just think—automatic emails that spread the word and using data to target your marketing efforts more effectively.
What is essential for you when comparing software choices for your church? And why is registration software even something you need?

Registration Software Costs Less than Paper

Why do you need registration software? Because churches registering on paper are wasting time by still doing it with a paper forms and collecting money via check and cash in the office.
You might think your process works just fine, but is “just fine” good enough?

In a post I wrote on my own blog, I used this handy calculator to calculate how much it costs for the average church to do paper registration. You can see all the nitty gritty in that post, but my very generous calculation is: $3,400 per year for paper registration!

Conversely, the average cost for registration software is about $600 per year.

You might be thinking: “OK you got me there, software doesn’t seem so bad. But I’m already paying an admin. Why should I keep paying my admin and pay for software?”

Consider the time it takes to do manual work vs. automating. If you pay your admin $15 per hour and they spend 40 hours a week managing registration, you’re paying $2,400 per month.
Considering you can get a system for as low as $50 a month, plus reducing your admin’s time on paperwork by 50%, not only are you spending less money each month but you’re freeing up that time to focus on the needs of your community instead of deciphering cryptic handwriting on paper applications.

Registration Software Manages Everything in One Place

Not only does paper registration cost more, it’s also horribly inefficient and frustrating.
You’ve got several Excel spreadsheets documenting different things, copying and passing from one to another until you don’t know which information is the most updated and what isn’t, which version is the most recent between you and your colleagues. The list goes on.

The benefit of an online system is having all of your information all in one place.
Finding a solution that will meet the needs of a church: managing volunteers, managing membership, registration for VBS, summer camp and other education, signing up for events and whatever else you need is paramount!

What Registration Software Features Do I Absolutely Need?

1. Communication Tools
Putting together emails, creating the right contact list and remembering to send out reminders, information, updates, etc., is really time consuming unless you use a system that automates all this.

If someone pays for their child’s camp or enrolls for an upcoming event, your system should automatically send out the appropriate email, with the right information, without you lifting a finger.

2. Reporting Tools
Creating reports and sharing information you gather through registration is time consuming. Think big Excel sheet, copying and pasting rows and columns. Just chaos.

In a nutshell, anything you want to know about your membership should be searchable and easily exportedinto a report so you can use it to your advantage.
And with a software that is online, you know that each time you create a report, the information contained is the most current.

3. Online Payments
Every church collects money in some shape or form—donations, fundraising events, fees for programs like camp, classes, etc.

A registration software should allow you to easily charge online, so you can keep track of financials through the system, send invoices, payment reminders and just generally manage your funds received.
Conclusion

32% of churches don’t survive their first four years. Don’t be a statistic.
There is a chilling statistic that 32% of churches don’t survive their first four years. One reason is because they don’t have the technology and other tools they need to really thrive.
Don’t be a statistic. If your goal is to fulfill the mission of your church, then use the tools at your disposal to help you do that.

The whole point of software, aside from it actually being cheaper than a paper process, is to simplify and automate your admin processes, so you can pour your energy into your community and not your filing cabinet.

Asaf Darash is the founder of Regpack, an online registration system used by more than 4,000 organizations worldwide including the NFL, Goodwill and Stanford. Regpack’s technology is based on Asaf’s doctorate that dealt with computer data connections and networks and is the foundation for the flexibility of the Regpack system.

The above article, “Why Your Church Needs Registration Software” was written by Asaf Darash. The article was excerpted from www.churchmarketing.com web site. June 2016.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”

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