User Reviews Overview

Feature Ratings

Ease-of-use

4.5 / 5

Value for Money

4.5 / 5

Customer Support

4.5 / 5

Functionality

4.5 / 5

Ratings Breakdown

5 stars

(674)

674

4 stars

(213)

213

3 stars

(29)

29

2 stars

(1)

1

1 stars

(0)

0

  • Pros

  • "I love that this software is so simple to use. Many softwares carrying this many details are very confusing and overwhelming. I love that this one makes it easy."

  • "I love the freshness of the design, layout, and features. Everything with them is extremely well thought-out, planned, and executed."

  • "I love the user interface, the price, the support, the multitude of features, and the way they are constantly developing the software to make it better. "

  • Cons

  • "Certain parts of planning center are not very intuitive. Once you have worked in the system for a while and have experience, it's easy to understand, but the learning curve can be quite detailed."

  • "The only bad thing about Planning Center is the price. It can get expensive as you add people to your teams. However, it is still a great value for the money."

  • "This is necessarily bad, but the overall system is still pretty new, so they are still working to add more features and grasp how each app needs to communicate with another."

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May 2020

Tyler from Heritage Park Baptist Church

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

May 2020

So. Much. Better.

I was the XP at a church that used Planning Center. I went to another church that used one of their main competitors. After 18 months, we are on Planning Center. I'm much happier and the rest of the staff is much happier. I think that pretty well sums it up.

Pros

When we switched from our previous software to Planning Center, I worked with our staff to see how it was going. The responses I got were always akin to "well, it is frustrating learning a new system...but this is better than what we were on." Basically, in one or two days our staff was less frustrated with Planning Center than they were continually with a system we had been on for three years. As we've been on it longer, the frustrations have decreased and the benefit to our church has increased. Moving to Planning Center has been the best organizational choice we've made in a long time. Oh, and it is about $100 (33%) cheaper each month. And that's on month-to-month vs an annual contract with the old guys. And when our online giving agreement runs out and we switch the Planning Center giving, we'll save another $200 or so a month. And their support is incredible, typically responding within an hour (vs 2 business days on the old platform).

Cons

To my understanding, Planning Center set out to make a great stand alone tool for Check Ins, a great tool for Registrations, a great tool for Giving, etc...to do this, they set up separate development teams for each module. I understand this, having worked with some tools that started as a great online director or great giving tool or great event tool and tried to expand to do much more. The result is often complicated bloat. I do think Planning Center's model largely avoided this because each thing has to stand on its own. In my estimation, I'd like to see some tweaks to certain modules, but overall each of them accomplishes what I need. The one drawback to this, though, is that the tools don't integrate quite as tightly as I'd like. Everything talks back to their People module, but sometimes it would be good to have them talk to each other a little more. E.g., when we set up an event in Check In, we also have to go into the Calendar module to set up the event to request the room. This can be a bit of a hassle. To be fair, it does seem like they are moving in this direction with new features, so hopefully their biggest weakness (to me) will continue to shrink! But, again...this is minor compared to the frustrations I've had with other systems. I've been on ones that I hated even logging into because I knew I was going to get mad. I genuinely like using Planning Center.

October 2020

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2020

Best service planning software around

Around Services and Check ins, Planning Center has been exceptional with customer service and helping us sort through issues. Their tutorial videos are also great. We didn't have great luck with customer service around the financial module, hence the choice to go another direction with our overall database while continuing to use Services.

Pros

Planning Center Services automates really helpful admin and communication work and allows teams to learn and grow with all of the resources they need. From an administrator's perspective, the ability to schedule and view services in matrix mod and keep track of multiple teams of volunteers with various limitations and requests using the preferences and blackouts is easily worth the monthly cost. Services is the backbone of planning center, and there's good reason that it's the standard in mid-sized and larger churches. The interface is intuitive and easy for volunteer users to figure out, and they do a great job of continuing to innovate features and usability.

Cons

While the other modules across planning center have great integration, our church found that the finances side lacked necessary features, meaning we are now running a separate database/CRM while still running planning center services. We wanted to be able to add financial information (givings) into the database without the person entering the data seeing previous data - essentially the ability to enter data blindly. I suspect many other churches are running different databases as well as planning center services, and the multi-system approach isn't ideal, so it would be nice to have a more responsive development team as planning center's interface is generally well built and user friendly.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Services fit all of our needs well when it came to service planning and Sunday morning volunteer management, and there didn't seem to be any other products that could compete in terms of functionality and ease of use.

December 2018

Karen from Center of Praise Ministries

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

3.0

December 2018

Part of it Works for Us

At this point, it is used in a minimal way, to lay out our order of service and schedule 2 ministry teams out of the 10+ teams that serve at each of our services.

Pros

Makes scheduling and organizing our order of service very simple for the administration team. When an item such as teaching changes from 30 minutes to 40 minutes, the modifications are easy to implement without having to recalculate the time of day from one item to the next. When that same item is moved someplace else in the order of service it's a simple drag and drop and all times for the service are automaticallly adjusted.

Cons

Not a great tool for our volunteers. The scheduling module is a little difficult to train volunteers to use. They all give it a shot but most revert to using excel spreadsheets. Report templates, unless you are an html programmer, aren't flexible enough to give me the layout I am looking for. We tried to use it to check in our children but the unreliability of connecting and printing name tags caused huge delays, aggravated our parents and frustrated the volunteers. I am advised they have resolved that problem, however, due to their prior experience our children's church isn't willing to give it another chance.

Response from Planning Center

Replied December 2018

Hi Karen, Thanks for the review! Our support team is able to help you with some parts of coding those reports if you'd like to reach out to them for help, and give them an example of how you would like your report to look. They would also be able to give you some tips for making scheduling volunteers easier in Services. Sorry to hear that hardware issues were keeping your Children's Ministry from using Check-Ins efficiently. If they're willing to give it a second chance in the future, we'll be glad to help troubleshoot those problems up front.

August 2020

Aaron from New Hope Wesleyan

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

August 2020

Organization Made Easy!

Overall, Planning Center has helped our church in organization while also providing a great, resourceful, easy to use, customizable, and cosmetically pleasing choice of apps the work so well together and free up our time to work in other needed areas. It also has helped all of our staff be on the same page when going forward in our various ministries and events.

Pros

The variety of different apps that can help with all of our organization needs has been amazing. All the apps are easy to use, come with detailed tutorials so anyone can learn quickly, was able to be implemented into our website well, you can pick and choose which apps you want and skip the ones you may not need, and the customer service was fantastic at replying to support emails. Plus the church center app that can go on your phone makes utilizing these apps easy and cosmetically pleasing. There really just isn’t enough space to write all the pros that this product has.

Cons

The only 2 problems that can be found with this software is that when using the registration app, we are unable to make an event for one day but have multiple time slots to choose from and have to instead make 3 different events with those time slots which takes up more time. The second problem is that the price can be a little daunting and can start to add up quickly when choosing different apps at their various capacities which can limit some of the churches who might have interest.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

It is more expensive but is a much better multifunction tool and had a better customer service experience as opposed to having a very negative experience while waiting on live support chat for over 40 mins with tithely.

February 2020

Wesley from City View Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2020

Church Done Right!

Planning Center has streamlined our ministry operations and has allowed us the freedom to operate in a way that helps grow smaller churches into larger ones without skipping a beat.

Pros

Planning Center Online (PCO) has been amazing for our church over these last several years. PCO Services gives us what we need to schedule and plan our Sunday services without any trouble. We love the templates that PCO allows us to set up in order to duplicate a service style easily. Easter and Christmas every year are a breeze with PCO Services. We also use PCO Giving, Check-In, People, and Groups as our foundation of running the behind the scenes of our ministry. The user interface (UI) of each module is similar and easy to use, understand, and follow. I tell pastors about PCO all the time. Especially the People account, which is Free!

Cons

I do wish that PCO would create an app for each of its modules, such as groups. It would be a little easier for a Small Group Leader to access all that PCO Groups has to offer without having to open a computer. Also, the cost of each module seems to be adding up quickly. A "small church" with a tight budget may be put off by the cost. However, I can say that it is worth every penny if that church is a planning church.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Ease of use and all around the incorporation of all of their modules and options.

August 2020

Curran from The Bridge Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

August 2020

The new standard for Church databases

Between scheduling volunteers, planning services, and tracking people's information for admin use - this software really has it all. Church work can be overwhelming and a great hub of information is needed to be able to access at any time. This is that hub.

Pros

It's extremely simple to put together a service, request volunteers to serve, and see who has confirmed or declined for the weekend. Need to call someone? Switch from "services" to "people" and you can easily pull up their information. The staff is great about training those who need it, the interface is pleasing to the eye and it's easy to learn within minutes.

Cons

There's a lot of in-depth features many will miss because they don't know about them. This requires a large amount of training to be able to know every feature at your church's disposal. But it is worth the time investment.

September 2020

Micah from Valley Christian

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

5.0

September 2020

Price increases with use but lots of features included

Overall we enjoyed the number of features provided, and hands-down is the best software for CCLI/SongSelect storage and planning. But there are other CHMS options that are cheaper and can work alongside PCO Services for a lower cost.

Pros

We loved having the amount of features that PCO (Planning Center Online) included. They provide various add-ons/modules to fit your needs and goals (e.g. check-in, events, people, services, etc.).

Cons

We didn't like the increase in cost as we added more people using PCO. I think the "rhyme behind the reason" is that a church would be able to afford paying more as the church grows in number. While this might be the case for other churches the price didn't seem to justify the features for us. Customer support is fast but it's hard to talk to a real person over the phone (email is their preferred support, but I would rather talk to a person personally).

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

at the time it seemed like the best option available (2013 when we signed up)

November 2020

Kyler from Kyler Schmor

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2020

The Best Way To Keep Your Volunteers Organized And Prepared

Planning Center has been the greatest thing as a church we have implemented to connect with everyone on our teams and make sure they are prepared and informed.

Pros

It makes scheduling and getting resources to volunteers a lot easier than typical email communication.

Cons

The mobile access version of Planning Center has a few kinks that can only be done on desktop versions.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

More functionality as far as including worship, building schedules and volunteer needs and congregation organization.

September 2020

Stacey from Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

September 2020

Great church softward

Great solution for coordinating members to serve, great way for our musicians to communicate and prepare for leading music on Sundays, and an app for giving that our members feel comfortable using.

Pros

Convenient and easy to use scheduling. Efficient check-in system. Seamless online giving. Great app for accessing member info.

Cons

Hard to say what I don't like. For us it has worked great. No complaints. Great customer service also.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

We liked the interface and the price was within our budget. Also allowed us to choose the applications we needed.

October 2020

Sam from Itechra Inc.

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Information Technology and Services

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source


Ease-of-use

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2020

Planning Center Review

Planning Center overall is the best in class for Planning and Producing services. I love the flexibility it allows our team to have!

Pros

Planning Center have one of the most scalable and user friendly interfaces out there. It is an incredible tool for getting services planned and directed in the most efficient way possible.

Cons

The cost of planning center is probably the largest downfall but even so it is the best of the best so we are happy to pay the fee!

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Planning Center is simply the easiest and most flexible tool for our team.

October 2020

Brent from Gospel City Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2020

The only church software you need!

Pros

I've been using Planning Center since all they had was the Services app. Now with the recent additions of everything else you need to manage church administration needs, I'm even more impressed. The best is you can tell everything was built by people who know what it means to work in a church environment. Not only does everything just work, but it's built with volunteer training in mind. It's intuitive and easy to teach others how to use. And you only pay for what you need/want with so much grace in their billing. Multiple times we had more check-ins than our plan was set up for and they sent a nice email to let us know and that they would never cancel our services but that if we were going to consistently go over the number, we should consider upgrading. What a stellar way to handle it! I've a team PCO guy for life!

Cons

It can be a little glitchy sometimes I've noticed when you have a lot of volunteers scheduled in one plan. Sometimes names will disappear or notifications will change. But it's few and far between.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Pricing, ease of use, integrations

October 2020

Darien from Gateway Alliance Church

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2020

Impressive Church Management Software that is constantly improving

Planning Center is a life-saver for our organization, freeing up our time to focus on the people that truly matter. Planning Center has allowed us to implement robust systems to manage a lot of our administrative work; simplifying our lives and helping keep our teams on the same page.

Pros

Planning Center offers a robust set of applications that help create a comprehensive church management platform. Combining the useful features of PC People (such as workflows, forms, database management, etc) with their Service management system (Services), Group management system (Groups), Calendar application (Calendar), Attendance tracking systems (Check-ins), Giving platform (Giving) and event registration platform (Registrations) creates a very robust set of tools that help make church management easy. Paired with the Church Center app (provided with PC People), you also gain access to a consumer facing application where church members can join groups, register for events, give, and even check-in their kids - all from one central hub. All of these separate platforms have their individual strengths, but overall combined they form an integrated church management solution that offers useful features and well-designed software that is constantly improving based on the feedback of their customers.

Cons

Planning Center is a platform that is constantly growing, which of course means that there are always areas of improvement. The beauty of PC is that they are constantly monitoring what is missing, and working on improving in those areas - so anything I list here really are minor issues that will likely be addressed in the near future. Two crucial things that they are missing are a few back-end admin tools, such as a robust security options (such as 2FA) and a simple user management interface. Currently, there is no way to enforce password security for PC users with access to people's personal information, nor is there a way to require (or even implement) 2FA. On top of this, managing people's access levels to different planning center applications cannot be managed from a simple back end admin location - rather to add (or remove) permissions you need to manually visit each separate application, access the users profile, and add/remove the permissions on an application-by-application basis. All this are mere annoyances regarding security, and are things that I believe will be addressed in PC's feature roadmap

February 2020

Luke from Shiloh Community Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2020

Exactly what we needed to take our organization to the next level

Planning Center has been a dream for our church. Before we made the move we had a different system for everything and none of them talked to each other in any way. We were scheduling 200+ volunteers 8 weeks out in an Excel spreadsheet. Our previous database software did almost nothing useful and we avoided even using it. Now with Planning Center we're more organized, automated, and streamlined than ever. I know we're not yet using it to it's full potential, there's so much more we can do still and we're excited to see how Planning Center will continue to change, grow, and get better.

Pros

Planning Center apps more than make up for their cost by the time, headache, and agony they save us. They are well designed and regularly adding new features. Planning Center listens to user feedback and is very friendly. They want to see churches empowered and so they listen to users for direction as they're implementing new features. Their help docs are great. The apps themselves are powerful. They may not always do what you want in the way you want it, but there's always a way to get it done. The integrations – Lists, Automations, Workflows, Forms – transform People from a database app into a powerhouse of tracking and automation.

Cons

Some more complicated tasks are not alway simple for PC novices to figure out; they do require some problem solving and hoop-jumping at times but it's still better than going without. Better training docs for getting users or volunteers up to speed for the first time are currently missing. I find myself having to create these based on existing help docs and my own material.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

FellowshipOne is owned by Ministry Brands, which if I'm not mistaken is a for profit company that has been buying up church software companies. While there's nothing inherently wrong with that, we were much more comfortable with Planning Center and their model. We quickly got to know the people and their heart to help churches.

October 2019

Josiah from Faith Chapel

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

Is Planning Center the way to go?

Overall, I think Planning Center is a good product...when you figure something out and it does what you want it to do, it's amazing. It's just getting to that point which is the pain for the majority of the time. Because there's a different "Platform" for each area Planning Center has, "Services" "People" "Groups" "Registrations" "Check-in's" so forth...they are similar but not 1 platform.

Pros

There is so much that Planning Center can do. I love that there is a way to get pretty much anything I want to do done. It's also the major giant when it comes to church systems and platforms.

Cons

The reason I chose this software to speak to is because of a major issue I've had with planning center which is, duplicating what I'm able to do with other people. It's quite difficult replicating ALL that Planning Center can do. In my line of work, getting multiple people to do what I do is GOLD...with Planning Center, I spend a lot of my time looking at tutorial videos and in the help menu trying to figure out how to do something that I'm almost positive it can do. So, when raising up other leaders to use Planning Center, they are often left frustrated and decide to just not. Not to mention, when I have somebody in charge of Planning Center for our ministry, they usually last no longer than a year, before they burn out. The reality is, planning and working directly with volunteers is an ANIMAL in itself. Dealing with people cancelling, forgetting, double booking, or complaining is no fun job for any scheduler...so dealing with certain frustrations with Planning Center is the last thing that individual wants. So what's the solution? Perhaps share the work-load with multiple people doing the scheduling...however, we never get to that point because of the difficulty of the program to the average volunteer. It's not impossible...but it's also not easy. I consider myself pretty computer savvy and every now and again during big events I assist the scheduler for that specific event and even though I've used Planning Center off and on for years...I'm always left frustrated.

Response from Planning Center

Replied October 2019

We certainly don't want you to have stress when it comes to training others using our products. Something we've done recently to help with this is to make our Planning Center University courses more accessible. We recommend that you have new leaders/volunteers to review these courses. It will help set in all on the path to success! https://planning.center/university

October 2019

Stephanie from The Verb Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

Above and Beyond for Church Management Software

Planning Center is a product that I don't just appreciate for its function in my life - it's a product I truly love. My experience is so positive when I interact with Planning Center, due to this. The software is ridiculously affordable, and adjust based off of your church size and use. This makes it such a blessing to small churches such as ours. Planning Center is also ever-growing, with new features and functions popping up rather frequently. I look forward to continued use of this product, because I know they will continue to grow and develop as a product as it remains highly useful and affordable.

Pros

Using Planning Center is like having the church volunteer who can do it all. The options in all its planning categories is so robust, our small team is easily able to keep track of volunteers, kids, donations, visitors, and more. We especially love the scheduling and volunteers - the categories are easy for the staff to set up, and easy for the volunteers to understand. The opt-in for volunteers to confirm or decline a role is so easy, the volunteer does not even have to be signed in. This feature makes it so very easy to schedule the workload from week to week, and make sure each member of the team has the help it needs!

Cons

I feel that their "groups" function is a little lacking - there's some basic features for setting up groups and protecting host information (such as home address), but I've seen other church group software that provides much more in terms of communication, tracking, etc. Thankfully, Planning Center intends to expand upon this feature, and I trust that they will eventually.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Planning Center was, ultimately, so robust and effective, for such an affordable price. We were able to accomplish so many goals in one place, without having multiple apps. It's a small detail, but we were very much swayed by the function at the time of using barcodes for children's check-in; Planning Center really knew what they were doing when they developed it, and it was a highly attractive feature that helped us see Planning Center as an exciting choice for all of our other needs.

September 2019

Sean from FountainGate Fellowship

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

September 2019

Church management software that scales with your organization

The overall experience with PCO is a good one. It is robust and continually has new, helpful features being added. It is a fantastic tool for tracking and managing people resources, donations, volunteers, and communication. I would highly recommend PCO for any church looking for a full featured ChMs without an oversized price tag.

Pros

Planning Center Online (PCO) is a scalable church or organizational software that adapts with your needs and provides great features that meet nearly all of the organizational needs. PCO offers event organization, people management, resource management, a donation platform, volunteer scheduling, and groups management. All this along with a solid communication platform and several third party integrations make PCO a powerful tool for any church or organization.

Cons

There are some features lacking such as built-in texting capabilities or whole-organization integration such as web site and app. The PCO app is not branded and lacks in features but most parts of PCO will integrate into other website platforms such as Wix.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Lots of great features without feeling or looking like 'bloatware'. Easy to use and easy to figure out more complicated tasks through their intuitive help pages.

September 2019

Eric from Freedom Bible Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

September 2019

Best ChMS every church needs

Workflows, workflows, workflows. This saves us a ton of a time each week. Attendance is easy to track with the Headcounts app. Services app for planning worship, communicating with volunteers, and scheduling the team is essential.

Pros

I like having individual apps for the different functions in PCO. Each module/app is easy to use and setup. Plus they all integrate seamlessly with one another. Workflows for everyday tasks like first time guest follow up, volunteer email/communication, event registration, and attendance is extremely valuable.

Cons

After using multiple church management systems, PCO has all the features we need...so not real cons for me.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Checked all the boxes for us.

September 2019

Daniel from Stanchfield Baptist Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Functionality

3.0

September 2019

Comparison to WorshipTeam software

Overall, I do like Planning Center, but I am really torn, because the "Cons" chew up a ton of my time. In my previous church (5 years ago), I DID use Planning Center and thought it was great. I realize that Planning Center is the "BIG PLAYER", but there are definitely things they could improve to make the experience easier.

Pros

1. Parts Storage - I can store my keyboard parts, lead sheets, chord sheets all in one place 2. Templates for services is very handy - saves a couple minutes each week allowing me to just add in my songs and any special things happening in the service. 3. Matrix view of plans and people - I do my people planning every 2 months, so it's nice to see 2 months worth of services all on one screen and fill in the blanks. 4. Black out dates - each team member can block out dates that they are not available, so I don't even need to bother asking them 5. Music Stand app - allows all of my musicians to be totally paperless (using an ipad), even my piano player (since I can import her music right into planning center along with my lead sheets from SongSelect). In WorshipTeam, I first have to create a PDF, and I can only create the PDF with Chord charts. I can actually turn pages for all of my musicians simultaneously using a session. 6. Notifications - I love the automatic notifications of members for upcoming services they are assigned to 7. Church Management - great tool for planning nursery workers, sunday school workers, ushers, greeters, etc. And they all get email/text reminders too! 8. Auto import of chord charts from SongSelect is great (too bad it won't also import my lead sheets) 9. I have heard of the ability to automatically create my projection slides from my weekly plan including proper sequence for each song - no mismatch of words between slides and chord charts.

Cons

1. Transposing songs is PAINFUL! In WorshipTeam, I can transpose with one click. I don't have to manually transpose the MP3 for the song and the chord chart is automatically transposed too. In our church, we have a lot of altos and basses. Rarely do we ever do a song in the original key. 2. Library is self populated. In WorshipTeam, I have the songs I have added to the library, but also all the songs that everyone else has added. So, for contemporary songs, they are usually already in the library for my use all ready to go. When I have a substitute worship leader, they are extremely daunted by the task of adding a song to the library in Planning Center. I don't know if they will ever do it even though I wrote out a procedure for them. 3. Not sure, but I think the storage area is limited in Planning Center. So, if I have created to many alternate keys of songs, I will eventually run out of space? 4. CCLI reporting is more complicated. With WorshipTeam, a report is easily created with one click and I don't have to keep track of anything on a weekly basis.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

I have used it before, and it seems to be the software of choice for most of the worship industry

Response from Planning Center

Replied September 2019

Thanks for your honest review, Daniel! Many of the items in your CONS list are things we can help you with. Would you reach out to our support team at support@planning.center and we'll help get some of these pain points resolved!

July 2019

Justin from Church of the Highlands

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

July 2019

A must for Houses of Worship!

Overall, it's an excellent tool and I would highly recommend it. It's a must-have for anyone planning events, especially those in Houses of Worship.

Pros

It makes planning an event flow very easy and intuitive. It's a simple process to upload files and media to attach when creating an event flow, and it's easy to add additional notes and comments to aid in transitions. The timing features make it easy to track session lengths, and PCO Live is a great way to communicate real-time updates to users.

Cons

The Teams feature could be developed a bit more. When managing a checklist, there's no way to skip over items and come back to them later...everything must be completed linearly. In addition, it's difficult to go back and make edits after the fact or even view past progress and notes.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Broader feature set, especially when it comes to the integration of team/volunteer management.

Response from Planning Center

Replied July 2019

Hey Justin, Thanks for taking the time to write an honest review of our software! Sounds like you may have some ideas for how it could be improved. If you haven't already, we'd love it if you shot some of those ideas over to us at support@planning.center. Thanks!

July 2019

Timothy from The Father's House

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2019

Our Virtual Assistant

Our team has come to a place of embracing this product and using it well for planning worship events. Early on, it was a bit of a learning curve. Having been use to software having phone support with programs. Over all, this product has become a virtual part of our team. We like the ability to update it on the fly, even in the middle of an event. We have also used the "groups" portion of the app, but not a lot. Our next adventure with this product is to be implementing the "check-in" portion of the app. The PlanningCenter portion is great for setting up teams to serve and for bringing our sheet music library into the 'plan.'

Pros

This app/program has become a great aid in planning worship services and events for our Sunday Services and other events. It helps us get all of our information into one spot. Secondly, in planning our worship services and other events, it has become a template that leads us to our 'finished product,' a well planned and detailed event.

Cons

All support is done through tutorials and through email contacts. There is no phone support, at least that I have found.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

We were originally using a pen and paper listing or a typed list that was purely based on talking it out and writing it down. The problem before was that we would often miss out on key items. With PlanningCenter, we are often primed by the template on activities to include or people needed to serve in roles for that portion of the plan. PlanningCenter is constantly updating their product and tutorials.

Response from Planning Center

Replied July 2019

Hey Timothy, thanks so much for your feedback and sharing how the software helps your Team get to the finished product for your events. As for phone support, you are able to schedule a call via the (?) on the top right of the app you have questions in. While email support is the fastest most efficient way to receive support. You can still schedule a call via the (?) via the "open a ticket" modal. Hope you have a blessed one!

July 2019

Jason from Fellowship Bible Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Arts and Crafts

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

3.0

July 2019

Interface

I would also take a moment and think through the basics of the site. If the goal is to do something basic like add a song, or even to rehearse a song [Which is difficult to do, or at least not clear to my older choir members], then it should be easy to see, and easy to execute. I love the fact that things are customizable, and that I can plan my service down to the second, but the moment I go to show someone else how to run basic things especially within the app, I am painfully aware that the interface could be tweaked to help make things a little bit easier for the users who are using your products the most. Most churches are less than 50 people. Most church members are baby boomers. Do your market research with that demographic in mind and I bet you will quickly see what works and does not work with regards to your interface. That being said, anyone outside of that demographic is willing to find out how to do things from youtube tutorials, so keep those up to date and looking nice and you will remain at the top of the church-planning food chain.

Pros

The things that Planning Center does well, it does very well. It always delivers notifications and I feel that it is reliable. Every single time that one of the people on my team have had an issue with the software, it was incredibly simple to resolve, and usually was a case of user preferences that needed adjustments. For the majority of the people that benefit from the software, the experience is seamless and professional. Due to the fact that most of the people who use Planning Center are not directly paying for the software, it has set itself apart as the crown of church planning resources. It is certainly my first suggestion to new worship pastors or churches that are trying to become organized. The fact that it can take care of so many different church needs from one platform is also worth mentioning. My church uses another system for online giving, but it is comparable to what Planning Center offers. We are in the process of transitioning all of our check-in systems to Planning Center and it is significantly cheaper and easier to use than ANYTHING else on the market right now.

Cons

My experience with Planning Center is not limited to, but mostly within the realm of "Services" so that is where I will spend most of my time. Before that, however, I will mention that while I know of a number of people who enjoy the "Music Stand" app, Planning Center does not offer the best deal for the service. Apps like Onsong, while expensive up-front, are not a monthly expense and allow for many file types and importing formats, including the ability to download the music straight from "Services." This allows for some freedom in set design and application as many of my musicians are playing during the week and not at the church. If they could pay once for "Music Stand" and also import the secular music into their setlists, they would use the app outside of a Sunday morning context. Now for the interface. One of the best tools in "Services" is the REPORTS section. And while I love the way it looks now, it has lost a lot of versatility. It is difficult to select the date for the reports, not to mention, hard to find the reports to begin with. Now, if I want to find songs from last Christmas, I really have to hunt to find the reports, find the right drop-down bar, and select "custom" on the display. Why not keep the custom option in the bar to begin with, and have the presets in the drop down bar? There is just a lot of unused real estate on that particular page, and I have spent too much time trying to relearn something that wasn't much easier in the last edition.

February 2019

David from Rolling Hills Community Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

February 2019

Amazing Church Management Software

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.

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?

November 2018

Jonathan from Alive Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

2.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2018

A strong suite with a little too much monopoly

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!

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.

Response from Planning Center

Replied November 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!

November 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2018

This is the software you want

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.

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.

March 2018

Jayden from University of Nebraska Lincoln

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2018

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

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.

February 2018

Nicholas from Hoboken Grace Community Church

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

February 2018

It's core programs are stellar

All in one stop shop for Church Database Management

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.

Response from Planning Center

Replied February 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

July 2017

Kevin from Fellowship Bible Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2017

I couldn't imagine church service planning without PCO!

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.

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.

January 2017

RJ from Redeemer Bible Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

3.0

January 2017

Great Church Management Software

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.

Pros

listed in my review

Cons

also listed in my review

June 2019

Jordan from Christ's Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2019

Best CMS out there.

If I didn't have a tool like this to keep everything together and organized, I probably would not still be in the ministry. PCO has helped me stay organized and lead my teams better than I ever could have on my own.

Pros

Scheduling volunteers and planning worship services - these two things drew me to PCO back in 2007. This was before it was a full featured CMS and even then I was recommending it to churches as a superior worship planning tool.

Cons

Now that it is much a much more full featured CMS, it can be a little less intuitive to use at times. I find that my team members often are unable to intuitively learn how to do some specific things - like building lists and flows in the People database. Good thing they have great tutorials and customer support.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

I originally chose PCO way back in 2007 based on an ad in a magazine. It was an arbitrary decision, but ended up being a great one as PCO has continued to excel at everything they do while constantly adding new featured. When they finally added a People database as a hub to all their various services and options (upgrading it all to a full featured CMS) there was no other alternative product that compared for us.

November 2020

Hillary from First Free Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2020

Great Product, Needs a Few Organizational Upgrades

Overall, my experience is great. There are plenty of options and they are really intuitive when it comes to what churches need. Each weekend I schedule several services and probably 20 volunteers. I'd be lost without this product. Our church has 2,500 attenders. We live stream our services - it takes a lot of work to pull it off. Throughout COVID I have been able to clearly communicate to my team because of PCO. They do think about everything - it's just that they need to teach us solutions they have created.

Pros

I think this is incredibly easy to use overall. The Scheduling software is what I use most often as I schedule teams for our weekend services. It's intuitive and there are several ways to streamline the sometimes tedious tasks of scheduling the same times every week. Additionally, this software makes it easy to keep track of how often volunteers are scheduled - which is extremely helpful because they are volunteers and I don't want them to burn out.

Cons

I think there could be better training on how to use all aspects of PCO effectively. I feel like we take advantage of only 80% of what PCO is capable of doing for us, and a lot of that is simply because there are no simple guidelines for the massive amount of possibilities for building plans and scheduling teams. More in depth training - that is organized and dives into the details would be extremely helpful. Whenever I have time, I test plans and templates using our employees profiles, but it's really time consuming. I'd rather just sit down and study the system - or have easy access to detailed videos on specific topics.

Response from Planning Center

Replied November 2020

We can help with training! Our team does a live stream every quarter with detailed training of our products. We recorded our last training and you can watch it here: http://planningcenter.com/university

July 2019

Matthew from Fellowship Bible Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

July 2019

The only service we need to plan and execute our events

Excellent overall experience, we have never or very rarely had any service issues with the site crashing or anything like that. Just little bugs here and there which are always quickly resolved.

Pros

The seamless integration of various elements and components of our service or event. The ease of adding songs and lyrics, media elements, notes and documentation, organization of all the pieces, easy scheduling of staff and volunteers and ease of communicating to all those involved. The continued innovation and adding of features, listening well to their user base.

Cons

Some of the setup and coding of reports has a big learning curve, and some settings have been hard to find in the past, but the user support is there when we need it.

February 2020

Jacob from Verve

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

February 2020

The Best All-in-one ChMS

We started using Planning Center 10 years ago for our service planning. A few years after that, we migrated our kids' check-in system to Planning Center, then our Groups. Now we are transitioning away from CCB and PushPay to go all-in on Planning Center for every aspect of our database management.

Pros

Planning Center's interface is intuitive, attractive, and friendly to users who are intimidated by traditional technology applications. Planning Center just works, which cannot be said for the majority of players in the world of church management software. Lists are powerful and integrations flexible. Mobile apps are robust.

Cons

There are still missing pieces in the Giving App, especially as it relates to importing previous contributions and handling non-deductible transactions. But Planning Center is constantly evolving, and I am confident that within a couple of years their donor management will be up to full spec.

September 2020

Jennifer from Grace Gathering

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

September 2020

Planning Center is Extremely Versitile and Flexible

Planning Center has allowed all aspects of church administration to be kept in one platform with appropriate permission levels allowed for each user in each app we've subscribed to. The customer service is also hard to beat! They are very helpful and prompt in their responses.

Pros

We have loved that we can subscribe to individual PCO apps at the usage levels we need, and the subscription can be changed at any time, as many times as you need to. There is no contract. You can also try any of the different apps out for a month for free! Also, if you have subscribed to an app at a particular usage level and accidentally exceed the allowed amount (ex. You've subscribed to Check-Ins up to 50 people/event, but have 65 people check-in on a baptism Sunday because of visitors.), PCO will allow the overage in the moment and email the administrator asking them to please adjust the usage subscription if the overage is expected to continue.

Cons

As the finance manager, I wish I could use the Giving app to also track our members' non-tax deductible contributions (ex. youth retreat fees, bible study purchases, building rental, etc.). Other software we've used (Church Community Builder and Servant Keeper) have allowed contributions to be marked as non-tax deductible. This would allow members to have a complete record of funds they have given to the church when giving statements are sent out.

April 2019

Matt from NGO/Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2019

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

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.

May 2019

Chad from Grace Church of Greater Akron

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

May 2019

Indispensable software, far outshines the competition

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!

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.

Response from Planning Center

Replied May 2019

Hi Chad! Thank you for your kind words and honest review! For the Song details, let us know what you'd like to see in the mobile app. We have plans for what we want to add, but your feedback would be valuable, for sure. Contact us through the helpdesk in the mobile or web apps and we can start the conversation, there! - Clay

October 2017

Brandon from Woodlake Church

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2017

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

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.

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.

December 2019

Aaron from First Free Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

December 2019

The best possible planning tool for teams

Planning Center allows me to solve frustrating team communication issues. Everyone on my team knows all the details. Songs... check. Service times... check. Rehearsal times... check. Media and lighting cues... check. It’s been a game changer for my team overall.

Pros

Team communication: planning center allows me to organize and communicate with over 150+ volunteers and staff. It’s absolutely essential for my job and for serving my team as effectively as possible.

Cons

The GUI is a tad bit intimidating at first, as is with most planning center modules. However in a few hours or days, you are up and running in no time, and there is also a vast FAQ and help section on their support page.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

There’s simply no comparison. Planning Center is the best church organization software out there. Nothing comes close to the functionality or amount of features.

April 2019

Kati from Rochester Assembly Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

5.0

April 2019

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

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

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.

Response from Planning Center

Replied April 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!

February 2018

Micah from Whitewater

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Functionality

3.0

February 2018

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

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.

March 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

March 2018

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

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.

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.

December 2019

Brian from Emmanuel Enid

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

December 2019

Best Software Available on the Market for Worship Planning, Volunteer Communication and Scheduling

When I arrived at my first full-time church 10.5 years ago, I decided in my second month I was going to do a 30 day trial of a worship planning website called planningcenteronline.com that I had seen advertised and had heard some friends discuss. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made as a worship leader. The ease with which Planning Center allows me to plan worship, communicate with volunteers and do all I need to lead a powerful worship ministry is unheard of in the industry. Planning Center is one of the best tools out there!

Pros

Ease of use for both volunteers and staff. Clean, concise user interface. Easily customizable to fit your own needs.

Cons

The ONLY con I can think of is that sometimes their Music Stand app for sheet music use can be a little clunky and not load sheet music easily on a tablet or iPad.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

Ease of use. Word of mouth from friends and people I know.

July 2019

DON from DRUMRIGHT UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2019

COMPREHENSIVE AND EASY TO USE

Overall, we are very pleased. However, they could be more responsive to our concerns about customization.

Pros

We like the ability to choose the modules we need and that they are all integrated. As soon as you select a new module, data from the others is available at once. Each module is versatile and somewhat customizable.

Cons

The developers used language that does not fit with what we are used to. That is, some of their terminologies fit better in a secular business environment instead of a church. Most of these instances are not customizable. For example, the People module has no way to designate Head of Household or to distinguish dependent children from adult children. We found a number of instances where we had to reorient our thinking to fit their use of terms.

Response from Planning Center

Replied July 2019

Hey Don, Thanks for taking the time to write an honest review for our software. It sounds like you have written in a time or two and that those were turned into feature requests. Please know that each and every request is seen and reviewed by our teams that make our apps. Unfortunately there are so many great ideas that we can't implement them all, at least not quickly. A lack of movement on any feature request doesn't mean that we think it's a bad idea, it just means that it hasn't made it to the top of the priority list yet. Thanks again for the review and if you have any other ideas be sure to send them our way!

March 2019

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Functionality

3.0

March 2019

Fantastic church service management software

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).

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

Response from Planning Center

Replied March 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!

July 2020

Marissa from Faith Church

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2020

Planning Center Review

My overall experience with Planning Center would be amazing. I would recommend this software to many other churches.

Pros

I use Planning Center every single day in my job. I enjoy using the software because it is easy to use. It holds all of our 30,000 families from our church. It tracks all of their information. I can make registrations through Planning Center and the system tracks these registrations for me. There are countless other things Planning Center does and it is all in one place rather than using many different systems.

Cons

Honestly, there is nothing bad I can say about Planning Center. I really enjoy using it. It helps keep me grounded as an administrator.

October 2019

Josh from Brookings Church of the Nazarene

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

Great overall Church Management Software

Overall, Planning Center has provided a powerful central hub for communicating and organizing our church activity across the board. We just recently fully migrated over to all of the planning center features and look forward to digging deeper as we fully integrate into every ministry in our church.

Pros

Planning Center offers a vast array of tools for managing our church, from check-ins to worship planning and everything in between. It has streamlined communication and cut back on overall administrative time so that we can actually do the work of the pastor.

Cons

While the versatility is great, there is so much to learn across the several different planning center tools and can be a bit overwhelming. Some significant initial learning/setup is required to fully utilize every tool to its full capacity.

November 2016

Kevin from Fellowship Bible Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2016

Don't Do Church Music Without This Tool!

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.

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.

April 2020

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2020

Excellent Church Management Software

Overall my experience with Planning Center has been a fantastic one, and I'm looking forward to using their current and new products in my church now and in the future!

Pros

Planning Center offers a fantastic suite of software that makes behind the sences tasks for church management a breeze.

Cons

The pricing for some of their products is a little higher than what can be found from the competitors, but it is almost always made up in their excellent customer service.

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

We chose Planning Center over Rock RMS due to its ease of setup and not having to maintain/configure the server to run Rock RMS ourselves. In the future, we may move to Rock RMS for some apps given the greater customization and flexibility that Rock RMS offers.

October 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Time Used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2018

Planning Center: Excellent Church Database

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

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.

Response from Planning Center

Replied November 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

October 2019

Deborah from Parkcrest Christian Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2019

BEST web-based software for worship planning

We've been using Planning Center for about seven years. I don't think we've ever had an issue with the product. I've never had a need to contact customer service. It does what it is supposed to do, and it makes this aspect of my job as the administrative assistant of a worship department of a large church much easier.

Pros

Planning Center is extremely easy to use. I can very easily do everything I need to do. When I train new people on Planning Center, it is one of the easiest products to train someone on. It is very intuitive and easy to figure out what to do even if you don't know how to do something.

Cons

My only issue is sometimes the app is a bit finicky. For whatever reason there always seem to be a bunch of extra roles that need filling on the app only. I try and delete them, but I can't. I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling the app, but still have issues

Reasons for Choosing Planning Center

I wasn't part of the team who made the initial decision to switch.

Response from Planning Center

Replied October 2019

Hey Deborah, Thanks for writing an honest review for us! I noticed that you mentioned having some issues with the mobile apps. You may have already done this, but if you haven't, would you mind sending in a support ticket to support@planning.center. If there is an issue with the app we want to make sure that we can get that fixed for you! Thanks!

February 2020

Gabriel from Calvary Chapel Longview

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Religious Institutions

Time Used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

February 2020

This is the gold standard for church management.

We mostly use the Services product so my experience with their other products is pretty limited. It has become absolutely indispensable to us however. We use it to schedule team members for our music and production teams, map out service structure ahead of time, Store, practice and schedule song files, and more. Without PCO we would have a disaster on our hands.

Pros

- lots of great features. I’ve been using Planning Center for years and I still learn something new every week. - So. Many. Integrations. PCO will integrate with literally hundreds if not thousands of other faith-based platforms making it super easy to connect it all together. - modular pricing. You pay for what you use and leave the rest. Great for smaller churches because of this. - overall value for your dollar. These products are awesome and well worth the cost per month. You can even choose to not pay a dime and use limited versions of each product to test out.

Cons

- learning curve. There is a LOT here, and it can take a while to learn the ropes. On-boarding new members can take time and patience. It’s gotten much better over the years though! - no more cons that I can think of! Why are you looking at cons! Go buy Planning Center!

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