About Realm


Realm is a cloud-based church management solution that helps users in church administration, accounting and community management. Users are provided with a mobile app to send messages to community members. The solution provides multiple security layers for financial transactions and registration payments. It allows role-based permissions to limit users that have access to edit financial documents.

Realm helps church staff manage their jobs, run reports and accept all types of contributions from community members. Church staff can record and manage contributions via automatic posting of online gifts and donations. Users are able to maintain databases by connecting profiles for individuals, families and businesses.

Realm provides automatic data backup to users at regular intervals. Other features include dashboards, self-managed profiles, custom fields, church directory, fund management, batch entry and group rosters. Pricing is per month and is based on weekly attendance. Support is offered via onsite visit, chat, phone and email.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Web browser (OS agnostic)

168 Reviews of Realm

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.49 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.5

Value for money

4.5

Customer support

4.5

Functionality

4.0

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(95)

4 stars

(63)

3 stars

(8)

2 stars

(2)

1 stars

(0)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

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Showing 1-20 of 168 reviews

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March 2018

Joshua from Trinity Community Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

March 2018

Tremendous organizational tool! A bit lacking in some desired features and user-friendliness.

Pros

Realm has been our only experience with CHMS and it has been well worth every penny. As a small church of about 200, we know there's so much more that this software is capable of doing that we simply do not have a need for at present. We love the organization Realm has given internally to our church staff and volunteers. The ability to track giving (both regular offering and pledge funds) through Realm is very sound and ensures accuracy in our financial record keeping. It also makes creating and sending year end giving statements a breeze! This software seemingly has no ceiling in its ability to query any information we want to gather from our people (as long as we have imputed the information when adding profiles). We can then quickly generate a report from that information that is easily shareable. Creating groups is also a great feature that has helped us, internally, better understand who is doing what and has subsequently helped us to be more intentional and effective in our communication. Routine tasks that we use Realm for on a weekly/daily basis include: recording giving, finding pertinent information about our people, generating reports/labels, adding profiles of our people and assigning them to groups, and communicating via Realm's email feature with various groups in our church.

Cons

The calendar is not as functional as we had hoped and does not allow for integration with Google Calendars. This has led to our avoiding any use of Realm's calendar. We have also not made use of the Events feature in Realm as there is no public-facing side of Events Registration (that we have found) that could tie in with our church website. The interface is not very intuitive/user-friendly and has held us back from opening up the software for use by more volunteers to handle tasks such as Check-in and Pathway's. This has also prevented us from allowing group leaders to manage their own groups' members, record attendance, coordinate events or activities, or to communicate directly with one another. The online giving feature does not currently allow for any embed code to make for a more seamless online giving experience.

August 2017

Jenn from The Bible Chapel

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

August 2017

Congregational Care Tool

Realm is the key tool to care for our congregation in intentional ways.

Pros

First we love that all of our systems are now in one place. Moving from running ACS OnDemand, AccessACS, and The City to just using Realm has created efficiency. Realm has allowed better care of our large congregation and opportunities for closing the back door. That's what we like most. With nearly 4,000 attenders on a weekend, knowing when people are disconnecting is difficult. With easy attendance through the app for all of our classes/events/offerings, and indications coming to the surface in reports when people begin to disengage, we can intentionally follow up with them for potential ministry opportunity. Along the same lines, being able to have family/individual profiles which really show a complete picture of a person and their involvement, along with what processes they're involved in, what events they've attended, what milestones they've met, and any notes pertinent to pastoral care for them as individuals, we are in a better position to care for our congregation than ever before.

Dashboard reports are great and put a lot of actionable data at ministry leaders fingertips.

Cons

Communication via Realm needs some minor improvements. The ability to share a message with multiple groups is missing at present. The option to reply to an email notification and have the message go back to the original thread in Realm is missing. Those two improvements would make a big difference in communication, as well as the ability to "feature" a post within a group to make it stay at the top of the group's News Feed. Need to be able to turn off ability to comment on a particular post, yet not delete it -- something that's informative in nature, but we're not necessarily looking for responses on.

Emails coming out of Realm need to be more customizable to have the look and feel the sender is going for. Calendar/events in Realm needs some help too. We are not to the point yet where we could use it as the one place to see events, as it's listing all service times and things we don't necessarily want to show in the events listing (things that are a given and don't need to be listed as events -- however they have to be in there so attendance can be marked/entered). A few enhancements need to be made in event registration as well, though it has come a long way.

June 2016

Lynnette from North Decatur United Methodist Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2016

Great product and support!

This product is not as robust as some of the other big products out there, but it has almost everything you need to get the job done. Many organizations do not need or want all the bells and whistles that those products have, nor the cost they come with. Realm manages people and their contributions with ease. It has the ability to use groups to track attendance and facilitate communication among the groups/ministries of the church. The customization fields allow for tracking needs specific to individual ministries as well. For attendance, there is a check in system that can be utilized that can be set up to provide security labels for children's ministry. It can also be used to check in for Sunday School or other events as well. This is tied to the attendance so that if the check in is utilized, the support staff/volunteer posting of attendance is reduced as well. Then you have the support. If you ever run into a question or issue, there are wikis to help you along. The wikis are not just a long list of stuff, but are set up so that when you click the "?" button, it opens the wiki that is specific to the page you are on, so no more searching for what you need in a long list. If that doesn't help, you always have the support team standing by so you can call and get assistance as well. They are always ready to serve and never talk down to you because you ask a "dumb" question.

Pros

I like that the software developers take the time to listen to the users and frequently upgrade the software with features that users need, not what they think we should have. The UI is intuitive and easy to use. The wikis are robust and use lots of pictures so there is not confusion as to what needs to be done. The support team in knowledgeable.

Cons

The search engine is not as robust as some other products, but that is improving as the product develops.

June 2018

Jilliane from The Garden Community Church

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2018

Realm has been an excellent resource for our congregation and staff.

Pros

We use Realm Connect - the level that allows for congregants to log in and use the app feature as well. Realm is easy to use and intuitive to figure out. The staff love being able to get to it anywhere and that they can even work on their phones on things if needed. Realm has features that make life easier for church staff, while also allowing the congregation to connect with each other. The Realm development team is always looking at ways to make it easier for people to know where to go, while also trying to find ways to make the church staff's lives easier as they input the data. Additionally, the support staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. I rarely have to wait for support help and if they cannot fix an issue while I am on the phone with them, they are quick to follow back up.

Cons

There are still areas they are building out and things that are not there yet. For example, today we tried to copy a list of people from a registration event into a group roster as the group decided they wanted to be able to communicate with each other during the study. This was not a feature that was available yet, so the person entering the data had to manually add the people to a group. But, they have an enhancement request portal where Realm staff users can enter ideas in on what to change or add and they follow that portal very closely. The things that are not there yet are a small trade-off in my mind, as overall Realm is incredible software. And knowing that those things will come soon makes it easier for me to help my staff realize that if they can be patient for a little bit longer, everything will be in one place. They really like that!

September 2018

Gerald from Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

3.0

September 2018

Chapel in the Pines Review

Overall our church and it's members enjoy using Realm. We just got it in 2017 so don't have a lot of experience with it. I do think the communication functions will be a big help to us. Your support staff has always been very professional and friendly. I think in 5 years we will be using it as our main communications tool.

Pros

The cost is probably the best feature for us as a small church. It also allows our members and friends to donate an online gift and have it immediately posted to the member's statement. It is also very user friendly.

Cons

When creating the photo directory with family information, there is no "refer to" for couples who have different last names (i.e., Bob Warren and Karen Fisher, Nathan Kotecki and Garrett Southerland). Access ACS had that feature.
When creating a .pdf file of the directory, there is no way to password protect it without running it through a different program. Access ACS had that feature.
In the photo directory, there is no way to flag various people (like ordained minister, staff, non-member friend, etc.)
The .pdf document created is static, not dynamic (in other words, you can't click on an email address and go straight to an email, nor can you cut and paste phone numbers, addresses, etc.)
The mobile app for Realm Connect opens automatically to the "news" feed. Since we don't use the news feed, people who are using the app to get contact information do not easily find that information. It would help if we could choose which feature Realm Connect opens with.

June 2016

Shelby from Hope Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2016

Using Realm for People and Accounting

I have been using Realm to manage people (contributions, attendance, etc.) for about 8 months. I have also had the privilege to be a part of the pilot program for Realm Accounting. People management is very straightforward. Accounting process will be very familiar for existing ACS Financial Suite users. Chart of Accounts structure is a bit different, but I like the use of Account Codes (core accounts) that are available across funds. Accounting might be a little too strong for one-person office environments, especially those accustomed to QuickBooks functionality. ACS partners with Vanco for processing gifts and registration payments. Vanco is great to work with. Together, they have just launched text giving for Realm.

Pros

I've been able to successfully check-in people from Windows tablet and have labels waiting at the check-in station (label printer shared from another Windows computer). I like being able to verify attendance with a tablet during service.

Text giving in Realm is included with online giving.

Dashboards readily available and can be customized for Giving, Attendance, and Involvement. Plus the Overview can provide quick insights to your database.

Cons

Built-in reports have a ways to go.

June 2018

Amy from St. Luke United Methodist Church

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2018

Great, user-friendly software and world-class help desk.

Easy to learn and to use. Helps us track everything from giving to attendance, as well as trends. On-line (as opposed to desktop loaded) software keeps the worry out of losing data. Affordable, even for a smaller church.

Pros

Realm is extremely user-friendly. I love that they have teamed with Vanco for donations/payments and the payments are recorded directly into the person's record in Realm. The pastor likes to do analytics and uses that feature all the time. I work in the contribution section every week and it couldn't be easier. The "icing on the cake" is the world-class Customer Service. After two quick prompts, a real person answers the phone within seconds. I don't get transferred. The person is very knowledgeable, friendly, polite, and most of all can answer my questions. They will also log onto my computer - with my permission - if that is the best way to help me.

Cons

I can't get all the reports I used to get in ACS People. Also, I have not found a way to link different families together (i.e. showing one family is a mother and father to another family). I also wish that Realm Financials would stop pushing back their timeline to include Payroll so we can switch from ACS Financials to Realm for that part of business, also.

October 2017

Lindsey from West Cabarrus Church

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2017

Realm is very user friendly and the customer service representatives are very helpful.

Pros

We have had Realm for 3 years and seen the software improve a lot over that time. I am very impressed at their constant ingenuity to continue developing the product to meet customer needs. We love the check-in platform which is extremely simple to use.. even better now with customizable badges! We have met with the Realm team several times regarding various new program updates. The team would show us a sample of a new concept and ask for our feedback. It was fun to be a part of new innovation and it was especially exciting when we saw our suggestions implemented in the software.

Cons

Realm does not interact with our Planning Center Services account or our Resources calendar. Because of this, we have to duplicate information and ultimately manage 2 databases of people (PCO and Realm). This hasn't been a major issue but it would be nice if profiles that were updated in Realm would be automatically updated in PCO. Also, our small group leaders have found the mobile app to be limited in its functionality. Understandably, the app has less features than the web version but it would be really nice if, for example, a small group leader could add a new guest from the mobile app.

June 2016

Sherri from UP Church

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Customer support

5.0

June 2016

Probably Will Go with Realm

We are comparing PowerChurch, Servant Keeper and Realm. Of the three, Realm is the most robust, organized and simplest to jump right in without a lot of training. We can track records in our Adult Spiritual Education program. We can track visitor outreach. We can track attendance collectively and individually. Gift entry is awesome! You must enter a batch first, meaning the full dollar amount of your deposit; then you enter individual gifts against that dollar amount. If the final figures do not match, you know immediately that you have a data entry error. Can't tell you how much I love this feature! Also, they have a super robust wiki site that explains every facet of their software. The info is broken down into bite-sized, easily digestible chunks. It is presented through a combo of pictures, videos, and text. Very well laid out; easy to navigate. I found things in the free demo that made no sense to me. The help button to me to the wiki site where I was able to easily get my question answered. I rarely use the help on other software programs because it's confusing and not worth the effort. By contrast, I spent over an hour each with the folks from PowerChurch and Servant Keeper to get help making sense of their software. All 3 solutions are highly customizable. But, Realm is the most organized. For example, our education program includes 2-3 years of classes. I need to track students through classes and know when they've finished. Both PowerChurch and Servant Keeper allow me to create a customized tracking system. But each makes use of multiple screens that take some effort to navigate between. Because this info is entered periodically (not daily), I'm concerned my volunteers will need to retrained every time they use it. Realm offers a solution where everything is on one screen. No complicated navigation. Can't guarantee a volunteer won't need retraining, but they'll only have one thing to learn and remember with Realm. It's the right price point for a church of our size. The ONLY reason for the 4-stars overall is that the accounting module is extra and I cannot find the cost for it ANYWHERE on their site. Very frustrating! Also Realm does not integrate with MailChimp. Just Constant Contact (my least favorite email solution). If it weren't for the data conversion, we'd be able to get started for under $200! You can't beat that kind of value. The only reason we wouldn't go with Realm is that I get outvoted. :)

July 2018

Sherri from UP Church

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2018

Love this product!

It's a really robust software. The customer support is amazing. And their help file is one of the best I've seen of any software anywhere!

Pros

We have been using Realm as our church management software since 2016. We were upgrading from a really old software system that we'd been using since the 90s or before. Realm walked us through the transfer which was very involved. And I think our transfer took longer than usual but they held our hands through the process.

But since we've been up and running, it's been smooth sailing. They're constantly updating the software. I haven't had any problems with it. We haven't rolled out the member portion of the software yet. We have an older congregation and getting every logged in would be a challenge.

As a small (under 100 members) Church, Realm has more than met our needs. I believe it's a software we can easily grow with for years to come.

Cons

We opted to handle the personalization of the software ourselves. Well...that hasn't happened. With running a church and everyone wearing multiple hats, we just haven't had time. So, I know we're not getting all the value from the software that we could. That's not Realm's fault. If I remember correctly, it was a cost thing that caused us to do it ourselves. Perhaps Realm needs a customization price for small churches like ours.

July 2018

Gregory from By Grace Community Church

Company Size: 10,000+ employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

July 2018

Relatively easy management of church administrative functions

A plethora of reporting options! Master membership rolls. Class check-in (and child safety/security). Communication with members on Connect.

Pros

It appears that ACS has put in a lot of homework in looking for things that a church might do and how they actually do business. The Connect aspect is only as useful as the people who use it, but the Realm engine in very powerful and has a lot of features that just about any church would want or need. The cloud-based platform is also helpful because 1) our software/interface never need updating and 2) there is no risk of us losing our data. The reporting options are also very flexible: our denomination requires annual reports on numbers and finances, and (I think) we can create enough custom reports to cover these annual reports all within the confines of Realm! That is a huge time saver no more spreadsheets!

Cons

Sending invites to Realm seems to be tricky, especially if a child has grown and now has an e-mail address. We can't just send an invite from the person's profile page (hint: make this an option). Also, in order to do child check-in or Sunday School sign-in sheets, there is a lot of layering that is required in order to get the final product. ONce complete, it is fairly simple on a weekly basis, but getting there can take some time (but not difficult time). Coming from a Database Administrator perspective (that's my job), I fully understand the need for such layers, as it keeps things working right, so this is not something that must be fixed. However, for the average user, it might seem tedious.

November 2016

Ami from Lutheran Church of the Ascension

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2016

The BEST Church Management Software Around!

Our church started using Realm over a year ago. It is a wonderful software that provides great functionality, real-time data, and it's user friendly! Information is always just a couple clicks away and we delight in how well our members have received it! Using Realm has freed staff from spending great amounts of times trying to assemble reports because the data is already there. This allows them to focus on other, more important people and ministry driven tasks. One of the best features is the online giving! We're able to offer quick, easy, and secure online giving to our church members and even church visitors (plus TEXT GIVING)!! We are always amazed at how the ACS developers are constantly improving Realm. They take our input and suggestions of how the product can be even better, which is nice since we are the ones out in the real world using the software. We have a voice! Their customer service and support are without fail fantastic! Overall, Realm is just a really great product and we would recommend it to others without hesitation. It certainly allows us to work smarter, not harder, and it gives us the tools we need to run our amazing church! Thanks Realm!

Pros

Everything

Cons

Nothing really!

April 2018

Lily from Elizabeth Baptist Church