Shelby System is a cloud-based church management solution for ministries and nonprofit organizations. Key features include giving management, financial management, website building, bulk communication, background check and volunteer verification.

Shelby supports multiple channels to accept and process giving, including online, mobile, text and kiosk. Donors can make donations through their credit/debit cards and even transfer funds through online modes. It offers recurring giving feature through which a fixed donation is automatically debited from the donors’ account in favor of the church every month.

Shelby offers an accounting system that includes general ledger, payroll, account payable, account receivable and more. It also offers bank reconciliation feature to help ministries manage and record their financial transactions to-and-from the bank.

Additionally, it offers website building tool that helps to create websites for church and nonprofit organizations. The solution is available on a monthly subscription basis, which includes support via phone, email and fax.



33 Reviews of Shelby Church

Overall rating

3.94 / 5 stars

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Showing 1 - 20 of 33 reviews

December 2018

Matt from Trinity Church, Cedar Hill TX

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

3 of 5

Value for money

3 of 5

Customer support

3 of 5

Functionality

4 of 5

December 2018

We use Shelby Arena for our check in system for families with kids at church.

Pros

It is fairly easy for the end user (the parent) to check in the kids and select the class. Using the phone number is good.

Cons

It is quite difficult on the administrative side to set up the classes and to customize it to our specific needs.

November 2018

Christina from Highland Park United Methodist Church

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4 of 5

Functionality

2 of 5

November 2018

Ok, but limited

Fine, but it didn't change my world. It works well, but I want to do more and be more efficient, and it's just a little behind what I think a large database management software should do - but this may also be because I'm not fully educated on it's capabilities, in which case I think that's at the fault of Arena support staff. If it has the capabilities to make my job easier, they should be showing that to us.

Pros

I like the visual layout of member profiles. It shows all the info I need very simply, cleanly, and in one place. Easy for me to create/edit new groups.

Cons

It is limited in it's capabilities moving forward, but also what I really like least is how it is used and implemented here. It has the ability to take roll via a phone of a member, but we don't use that. Instead we run paper rolls and print them each week and have to enter attendance manually - all this to say I don't think Arena was set up well here - not sure who's fault that was, ours or theirs, but that's how it is and is annoying. Also - the entering of notes on a profile and tracking them is not great or useful, but that would be an important feature. Running reports/lists to get a specific list of what I'm looking for is more difficult and time consuming than it should be; I can work around it and figure it out, but this should be something users should be able to use easily.

November 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

1 of 5

Value for money

2 of 5

Customer support

3 of 5

Functionality

1 of 5

November 2018

Way behind the times

The people at Shelby are nice people, they just aren't up with the times. If they could get ahead and make things easier to use and more attractive or just add simple things like making their group search feature customization so it could be integrated into your existing website's design - and making everything platform agnostic so it would easier to use on tablets and phones, then they'd be halfway there. They're just so far behind and still not catching up that I would really recommend against putting your church management needs in their hands, because if you do you'll be stuck there.

Pros

If you're using arena, it's probably because you used Shelby - they'll port your info from your old Shelby account making it easier to move from one system to the other. It is web based and it generally functions as a decent database.

Cons

If Shelby classic was stuck in the 1990s Arena is stuck in the early 2000's - Shelby is at least ten years behind with everything they do. The small groups search function isn't really useful and doesn't look good when integrated into a well-designed website. All the interfaces are archaic and difficult to use. It isn't intuitive or forward thinking in its interface. It seems stuck in the 80s and 90s when it comes to its way of thinking. It has no worship planning component, no event planning component, no options for creating calendars that are accessible or visible to the public. (though if it did have those features I have no doubt they would be difficult to use and unattractive.) Anyone who is knowledgeable about modern church management software will hate everything Shelby produces.

October 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 501-1,000 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3 of 5

Functionality

5 of 5

October 2018

Decent Software

Pros

Easy to look up a specific members information.

Cons

Not easy to use, prompts are misleading; prompts are unclear when running reports IE: When i go to comprise a list of leaders in bulk is not clear. The steps are not clear. I don't sent bulk emails anymore through Arena.

October 2018

Mark from Watermark Community Church

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

2 of 5

Value for money

1 of 5

Customer support

1 of 5

Functionality

2 of 5

October 2018

Old and Dusty

We used it for 10 years. It provided us with more tools than our previous ChMS when we moved onto it in 2007. It was a good tool at the time, but as time passed it never updated with the time and become a better tool. It just did the basics and mostly stuck with them. In the current development environment it is a dinosaur that is unwieldy. One of our happiest days in the past 4 years was when we got to put a bullet in it when we switched to another ChMS in early 2018.

Pros

Checkin was very stable and was very consistent.

Cons

Pretty much everything. It functioned well when it was working. You got what you expected to get. the bugs were minimal, but what you get feels like it is from the late 1990's or early 2000's. To get anything modern requires a herculean effort, and if you want to get that data into another program or application good luck getting it out of the API. Arena had its time and place, but it did not keep up with the times. It has stagnated and no longer has the tools needed for a modern church.

September 2018

Shelby from ECO

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4 of 5

Value for money

5 of 5

Customer support

5 of 5

Functionality

5 of 5

September 2018

Great Church Management Software

I have really enjoyed using Arena and it has helped us keep track of our growing denomination and all the churches we are adding.

Pros

We use the customizable function of this product to really create what we want. This is helpful because while the product is geared towards churches we have the ability to customize it to our needs as a denomination. The layout is easy to use and we have the ability to take a birds eye view of all our churches. Even our presbyteries made up of an older generation can use it well.

Cons

The reporting function is not the easiest to use. We often have to create our own reports and unfortunately they do not come out like I wish they would.

August 2018

Brett from Real Life Christian Church

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4 of 5

Value for money

4 of 5

Customer support

5 of 5

Functionality

4 of 5

August 2018

Great Resource

Those I know still using this service don't care for it much but aren't in an extreme hurry to change. Not the highest recommended amount users.

Pros

Effective tool in database and communication reach. Allows many features to ensure you are on track with your people and your staff can track progress. Multiplatform engagement allows use among many ministry areas.

Cons

A bit outdated when it comes to other companies like Planning Center

July 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

2 of 5

Value for money

3 of 5

Customer support

4 of 5

Functionality

4 of 5

July 2018

We use this software in our church.

Pros

The things Arena has to offer far exceeded that of the old software our church used. It offers many extra features most softwares to not offer.

Cons

We were promised lots of bells and whistles and I am sure they are out there, but without a dedicated Arena expert we are unable to fully use this software to its potential. We use to have a phone app to use but that longer works.

June 2018

Barbara from First Baptist Church Pasadena

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4 of 5

Value for money

5 of 5

Customer support

5 of 5

Functionality

4 of 5

June 2018

We use reports for our weekly attendance and Arena has updated and enhanced our reports.

It helps with keeping the different type list organized and available at a moments notice.

Pros

Versatility with reports. We use reports to keep up with weekly connection group attendance, we use reports to add our new members weekly, and keep up with all the groups with in the church like Deacons, Ushers, Finance Committee and several other leadership type roles.

Cons

That it doesn't have financials so we still use Shelby and the 2 programs don't coordinate or update well together. As far as contributions go if someone changes a name or address somewhere in Arena we have to manually change it in Shelby to match.

June 2018

Connie from Lighthouse Christian Church of Oceanside

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5 of 5

Value for money

5 of 5

Customer support

5 of 5

Functionality

5 of 5

June 2018

User for 3 years, Arena is user friendly

Pros

Easily accessible, able to locate files in multiple ways i.e phone #, email, b-day, areas of ministry. Well organized, provides for detailed info (W9s, areas where volunteering/ ministries, individual notes) & easy to edit. Address provides map/directions; feature pastor's use for visitation. Contributions used by Accounting Dept-- Fund Management allows for large number of purpose codes so donations can be categorized for easy access when doing reports. Batch Lists provide donor info; particularly useful when using ShelbyGiving which aids in identifying donors of Online Giving donations. Ability to use Check Scan for large volume of in-house donations to be processed quickly & provides ability to store records of all checks received--a very useful tool to provide copies of checks when bank disputes Deposit Total & deducts funds from account. Annual Contribution Statements can be easily printed for mailing & Contribution tab allows Accounting personnel to give donors quick info regarding receipt of check/donation or to generate statements on demand; a priceless addition which saves time when donor wants mid- year statement. Online giving also allows donors to access their own account at any time during year. Provides ability to email Contribution Statements rather than mail, an option we will use at end of 2018. Contribution analysis offers various breakdowns of data; providing useful info for Elders to make sound financial decisions.

Cons

Printing on tabs at top of individual's account info is too light, sometimes difficult to read. Print is small in body of forms. would like Arena to have longer access time; having to logon repeatedly is frustrating

May 2018

Kimberly from Christ Church United Methodist

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3 of 5

Value for money

3 of 5

Customer support

4 of 5

Functionality

5 of 5

May 2018

Very robust software, but Shelby needs to realize users are not all IT and computer programmers.

Pros

It's ability to import into Shelby Next Financials and receive imports from Shelby Next Giving and Teller. Ability to give certain users access to certain features and tabs.

Cons

Everything is not setup on your account. You have to call support for every new feature to be utilized.

May 2018

Vicki from Ebenezer UMC

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4 of 5

Value for money

4 of 5

Customer support

5 of 5

Functionality

5 of 5

May 2018

Arena is part of my every day life!

very easy to use

Pros

Arena is our database for almost everything we do. I like that i have one place for all of the info for Groups, Members, Check in , Contributions, etc. Having one system to manage all of that has helped with maintaining up to date info correctly! I like that I can now see my contacts online in an easy format for my phone. The system has been easy to teach others who are not regular users of the larger database. Overall, Arena has been a great system!

Cons

In order to customize the look of Arena it requires skills we do not have on staff. We have been able to do a little bit on our own. I wish there were more choices on the front end.

May 2018

Mary from The Orchard Evangelical Free Church

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5 of 5

Value for money

5 of 5

Customer support

5 of 5

Functionality

5 of 5

May 2018

As the DBA, Arena is powerful, versatile and helps us know our church is growing. We love it!

Pros

I can customize the data, reporting and screen presentation to meet user needs. Security setup is outstanding. We find new functionality every week.

Cons

I'm not thrilled that the Person ID is changed when records are merged. I would prefer the oldest number be kept.

May 2018

Susan from Word of Life Christian Center

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5 of 5

Value for money

4 of 5

Customer support

4 of 5

Functionality

4 of 5

May 2018

We have yet to tap into all areas of this software and continue to open new areas of information.

The ability to access our data base from several different devices. We are still developing some aspects of the software and are looking forward to implementing these areas.

Pros

It is user friendly and can be customized to fit individual company needs. This software can accomplish various aspects of daily business relieving the need for several different softwares.

Cons

Although it is customizable it does take quite the effort to make it happen. There are areas of the software that cannot not be utilized for any purpose other than what it was created for.

May 2018

Melanie from FUMC

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

1 of 5

Value for money

2 of 5

Customer support

5 of 5

Functionality

2 of 5

May 2018

This software has great potential but we have been unable to get the functions to sync with ministry

We have enjoyed many of the membership options but are going to need to move to a new software soon if staff continue to struggle with the ease of use.

Pros

We enjoy using the Membership module which includes profile pages, list, search and report functions.

Cons

Many of the volunteer tracking, webview calendar option and shelbyweb functions have been difficult to understand and implement. Staff of all ages and abilities seems to struggle in becoming self-sufficient and random errors happen more than we would like.

May 2018

Karen from World Impact Inc

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4 of 5

Value for money

3 of 5

Customer support

4 of 5

Functionality

3 of 5

May 2018

Does provide information I need

Pros

Opening donor page is good for most information I need. Can sort out easy and adjust parameters to obtain information

Cons

Find it difficult to use all the features. Some I may want to use, but learning curve is time consuming.

May 2018

Louie from Illinois District Council of the Assemblies of God

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4 of 5

Value for money

5 of 5

Customer support

5 of 5

Functionality

5 of 5

May 2018

We have used Arena for over six years. We have been very pleased with the ease of use & updates.

Pros

Ease of use and functionality. While there is a learning curve, there is a lot of help and training available to become a good user of the software.

Cons

Communication is a big issue in today's modern church world. I wish Arena had more communication and feedback features built in. I know the Arena development team is working on some of this.

May 2018

Justin from Westside Church

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

1 of 5

Value for money

1 of 5

Customer support

2 of 5

Functionality

2 of 5

May 2018

We transitioned away from using Arena because it was too difficult for our staff team to use.

Pros

It tracks lots of different kinds of data and is customizable if you have the knowledge required to do so.

Cons

It is very difficult to use and many of its features were either very hard to implement or didn't work correctly. For being highly customizable, it's not very flexible with certain things. It requires lots of centralized management to use and is antiquated.

May 2018

Ndikumukiza from Magnolia Church

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5 of 5

Value for money

5 of 5

Customer support

5 of 5

Functionality

5 of 5

May 2018

Friendly User

Be able to connect with our church member and sent accurate statements.

Pros

I am able to have church members information and create a group and communicate easily with members whenever necessary. I can send contribution a statement via emails.

Cons

So far I don't have a complaint since it meets my needs. I wish if something is corrected in giving is corrected automatically in membership.

May 2018

Elizabeth from Bellevue Presbyterian Church

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3 of 5

Value for money

3 of 5

Customer support

4 of 5

Functionality

5 of 5

May 2018

I enjoy using Arena but find challenges in customizing it with only minor SQL experience.

ability to know more about the people in our church, ways to track involvement and collect data. An easy directory system to find out how to contact people, a snapshot of individuals and families--not just actual picture, but a glimpse in ways they are connected to our church. in a large church it helps to know more about people in the congregation.

Pros

I really like that it is comprehensive and we are able to customize to make it fit our specific needs. We can add notes, update data, add information easily to people and tags. Sending communication to large numbers of people is easy and easily tracked. Having others who use the software and are happy to share is also a big bonus to use what they are and not have to create something new. Arena works with our finance system. the potential with arena is amazing and so thinking forward is exciting with this product of what could be done and how we might utilize more of its functionality for what we want to do.

Cons

The layers of permission and the skill necessary to take it to a level that is truly customized to what we want is challenging for those who don't have the time or skill level to go deep to create exactly what is desired. The look is not as current or "attractive" as some of the other programs and can be intimidating to those who only look at it on a rare basis--when they have to.