How can church management software (ChMS) used in an American church help a child in the Philippines go to school or feed their family? How can church software help a family in Uganda buy clothes, provide milk and other healthy food for their children? How can church management software provide fish to a family in Myanmar?

Now that I have your attention, we know majority of churches participate in various ministries either locally, regionally, or internationally. What if I showed you a way to positively affect people in other countries without the need to raise more revenue (donations)? Would you be up for the challenge?

Let’s use the term “redirecting the resources” to describe the method that provides so many benefits to others without affecting the current level of mission obligations or increasing your revenues.


The Basics:

You are a church of 650 households which includes 400 donors. The church currently sends out a monthly newsletter and contribution statements via mail. You have a CPA that provides accounting reports each month which he/she spends 2 hours preparing for council. You have an administrator that backs-ups the church software program each business night. The online giving data entry takes 15 minutes per week.


Calculating the Operating Cost (in Yearly Totals):

See the resources section to find out how the amounts are calculated and you can change the formula for your own needs.

      • Newsletters sent via mail monthly to 650 households => $1,170.00 See Resource #1
      • Contribution statements sent via mail quarterly to 400 households =>  $240.00 See Resource #2
      • Monthly accounting reports prepared by CPA for 2 hours of work per month => $2,400.000See Resource #3
      • System Administrator backing up data each business day and keeping a copy offsite => $563.33 See Resource #4
      • Inputting online donations each week => 13 hours of time saved => or about $156.00. See Resource #5


How Church Software Eliminates these Cost:

Before we talk about eliminating unnecessary expenses, I will stress that these are examples of church expenses that could be eliminated and some may not apply to your organization. Each organization should take a long and hard review of their expenses to find expenditures that church software can cut or eliminate completely.

In many Church Management Software solutions, newsletters and contribution statements can be sent out via email without additional charges. In addition, many ChMS solutions provide FASB compliant accounting reports. In other words there is no need to create them manually by hand each month or manipulate the data because the software simply can’t provide it. You simply click a button and the reports are created in under 5 seconds instead of 2 hours. Backing up the church’s data is crucial and takes time each day by staff. Online donations are great for churches; however, why input them when the data is at the payment processor? Most ChMS integrate with payment processors and bring the data in for you – quickly, without retyping it.


The Secret to Redirecting the Money or Time Resource:

Let’s use $1,500.00 for the cost of a ChMS solution – ours (IconCMO) is less expensive. Then let’s add up the cost above which total – $4,526.33. That’s a lot of money to do just 5 things in the church.

Now take the expenditure cost ($4,526.33) and minus the ChMS solution cost ($1,500.00) which leaves a positive savings of => $3,026.33.

The idea here is that the ChMS should not cost more than what you are trying to save – Why? Because then the software is just costing you money and increasing your expenses. Additionally, it may not be the best fit for your organization or you haven’t found all the unnecessary expenses the software can eliminate. By taking the remaining $3,026.33 and “redirecting the resources”, you can utilize those savings for other ministries or uses – like the ones below.


Church Software Savings can Help People ALL over the World:

Philippines (86 families helped) – Buy 5 ducks for each family at a cost of $35.00/family. How many families can you help with the $3,026.33 savings? ===> 86 families. Ducks provide eggs and their hatched ducklings can be sold for income. The ducks also provide valuable down feathers for insulation in bedding and fertilizer for their crops. Read their story and watch the video to find out more about what they do with this simple inexpensive animal and their plans to donate extra ducklings to other families to multiple the benefit!

Uganda (40 families helped) – Buy 1 goat for a family at a cost of 75.00. How many families can you help with 3,026.33 ===> 40 families. Goats provide nourishing milk (up to 16 cups of milk a day), fertilizer for gardens, and income from anything the family doesn’t use and sells to others. Read their story and watch the video to find out more about what they do with the goats.

Myanmar (60 families helped) – Buy 1 fishing kit for a family at a cost of 50.00. How many families can you help with 3,026.33 ===> 60 families. Fish provide the  most nutrition pound for pound when compared to other foods. Many families rely on fishing as their only income (and food) to buy other necessities. By helping them with fishing gear, you are helping them make a livelihood. Read their story and watch the video to find out more about what they do with fish.


      1. Newsletter Calculation =>  650 * .15 (approx. postage at non profit rate) * 12 months=  $1,170.00
      2. Contribution statements sent via mail quarterly =>  400 Givers * .15 (approx. postage at non profit rate) * 4 quarters = $240.00
      3. Monthly accounting reports prepared by CPA =>   2 Hours * 12 months * 100.00 per hour = $2,400.000
      4. System Administrator performs data backup =>   52 weeks * 5 days per week * 10 minutes for backup / 60 minutes = 43.3 hours of work; 43.3 hours * 13.00 per hour for System Admin = $563.33 Yearly Cost
      5.  Inputting online donations each week =>  15 minutes * 52 weeks = 780 minutes / 60 minutes = 13 hours of time or approximately $156.00 Yearly.


– From Icon Systems