Churches used to see each other as competitors. It may still be like that in some communities, but during my tenure as a pastor I saw this change dramatically. Now many, maybe most, pastors see themselves as colaborers with each other to reach and serve their communities for Christ.
I don't know the executive leadership of all the church software companies by any means, but I've met and known some of them. Many of us look at our relationships with each other in the same way, as colaborers not competitors.
Last fall Blackbaud announced that they are deprecating their church management software business and gave their clients basically a year to find a new system. They partnered with Tithe.ly and Ministry Brand companies as recommended alternatives. But, also mentioned that their churches are free to look elsewhere.
I've talked to several pastors over the last couple of months who found themselves needing to respond to this announcement from Blackbaud. Some have become customers. Some are still looking.
I've heard about the frustrations from being asked to make a change. Any of us would feel that way. I'm sure that didn't surprise anyone at Blackbaud either.
So, as a friend to the industry and to churches, I would like to offer these five ways that we will support churches that are currently Blackbaud clients and come to us.
- We will listen to your story. Our support team is made up of men and women who've been on church staff. We empathize with disappointments in ministry. Your concerns won't surprise us. Like you, we've seen how God uses them to sharpen our character and mature His church.
- We will respond generously. Putting the needs of our clients above our own has been a value for us since the beginning. You'll see that our team will go out of their way to get your data imported, your team onboarded, your systems aligned, and still save you money.
- We will simplify your experience. We built the software so that everything involving more than one person (committee, class, small group, team, project, event, assimilation phase, etc.) is managed the same way - as a group or "church team". This streamlines structure so that you don't have to worry which category in the software best fits the "group" you are creating. Instead, you customize how these groups are organized using the group profile. This ensures that your data is able to work together seamlessly to give you the information you need, when you need it, the way you need it.
- We will expand your capabilities. We give you powerful reporting functionality so that you can create, save and even schedule reports like detailed attendance tracking across all types of groups. As an owner-operated, lean, established company, we still have the experience and the hunger that drives innovation. You need to see our email, Text-to-Church, and workflow automation systems to appreciate the potential of today's technology to take ministry to that next level.
If you are a Blackbaud client, we want to support you. Join me for a Meet The Software Zoom webinar so that we can get acquainted. It will help you figure out whether we might be worth looking at further or not.
If you are not a Blackbaud client, but know someone who is, please share this with them. If you are part of a chat board or discussion forum that would be interested, here's a link to post with your comment.
You guys, we're all in this together for one reason. And it's not us.