Bewertet am 12.6.2018
Realm has been an excellent resource for our congregation and staff.
Vorteile: 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.
Nachteile: 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!
Bewertet am 20.7.2019
Realm - Excellent Church Software
Kommentare: Realm has facilitated communication in the church and is extremely versatile given its use on a computer or mobile device. By enabling parishioners to directly engage with each other, with their own profile and church groups they are in - it not only provides the staff with a powerful software tool, but enables the entire church to engage and connect. This is probably the greatest strength of Realm: its function as a staff tool (database management and financial accounting) as well as ability to create engagement, connection and community within the parish. All in one place.
Vorteile: Realm is exceptionally easy to learn and use - and it's relevant to how a church operates its ministries as well as how a church manages its finances and its people database. Developers solicit input from users for program enhancements and continue to release new functionality that just makes the software better and better. Both the database management component (how we manage the people in our church) as well as the financial accounting component are exceptional. The bonus is how the functionality also supports how we operate our ministries (managing volunteers, coordinating education opportunities, communication and engagement)
Nachteile: Not sure I've found anything I don't like. At this point, Realm continues to amaze me.
Bewertet am 10.12.2019
Kommentare: Overall, Realm has been great. Being completely online is a huge benefit. That, coupled with their customer experience, is why we made the switch!
Vorteile: Realm is easy to use...not a huge learning curve. Customer service has been great with any questions and getting us transitioned from our former software. We're getting ready to start the accounting side of Realm. From the training, it seems intuitive and simple. Excited to be completely online based!
Nachteile: The hardest thing for us to do is getting people in the congregation to download and use the app. People, especially older people, just don't pay attention to it. But that's not Realm's problem. The biggest problem that I'm experiencing is on the accounting side. It mainly has to do with terminology and reports. It seems every system out there uses different terms. Even if someone has an accounting degree, it can difficult to understand Realm's terminology. Our church previously used Church Windows, and they called used one set of terms. Realm uses another set of terms, and the business world uses another. These systems need to have some kind of universal lingo or else there is constantly a learning curve.
Bewertet am 5.11.2019
REALM: user friendly software with exceptional customer support!
Kommentare: I highly recommend the investment of time and finances to get the full benefit of the software by getting the training needed! I wish we had done so when we got it. I feel we would be so much further along with the benefits of the software instead of still struggling to search through helps and webinars to find how to do something simple.
Vorteile: I love the ease of using the software. Everything is easy to navigate and it manages people and contributions very easily. They are always adding improvements which is a plus. I know that there is so much more to this software but we haven't got there yet. At the time that we transitioned from ACS on demand to REALM we were not able to get the training needed to transition more smoothly and regret so much now that we didn't just wait until we could afford to actually get the one on one training that is so needed in order to really benefit from ALL that REALM has to offer and to expedite using it more effectively quicker. As they say, every software is useless, if those using it are not trained to use it! Love how online giving posts directly to the members statement and is very user friendly.
Nachteile: Can't complain much since I don't feel like I have had the training I need to properly use it to its full potential. The complaints I might have are probably not a software problem but lack of training problem...I have just been winging it and limping along for the most part but the things that I have learned to use have been pretty awesome.
Bewertet am 10.1.2020
Frustration is the best word that describes my experience with Realm. Frustration on finding information, frustration on looking for help, and frustration even on the help desk. When I write an email, it is almost as if I am getting a computer response telling me only a simplistic response that does not consider my question on the background that I provided.
It seems that my complaints fall on unconcerned ears when i express them to the Staff.
Vorteile: I like the ability to use a check scanner with the giving software
There are serious gaps in the way Realm relays information. When certain payments are made online, the software does not notify the Administrator of their receipt. I have to go and look for the payments (such as VBS registrations) without the software telling me that it has come in. Then it does not list the deposits from the registrations, only the individuals that made payment, after I go outside the giving module. Our checking account has been out of balance because of this.
Also the giving statements allow very little configuration. The pledge set ups do not allow for change. Nor can you easily go back to a previous screen or report that you had to navigate from.
I do not find the software intuitive, and often have to search for long times to get information that I need,
The searching seems fragmented and not easily connected.
When i edit a previous gift I do not get a notification or ability to print out a report so I can do a journal entry so we can keep our records balanced.
The online help is entirely worthless. It lags far behind many other help searches that I use for software.
I feel that I am forced to call the help desk. Usually after searching for at least a half hour down many dead ends, the I call the help line and there's another 30 minutes explaining my problem. And another 20 minutes hearing the condescending comments telling me that I have to not expect REALM to preform according to my expectations.
It is not seamless, nor is the contribution
Bewertet am 9.1.2020
Realm is AWESOME!!!
Kommentare: It has been great!! The support staff is unbelievable people are using it for group communications as intended.
Vorteile: I love the way Realm integrates our membership database, grouping, and tracking with a social media type of platform. Actually allows our members to use it for effective communication! It is ground-breaking and we love it!!
Nachteile: I wish the financial software was capable of handling our book-keeping needs, but thankfully, we are still able to use ACS Financials for that.
Bewertet am 5.9.2019
Enjoying using Realm
Kommentare: Our admin staff is really enjoying using Realm. We're always excited when we discover something new. Makes our jobs easier, better, and more interesting. We are looking forward to launching Realm Connect to our entire church.
Easy to use
Ability to add notes to profiles
Excellent reports capabilities
Nachteile: Don't like that so many things come up on my tasks for pathways in particular. If I am a step leader it comes up on my tasks even if I'm not responsible for that step.
Bewertet am 16.10.2019
Kommentare: Love the interaction of the software with other companies, like background checks.
Vorteile: This software is extremely user friendly. It is web based, so you can access it from anywhere. They are open to suggestions for upgrades.
Nachteile: Still fairly new, so there are a few hiccups. Would love for it to have a volunteer scheduling portion.
Bewertet am 19.11.2019
Combined all of our software into one product.
Kommentare: We are doing much less duplicate work,
Vorteile: We were using so many different products to do our daily tasks. None of which spoke to the other. Now we have all of our work in one place and we can see the big picture.
Nachteile: Not be able to choose what label you will be printing to or the ability to print on envelopes.
Bewertet am 21.10.2019
Vorteile: It is very easy to use. It is very functional and I need to learn how to use it to its fullest potential.
Nachteile: It would be nice if there was some sort of texting feature built into it. Also, I would love to have automated/scheduled emails as well.
Bewertet am 5.9.2019
Realm is a good church database
Kommentare: Overall Realm is a good a product. It was first rolled out to small churches and it shows that. It seems that the programmers and decision makers still look at the small churches instead of larger churches when adding features.
Vorteile: It is a communication tool as well as a database. They keep improving Realm. Ease of finding duplicate entries. Customer support is the best in the industry.
Nachteile: There are many features that larger churches need to use the software the best and Realm does not seem to be in any hurry to provide those features. They make larger churches figure out work arounds which is never good. Difficult to get the needed reports for our auditor each year. Contributions is not done by the best practices for debits and credits. They line through entries when a charge back is made at the bank instead doing a debit, which shows a money trail for audit purposes.
Bewertet am 19.8.2019
Good product and always improving
Kommentare: Tech support is very helpful if you just need basic help in making something work. They don't seem to know the "big picture" to make suggestions or improvements on what you are asking. However their developers are very accessible, so I like that I can reach someone else with a question or when I need guidance on setting up something.
It is very user-friendly and easy to train new employees on it.
Being a new product, they are constantly updating and improving on the features.
It was developed from years of software experience, so it is very relevant in everyday church use.
Several of the newer releases address needs we've been asking for, but they are done in a somewhat complicated way. It addresses the need, but not as directly and simply as I would like.
I feel like they need to take a step back from some new features and refine and improve what they currently offer.
Bewertet am 8.3.2018
Tremendous organizational tool! A bit lacking in some desired features and user-friendliness.
Vorteile: 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.
Nachteile: 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.
Bewertet am 9.8.2017
Congregational Care Tool
Kommentare: Realm is the key tool to care for our congregation in intentional ways.
Vorteile: 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.
Nachteile: 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.
Bewertet am 24.6.2016
Great product and support!
Kommentare: 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.
Vorteile: 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.
Nachteile: The search engine is not as robust as some other products, but that is improving as the product develops.
Bewertet am 6.9.2018
Chapel in the Pines Review
Kommentare: 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.
Vorteile: 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.
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.
Bewertet am 14.6.2018
Great, user-friendly software and world-class help desk.
Kommentare: 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.
Vorteile: 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.
Nachteile: 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.
Bewertet am 18.10.2017
Realm is very user friendly and the customer service representatives are very helpful.
Vorteile: 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.
Nachteile: 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.
Bewertet am 27.6.2016
Using Realm for People and Accounting
Kommentare: 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.
Vorteile: 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.
Nachteile: Built-in reports have a ways to go.
Bewertet am 4.6.2016
Probably Will Go with Realm
Kommentare: 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. :)
Bewertet am 28.7.2018
Love this product!
Kommentare: 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!
Vorteile: 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.
Nachteile: 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.
Bewertet am 18.7.2018
Relatively easy management of church administrative functions
Kommentare: A plethora of reporting options! Master membership rolls. Class check-in (and child safety/security). Communication with members on Connect.
Vorteile: 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!
Nachteile: 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.
Bewertet am 22.11.2016
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!
Nachteile: Nothing really!
Bewertet am 17.4.2018
Very happy we chose Realm!
Not in any particular order:
2. Communication Feature within Groups - our group leaders are loving this feature and are engaging more and more with participants in their groups. Attendance marking has also increased since converting to Realm
3. Dashboard/Reporting - helping us greatly in doing ministry effectively: reaching the disengaged, cleaning up data, and planning
4. Merging of duplicate records tool - very seamless and love the fact that the duplicates are automatically reported on the Dashboard
5. Pathways - LOVE that we can now keep track of where all of members and guests are in their spiritual journey or with their involvement at our church.
6. Online Giving - we've get over 100 New First-Time giver weekly since moving to Realm
7. Check-In Kiosk - our ministries who use this absolutely love how seamless and efficient the check-in process is now. We transition from ACS Checkpoint. Check-In Kiosk in Realm allows for a much smoother experiencing when checking in for children's church
8. The ACS support team that's been PHENOMENAL and dedicated to seeing us WIN with Realm!
1. Our church does A LOT of events throughout any given month - currently we've experienced some limitations within Event Registrations (i.e. being able to search for a specific event using keywords/tags). Our end user currently has to scroll down a very long list of events to find the event they want to register for.
Bewertet am 24.7.2018
An excellent tool to keep information and coordinate topics and events with your church
Kommentare: I love being able to keep our members together on one place, look them up, and send them messages. It's easy to keep everything going on at the church together. I use it for events, for pathways, and to send messages to people. I was in charge of children's ministry until recently and the check-in was great!
- Messages and Topics are available as push notifications from the app
- Huge improvements from it's predecessor program, The City
- For larger churches, easy searches focusing on specific members or parameters
- Giving to a church is easy
- The Kids Check-In is initiative and easy to pick up for parents
- Easy to create events that require registration and payment
- There is a learning curve for the average user
- There is a time lag between messages sent via laptop/desktop and the app
- The larger the church, and the more you use Realm, you will need to dedicate a significant amount of time to the software to keep it humming.