In this series of church management software (ChMS) reviews, we’ve covered Planning Center and FellowshipOne. With so many ChMS options available, we’re continuing this series with a review of Elexio Community Church Management Software.
Overview of Elexio
Elexio Community Church Management Software is one branch of the Elexio suite. They also provide accounting software (via Shelby Systems), websites, online giving, a church app, and live streaming services. This review covers the Elexio Community Church Management Software aspect of the company.
Elexio is part of the Ministry Brands organization (along with FellowshipOne, Shelby Systems, and several others).
Benefits & Features of Elexio
The People aspect of Elexio, like most ChMS tools, is the heart of the database. Within People, you can search for an individual and view his/her record, manage group involvement, send messages, view a full church directory, add a person to the database, merge records, and run reports.
An individual’s record includes:
- Profile – Contact information, address, notes, important dates, and other additional information
- Family – You can designate this person as the “primary” member of a family, add to a family, and select this individual’s relationship to the “primary”
- Interactions – These are notes of instances where someone from the church contacted this individual (to gather a testimony, follow-up on absences, etc.). You can view interactions (this is permission-based), log interactions, or assign interactions. **See additional details on the Interactions feature later in this review.**
- Attendance – This section displays attendance history and can be used to drill down to greater detail stored in the full attendance feature of the system.
- Giving – From this option, you can view the individual’s giving history, download a giving statement, add a giving entry, or add a pledge.
- Account – This screen includes the individual’s username and the ability to create a new password, email subscription settings, and user security role (view only, data-entry, admin, etc.)
From the People section, you can:
- View a list of everyone in the database
- Export the list into a CSV file
- Select people to add or remove from groups
- Send an email or text
- Assign and log interactions
Within Reports, you can view information about baptisms, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. One way to leverage these reports is to run a report to see who has a birthday in the upcoming month. From that report screen, you could send them all a mass email or export the list into a CSV file and use that information to mail birthday cards (their address is included on the report).
From the Groups menu, you can view a list of all groups, add a group, or find a group. Group information can include the group name, group leader(s) and a list of who’s in the group.
To search for a group, filter based on campus, meeting day, meeting time, or groups close to your address.
You can send a message to group members (email, SMS, or voice). Select which method, choose the group(s) to send the message to, then create the message.
There is also a Group Finder utility that can be placed on a church’s website that allows church attenders to search and sign up for a group via any web browser.
Interactions allow for tracking, recording, and assigning of “to-do” items related to the church congregation. Within this section, you’ll see a list of interactions assigned to you that you still need to complete (this is under “My Outstanding”), a list of interactions to be completed (whether they’re assigned to you or not), completed interactions. You can assign or log interactions from this menu as well. Logging and assigning Interactions can also be done automatically using the Workflow feature which appears later in this review.
From the Giving section, there are several options to record donations:
- Input donations or pledges in batches
- Import giving records from a CSV file
- Import donations from Shelby Teller
The Giving section includes various reports including an overview of giving that you can filter by fund, dates, groups, campuses, and more.
Other reports include:
- By Person – Donations made by individual donors
- By Anonymous – List of donations made by anonymous givers
- Batches – List of giving batches
- Pledges – Amount pledged and amount given for each campaign
- Demographics – Amount given by the donor’s age
Within the Attendance section, you can add attendance sessions (such as for a specific group and date), then take attendance. You can also use kiosks or smart phones for check-in (including children’s check-in, small groups, and more).
You can run attendance reports by group and date, then see how many people were present, the number of visitors, etc.
The Reports menu option aggregates all of the reports available within the other areas (Giving, Attendance, etc.) plus it includes reports on Background Checks.
From the Dashboard, you can add various “widgets” to create a customized view for yourself. Widgets include information on Attendance, Pledges, Anniversaries, and a variety of other options.
Here’s where you can create or edit forms. These forms are embeddable on any website and could be used for event registration, prayer requests, donations, and much more. There are several options available to create a highly customized form such as text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown menus, section headers, contact information fields, and payment fields.
Use the calendar to add events (and run those requests through an approval workflow process), view upcoming events, embed a calendar onto the church website, manage room reservations and other items needed for an event.
This functionality helps automate tasks such as sending an email to first-time guests, assigning a task to an individual, adding someone to a group, or other ministry processes.
For example, the screenshot below shows a workflow that results in assigning a group leader to follow-up with an individual regarding baptism based on them being added to a specific group.
Elexio Financials is actually Shelby Financials. Shelby Financials is a separate system that integrates with Elexio Community ChMS.
A mobile app is included with Elexio Community. The app includes features for a directory, attendance, check-in, small groups, event registration/forms, calendar, interactions, and donations. An additional app, called MinistryOne is also included for customer’s who use Elexio Community and Giving. MinistryOne includes features for live streaming, push notifications, donations, forms, and video/audio content.
Workflow & Usability of Elexio
The basic functions within each section (People, Groups, Interactions, etc.) is fairly straightforward. Without any training or viewing support content, I was able to navigate those areas easily.
Getting the information you want from Reports may require reviewing the support documentation beforehand. The same applies to creating Forms, setting up Workflows, and adding Widgets to the Dashboard. However, these are more complex functions than simply adding a new person to the database, so it’s not surprising that some training is necessary to fully utilize those areas.
User Satisfaction and Comments
Elexio has an overall 4 out of 5-star rating at Capterra. Reviews of Elexio tend to indicate customers are happy with the functionality and user interface. Some reviews included concerns about the reporting capabilities while others raved about it. It’s hard to tell whether the different viewpoints are due to varying reporting needs, training, or when the user completed a review.
“Elexio is a solid database tool that meets a major need in many ministries, allowing organizations to maintain good control and discretion over the information of their constituents.” – Joseph C., Director of Ministry
If you click on the help menu option on a particular screen, you’ll see options to get tips and instructions for that area (reports, forms, etc.).
Additionally, you can submit a ticket, email, or call support for more help. Elexio provides support Monday-Friday during normal business hours plus on Sundays from 7:30am-4:30pm EST.
Technology Details and Specifications
Elexio is a cloud-based tool, so it will work on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
A one-time setup fee of $600 includes access to video training content plus specialized live assistance sessions.
Monthly fees are as follows
- Up to 2,000 records: $35 + $0.12 per record
- 2,001-6,000 records: $275 + $0.07 per record
- Over 6,000 records: $555 + $0.01 per record
Overall, Elexio includes the functionality most church leaders are looking for in a ChMS. The ability to integrate with Shelby Systems for financials along with other tools in the Ministry Brands organization is a factor to consider when comparing Elexio to other ChMS providers.