I begin this post having spent almost no time looking at what options may already exist. However, I see the need for a piece of software (preferrably open-source) that could accomplish some of these tasks:
- Manage church events and calendar items (ideally through interaction with a solid interface like Google Calendar, 30 boxes, Airset, etc.). Would be nice if event planning could include RSVP-type capabilities to alleviate manual planning (e.g. “Are you attending this Saturday? Click here…”).
- Management of scheduling/duties at a church (Similar to many calendaring options but perhaps a little more “duty roster” focused). Some features might include automatic rescheduling via email (replying with a “cancel” to an event would trigger a notification to admins to find a replacement — that sort of thing)
- “CRM”-like capabilities for sending emails, announcements, etc. to the church body while providing church leaders with the ability to make notes, addÂ prayer requests and other very church-specific type features.
- Some sort of document management (possibly again through simple integration with an existing, reliable document management source) for things like procedures, newsletters, meetings, etc. as well as every-week things like bulletins.
- Newsletter options — email and web version of all “newsletters”. Providing users with the ability to opt-out of email listings but also view old newsletters archived on the website
- Audio handling. Some interface that would streamline the ability to upload and manage sermon/lecture/class recordings that doesn’t require too much technical knowledge.
- Budget-related financials — not a full-blown piece of accounting software, but that something that could provide instant feedback to leadership on details of the budget and perhaps summary information to members.
- Online church directory (not public)
- Private portal (I know “portal” is such archaic jargon) — but some sort of interface that would allow more insight to member-only items (like the church directory) as well as details like Annual Reports, etc. that may not be intended for the public.
Some of the design goals would include:
- Lightweight — keep it simple and straightforward
- No “registration” required — most features would be available to members even if they don’t want to register on the site.
- Solid and reliable authentication
- Extensible — I’d be building this for our church, but it would be nice if the concerns of both larger and smaller congregations with different leadership styles could be taken into account.
- Possibly integrated into an existing CRM (like WordPress) as a plugin.