­This is what you will see:

  • Overview: Brief abstract of the project
  • Function: What the program does.
  • Proprietary Examples: Names you might recognize.
  • Priority: Based on our resources.
  • ImpacT Overview: How this project helps others.
  • Current ImpacT: Where we are
  • Future ImpacT: Where we are going
  • Numerical ImpacT: Examples of how the numbers could work out.
  • More Info & Links: Self explanatory 

CiviCRM, for example, is an Open Source Constituent Relationship Management program that currently maintains membership, contributions, mailing lists, & event registration, and it is already in use by thousands of churches and ass­ociations worldwide. There has been talk in the online community about creating a “CiviChurch” module that would extend its functionality to specifically help churches with features very much like ACS or Shelby Systems. While this would initially require a capital investment to ramp up, it would also provide a permanent solution for any interested church, both big and small, without the recurring licensing fees.

Imagine a pool of technology resources and programs where any improvement contributed by one would be available to all. Pay once, multiply anywhere. The possibilities should keep you up at night.

Over a five year period, the
following is very typical for small to mid-size churches:

Application No. of licenses Cost
(w/discount) Puchased: Total Cost

Microsoft Office 5 80 Every
5 yrs 400

Publisher 2 80 Every 5 yrs 160

ACS / Shelby
equiv 1 150/month recurs monthly 9000

That doesn’t appear to be a lot on an individual level, but if only 1000 churches participated, it amounts to $728,000.00 for Office and Publishing programs alone. OpenOffice and Scribus, two opensource programs that are just as capable on all major features, would cost nothing, thereby freeing up three quarter of a million dollars. In addition, the opensource alternatives can be installed on an unlimited number of desktops at no penalty (meaning the pastor and staff can run identical version at home and the office).

The ACS/Shelby software does not yet have a fully featured replacement, but the cost spent on licensing (over 11 million dollars) could be invested in creating permanent solutions in the open source community for a fraction of the cost, thereby freeing up those resources for other Kingdom oriented use.
In addition, there would be a multiplying effect in that the software would be available – not to only the 1000 churches, but to any church, anywhere in the world, thereby freeing up their resources as well (now we’re talking hundreds of millions).

CiviCRM – is a Constituent Relationship Management program designed to manage contacts, groups, relational dynamics, contributions, etc…. It is in use by some big organizations (and quite a few churches) and is very similar to Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge (without some of the bells and whistles and no price tag). There has been talk in the community for quite a while on creating a CiviChurch module which would leverage and extend the basics of the program to give much of the functionality of ACS or Shelby Systems. Info:

CiviCRM Ideas

  • CiviChurch module
  • Accounting
  • Easy or Expert options
  • Import Quickbook/ACS/Shelby
  • Ledgers, etc.
  • OpenSMB
  • CiviCheckin – for nursery
  • Small groups management
  • Room reservation – MRBS integration
  • CiviMail – DadMail integration and ease of use
  • Shared Personal Calendars – invites, etc.
  • CiviClient – track where stuff goes – food pantries, etc.
  • CiviDirectory – pictures in contacts and print directory