Realm is a church management system by ACS Technologies which places its emphasis on online community building.
Realm provides a unified church database, including a photo directory, empowering church members to connect both online and offline. Users can add unlimited custom fields into profiles for whatever data they need to collect, create associations between family profiles to manage any information updates in one place, and assign roles to staff and volunteers with set permissions to control what personal information individuals can access.
Realm offers a range of donor giving options, including scheduled and recurring donations, mobile and online giving, and the choice between staff entry or full donor management of pledges, including which fund they wish to donate to, and start and end dates for recurring contributions. Users can view full giving histories for all donors, which are also accessible for donors to use for their records.
Realm includes a variety of customizable report templates, and reports produced can be shared between staff, who can view new reports on their next login. Users can also create mailing lists of people from reports, such as attendees of a specific event, allowing communications to be targeted for greater relevance to individuals.
The system can be extended for multi-location churches, including information on location-specific security, the ability to analyse trends at different locations, and sharing of processes and content between all staff and volunteers.
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.
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.
Likelihood to recommend
Realm is the key tool to care for our congregation in intentional ways.
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.
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.
Likelihood to recommend
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.
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.
The search engine is not as robust as some other products, but that is improving as the product develops.
Likelihood to recommend
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.
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.
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.
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.
Built-in reports have a ways to go.
Likelihood to recommend
Realm gives donors a wide array of giving options, including text based giving, online donation, full management of payment methods, and recurring and scheduled donations, details of which can be entered by staff or managed fully by the donors themselves.
Users can create an unlimited number of custom profile fields to suit their needs, and assign staff roles and set permissions to control access to personal information stored in profiles.
Realm includes multiple customizable report templates, and custom reports can be shared with other staff members, who are notified on their next login.
Staff can centrally manage check-in kiosks, help check people in, see attendance in real time, and run attendance reports, and for group events, group leaders can take attendance at the beginning of, during, or after meetings.
Members can include notes on important information such as allergies or specific care instructions when checking their children into events.
Below are some frequently asked questions for Realm.
Realm offers the following pricing plans:
Starting from: $29/month
Pricing model: Subscription
Free Trial: Available
Pricing is based on typical weekly attendance, which includes kids, but only counts people once no matter how many services they attend. There are no contracts and there is a money back guarantee!
1-50: $29/month, $79 setup fee
51-100: $39/month, $99 setup fee
101-150: $59/month, $149 setup fee
151-200: $79/month, $199 setup fee
201-300: $119/month, $279 setup fee
Inform + Connect:
1-50: $44/month, $109 setup fee
51-100: $59/month, $129 setup fee
101-150: $89/month, $199 setup fee
151-200: $119/month, $250 setup fee
201-300: $179/month, $350 setup fee
For a typical weekly attendance of 300 or more, contact ACS Technologies for a pricing quote.
Realm offers the following features:
Realm has the following typical customers:
Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profits, Small Business
Realm supports the following languages:
Realm has the following pricing plans:
We do not have any information about what devices Realm supports
We do not have any information about what integrations Realm has
Realm offers the following support options:
FAQs, Forum, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Phone Support, Video Tutorials