ChMeetings vs. Servant Keeper

ChMeetings is cloud-based, cost-effective, feature-rich, and user-friendly. Servant Keeper works on the web and desktop, comes at a fixed cost plus fees, focuses on feature depth, and is rather complex.

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Are you looking to choose a Church Management System or to find a Servant Keeper alternative? Are you considering ChMeetings, too? Let’s see how ChMeetings compares to Servant Keeper on cost, features, performance, and user-friendliness.

To save you time, here’s what we think in a nutshell:

Servant Keeper might be a good choice if you:

  • Want a flat base rate and don’t mind extra fees;
  • Are a large church, with many team members, a large IT infrastructure, and staff;
  • Want a more complex tool and prefer offline access;
  • Do not want or need to provide members with access to a church app.

ChMeetings might be a good choice if you:

  • Want to pay based on your church size and avoid extra fees.
  • Don’t have dedicated IT or servants who are very comfortable with technology.
  • Prefer a streamlined, cloud-based tool.
  • Want to provide people with access to a church app, from any device.

Cost

ChMeetings offers higher value for a more affordable price than Servant Keeper

Servant Keeper costs $64 per month for unlimited people, with no annual billing options. ChMeeting’s Unlimited plan costs $60 per month paid monthly. If you pay annually, you get 2 months free, so you only pay $600 instead of $720.

If you are a small church and don’t need to store unlimited people, you will pay less for ChMeetings, too. Our plans start as low as $12 per month ($120 per year), and we provide a free plan, which is unavailable with Servant Keeper.

Additionally, Servant Keeper charges extra for licensing and data transfer. ChMeetings requires no licensing and we’ll move your data for free as long as you subscribe to any paid plan. Texting is charged extra in both ChMeetings and Servant Keeper, but fees are lower in ChMeetings.

Besides your payment processor’s transaction fees, Servant Keeper charges their own fees for online giving, which they don’t disclose. ChMeetings charges no transaction fees; the only ones you pay come from your chosen payment processor.

Servant Keeper offers multiple, low-rating mobile apps designed to only handle specific tasks such as check-in or ministry. With ChMeetings you get the highest-rated ChMS mobile app for free, which helps you do 90% of your work on-the-go.

There is also an optional branded app for $45/month, so people can find your church in Google Play and the Apple App Store. Branded apps are unavailable in Servant Keeper.

Here’s a quick cost breakdown:

ChMeetings Servant Keeper
Free Trial 14 days No
Pricing is based on the number of people Yes No
Free plan for 50 people Available Unavailable
Minimum cost for 100 people $12 monthly $120 annually $64 monthly No annual billing. Adds up to $768 annually
Maximum cost for unlimited people $60 monthly $600 annually $64 monthly No annual billing. Adds up to $768 annually
Extra costs US Text messaging starts at $10 per 1000 standard GSM messages No licensing and setup fees Free data transfer included with any paid plan No online giving fees Free, all-in-one mobile app US Text messaging starts at $19 per 600 texts $550 site license fee Unknown setup fees $500 data transfer fee Servant Keeper mention “competitive giving rates”, which may mean fees on top of the payment processor’s. Free mobile apps, separate for different features
Church mobile app Optional Branded Mobile App for $45 per month Unavailable

Features

ChMeetings is more feature-rich and does not require third parties for major features

Both Servant Keeper and ChMeetings are Church Management platforms that will help you streamline your work. Both provide core features such as member management, communication, and giving. Servant Keeper focuses on the complexity of each core feature, while ChMeetings cares more about providing more options that perform the major tasks that most churches require.

ChMeetings Servant Keeper
Member Management
Groups
+ Smart Groups
Mass Email
Mass Texting Available, Costs Extra Available, Costs Extra
Event Management Requires third-party app
Check-In
Service Planning
Volunteer Scheduling Requires third-party app
Member Portal
Web Page Builder Requires third-party app
Follow-Ups
Appointments
Digitally Signed Forms
Online Giving
Pledges
Sacrament Manager
Accounting
Reports
Integrations Yes Yes
Multilingual Yes - 19 Languages No

Performance

We are not active users of Servant Keeper, so we can’t speak objectively about their system’s performance, but we looked at some of the feedback users left on Capterra within the past year. Here is what we found:

1. Servant Keeper:

Many people are satisfied with Servant Keeper’s overall performance and say it’s a good fir for their church. Some; however, report bugs, slowness, complicated workflows that increase training efforts, issues generating reports, difficulty using it on Mac OS, and time-consuming and complex updates.

2. ChMeetings:

Most people are happy with ChMeetings’s overall performance too, and say it’s scalable, fast and responsive. Some mentions needed improvement to the notification system, integrations, and API.

User-Friendliness

ChMeetings is much more user-friendly than Servant Keeper

The easier a platform is to use, the more successful you will be with it. Of course, oversimplification is not desirable, so the right balance must be struck. Here are our thoughts on how user-friendly both Servant Keeper and ChMeetings are:

1. Servant Keeper requires you to install desktop software. ChMeetings is completely cloud-based.

  • While a desktop app is useful when you need offline access to your data, it can be difficult to keep up with version upgrades, data syncing, and maybe higher security risks. This complicates your work in the long run.
  • ChMeetings is fully cloud-based, so version upgrades are automatic, your data is always up-to-date and security risks are significantly reduced. Everything is much simpler and accessible in one app, accessible from any device. The obvious disadvantage of a cloud-based app like ChMeetings is that you must have an Internet connection to access it.

2. Servant Keeper has a complex, rather outdated user interface. ChMeetings is streamlined, cross-device compatible and constantly improving the design.

  • We think the world of technology is past the era of miles-long menus and complicated interfaces that one has to research before using. This seems to be the case with Servant Keeper, since the platform’s design does not feel intuitive and modern, and the information architecture is not that well organized.
  • The modern UX design within ChMeetings makes it intuitive, so you don’t have to read the documentation first. We do our best to save you time and frustration and make ChMeetings suitable for 21st-century churches by being clear and making everything easy to understand.

3. Servant Keeper’s informational resources are complex, not well organized, and difficult to access. ChMeetings focuses on clarity and strives to always keep you informed.

  • Servant Keeper’s homepage only links to a few subpages. To retrieve the rest, people have to search a rather extensive, hidden network of pages that are not linked to the homepage. There is no clear list of extra fees - we had to dig through support articles and third-party resources to validate them for you. And frankly, we’re still not 100% sure we covered everything… Moreover, we found the help desk to be massive, but not well organized. Most articles contain no product screenshots; and where they do, the images are broken and don’t display. Also, a lot of information is still unsearchable, being stored in PDF brochures. This doesn’t help; especially when you get started.
  • Managing large amounts of complex information is not an easy task; however, so we can understand the reasons why it can get out of our control. That’s why the ChMeetings team are continuously working on enhancing information accessibility. We do have a lot to improve in terms of the way we present information to you on our website, and we also have to catch up on a few outdated screenshots in our help center. We made so many improvements lately that we’re a bit behind with that. But even so, we make sure that our help articles are very clear, and we think that we do a good enough job of keeping you informed and ensuring you can get started easily. Our help desk is easy to use, and we think it’s very well organized based on major features. Everything is searchable, with no PDFs involved. We can always do better, that’s for sure, so if you have feedback, please let us know.

Capterra Ratings

ChMeetings capterra reviews - Servant Keeper alternatives servant keeper capterra reviews - Servant Keeper alternatives

Free Trial

Servant Keeper provides no free trial option. You must call or fill out a form to discuss a demo.

ChMeetings gives you a 14-day free trial and you can choose to add demo data to play with and see if it fits your needs. After the trial, you can decide to continue with our free plan or subscribe. Check out our Pricing page for details.

Trusted by over 5000 churches and dioceses worldwide.

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