Looking to make the switch to Breeze or one of the other Planning Center Online competitors?
We'd love to make the decision as easy as possible and so we've put together some information comparing Breeze with Planning Center Online. Below we've included topics ranging from features to customer support to price on how Planning Center Online compares to Breeze.
While this article contains our opinions and bias, we truly are convinced that we're able to serve small and mid-sized churches really well and we hope compiling and sharing this list is helpful as you evaluate both options.
1. Breeze has (much) simpler pricing
One of the biggest differences between Planning Center Online and Breeze is pricing. In fact, Breeze and Planning Center Online represent opposite ends of the spectrum.
Breeze has one simple flat rate of $50 per month (that's aimed to serve small and mid-sized churches). All features are available and you can load in as many people, users, events, forms, etc. as you'd like and your price won't change.
Planning Center takes the opposite approach, separating each module into its own product. There's a price for check in, a price for giving, a price for registrations, and so on, and each module becomes more expensive the more it's used. They have a pricing calculator to help churches figure out how much they'll actually pay.
We think the single rate that includes everything really serves small and mid-sized churches well as churches know exactly what they are getting into without the surprise of needing additional services that cost more in the future.
Additionally, we believe this lines up with how databases work. We don't necessarily have significantly larger overhead for a church of 30 versus a church of 3,000, and so we think having a single price point makes a lot of sense (you can read more on our pricing philosophy here).
2. Support, training, and consulting are a major focus (and are also included)
We're a small team of people who have experience running churches, working in churches, volunteering at churches, and supporting churches and we're passionate about seeing churches succeed.
We also assume that most small and mid-sized churches don't have an IT person on staff. As a result we see our role as being the IT department for the churches we serve, at least in the scope of Breeze.
While Planning Center offers support, there's a strong push to offload users to automated help processes or submitting a written request.
For small and mid-sized churches, sometimes actually getting on the phone and having a conversation can go a long ways. There's specific details and contextual factors that can often get lost in email communications not to mention endless-back-and-forth emails due to misunderstandings.
Because of this you can call us (and still email us of course) with questions whenever you'd like. We have no additional fees for support or consulting and so anyone at your church can call or email with questions. We also offer training, webinars, coaching, importing of data - whatever you need, at no additional cost. Our passion is to see churches succeed.
With our team's church leadership experience combined with our technical knowledge of Breeze, churches can call or email us with specific technical questions like:
Or broader best practice questions such as:
No matter the question, we'll be happy to help!
We also run a blog helping churches simplify and streamline their processes which can be really useful in helping churches take the next step forward.
3. We are focused on small and mid-sized churches
We are laser-focused on what the typical small and mid-sized church needs (more on how we define small and mid-sized can be found here). This means that we focus on what the typical church uses 95% of the time and cut away any of the excess that can often get in the way.
Other systems can often try to add in more and more functionality as they aim to serve the more detailed-needs of large and mega churches. We think this can ultimately lead to more complicated interfaces.
The typical small and mid-sized church however has a high value for simplicity and ease of use. It's this simplicity that we're really focused on. In fact, this simplicity is one of our core values as you'll see from our product intro video:
4. We'll Move You In at No Additional Cost
Currently using another church management system?
We'd love to transfer your key data into Breeze.
There's no additional cost for this and it allows you to hit the ground running.
While Planning Center allows churches to import data in, churches are left to navigate the import tools themselves.
For small and mid-sized churches that may not have an IT person, this can be a daunting task. Furthermore, if this process doesn't go well, it can be devastating for the long-term effectiveness of the database as a database is only as good as the data that's in it.
Because of how critical this step is to get right, we're happy to do it for you.
One of our import specialists can access the program you're currently using to get the data (or receive a file you send us), turn around and then import that data into your Breeze account. And there's no additional charge for any of this.
And for those who are technically inclined and would prefer, you're able to do the same import yourself.
We love helping churches get moved in quickly not to mention ratings like this:
5. Your Worship Leader can still use Planning Center Online
In the past, Planning Center Online has been very focused on everything related to leading worship. From scheduling band members, to sharing music, to storing separate versions of the same song for different instruments or different keys, the worship-related functionality runs deep.
As a result, many worship leaders rely heavily on Planning Center Online.
While Breeze has no plans to replicate this level of music-related focus within its software, we do integrate with Planning Center Services. This allows churches to use Planning Center just for worship and use Breeze for everything else.
Furthermore, the integration allows Breeze to update Planning Center accordingly so you don't feel like you have two separate databases to maintain.
So if you like what Breeze offers when it comes to functionality, support, and price, know that you can still use just the portion of Planning Center that you need while still enjoying the benefits Breeze has to offer.
If interested, you can read more about our Planning Center Online integration here.
6. Breeze is easier to use than Planning Center Online
Planning Center Online, while powerful, has some interfaces that can be a bit confusing. Additionally, scheduled volunteers need to have their own Planning Center account.
This complexity means that staff members may not fully take advantage of its functionality and that volunteers may not get on board with keeping up with another online account.
As Breeze works to serve small and mid-sized churches, we have a tremendous focus on simple, elegant, and intuitive designs. These allow users to quickly access the information they need without having to put together complex queries. For example, when looking for certain people, users can just tap on the criteria they'd like to search by and the results will automatically show up.
For volunteers, our aim is that they can do everything from their email inbox, receiving emails with simple buttons and no log in required.
By creating interfaces and processes that everyone can use, churches can empower everyone to use the database - staff, volunteers, and members. This takes a significant load off of the administrator by allowing others to use the database. And each user can have different permissions, ensuring they only have access to the appropriate sections.
Ultimately you get to be the judge of how easy-to-use the software is. Planning Center Online allows users a 30-day trial and Breeze provides the same idea (you can click here to start an instant demo of Breeze), letting you determine which software would be the best fit for your church.