Shelby Arena

(10)
3.4 out of 5 stars

Shelby Arena is a church management software that offers solutions in member and donor management

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Shelby Arena Reviews

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Shelby Arena review by Jon A.
Jon A.
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Verified Current User
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"Some hits, a bunch of misses"

What do you like best?

Out of the box, it includes a lot of features that are at the core of what a church might need. People database, giving reports, attendance reports, etc.

What do you dislike?

Arena is a rarely updated piece of software that has bugs and fixes that don't work. Their API is non-existent and when there is something that says an API exists, only exists between Shelby Systems products. Most developers in today's markets understand that when they offer an API, it should work cross product and with different vendors.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I would highly recommend evaluating what you need and not be sold on what potential is communicated. Depending on which level of your contract, and if you have a developer on staff, it can be a decent product. I would also evaluate ROCK CMS and Breeze CMS.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are tracking attendance, giving, sending bulk emails (50-250 email addresses), reports for attendee research, forms for attendees to fill out that tie back to their personal or family account and intercompany common files that get updated weekly (budgets, year to date attendance reports per location).

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Shelby Arena review by Chris N.
Chris N.
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Verified Current User
Review Source

"Arena is a good but not great asset and membership management tool."

What do you like best?

I like that it is web based, has easy search functions, and can produce pretty helpful and important reports if you take the time to figure out how to do the reports and get the right settings to make them bring up the information you really wanted.

What do you dislike?

I dislike that it isn't very intuitive for what you are wanting to do most often. For anything beyond basic searches and reports it makes you dig really deep in to the program and usually consult a help book or article just to figure out how to make it work. It also just doesn't have all the features we would like that comparable products do have.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I would really recommend this for smaller churches that are looking for a all encompassing asset and membership management solution. For any churches that really use statistical data fairly often to drive their decisions or that would like to have better ways to integrate with sign-in's and sign-up's I would recommend looking for a different product.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are able to track our financials pretty well with this which helps us budget well. It also helps us to track our people and where they are plugged in so we can follow up with them when needed.

What Church Management solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Shelby Arena review by Julia S.
Julia S.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Great utility, Weak asthetics"

What do you like best?

Shelby Arena happens to be one of the only programs out there that allows you to keep extensive records of financial donations and giving, along with records for those giving financial contributions. The book keeping system allows you to keep a database and give specific qualifiers to individual organizations or people so you can pull multiple and specified spread sheets. Shelby also allows you to create comma delimitated files to create spread sheets, is great with imports and exports, and allows you to import checks where the system will recognize account numbers and save them to specific names. Shelby also assigns you a personal IT associate to work along side you and your business, and set up your system to accommodate your business needs.

What do you dislike?

Shelby still looks like a 90's Microsoft Office product. While the program is the most effective bookkeeping product for non-profits who need to keep precise records for donations and income allocation, it is not easy to use. While most of the common functions including pulling statements, updating records, and making deposits, are relatively simple, setting up details to pull specific reports is difficult and often requires IT help.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This is a great product if your work requires precise financial records, as well as extensive data bases of both donors and individuals who interact or are associated with your business. Shelby has also integrated many contemporary online giving products and is able to take in an import and recognize donors and their designated allocations.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Shelby is pretty limitless when it comes to it's ability to create different types of reports, you just have to know how to build those reports and set the outliers. Once you know how to use the program Shelby can create a spreadsheet to include any information that you have put into the system instead of having to hand document and maintain many different spreadsheets. It is also extremely convenient that the records of individuals are linked to the giving documentation, but can also be used separately.

Shelby Arena review by <span ue="safe-name" data-safe-name-id="586942fb-5d13-4eba-9b99-70e4407ae3d8">Joel W.</span>
Joel W.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
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"Gets the Job Done"

What do you like best?

The interface is pretty streamlined, but also offers a number of customization options based on our/your specific needs.

What do you dislike?

It can be challenging to get Arena to work with other systems and processes, but that could just be user error.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Shelby Arena has a lot of flexibility, so depending on your tier you can get a lot done. We utilize Arena for a wide range of purposes, for a larger church it's a must have in order to ensure you're building relationship with all your attenders.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We're utilizing Arena to help us track attendance, pastoral care and a variety of other needs

Shelby Arena review by Administrator in Religious Institutions
Administrator in Religious Institutions
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Powerful Tool"

What do you like best?

Arena can track anything you need, with ultimate reporting capabilities.

What do you dislike?

Arena is very powerful. If you need basic tracking, it is too much. Additionally, you must be able to write SQL code in order to customize it in anyway.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Go to the annual Shelby Conference and learn all you can about the product from other churches using it before buying.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are able to track trends in attendance and follow up with missing people.

Shelby Arena review by User in Religious Institutions
User in Religious Institutions
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Great for tracking your Members"

What do you like best?

It's really great as a database! It works really well-keeping track of all the people that go to your church.

What do you dislike?

I don't like the look. Also, the way that it works with the children's check-in system. It doesn't talk well to other programs as well.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It's good for keeping track of your members. I would try implementing a lot for your children's ministry.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Managing church members.

Shelby Arena review by User
User
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"It does the task, but that's about it..."

What do you like best?

Arena is a very capable tool, allowing you to do just about anything you can think of.

What do you dislike?

With so many features, the learning curve is very high. It's also not a very "pretty" or user-friendly tool to use. Could certainly use a refresh!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Arena allowed us to manage everything at our church, from donations, to kids check-in, to our website.

Shelby Arena review by User in E-Learning
User in E-Learning
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Does 80% of 80% of what we need it to do"

What do you like best?

Good database to keep basic information for people. easy to use.

What do you dislike?

Doesn't send text messages, which would be huge. Also would be helpful to integrate a better record keeping like a CRM or allow for automation.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

keeping records.

Shelby Arena review by User in Religious Institutions
User in Religious Institutions
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Helpful to manage information, but sometimes difficult to navigate"

What do you like best?

Organizing lists, storing information and data

What do you dislike?

Can be difficult to navigate, not easy to figure out on your own (always had to ask our person on staff who knew it well for help/support)

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Creating distribution lists

Shelby Arena review by User in Broadcast Media
User in Broadcast Media
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Mediocre CRM "

What do you like best?

Shelby has great tools/parameters to search clients.

What do you dislike?

Shelby is inaccurate when scanning and importing important documents.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Shelby Arena allows centralized use for all departments.

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