Brand New to Planning Center

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Planning Center is a Church management software (ChMS) with an integrated suite of products designed to help you keep track of all of your church’s information from your computer or mobile device.

This guide will help you through the Planning Center signup and setup process.


Bookmark this page so that it’s easy to find later.

1. Sign Up for People

Like other church management software (ChMS), we break down our pricing by people; however, unlike other ChMS, we won't ask you to sign up for features you won't use.

When you sign up to create a Planning Center account, we recommend that you start only with the People product.

People is the central hub for Planning Center products and the place to add and access information for your entire congregation. Plus, it's always free!

To subscribe to People only, go to the signup page, remove all of the other products, and then click Sign up.

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The email address and password you enter on this page is for you. Each person you give access to the account will receive their own login information.

2. Set Up Your Account

You should have received an email welcoming you to Planning Center right after you sign up. If you set up your account at that time, great! If you didn’t finish the account setup or haven’t started, this is the time to do it.

Accounts is the place for you to set up your account information. You will also go here to manage your Planning Center billing and subscriptions and add Organization Administrators.

The Setting Up a New Account article will help you through the setup process, which includes:

  • Adding your organization information

  • Setting up billing information

  • Adding organization administrators and billing managers

When you’ve finished setting up your account, it’s now time to get your people added to the Planning Center database!

3. Add Information to your Database

After completing your account setup, the next step is to add data to People. The easiest way to add people’s information is to create an online form you can share with congregants that allows them to add their own information.

Steps for creating a form to gather people's information

  1. Decide on the information you want to keep in a person's profile.

  2. Go to your profile to see what information is already allowed from the default fields.

  3. Create custom fields based on what information is not already a default field.

  4. Create a form to gather information on people.


Only people information can be imported into Planning Center. If you want other data to exist in your Planning Center database, you have the following options:

Additional ways to add people's information

You might not get all of the information you need from people filling out a form, or you might already have the data in a format that you can easily import into people. Here are some other options for adding people's information to the database.

4. Subscribe to Additional Products

After you've added people to your database, you can start subscribing to additional products.

Go to the article on Rolling Out Planning Center Products to see the order in which we recommend that you subscribe to products and view the initial set up tasks to get you up-and-running with each product.

Need Help?

We have plenty of support available to assist you along the way.

  • For step-by-step instructions on setting up and using each product, access our help articles from the support site or from the ? in the upper right corner in any product.

  • Once you've started diving into a product and want more in-depth training on how to use it, check out Planning Center University, which has videos on best practices for each product.

  • If you have any questions that can’t be answered in our docs or videos, feel free to contact our friendly Support Team. They are happy to help!

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