General FAQs

Can we try it before we have to pay for it? What about refunds?

Yes. All new paying accounts come with a 30-day free trial (upgrades are not eligible for the 30 day free trial). Cancel before you are billed on the 30th day and your credit card won’t be charged (refunds will not be issued if you do not cancel within 30 days). Get started today and try Planning Center for free. For more information on the free trial and refund policy, see this FAQ.

There are two ways to try Planning Center Online for free.

  1. Sign up for the free plan. This plan is free forever, but you can only manage one service, five people and you get no file storage.
  2. Choose a paying plan when you sign up for your new account and you can try Planning Center Online for free for 30 days as long as you stay on the plan you initially selected. If you don’t want to continue to use Planning Center Online, and you don’t want to be charged for your first month, you must cancel your account within 30 days of signing up.

What about upgrades from free to paying?

Upgrades from a free plan to a paying plan do not quality for the free 30-day trial. The 30 day free trial is only available on new paying accounts.

For example, if you sign up for the free plan, and then you upgrade to a paying plan 12 days later, you will be immediately charged for your first month upon upgrade. You will continue to be charged every month after that until you cancel your account.

Since Planning Center Online doesn’t have long term contracts, you are free to cancel at any time. If you don’t cancel your free 30-day trial with 30 days you will be charged for your first month.

For example, if you sign up for a paying plan and cancel that plan on day 24, you won’t be charged a thing. However, if you cancel on day 31 or 34 or 42, you will be charged for your first month, but you won’t be charged again. If you cancel on day 62, you’ll have been billed twice, but you won’t be billed again.

This policy is stated in the terms of service.

Which pricing level is right for me? Can I change my mind?

First, pick the pricing level that seems to make the most sense. Don’t worry too much, because no matter which level you choose you have 30 days to try it out absolutely free. Then if you are satisfied, continue to use the service as long as your account is up to date. If you would like to switch to a higher or lower level or cancel your account, you can do so at anytime from the “my account” page.

What are the system requirements to use Planning Center?

Since Planning Center is hosted on our servers, there’s nothing to install and no server/platform requirements to worry about. All you need is a modern web browser with Javascript turned on (Planning Center officially supports IE 7 or later on the PC, and Firefox, Chrome and Safari on Mac, PC, and Linux) and an internet connection. Planning Center does not support IE 6.x on the Mac or PC. If you have IE 6, we recommend switching to Firefox it’s modern, fast, compatible, and free.

Can we run Planning Center on our own servers?

Planning Center is a web-based, hosted service. It is not available for purchase to install on your own servers.

Do I need a CCLI membership?

We do not require you to have a CCLI membership to use Planning Center. If you do have a CCLI membership (you probably should), you can export songs from CCLI‘s database and import them directly to Planning Center, alleviating the need to type in author and copyright information.

We do recommend that every church either have a CCLI membership or something similar.

Are there legal implications for uploading songs and sheet music?

Planning Center does not include any form of copyright licensing and is not responsible for any misuse on your part. Sharing mp3s, charts or lyrics that you do not have the licenses for is illegal. If you own all the copyrights to a song, maybe for a song you have written, or you have obtained the licenses to distribute them electronically, you are free to do so.

The CCLI license covers the distribution of lyrics & self-recorded (your band) audio for most worship songs. CCLI's Rehearsal license allows you to share many audio files recorded by popular artists with your teams for rehearsal purpose.

Another way to obtain licenses for the original audio files is to link directly to the song on a music store like iTunes or AmazonMP3 , and let your users download the songs for themselves. The easiest legal way to share chord charts and notated music is to subscribe to SongSelect by CCLI , or purchase individual files on PraiseCharts.com. Planning Center has integrations with SongSelect and PraiseCharts to make it easy to import their music into your Planning Center account.

Contact Christian Copyright Solutions for more information about copyrights.

What software do I need to upload sheet music?

If you create your sheet music in a notation program such as Finale , you will probably want to save your song as a PDF. Adobe Reader is a free program that allows anyone to open PDF files. Visit Adobe to learn how to create PDFs online or to purchase Adobe Acrobat. Finale also has an inexpensive program called Finale Notepad that will let users open and even make minor modifications to Finale files. The bottom line is, you can upload almost any kind of file you want, whether it be Word, PDF, Finale File, or even Powerpoint, just make sure your musicians have the appropriate software to open it.

If you don’t use musical notation, you can also use Planning Center’s built-in Lyrics & Chords feature to automatically create and transpose PDFs to any key.

How do my volunteers access Planning Center? Will they be able to make changes?

You will need to enter in the names and email addresses of anyone you would like to be able to access your plans. Then schedule them from within any individual plan, and an email will be sent to them with links to accept, decline or view that plan. When they click on any of the links, it will take them to Planning Center and there will be a box for them to enter a password. Once they have created their password, they can return anytime from the links within the email or simply have the option to designate them as an editor. Anyone who you assign as an editor will be able to make changes to your plans and anyone who is not, will only be able to view and download.

How do I update to the latest version?

You don’t have to do anything – it’s automatic! Since Planning Center is a subscription-based service, your recurring monthly payment includes all future updates! We are adding new features to Planning Center all the time, so by being a faithful subscriber, you will always be running the very latest version.