Planning Center is a 13-year old church management software company based in San Diego, California. It serves more than 50,000 churches and ministries across the US and in many countries in Europe.
The platform has evolved from a worship scheduling tool for organising volunteers, facilities and service programmes to now including multiple applications for membership, managing donations, event registrations and child check-in tools.
As society’s anxiety over how personal data may be used or misused has grown, Planning Center had seen a rapid increase in inbound enquiries on its approach to GDPR. These were mainly from EU-based churches but they also received a number of enquiries coming in from their US-based customers who appreciated the risk of having US-resident EU citizens’ data in their databases.
In addition to gathering and holding enormous amounts of personal data, such as names and contact details, Planning Center also holds sensitive data on children – a particularly protected group under GDPR – as well as data that has been designated as a “special category”, such as counselling records and information on religious beliefs.