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# Parks & Recreation

What is Recreation Management Software?

Do you want to engage with your community more effectively, and minimize their stress and effort? Learn how with this handy, go-to guide.

Authored by Civic Plus Logo


February 28, 2020
10 min

Parks and rec software integrates all your complex and demanding community activity management functions into one easy-to-use program.

As a leader in software for local governments including, parks and recreation software, we understand the challenges communities face today: the need to do more, with less. We can appreciate your daily repetitive routine of managing activities and memberships, as well as keeping up with instructors, sports leagues, ticketing, facilities, and point-of-sale transactions, not to mention tending to both employee and citizen concerns.

Do you find these manual recurring tasks overwhelming?

Parks and rec leaders often ask us, “What is your recreation management software, and what can your software do for us?” In this article, we answer these questions and bring solutions for both staff and citizens to improve community management and present a convenient process and integration for all to use. This article details solutions for those just starting to look for parks and recreation software, and those looking to transition from one software to another to streamline their process.

table of contents screenshot for the chapters in this recreation management software guide

What is Recreation Management Software?

Park and recreation software integrates all your complex and demanding community activity management functions into one easy-to-use program designed to serve your community and your organization.

The recreation software streamlines the management of your operations, which reduces back-office tasks, increases efficiency, and boosts revenue all in one place.

Parks and rec software integrates all your complex and demanding community activity management functions into a user-friendly program. The software programs are made up of comprehensive modules equipped with a wide variety of features to cover any and every recreational need.

Also, parks and recreation software with an integrated volunteer management component allows you to create new volunteer events, assign roles, enable volunteers to check-in and out, track their hours, and run reports based on activity or user.

Other features like ticketing, a streamlined citizen dashboard, managing instructors, engaging digitally with citizens, built-in marketing, and an intuitive calendar are also possible with only a few customizable modules.

What Can Parks and Recreation Software Do for Your Organization and Community Today?

Activity Registration  Customized for Success

Customize activity registration modules to fit into the design of your organization. This module can accomplish complex tasks with just the click of a few buttons, such as:

  • Registering several members at once
  • Displaying waivers
  • Processing and breaking up payments across multiple channels
  • Emailing specially designed receipts

Along with these many features comes Instructor Management. This component gives instructors the ability to be assigned to activities, self-manage their classes, receive contracts, and contact participants while still limiting their access to secure data. Modern registration software is critical to the success of any parks and recreation organization and the functionality of the many courses that communities offer their active citizens.

Straightforward Facility Management

Facility management should be simple and painless for both staff and citizens, as it is a critical component in parks and recreation operations. It should also work together with the activity registration module to provide a simple process to complete facility rentals and reservations.

There should be options to set a specific amount of days and times in advance, as well as block off facilities for activities and games, and schedule recurring bookings. The most valuable software should also include an internal calendar for the staff to view current facilities that may be available, adjust or integrate existing reservations, and prevent double-booking.

Manage and Organize Your Transactions With a Point-of-Sale System

A point-of-sale (POS) system is vital to parks and recreation software because it manages and organizes all transactions. This system allows staff to sell any merchandise, prepare registrations, and set flexible pricing. POS systems may even be location-based and paired with cash drawers to make transactions easier.

Eliminate Complicated Memberships and Billing

With the use of membership management, manually handling complicated and customized membership and billing options can be eliminated, saving your administration valuable time and headaches. Such functionality gives you the ability to sell and manage memberships, punch or scan cards and fobs, and find member information immediately. Membership management will also equip your organization with an easily managed payment process for internal and external use.

Manage Your Sports Leagues Smoothly

Recreation software will allow organizations to manage sports leagues conveniently and efficiently all year long. This aspect will give you the ability to automatically schedule regular-season games and tournaments, complete registrations by full team or by the individual, keep a record of game results, and share information with players and parents with an easy-to-navigate website link.

Using parks and recreation management software will make your daily, intricate duties seem effortless. This convenient software will combine each of your needs into one platform, while also merging with your community’s brand and allowing customization.

What to Look for in Efficient Parks and Recreation Management Software (when just looking or switching software systems)

Click to view the full size infographic

Parks and recreation software has its place in your parks and recreation department. It is a single-source solution that simplifies your operations.

When searching for a park and rec software to consider, look for software with ideal tools for:

  • Easy online registration
  • Membership management
  • Facility booking and rentals
  • Communications
  • Financial reporting and analytics

What if you’re already using software, but know it’s time to transition to something new? You know what features you’re using today, and what your frustrations are, but you don’t know what other features exist that could simplify your workflows.

Before you begin the process of selecting a new recreation management software, there are questions you need to answer to complete your review.

How to Begin the Process of Selecting a New Robust Recreation Management Software

Ask yourself the following questions when reviewing software options:

1. What are their data import capabilities?

Make sure you can import historical information easily into the new system. A solution that requires you to start over from the beginning should be a red flag.

2. Do the solutions provide custom data capabilities?

Every community is unique, especially yours. As you’ve utilized your existing parks and recreation software, you’ve likely identified custom fields and data elements you need to track that are specific to your internal operations. Choose a software solution provider with the capability to create several custom developed scripts and libraries that can be leveraged for unique data imports and record maintenance.

3. Will the software work with your existing hardware?

You shouldn’t need to add an entire hardware overhaul.

4. Is the software compatible with multiple browsers?

Be sure to choose a cloud-based system and one that allows you to work from multiple Internet browsers. This way, you can manage critical aspects of your administration operations no matter where you or your team members are working.

5. Is the software mobile-optimized?

Make sure any system you choose offers a mobile-optimized and accessible platform. If it isn’t, you could be missing opportunities for citizen engagement. Studies have shown a 160 percent increase in purchase completion with mobile-optimized payments. If your citizens can’t complete a transaction from their mobile device, you may lose significant revenue potential.

Who Benefits the Most from Recreation Management Software?

When it comes to recreation management software, both citizens and staff benefit from a modern solution. Software tools enable your department to work more efficiently and effectively while reducing their frustration (and reduce using a ton of paper). Tools help departments connect and organize their staff. They also save time, reduce costs, and increase data accuracy.

More importantly, your rec department will build stronger ties with its community. Rec software increases engagement with your registrants making them happier and more willing to return to your programs. The ability to connect with your community is essential for retention and to continue earning vital revenue from your offerings.


You need every tool and resource to help you communicate with your employees and citizens.

You need tools for your staff that can automate those overwhelming manual, tedious tasks. The same tools will help you reach and engage your citizens. With the right parks and recreation management software in place, your staff will be happier and your citizens can self-serve their needs faster with less frustration.

The benefits of leveraging software are always evolving.

Is your recreation management software up to speed so that your users have the best experience?

Watch our Recreation Management software overview video below.

Click here to take a self-guided video tour of our Parks and Recreation software.

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Authored by Civic Plus Logo


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