Over the weekend we experienced an issue with our servers whose sole purpose is to send out automated emails and SMS messages to users. These include reminders for group leaders to submit attendance or to volunteers who are scheduled on a service. Whilst the issue was unresolved, no reminders were sent out.
After we fixed the issue this morning, all queued reminders were then sent. This resulted in them sent much later than intended and potentially at an hour of the day or night that would not be preferred.
We apologise for the issue and we hope it did not put your volunteers out too much.
So that this does not happen again, we will be implementing additional checks to detect this type of issue much sooner to reduce any impact on customers.
Thank you for your understanding.
Today we release the BETA version of the new Volunteer Scheduling update we’ve been working on! We are super excited and know this is going to save your team hours in scheduling.
Recap of New Features
Please note, by default, your users will see the old volunteer scheduling interface but have a choice to access the new BETA version (more on this below).
Here’s a recap of what the new BETA version brings to the table:
- Users will be able to schedule multiple volunteers at once over multiple departments.
- Users will see live updates of other users scheduling on the same service.
- Better filtering and sorting of volunteers.
- Ability to set a default volunteer status (Confirmed or Unconfirmed) on a department level.
- Ability to set a default volunteer notification on a department level.
- Ability to choose the default service times for positions when scheduling on a specific service type.
- Auto-schedule utilizes the department level and service type changes from the above 3 points.
- Users can overwrite default department level and service type options if required.
- Editing multiple services receives the same update.
- Viewing the mobile version of Elvanto on your phone’s browser has now been refined and is much more “app” like. We’ll be implementing this into our Mobile App in the near future.
The new interface is a dream come true. You can now schedule multiple volunteers across multiple departments with minimal clicks. Nothing is final until you hit the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the screen.
We’ve also added in when volunteers were last scheduled (this is based on the filters you choose) and searching a volunteer by name is super quick.
If other users are online editing the same service you’ll see their changes show up under ‘Departments’ on the left. We have a ‘tentative’ state which means the other users making changes have not clicked ‘Save’ but they are currently working on their scheduling. New volunteers added in this state will be faded out a little along with a profile pic of the current user making the change. This will help fix the risk of conflicts while you’re scheduling.
Conflict data for the ‘Volunteers’ section in the middle will also update live if another user is scheduling on a service that is within your conflict buffer settings.
New People Status Filters
Hurrah! You can now filter in or out unavailable and conflicting volunteers. You can also exclude volunteers whose scheduling preferences are not preferred for the current service.
Default Configuration Options
You can set default department level and service type options, which means Elvanto will automatically set times, volunteer status and prepare notifications without your users having to manually set it for every volunteer they schedule. We discuss these configuration options and how to get them set-up in the next section.
For those who want to overwrite those default configuration options, we’ve added an ‘Options’ button where you can perform these overwrites. It will use default at first but you can choose to overwrite anything you’d like. This is handy for volunteers who fit outside the normal limits you have put in place.
Don’t Forget the Configuration Options
The new BETA version skips a whole step in the current volunteer scheduling interface which is where you choose the volunteer status, set whether to prepare a notification and what service times they are to be scheduled on. As you would have read in our last post, we have now added some new configuration options which will automate this step. If you haven’t jumped in and made changes, now would be a good time.
Here is a recap of the configuration options.
Default Volunteer Status
In the current version of Elvanto, you can configure the default volunteer status to be confirmed or unconfirmed within settings. This applied to every department.
We have now added a new option when editing a department so that volunteer status can now be individually configured on a per-department basis. When editing a department you can set the status as well as whether you want volunteers to be marked as needing to be contacted.
Default Service Times for Service Type Departments
We have also added in the ability to set default service times for positions within a service type. For instance, you may have volunteers on certain positions who need to be onsite early for the set-up time. Other volunteers on different positions might only need to be there at a rehearsal time. Rather than having to uncheck times when scheduling each volunteer, you can now set defaults.
When on the ‘Departments’ tab of a service type, you will now see a little clock icon next to each department and position…
When you click this, you can choose whether all times are to be clicked…
Or you can customize those times…
You can choose for sub-department and positions to inherit times if a department or sub-department all have the same times…
How to Access the BETA
To access the BETA, simply try schedule volunteers onto a service and you’ll be given the option to try the new version. This will only affect your profile. Other users at your church can choose to use the new BETA version themselves.
You can switch back at any time from the new volunteer scheduling modal.
Yes please! If you find a bug or have a cool idea on how we can make this even better, please contact our support team! We want to be certain that our new default department and service type level settings are working as expected and that there are no hiccups for when we go live.
Thanks in advance for those who’ll be jumping on it and we look forward to your feedback!
UPDATE: Migration is now complete and was a huge success! Thanks for your patience!
We will be performing database maintenance on our AU database to improve performance, stability, and security for our customers.
We have blocked a window to perform the maintenance and tests. During the times listed below, our customers on our AU server will not have access to their account. We expect the migration to take the full duration specified below, so be sure to follow our Twitter for progress updates.
Any questions or concerns please reach out to our support team.
Have a great week!
Thanks for using Elvanto to help manage your church! We’re constantly striving to provide a seamless, integrated experience for your team, consistent with our values of fairness, transparency and accountability.
As part of that, we’ve been making sure that the way we collect and handle information about our church clients and their members is both in line with the requirements of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation, other relevant privacy laws and our own values.
So, we’ve made a few changes:
- We’ve updated our Terms of Service (which include the terms of the Data Processing Agreement we need for our EU clients); and
The new Terms of Service and Privacy Policies will take effect on May 25, 2018. By using our services on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to these updates.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
For our customers who are in the EU, we have updated our GDPR web page to include more information about important updates and other changes we’ve made to make sure we are compliant.
If you have any questions about these changes, feel free to reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dymo has posted a blog regarding an issue where the Window’s version of their SDK is experiencing a 10-15 second slowdown when printing labels.
If you’re a Window’s user and are experiencing issues with printing speed, check out the temporary fix in the link above.
If you’re not experiencing the issue yet, keep this link handy as you might need it soon.