Today I am excited to announce we now have push notifications in our Mobile App for service scheduling and volunteer swap & replace!
When your volunteers upgrade to the latest version of our app (it should be circulating on App Stores now), push notifications will be turned on by default and give your volunteers a choice to disable them.
How to Send Push Notifications
Push notifications can be sent the following ways listed below. Not every volunteer will have push notifications enabled so which is why we send push notifications when an email or SMS is sent.
- When you schedule a volunteer using our NEW volunteer scheduling interface and have automatic email/SMS turned on in service settings.
- When you send volunteers an email/SMS manually from a service or the edit multiple service screen.
- When a volunteer requests a swap or replace – any email/SMS that is sent during this process will also get a push notification.
We’ll also be adding push notifications to service reminders and follow-ups in the near future!
More Mobile App Features Coming
Some of our top priority items are…
- Ability to view groups and report on attendance (well be adding push notifications to reporting reminders also)
- Ability to schedule volunteers and manage service plans
- Ability to view people
We’ll keep working to make our Mobile App more robust! Rather than one massive update, we’ll keep chipping away at each area and release an update so you get the benefit quicker!
We’ve made a bunch of other improvements noted on our releases website.
- Added two new Avery Label Template sizes for A4 paper: The Avery L7180 and Avery 3422
- Added the ability to require a reason for archiving a person and specifying default reasons for this
- Added the archived reason field into the people activity report
- When Mass adding individuals to a service, you’re no longer scrolled to the top of the page after adding a person in every time
- Improved speed of mass adding individuals to services
- When adding people to a group, the search window grabs focus when the window is opened
- New service scheduling now correctly handles errors and doesn’t just freeze
- Brand new interface for editing and adding group categories
Today I am excited to announce that we’ve released the ability for your Step Admins to have automatic reminders sent to them, reminding them to follow up people in their people flows. The days of only getting the initial email are over!
We’ve updated the interface when editing a people flow to include the new options. Not the most important aspect of the update, but worth noting!
Step Admin Reminders
When setting up each individual People Flow, you can now set the Flows to have different reminders.
You can either set the Flow to send Email and/or SMS reminders to your admins, or you can set it to only send SMS reminders to admins who don’t have email addresses in their profile.
You can have multiple reminders sent out on days of your choosing. These can be set to be X days before, the same day and X days after. You can set as many of these as you desire to help ensure that your admins are following people up!
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!