Posts categorized 'Important Notices'

Upcoming Change to People and Group Access

On the 15th January 2019 (AEST), we will be making some changes to how People and Group access permissions work in relation to lockdowns and restrictions. These changes are minor, but large enough that you may, or may not, need to review how your access permissions are setup.

The goal of these changes is to hopefully make access permissions make a little more sense, but as you may have set things up with how they currently work in mind, if you have lockdowns in place please review these changes.

If you do not make use of lockdowns in your access permissions, nothing will be changing.

How Lockdowns and Restrictions Currently Function

Right now, when a person is locked down, these lockdowns are taken into account before any restrictions are taken into account. This can lead to some interesting scenarios. The biggest example of this is group leaders who lead a group that’s not at their assigned location.

Scenario 1: Jordan

We have a group leader Jordan. Jordan regularly serves at, and is assigned to the “North” location.

Jordan has a “Group Leader” access permission, which is setup as follows:

  • Access to People
    • Restrict access to:
      • People in groups they lead
      • People in the “Regular Attenders” people category
  • Access to Groups
    • Restrict access to:
      • Groups they lead
  • Locked down by assigned locations

Jordan leads two groups:

  • “Jordan’s Awesome Bible Study”, which is assigned to the”North” location
  • “Thursday South Playgroup”, which as the name suggests is at the”South” location

Spencer is assigned to the”North” location, and attends”Jordan’s Awesome Bible Study”.

Rowan and Sam attend the”Thursday South Playgroup”. Rowan is assigned to the”North” location, and”Sam” is assigned to”South” location.

Currently how this is handled, Jordan can see Spencer, and Rowan, but can not see Sam, in the People area. In the Groups area, Jordan can only see “Jordan’s Awesome Bible Study” but not”Thursday South Playgroup”, even though Jordan is a leader.

Scenario 2: Morgan

At the same church, the “Connect Group Pastor” access permission is setup as follows:

  • Access to People
    • Restrict access to:
      • People in group categories they’re an admin of
      • People in the “Regular Attenders” people category
  • Access to Groups:
    • Restrict Access to:
      • People in group categories they’re an admin of
  • Locked down by assigned locations

Morgan is a Connect Groups pastor at this church, and is assigned to the South location, and is a group category admin for the “Bible Study” group category.

Elliot is assigned to the”Community Outreach” group category and is assigned to the “South” location, but is a member of “Jordan’s Awesome Bible Study”, which is in the”Bible Study” group category and as mentioned above, assigned to the “North” location.

Dallas attends a “Bible Study” group that is assigned to the”South” location, but is not assigned to the “South” location them self.

In the current system, Morgan can see Elliot, as they’re a member of a “Bible Study” group and assigned to the “South” location, even though their group is not at the same location.

Morgan can not see Dallas, as Dallas does not match the location lockdowns.

Current Diagrams

We have some pretty complex diagrams that are available to those who want to see them. The thumbnails are below – click to view in full size.

Current Group Access Logic – click to view full size

Current People Access Logic – click to view full size

What’s Changing in January 2019?

We’re changing how lockdowns and certain restrictions combine together, so that the following people restrictions are considered more important than lockdowns:

  • Can only view people in groups they lead
  • Can only view people in groups they’re a member of

We’re also changing how the “Can only view people groups within group categories they administer” restriction works, when tied with lockdowns, but in a different way.

We’ll also be changing how the following group restrictions work:

  • Can only view groups they lead
  • Can only view groups they’re a member of

You will note that the “Can only view people in specific people category” restriction for people, as well as the “Can only view groups in categories they administer” restriction for groups are unaffected by the coming changes.

Each restriction’s change is detailed below.

Can only view groups they lead or are a member of

This applies to the following permissions in the People and Groups areas:

  • Can only view people in groups they lead
  • Can only view people in groups they are a part of
  • Can only view groups they lead
  • Can only view groups they are a part of

These restrictions will now ignore completely lockdowns. If a person has these restrictions in place, they will now see all groups and people in groups they lead/are a member of, regardless of any lockdowns in place.

Can only view people within group categories they administer

This restriction will also ignore lockdowns, but in a more intelligent way. To determine which groups they are considered an admin, we will still apply lockdowns to the groups, but we will not apply lockdowns on who the members are.

New Diagrams

Again we have some diagrams if you’d like to see. It’s worth noting that the group access diagrams is needed to fully understand how the people access diagram works now too.

New Group Access Logic – click to view full size

New People Access Logic – click to view full size

How things will work with the new changes

After we make the changes on the 15th January 2019 (AEST), the scenarios described above will work as follows:

Scenario 1: Jordan

In the People area, Jordan will now be able to see all members of the groups that Jordan leads, no matter what location they are assigned to. Jordan will still only be able to see people in the “Regular Attenders” people category, if they’re also at the North location.

In the Group area, Jordan can now see any group they lead, no matter the assigned location on the group.

Scenario 2: Morgan

In the People area, Morgan will no longer be able to see Elliot’s profile, but can now see Dallas’s profile, as they are a member of a group inside the category and location that Morgan is an admin for.

In the Groups area, Morgan’s access to groups will remain unchanged.

In the scenarios mentioned above, we’ve spoken exclusively about location lockdowns, but this will apply to other lockdowns as well.

Wrapping up

We are hoping that these changes will make lockdowns and restrictions a little easier for you, our customers, to work with and get your head around.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave comments below, or to send an email to


Stewart Polley

Delayed Reminders Over Weekend

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.

Ben Sinclair

New Volunteer Scheduling Update is now in BETA!

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.


New Interface

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!

Upcoming AU Database Maintenence

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!


AU Database

Date: Tuesday, 22nd May 2018
Time: 5:30 AM till 7:00 AM (Australia/Sydney time)
 1 hour and 30 minutes
Affected Customers: Customers on our AU server (

Updates to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy + We are GDPR compliant!

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
  • We’ve re-done both our EU Privacy Policy and our Privacy Policy for customers from other countries to make them more readable and clearer.

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