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Volunteer Swap & Replace is out of BETA!

Good news! Volunteer Swap & Replace is now out of BETA!

You can view the original announcement here which contains details on how to get set-up. We also have a help article you can send to your volunteers on how to create a swap or replace once you’re live.

Some features we will be working on soon to make this feature better:

  • Choose positions that do not conflict with each other.
  • Disable declining and force volunteers to swap or replace.

Enjoy and make sure you send feedback on how we can improve!

Ben

Online Giving in Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and the UK

It is our goal to make Elvanto available to anyone in any country. I’m excited today to announce that Tithe.ly, one of our great giving partners are now offering online giving in Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and the UK.

Tithe.ly helps increase giving and generosity by allowing your church to give easily from their mobile phone or from your church website.

Tithe.ly has a great integration with Elvanto where they push donations directly into Elvanto in real-time without you having to do any work. It’s a beautiful thing.

Give them a look if online and mobile giving integrated with Elvanto would be useful to your church.

http://get.tithe.ly

Introducing Volunteer Swap & Replace BETA

Today I am pleased to announce that the BETA version of Volunteer Swap & Replace is here!

This feature empowers your volunteers to organize their own swaps and replaces once they have been scheduled for a service. This means your leaders do not have to get involved and volunteers do not need to send out emails, text messages or try catch people at church to organize a swap or replacement. This is an exciting feature that will revolutionise volunteer swaps!

Swap vs Replace: What are they?

There are two options you can now choose to enable in your account. Before I go on there are two groups of people we’ll discuss in this article.

  1. Requestor – the volunteer who would like to swap or be replaced
  2. Requestee – a volunteer who the Requestor has asked to swap or replace them.

Now that’s cleared up, I’ll explain both swap and replace.

Swap allows a Requestor to ask Requestees who are scheduled for other services to swap with them. Elvanto will find services to swap with that match the same service type and location as the Requestor’s service.

Replace allows the Requestor to be replaced by a Requestee. There is no swap or trade, a Requestee simply fills in for the Requestor. Elvanto will find Requestees who in their profile, match the same service type and location assigned to the Requestor’s service.

Both scenarios check for availability, conflicts, and scheduling preferences so that only Requestees who are available will be included in a request. Same goes for when searching for services they can swap with. Only services the Requestor is available to swap with will be options.

How it Works

Once enabled in settings (we’ll talk about that further on), a Requestor can send out requests by clicking the same ‘Decline’ button found on their roster.

Roster

Once clicked, they’ll be asked if they would like to swap with another volunteer, be replaced or decline. These options can be configured in settings.

Decline

Creating a ‘Swap’ Request

Elvanto will find services and Requestees available to swap with. The Requestor is then given the power to choose what services or Requestees they’d like to ask.

Swap List

On the left, is a list of all upcoming services (within the timeframe you’ve set under Settings > Services > Roster) and the right are the Requestees scheduled for the services on the left.

Only services and Requestees who are available to swap with the Requestor will be displayed. Elvanto takes the following into consideration before including a Requestee:

  • Their service must be assigned the same location and service type as the Requestor’s service
  • They must not conflict with the Requestor’s service
  • They must be available
  • Their volunteer scheduling preferences must allow them to be scheduled
  • They must be assigned the same department position that the Requestor wishes to be replaced

Unlike finding a replacement (more on this below), we don’t take the Requestees assigned departments, locations or service types from their profile into account. We simply look for Requestees who are scheduled on the same position, in a matching service.

The Requestor can select which services they want to swap with and/or the Requestees they’d like to include. Unchecking either side will toggle the available services and Requestees.

Looking at the screenshot below, only Aretha is scheduled on for the second service, so only she shows in the list of Requestees.

In the same way, only Aaron is scheduled on for the first service, so only she shows in the list of Requestees.

Swap List 2

Creating a ‘Replace’ Request

When finding a replacement, Elvanto will ask the Requestor who they want to send the request to.

Replace

Like swaps, Elvanto will only find Requestees who are available to replace the Requestor. Elvanto takes the following things into consideration before including a Requestee:

  • They must not conflict with the service
  • They must be available
  • Their volunteer scheduling preferences must allow them to be scheduled
  • They must be assigned the same location and service type as the service in their profile
  • They must be assigned the same department position that the Requestor wishes to be replaced in their profile

Accepting or Declining Requests

Once a request has been created, Requestees will be sent an email that includes the service the Requestor would like to swap or replace. If it’s a swap, it will also give a selection of services that the Requestee is scheduled on for them to choose from.

Replace Email

When a Requestee logs into their Elvanto account, they will see swap and replace requests in the Member Area just like they would any other scheduling request.

Requests

With a click of a button, a Requestee can accept the swap and instantly, both the Requestor’s and Requestee’s roster are updated. Along with that all reports to people for both the Requestor and Requestee are notified of the change. If there were any Requestees who had not responded, they will also be notified that their response is no longer required.

Requestees can also decline. Once all Requestees decline, only then will the Requestor be notified that the request was unsuccessful. The request will be canceled and it’s up to the Requestor to decide what to do. They can try another swap or replace request (they may have unchecked a few names or services in their original request) but Elvanto will not allow them to send the request to the same Requestees who have already declined in the other request.

Canceling Requests

Apart from all Requestees declining the request, a request can be canceled manually or automatically. The Requestor can cancel a request at any time from their roster and all Requestees who have not responded will be notified of the cancelation.

You can also in settings enable a feature where requests will be automatically canceled. You could, for instance, set requests to be canceled 2 days before a service starts. Once it’s 2 days before a service, the request will be canceled automatically and both the Requestor and Requestees (who haven’t responded yet) will be notified. This way requests don’t drag on until the day of the service. Nobody likes last minute cancelations.

Getting Set Up

The new settings can be found under Settings > Services > Roster.

Settings

Prevent Swap & Replace

This setting controls the timeframe before a service starts that Requestors can send out a new swap or replace request.

Cancel Pending Requests

Once a service comes within the timeframe set here, any pending swap or replace requests will be canceled automatically.

Department Options

For each department in your account, you can set if you would like to allow swap and/or replace requests. Some departments may want both, some only one type and others want it disabled altogether. This allows your different teams, to have better control over how they want to handle this feature.

Mobile App Updates

We are working hard to update our mobile app to include swap and replace. We are not satisfied with the rate of feature releases in the mobile app so we are currently spending time reworking the mobile app to make it much faster to develop. It’s slowed us down a little but it means we can add a bunch more features to the mobile app in a short period. We are almost there and we appreciate your patience!

BETA Period

Although it’s ready to go, we’ll run the BETA for 4 weeks to ensure we’ve ironed out all the little bugs. We’ve been testing thoroughly but there will most likely be certain configurations or scenarios that we’ve missed.

Please send through any glitches, bugs or annoyances through to our support team if you’re keen to get your hands dirty during the BETA period!

Other Updates

We’ve also been working on a few other improvements.

  • Added the ability for volunteers to submit repeating unavailability
  • Added an ‘Export Billing Contacts’ button in the invoices & tickets tab of events
  • Exported form submissions now display approval status, and if the submission is archived in separate columns
  • Added new date formatting options to settings. dd.mm.yyyy, dd-mm-yyyy and yyyy-mm-dd
  • Added the ability to choose to hide the tax or pledge overview when generating giving statements
  • Added new access permission options to split up the edit permission for events. Users can now have access to specific tabs only
  • Refreshed user interface for ‘Roster’, ‘My Profile’ & ‘Settings’ with clearer headings and page tabs
  • Improved on the layout of the service reporting mass add individuals window based on feedback after release
  • In song arrangements, ‘Default Arrangement has been renamed as ‘Standard Arrangement’ for all new arrangements created
  • Improved alphabetical sorting of names in the mass add individuals to services so A-Z and a-z are considered the same and sorted the same
  • Improved the JavaScript embed code for calendars and forms to comply with browser support in the future
  • Improved the activity tab in people’s profiles to load faster

Along with that plenty of bug fixes and improvements. Check out the releases page for the full list.

What’s Next?

We’ve been working on custom fields in groups (which we’ll be using for the group finder that’s coming), event registration improvements, check-in version 2, updated mobile app, API version 2 plus many more goodies! Watch this space!

Have a great week!

Ben

DYMO Label Printers and Chrome – Mac Update

In the final set of blog posts about this issue, we are happy to say that DYMO has released an updated version of the Dymo Label software for macOS, which will resolve the issues with Chrome. We have updated the links in our help site, and you can download the updated software directly using this link.

If you update your Macs to use the latest dymo software it should fix issues with Chrome, and from our testing works with Firefox and Safari as well. For the Windows update please see our previous blog post.

DYMO Label Printers and Chrome – Windows Updates

UPDATE: An updated version for Mac OS is now available. Please see this post for more information.

The latest version of Dymo’s Label software has been released for Windows, version 8.6.2. This release will fix the issues detailed in our previous blog post for Windows users.

We have updated the download link for Windows in our relevant help article. We are still waiting on a fix for Mac though. According to this blog post from DYMO this should be released over the next few days, and we’ll keep you updated when this has come.

What next?

Find out more about what we do!