Review | Elvanto
So you’ve decided it’s time for new church management software. There are many options out there but I’ve found Elvanto to be an excellent solution (and it’s Australian made and supported!).
Elvanto is a web based church management tool that holds your congregation information, allows rostering, manages events, finances, communication, and provides a song database. As it is fully customisable, it is useful for churches of all sizes, and pricing depends on the number of active adults within your church (making it suitable to various budgets).
What it does well
Elvanto provides so many functions that your church needs. Some of the aspects I’ve found useful are:
- A very detailed Member area where you can set up Member’s information and contact details, assign demographics, serving areas, and record attendance. You can create a Member Directory which allows your congregation to contact each other (or opt out if they’d prefer). There is also a check-in process for managing children's church and attendance in church, small groups and events.
- Having one central place to update information means everyone has the right information (easier and more secure than spreadsheets).
- The calendar function is excellent for managing church resources and also staff calendars.
- A comprehensive rostering system allows you to set up teams, roster months at a time, and even auto rostering once your teams are set up. Members can add their (un)availability and request the frequency they serve so all you have to do is click 'Auto-schedule' and it will populate the roster for you. It also allows people to swap within the tool so you don’t have to constantly manage special requests or gaps.
- Communication tools to email or message your church. These can also be scheduled so if you want to send a regular email (for example, a daily bible reading plan or serving reminders), you can write the message and schedule when it will be sent.
- Integration with all sorts of systems including Mailchimp, Churchbot, SongSelect, giving providers, and payment systems like Paypal. You can set up event ticket sales and the tool can assign people to a group once they’ve registered so you can also track numbers.
- The reporting aspect is excellent and you can create reports for demographics, attendance, serving, and many other aspects of your church.
- Elvanto has an app which allows you to see your schedule, check and enter your unavailability, and view the Member Directory and Songs directory.
- The support desk is excellent. They are on hand to answer any questions and are very efficient and helpful.
Areas of improvement
There are a few frustrating aspects of Elvanto that I’m hoping make it onto their change log.
Currently the mobile phone app is very limited in what functions it provides and you have to click on View on web to access more areas of the tool. The event management part of the tool is also restrictive and needs more individualising to cater for multiple events. t's workable, but a few changes would make it all the more useful.
How to get it working well for you
Elvanto has a fantastic onboarding team that can help you set up (or transition from your existing database).
would recommend you have a clear idea of what you want Elvanto to do for you and how you want to set up your serving areas and teams. Encourage your super-admin (the terminology used in Elvanto for a super user access) to become very familiar with the online help guides as they take you through each process very clearly. Initial setup and customisation will take time but I recommend putting in the effort for a great return!
If you'd like to take a look for yourself, head straight to Elvanto.