Forms allow other people do the work for you – no need to add the information in yourself.
Why use a form?
Forms are great for collecting large amounts of information from people. For example, if you want to do an update of all of the contact information for everyone in your church. The great power of forms comes from their ability to automate tedious tasks like adding people to People Flows, or updating all of that information by hand.
What forms should I have?
The type, content, and number of forms varies greatly from church to church, but we find that many churches find these types of form the most useful.
Personal Details Update
A form that allows people to update their details whenever they change ensures your system (and therefore, your member directory) is always up-to-date. This form often uses the ‘enable multi-person submissions’ feature, to allow parents to change their children’s details at the same time as their own.
Request For More Information
A form that allows people to give their contact details, be added to Elvanto as a contact, and be placed into a ‘Follow Up’ People Flow.
For more on People Flows, skip to this section of the guide.
A form that allows people to register for an event (whether it’s free or not), and can add new people to your church’s Elvanto account as a contact.
Making your form your way
Editing the content
Once you’ve created a form, you have the ability to add any of your people fields, and custom fields to the form. And you can even edit how these fields present themselves in the form. For example, if you are asking people which service time they prefer, you can have the custom field ‘preferred service time’, but have this appear on the form under the question ‘Which service time suits you best?’
Changing the appearance
If your church has a particular color scheme, you can update your forms to fit this using the ‘custom style’ option under form colors. Also, you can change header of the form to match the rest of your church’s documents using the ‘custom header’ option.
Sharing a form
There are a few ways to share a form: through Elvanto, through email, or by embedding in your church’s website.
Often the most straight-forward way to get a form to all of your active users is to copy the link (you can find this by clicking on the ‘Embed’ button at the top right) and paste it into a post in your church’s Elvanto
We’ll cover Posts later, in this section.
For a form that you want to be super accessible (for example, an ‘Update Your Details’ form, you can even embed the form as a page in your member area navigation menu.
See how to link pages to the member area at this link.
See how to embed forms into pages at this link.
Through email and social media
For forms that you want anyone with anything to do with your church to see (like event registration forms), you can collect the url from the ‘Embed’ button at the top right, copying and pasting it into your email or social media post.
For more on sending emails from Elvanto visit this section.
Through your church’s website
Some forms (a ‘Request for Information’ form, for example) can be really handy to have embedded into your church website. Depending on what you use for your church website, you may need to use different methods of embedding, but you can find the relevant code to copy and paste under the ‘Embed’ button.
Check out this page for more on embedding forms into websites.
Updating information using a form
When you set up your form, you have a variety of options that dictate what things Elvanto will automatically do for you. Forms can automatically place people into People Flows, add them to Groups, or change their details. Forms can even make new People if they don’t already exist in the system.
The main consideration for you is whether Elvanto should go ahead and make the changes (potentially leaving some errors because people inputted their data incorrectly) or whether the changes need to be checked by a system Admin before they are enacted.
You’ll want to take into account (1) how important the information is – both in terms of sensitivity, and how frequently the information is used and (2) how many respondents you/your team of admins will have to check. Also note that the information your forms collect will update that field everywhere in your system: be it in the Member Area, Admin Area, or anywhere else.
Collecting information for ticketing and payments is another one of Forms’ many uses. Assigning a form as an ‘Event Registration’ form will allow you to decide what kind of tickets (and how many of them are available), what kind of discount (and to which tickets they apply) and what kind of payment methods are available.