Importing People into Elvanto

Congratulations, you’re about to import people into Elvanto! We’ll give you some pointers below.


In This Article

  • Sample import files

  • Things to consider

  • Retain Individual ID

  • Custom Fields

  • Family & Relationships

  • Marital Status

  • Volunteers, Contacts, Archived, Deceased

  • Departments, Demographics, Locations, etc

  • Date Fields

  • Performing your import

Download sample import file (CSV)

To view an example of how your information should be formatted, download the file below. There’s sample data for people, custom fields, demographics, departments and locations.



Alternatively, if you’re just wanting a template with the built-in fields that can be imported the following file will be useful.



Things to consider

There are a few areas to consider before importing people into Elvanto:


Retain Individual ID

Most databases will generate an individual ID number upon export. Retaining this ID can be useful during the importing process, particularly if you have to do multiple imports. It can can help match new data to the correct person in the system in cases where you have hyphenated names or people with the same first and last name.


If you’re wanting to work with an old database ID, create a custom field for the script to match upon import.This can be deleted when you’re done!


HINT: the inbuilt ‘Member ID’ field within the import script is the Elvanto Member ID. Don’t mistake this for the custom ID field when matching upon import!


Custom Fields

When setting up your People Categories, you would’ve had the option to create custom fields in the system. Upon import, you can choose what columns relate to the particular custom fields. If you are importing into a custom field that has multiple options (e.g. a dropdown custom field or a custom field with checkboxes), then make sure you enter the name of the values exactly as they are displayed in the system. Add multiple values by separating them with commas.


Family & Relationships

It’s possible to link family members together through family identifiers upon import, too. This identifier could be a single digit or a string of characters – the important part is that they match all other members of the family.


For example, all the people in the list below with the number 1 in the ‘family identifier’ column will be linked as a family in Elvanto and so on.


If the ‘family identifier’ column is left blank, the person will not be grouped into a family.


To set family relationships in the system through import, match individuals with their family relationship. This could be either Primary, Spouse, Child, Sibling, Grandfather, Grandmother, Partner or Other.


HINT: Other databases may have recorded family relationships differently with words such as ‘husband’ or ‘wife’. Make sure you convert these to ‘Primary Contact’ and ‘Spouse’ before importing to ensure the information is preserved!


Marital Status

Marital Status can be recorded against a person in the system. Within your import file, utilize the following values: Single, Engaged, Married, Partner, Widowed, Divorced and Separated.


It’s important to note that other databases may record these titles differently, so once again be sure to check they’re spelt and defined correctly!


Volunteers, Contacts, Archived, Deceased

If your previous database exports a column showing if someone is either archived or a contact (ie some use a 1 in the column), use the ‘Find and Replace’ tool to put a Yes in the column for those you wish to import accordingly.


Default values accepted: Yes, No (leave blank if not applicable)


Departments, Demographics, Locations, etc

When importing any of the following, you have an option to import by name or by individual columns:


  • Locations

  • Departments

  • Demographics

  • Access Permissions

  • Groups

  • Service Types

Option 1: Enter the names

The first option allows you to place the names into one column. If a person has more than one value, separate them by commas.


There will be cases where you have two department positions with the same name. For example, a Car Park department might have a position called ‘Leader’ and so does the Kids department. To ensure volunteer positions are marked accordingly, in these situations mark the department as well as the position name. E.g. Kids Leader, Car Park Leader


Below is an example of how you would format your upload file to support Departments and Locations:


Option 2: Individual columns

Alternatively, you can choose to import this information from individual columns. This can be done by putting one character (e.g: the letter y) within the areas (e.g: Departments, Demographics, Locations) that the person is assigned to.


Below is an example of how you would format your upload file to support Departments with individual columns:


From the above example, it can be seen that John will be assigned to the Hosting and Worship Departments. Jimmy the Hosting Department and Joseph the Kids Department.


Date Fields

It is important to remember that date fields in People Imports need to be one of the following date formats:


  • dd/mm/yyyy

  • mm/dd/yyyy

Other date formats, or formats that include a timestamp are not accepted:


For example:


  • dd-mm-yyyy

  • yyyy-mm-dd


  • dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm AM/PM

Performing your import

To perform your import, log in to your Elvanto account and navigate to the Admin Area. Click on People Import, and when the page has loaded, select your import file to upload. From here, select that you would like to import ‘People’ and then choose your date format. Once done, click ‘Continue’.


Your import file will then upload to our server. Depending on the size of your import file and the speed of your internet connection, this may take some time. A page will then load and ask for you to match each column to a field in Elvanto. Each column gives you an overwrite option, which only applies if you are updating people that already exist in the database. Those options are:


  • Do not overwrite column for existing people

  • Only overwrite this column for existing people if the field is empty

Once all columns have been matched to their Elvanto counterpart, scroll to the bottom to configure how the script is to handle new and duplicate people.


Double check that your columns match correctly. From here, you’re good to go! Click the ‘Import’ button. This may take some time, once again depending on file size and how many records you are importing.


Once your import is complete, you should receive a notification and a record of how many records were updated.


Please note, if your Member Directory settings are set to automatically add people and require confirmation before being added, you will be asked if you want new people in the import to receive these emails or to be automatically added to the directory. We recommend turning this off when importing.


Need us to review your import file?


Our customer service team can review your import file prior to you performing the import. Feel free to contact us at any time at the chat bubble below.

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