Building Departments and Assigning Volunteers in Elvanto

Departments help you to manage your volunteers. This page offers some tips and things to consider when building your departments.

Elvanto separates your volunteers into sub-departments and departments to make rostering your volunteers easier. Depending on what positions an individual is assigned to, they will automatically be suggested for those positions.


Departments are the broadest way to divide your church’s volunteers. This is a great way to separate the volunteers who help out during the main service from those who volunteer for children’s ministries, or those who greet people at the door.

When deciding how many departments, or what departments your church has, consider the structure of your church. If your church has a creative ministries head and a children’s ministries head, then the volunteers from these areas are probably best separated into two different departments. Departments should be used almost every Sunday.

Most churches will have:

  • Creative Ministries Department: Includes musicians and the production team.
  • Children’s Ministries Department: Includes children’s ministry volunteers.
  • Hospitality or Hosting Department: Includes greeters, ushers, or even people to serve morning tea.


Sub-departments are for dividing departments into smaller groups that serve together. Your Creative Ministries Department, for example, might include sub-departments for singers, instrumentalists, sound, and drama.

You don’t have to use every sub-department every week. For example, the communion sub-department (within the Hospitality Department) might be used only occasionally.


Positions are the roles that your volunteers need to fill within the service. Your singers sub-department, for example, might have a Worship Leader and a Back-up Singer position. You might split your singers more specifically, to avoid harmonies clashing, into Worship Leader, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass positions.

When setting your positions, consider whether you expect your volunteers to perform different tasks based on their position. For example, if one guitarist plays a lead role and another plays rhythm guitar, create two different positions.

If you expect volunteers to perform similar tasks (like ushers or communion preparers), create one position and set the position in the Service Type to allow multiple volunteers. This is also useful for less common instruments; trombone or saxophone players, for example, could be included in a single 'Brass' position.

For more about how to build or edit your departments, visit this page.

Assigning Volunteers

To fill Positions, assign your volunteers to department positions and ensure they are marked as volunteers in the system. This will provide a list of volunteers to choose from when filling a Position.

To read more about how to assign volunteers, visit this page.


Self-assign allows people to volunteer for positions from home. Before turning on Self-assign, consider whether you need to verify the competency of those volunteering. For example, people need no special skills to collect the offering, but they need substantial training to be a worship leader. Leave Self-assign on for Offering Collectors, but turn it off for Worship Leaders. For positions like musicians, consider how likely someone is to volunteer if they doubt their skills.

Self-assign is on by default, but you can turn it off for Departments, Sub-departments, or individual positions.

To see how to do this, visit this page.