Over the past 15 years I've been involved in several open source communities.
CiviCRM is without any doubt the one that has the strongest focus in welcoming "newbies" and letting everyone feel at home here. Another impressive feature is the focus on shipping. No matter what you think of CiviCRM today, you are almost sure that there will be a newer and better version in a few months.
The CiviCRM community has been a tremendous resource for new ideas and helping us solve problems. We are excited to contribute customizations EFF makes back to core and support new features such as batch entry for offline donations or multiple payment processors on one donation form.
CiviCRM provides a vital tool whereby nonprofits and other social projects can implement strong contact-relationship management capabilities without high monthly fees. It also provides the integration and customization capabilities necessary to make such software useful in the complex, lived reality of doing social engagement work. Plus it continues to build the open source toolset made available to the Commons and grow the common good.
CiviCRM allows us to bring all benefits and capabilities of a large commercial CRM and
donor management system to medium and large non-profits at a fraction of the cost. CiviCRM also allows smaller non-profits to benefit from an integrated solution for donor management, events, bulk email, etc. substantially increasing their effectiveness as compared to managing a variety of nonintegrated software and spreadsheets. Thanks to a strong CiviCRM community, CiviCRM’s functionality continues to advance and CiviCRM’s market continues to grow rapidly.
Freeform Solutions uses CiviCRM to help the non-profit organizations we develop sites for to manage information about their members, volunteers, activists, donors, employees and other contacts, and to handle donations, correspondence, mailings and more. We support the CiviCRM community by contributing documentation, patches, modules and code, and are a silver sponsor of CiviCon 2013.
Being part of the CiviCRM community is really something to shout about! Not only is CiviCRM an amazing software package, its designed for organisations that make a difference in the world. We help non-profits across the UK gain control of their data through the power of CiviCRM.
It is without a doubt the best piece of software I've ever worked with, and I'm constantly discovering cool new features. More recently I've been working on CiviMobile as part of a project for my course at University. I'm really looking forward to seeing this being used by organisations across the globe.
We feel there are too many obstacles facing not-for-profits (NFPs) considering commercial CRM offerings, including many of those that are charity oriented. From licensing models which restrict the fluid expansion of an organisation's user base (why should you be punished with higher costs for being successful?), to support from commercial companies being inherently tied to one supplier; a NFP would benefit from the option to 'shop around' for those most appropriate, e.g. based on: proximity and availability on-site, cost, experience, value added services... They also often lack the capacity for charity relevant workflows, necessitating either customisations, complicated and inefficient workarounds or an en-masse call for new functionality, as individual charities do not appear to carry the weight required to influence subtle NFP-only changes to market leading software, without large expense.
On the flip side, CiviCRM is completely free and open-source, carrying with it a friendly, hard-working and enthusiastic community of developers and implementers, constantly listening to the users' needs and sculpting future releases to the requirements of NFP organisations. This is exciting!
I'm working to support end users of CiviCRM and as part of team implementing and developing CiviCRM databases and related sites. I'm looking to gain a deeper understanding of how CiviCRM works and to learn from other people's experiences.
CiviCRM is probably the best CRM system I have seen on the market for non profits.
It has all the features our clients need - most of them straight out of the box. There is also a wealth of knowledge on the community forums and many plugins created by the Drupal community.
We would recommend CiviCRM as our first choice to our clients in the non profit sector who are looking for a CRM solution.
Eli Beckerman is the second winner of a copy of Using CiviCRM from Packt Publishing. Eli is excited about the potential of CiviCRM to organize bottom-up transformations to deal collaboratively with the many crises facing the world today.
Packt has also selected a runner-up in its contest: an experienced CiviCRM user from the City Bible Forum, ken, will get a downloadable eBook copy of the book.
Here's some background on Using CiviCRM from Packt's site:
The following notes were gathered from the CiviCon session on what the community would like to see in CiviCRM 4.0:
* No new features
* Framework switch
* Not as major a rewrite as it looks
* Don't want to change many of the private APIs
* Want to switch away from pear
* Test unit coverage
* Better API hooks
* What users would like to see
* Continuous Integration
* Hudson - as you submit code runs through suite of unit tests to see what's broken
* Better decoupling
* Drupal Forms API
Submitted by Dave Greenberg on November 11, 2009 - 15:22
The team is excited to announce that the first ALPHA release of version 3.1 is now available for download. You can also try it out on our sandbox site. Please remember this is an ALPHA release and it should NOT be used on production sites.
This release includes several major new features:
Contact Subtypes - Extend (and / or rename) the built-in contact types and create custom fields specific to a subtype (e.g. Staff vs. Volunteer custom fields). Thanks to the folks at Alpha International for sponsoring this much-requested feature (learn more...).
HTML Emails for Receipts, Event Confirmations and more - Templates for all system-generated emails are now stored in the database and editable by administrators. You can easily add styles, logos and more to your emails.
HTML layout overhaul for online contribution pages - Phase 1 in efforts to make front-end CiviCRM pages much easier to style / modify via CSS (learn more...). Thanks to Kyle Jaster and the folks at rayogram.com..
Usability improvements - Streamlined DATE input and list sorting widgets. Prevent users from losing work by alerting them if they try to navigate away from a form with unsaved changes.
Support for price sets in Contribution - Allows the admin the flexibility to incorporate the more complex contribution options (e.g. "Contribute $25 more to receive our monthly magazine.").
Submitted by Dave Greenberg on April 9, 2009 - 19:09
Penguin Day is coming to San Francisco on Saturday, April 25, 2009, right before the NTC. The agenda includes several CiviCRM-related sessions - both for folks just checking out CiviCRM, and for experienced users / developers. Several members of the CiviCRM core team and our new Community Advisory Group will be in attendance as well as - so it's a great way to make "civi-connections".
Most of you are probably aware that CiviCRM is developed and maintained by a team of dedicated developers spread around the world (India, Poland, USA and New Zealand). We have had regular team meeting over IM / Skype the past couple of years on a weekly basis. We figured it might make sense to try holding the meeting in a public forum so more community folks can participate in the development and running of CiviCRM. We plan on evaluating this after a few meetings to see if it's useful to the community and the team.
Our current meeting time is 5 am UTC on Wednesday May 21st, which means 5 pm in NZ, 10:30 am in India, 7 am in Poland and
10 pm (Tuesday) in San Francisco. We will meet in the #civicrm channel on IRC (irc.freenode.net). We try to keep the meeting time to 60 minutes or less. You can find more information on IRC here.
The agenda of the meeting is:
Status and team reports. Progress on issue queue, any issues to highlight/defer etc
Testing status from various groups (http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRM/Test+Coverage+-+2.1)
Other items (Schedules, dates, consulting projects)
Submitted by Dave Greenberg on May 12, 2008 - 11:27
I'm on my way back to San Francisco after an incredibly stimulating three weeks of collaborating (and co-habitating) with fellow "Civi's". There were lots of very long days (12 - 15 hours) of brainstorming , designing, hammering out code... intermingled with cooking and eating some lovely meals together, a few cool adventures in the natural beauty of New Zealand, and some excellent meetups with members of the community "down-under".
This was our fourth "international" team gathering. In planning for it we tried to build on the things that worked best in our prior meetups - and learn from things that didn't work as well. We decided to focus tightly on a few key goals / projects - and worked hard at staying on task. (This meant resisting the gravitational pulls of email, forums, team members not with us etc.) We set a schedule for moving through our projects and decided up front that it was ok to move on to the next task without completing 100% of the current one.