CiviCRM has one of the most active and friendliest communities I have come across. From initial tentative forum posts I was encouraged into engaging more actively through IRC and directly with other groups & individuals and am now happy to count many community members as friends. I recently found an article on the web that said if you post a question about CiviCRM anywhere on the web Lobo will post an answer within a few hours. It often feels like that is true.
One of the most valuable way in which the community supports me is by allowing me to bounce my ideas around and often someone is able to suggest an approach which is better than mine.
I've been working with CiviCRM since 2006 or thereabouts. The community is outstanding in providing support and sharing expertise, which combines with a strong product to enable me in turn to deliver better results for the organisations that I work with. I only hope that over time I will be able to repay the debt by supporting other newcomers to CiviCRM.
Incredibly powerful and easily customised.
Masses of support.
It just gets better and better.
I can help non-profits streamline their admin/data/reporting tasks and have more time for doing the good stuff.
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!
Submitted by ChrisChinchilla on June 15, 2013 - 05:45
This is a post to start a discussion, something of an expansion of Dave's blog (Let's Market CiviCRM better) and Jessica's blog (Expanding end users). I guess it's about starting to get some practical ideas around toolkits to help the community undertake the ideas mentioned in the above blogs.
Recently I was asked to compile a list of all CiviCRM releases since 3.1.0, identifying which were security releases so that we could make sure clients' sites were secure. The organization I work for (Freeform Solutions) is focused on doing sites for other non-profit organizations, many of whom are still running older versions of CiviCRM due to budgetary or other constraints, so we wanted to be sure that no one was running a version known to contain security vulnerabilities.
Imagine you're a non-profit employee or volunteer, responsible for managing donations. You get into the office, pick up the first coffee on the way to your desk, to find a HUGE bank statement for you to process today. Good news for your employer, not for you, because even at the rate of roughly two payments per minute, you'll be spending 19.5 hours processing them. Yay !
Wouldn't it be nice if CiviCRM would load the bank statement files and turn them into contributions, membership renewals, new contacts, people who have moved and so on ? Yes, of course.
If you are not fundraising in any of the Single European Payment Area countries, feel free to skip this blog -- unless you want to discover how the amazing CiviCRM community is building support for what is becoming Europe's most important recurring payment instrument.
Submitted by jessica.kirsner on May 22, 2013 - 11:28
A few weeks ago, I went to CiviCon. As a fairly new end-user, this was an incredible experience. Not only did I learn an insane amount of information and receive a wonderful training at the User and Admin training, but I got to interact with other people that use CiviCRM in the same way I do.
They are currently running a comparative review of CRM products http://www.g2crowd.com/categories/crm/compare in which they classify CiviCRM as a 'small business' CRM (but then Salesforce is also classified the same way, along with Workbooks.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM).