It is super important for non-profits, advocacy and related groups to take charge of their destiny. Having control of your data is a good start. The crowd-sourced nature of an open source project in so in line with the co-operation and principles of most non-profits
CiviCRM is a project that strives to make the above possible. It is FREE as in kittens.
If it weren't for CiviCRM we'd be using at least 5 different
systems for Woolman: one for donor management, another for email newsletters, a third for our school enrollment, a fourth for our summer camp registration, and then a whole bunch of spreadsheets for keeping track of things like event attendance, prospective students, CSA memberships, etc. And of course none of those systems would talk to each other or make it possible to get a whole picture of the many ways one person might participate in our education center's activities. Migrating all of our scattered data and disparate systems to CiviCRM was a long and challenging process, but the results have been more than worth it. Our ability to track and report on our programs has improved dramatically, while the burden on staff to do data entry has been greatly reduced, and our participants are happy that they can now register/enroll online rather than mailing or faxing paper forms.
We help many not for profits implement CiviCRM through consultancy, training, configuration and custom development. Many of them come from a painful world of old Access databases, multiple spreadsheets and even paper. It's really satisfying to
help people move on with a system that's so much in tune with their own ethics of sharing and collaboration. We also 'eat our own dog food' and use Civi in-house for our client records because we love the flexibility and control it gives us.
For us it's important to share code and advice with other members of the community when we can because we know we get it back in help at other times. The community really is awesome and one of the friendliest and undaunting I've come across. We appreciate the huge value of the software to us and our clients so we try to contribute back and make it even better.
We help many not for profits implement CiviCRM through consultancy, training, configuration, support and custom development. Many of them come from a painful world of old Access databases, multiple spreadsheets and even paper. I love presenting demonstrations to new potential users; many are shocked by the scale of the software. CiviCRM is suitable for so many different organisations as it's been developed to cover so many bases off the back of community calls.
I maintain our own CiviCRM client database; it feeds into our drupal intranet to provide me with all the information I need at a click. I would be lost without it!
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.
Its great to work on a project that has a profound impact on non profits. I am very excited about the work we do on CiviCRM which involves building on each other's ideas to create best of breed solutions for non profits. The fact that CiviCRM is an open source project with an amazing community and dedicated developers is an icing on the cake.
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 learned so much from community resources - meetups, forum, blog... as well as the wealth of knowledge and experience CiviCRM developers and users have about the system, and the fact that so many are willing to give their time freely.
Do you use Drupal/CiviCRM or Joomla/CiviCRM to manage your donors? Do you think CiviCRM is a good fit for your donor management software needs? Show your appreciation for CiviCRM/Drupal/Joomla and open source software by taking part in the NTEN Donor Management Survey. We got a pretty good grade in the NTEN CRM Survey (read more about it at: CiviCRM comes out on top in NTEN Survey). The current version, v2.0 and the upcoming version v2.1 are significantly better than the version when the previous survey was done (v1.7)
PLEASE NOTE: NTEN does not consider CiviCRM donor management software (?!) so you will need to "write in" CiviCRM. Will be cool to come out with high grades as the write-in candidate :)
The below is the email NTEN sent out earlier today:
We are excited to announce that the initial Alpha release of 2.1 is now available for download, AND to try out on our sandbox site. We're really excited about all the cool new features and improvements. Check out Dave's last blog for some highlights... or the 2.1 Roadmap for a more complete listing.
We strongly encourage folks to download and test the alpha release and help improve the final product. Upgrading to 2.1 requires a simultaneous upgrade of Drupal to 6.3, and we need test-drivers who can help us iron out any bleeps or burps that we haven't discovered in our own testing. You can contribute significantly to the project by testing the upgrade process against a copy of your 2.0 data, as well as running your regular tasks on an upgraded site.
This camp is now confirmed. The dates are Oct 13th / 14th. Follow up blog post here
Following the lead from our friends at Ubercart with Ubercamp, we figured having CiviCamp might not be a bad idea. We suspect that doing it around BADCamp will give folks the opportunity who are traveling to combine two unconferences in one visit.
BADCamp is schedule for Oct 11/12, CiviCamp will be held on Oct 13/14.
Submitted by Dave Greenberg on July 21, 2008 - 12:46
The 2.1 release hits code freeze this week - and we're really excited about all the cool new features and improvements. For folks who haven't been following progress on the release with "baited breath" - some highlights:
Joomla 1.5 and Drupal 6 compatibility
Contribution Pledges (back-office and self-service)
Multi-language / single site support (with thanks to Google Summer of Code and the Joomla team)
If you’re running a site using Joomla you’re no doubt aware that some things which appear to be straight forward with a Drupal base aren’t so easy. Both Joomla and Drupal have their strengths and weaknesses, I just happen to be a long way down the Joomla path.
A big issue for me was how do I restrict access to my site depending on memberships to a real world (non internet) organisation. All my members have an entry in the CiviCRM database but many will not have a CMS login. Out of the box there was no real way of achieving this without getting into LDAP territory.
We've had the ability to add one/more CiviCRM Profiles to the drupal registration page since the first release (thanx to the flexibility of Drupal hooks). This was not possible in Joomla 1.0.x and we hoped the 1.5.x series might help solve this issue and be more open. While Joomla 1.5 is a major step forward in multiple aspects, it did not address this issue. So to some extent we were stuck. I was hoping for someone in the community to step up and do the needful. But that did not seem to be happening either :(
After yet another forum post on this topic, i decided to take a look at the code and figure out what needs to be done. We had abstracted most of the pieces from drupal already, so we just need to make a few function calls at the right places. I started looking for an example component that does something similar, that I could base my work on. Had heard good things about Community Builder, so that was my first choice. The CB 1.1 release does not support Joomla 1.5 and you need to become a "paid subscriber" to get the 1.2 RC. I'm not really a big fan of the pay money to get the latest version of the software, so I moved on from CB and started looking at other possibilities. Found a couple of others, but realized that all these components are commercial and require registration / payment to download it etc. Definitely a very different ecosystem than drupal.
Based on the success of the previous trainings/boot camps, we’d like to schedule our first training on the US East Coast: July 23rd-24th in Philadelphia. We’d like to host people from three / four different organizations (around twelve participants) and conduct the sessions as a mix of advanced user training, developer training, design and coding, based on the interests of the attendees. We've built quite a few features and improved integration with Drupal / Joomla in prior trainings.
This would be a paid event – $1,000/person for the two days (none of us being from the East Coast, we need to cover our expenses). Please let us know (by mailing dave at civicrm dot org) if you are interested; we’d like to make the training definite in the coming week or two. We currently have a total of 4 paying folks signed up, so we need a couple more orgs to sign up if the training is to happen.
Thanks to the wonderful people from Joomla! who took us under their Google Summer of Code umbrella and personal commitment from Wes Morgan, of Environment America (who will be mentoring on CiviCRM’s behalf), we’re very, very happy to announce that we have two student projects funded by Google this year!
Drupal 6 introduced a new menu system. CiviCRM had modeled its menu system after drupal 4.x which meant we needed to upgrade the menu code significantly to upgrade CiviCRM to Drupal 6. We took the opportunity to learn and understand more from drupal's new system and also simplify the interface between CiviCRM and Drupal with regard to the menu hook.
The CiviCRM menu system has been based on the Drupal menu system, so all credit for the below goes to chx and the Drupal folks (all blame should be assigned to us). We have simplified and extended it a bit to meet our needs. Similar to Drupal menu system, the CiviCRM menu data now resides in the database. civicrm_menu stores all the information for a menu item.
If you are new to CiviCRM or have just gotten started with CiviCRM, this webinar is for you. Goto the NTEN website and sign up now :). NTEN has graciously offered CiviCRM users the webinar at the NTEN member rate. All you need to do is select CiviCRM User in the Where Did You Hear Field and you will receive the $25 member fee.
Here's our first draft at an agenda for the webinar: