I'm quite impressed with the responsiveness of the CiviCRM community, both from the core developers and many experienced users who have quickly provided answers and ideas in areas where I just needed that extra insight, or where we needed to do something totally new. After several years working with open source software, I'm finding the CiviCRM community to be the most responsive and helpful I've seen.
We make CiviCRM one of our primary offerings because it just provides so much right out of the box that our clients need, without a line of custom code. And when we need to extend it for the clients' unique needs, the APIs and programming hooks let us add in features that would be impossible in some other systems. This means we can provide great value to our clients with quick turnaround times and reasonable budgets, which is great for our clients and for us.
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.
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.
I am trying to build a stronger End-user community withing CiviCRM to increase cooperation among non-profits using CiviCRM in similar ways. Going to CiviCRON and being a part of the community at the conference has made me want to make the End-user community more robust. I think the open-source and non-profit focused nature of CiviCRM lends itself to strong community building as is an aspect of CiviCRM that is exciting!
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!
In New York City we have been fortunate to have had in person user group meetings. It has been useful to CiviCRM see case studies presented by companies and individuals. To learn about how people use and customize CiviCRM for different types of organizations. It is also useful to meet in person other implementers, developers and users to work with on professional and volunteer projects. I think it is also important and fulfilling to try to share knowledge and resources with others to help sustain the community and project.
I have been involved in the CiviCRM community for over 5 years, and enjoy implementing and programming CiviCRM for a variety of non-profits. I have been amazed at the rapid pace of innovation delivered with each new release, and CiviCRM's flexibility in being able to accommodate a variety of requirements. I have learned a lot about CiviCRM by participating in CiviCon, online forums, and CiviCRM book sprint.
We recommend and use CiviCRM with most of our clients, and have since 2005. It's got a fantastic collection of functionality that fits the needs of non-profit organization communications, and the CiviCRM community of developers and users is growing, broad, vibrant and responsive.
The best part? When I describe to potential new converts how all of their constituent relations (donations, membership, mass emails, etc.) can be managed with a single integrated, configurable tool, I can hear an incredible yearning at the other end of the phone.
I have been part of CiviCRM project from the beginning and feels great to see how it has grown over the years.
I am glad to be associated with such a wonderful open source project and an awesome community around it.
From fundraising websites which really connect you with your donors to essential tools for care organisations to manage their data, Civi has allowed us to do some amazing things for our clients. It's such a flexible platform and has such a great community which we're proud to be a part of.
CiviCRM configuration is largely driven through the web interface and the database: if an administrator wants to add a new "report" or new "relationship type", he can accomplish this with a few clicks of the web interface. The new item is inserted into the database and immediately becomes live. This is great for web-based administration, but it's inconvenient for developers: if a developer writes a module or extension that registers something in the database, then he needs to write an installation routine to insert the item (and an uninstallation routine to delete the item). CiviCRM 4.2+ includes a better way: use the API and hook_civicrm_managed. This technique is already used in "civix" based extensions, but it also works with Drupal modules, Joomla plugins, etc.
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.
Submitted by Michael McAndrew on May 22, 2013 - 09:05
At CiviCon San Francisco, and at the sprints that followed, we spent a fair amount of time on the subject of ‘CiviCRM as a self-sufficient and financially sustainable ecosystem’. These discussions were wide ranging and super interesting (thanks to Peter Petrik from Skvare for his input and help facilitating). Following from these discussions, we have set ourselves two high level goals for the next 3 years:
I started out with CiviCRM as an end user who installed it for organization where I used to work. My colleagues and I were self-taught through trial and error, and after a little while, we understood the concepts and day-to-day contact management fairly well. However, we lacked the opportunity to fully explore functionality before diving in and using it.
A small but very enthusiastic group came. We decided to move the meetup to the second Wednesday of each month. The location may alternate between Clearwater and Plant City, FL. Each person described their use of CiviCRM and many questions were asked and answered. Don Latshaw, fresh from CiviCon in SF presented "What's new in 4.3". There was an equal mix of Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress users. The next meetup will be June 12th and we'll look at CiviCase in depth.
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).
Today we are releasing the 4th stable release of CiviCRM 4.3. If you are still running an older version of CiviCRM, now is a great time to download and experience the many improvements in CiviCRM 4.3. This release contains small but important stability fixes, and all site admins are encouraged to upgrade.