The organizations we work with are experiencing the benefits of a robust tool that is
easy to use, supports their work, and allows them to collect and track data from various parts of their organization, such as membership, fundraising, communications, and organizing into a centralized database. CiviCRM as an open-source solution also allows us to nurture and build a user community to share and create a common vision of future features that would be useful to the community organizing field. Just two years after our pilot project, we're currently supporting 30 community organizing groups to use CiviCRM, and the community is steadily growing.
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.
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.
City Bible Forum is an Australian not-for-profit Christian organisation. We need to communicate effectively with our constituents, and CiviCRM gives us a comprehensive set of tools for managing relationships. Interestingly, we often find that new features are being added just as our need for those features is becoming apparent. It's the right fit for us.
AustLII is the leader in the free access to law movement and has a philospophical bias towards open source systems. After investigating all the other possible major alternatives it seemed logical to turn to CiviCRM. We have software developer resources, and though it is not core business, we may be able to direct some of these resources towards improving CiviCRM for the community.
CiviCRM is seamleassly integrated in Drupal, the world's leading social publishing system. This Open Source combination allows for the most flexible solutions while enjoying continously improved CRM-standards that shorten the time-to-market span of your individual demands.
The community around CiviCRM is international, multicultural, friendly, sometime opinionated but always respectful and welcoming new ideas. It is a real pleasure to interact with these people - but see for yourself: dive in and ask your first question on the forums!
We thoroughly appreciate CiviCRM as a software and this community, and when helping our customers implement and make the best of CiviCRM we are always looking for ways to contribute back.
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.