CiviCRM's volunteer feature received an overall grade of A in NTEN's 2011 Nonprofit Data Eco-System report.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
454 Shotwell St.94110 San Francisco, CA
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the leading organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. We defend free speech online, fight illegal surveillance, support freedom-enhancing technologies, promote the rights of digital innovators, and work to ensure that the rights and freedoms we enjoy are enhanced, rather than eroded, as our use of technology grows.
EFF is proud to join a growing cadre of activist organizations using CiviCRM and will continue contributing to its ongoing success. The best part about using an open source solution that we host ourselves is that we can modify and extend it to fit our needs. We have total control over the security of our data and our constituents' privacy. Instead of storing passwords in plaintext, we no longer store passwords at all and can safely force HTTPS on all parts of our membership center. Equally important, using CiviCRM dramatically reduces the cost of supporting a robust membership program, so more dollars can go directly to the programs that actually support your digital rights.
CiviCRM has also allowed us to stretch and pull our action center to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people. We find it incredibly easy to import a wide variety of data from petitions to stop bills to tell stories we can use for expanding excemptions to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The day we sent over 1 million emails to Congress as part of an Internet wide protest of the blacklist bill SOPA and PIPA, we balanced the traffic load across 10 rented servers and slowly imported participant information when possible.
EFF is fortunate to have technical expertise on staff, so we wanted a product that allowed us to push the limits of what was possible in terms of website design, new functionality, and tremendous spikes in traffic. Access to the CiviCRM code and close communication with the dedicated community has allowed us to far exceed our expectations.
Deciding how to structure our data. We are still in the process of deciding how to most effectively use fields like Contribution Type and Contribution Source to check data entry against accounting records and measure the effectiveness of fundraising campaigns.
We evaluated a number of alternatives before selecting CiviCRM, including Convio's Common Ground, Salesforce's Nonprofit Starter Pack, and Blackbaud's Razer's Edge. CiviCRM gave us the greatest control over donor data and allowed our improvements to benefit other nonprofits.
EFF's Web Developer, Micah Lee, and Tech Generalist, Leez Wright, spearheaded our implementation of CiviCRM. We are partnering with CiviSMTP for sending bulk emails and Salsa Labs for sending action alerts to government representatives.
Our installation of CiviCRM is heavily extended with custom Drupal modules that interface with CiviCRM. Some examples of the ways we've customized our CiviCRM include:
- Disabled the ability for EFF staff to accidentally track bulk mailings (we advocate disabling tracking whenever possible)
- Users can enter their email address on our site and get emailed a link to a profile to update their own data
- Custom templates so our contribution pages look great
- The ability to Tweet "Why I Donated" on the contribution thank you page
- After taking action in the EFF action center, users get redirected to a thank you page that's also a customized contribution page for that action
- Used code from civicrm_noconfirm to disable the confirmation page step when donating
- Made custom email tokens
- Internal bulk unsubscribe tool
- Added MX record email address validation to prevent spambots from cluttering our database
We have a large CiviCRM database (> 1,000,000 contacts) and sometimes our website gets massive amounts of traffic, so we've had to do some work to make it all run smoothly. The CiviCRM MySQL database is on it's own dedicated server that's separate from the MySQL server Drupal uses, and it has been tweaked for performance. We've worked closely with the core developers of CiviCRM to make things more efficient, like running reports on all our contacts and using autocomplete contact search boxes.
Our team has submitted several small patches to CiviCRM that everyone will benefit from. Additionally, we are funding some development of CiviCRM to add features that we specifically need. We've also hosted code sprints and meetups.