CiviCRM's email campaign features received a A for usability in NTEN's 2011 Nonprofit Data Eco-System report.
Association of Contingency Planners
Association of Contingency Planners
136 Everett Road12205 Albany, NY
The Association of Contingency Planners (ACP) is a national organization serving 2,300 members in 42 chapters. It is the premier organization addressing issues critical to business continuity professionals such as disaster recovery and emergency response. Founded in 1983, ACP offers a significant menu of educational, informational and meeting programs to advance best practices and is comprised of a community of industry experts, educators, practitioners, leaders, facilitators and advocates.
ACP’s website was seriously outdated and incapable of providing the functionality they required. The goal was to integrate their website, CRM database, document management, membership sign up and emailing. Furthermore their chapter sites needed to follow a similar style, and creation of a members only area was required.
The obstacles to meeting these objectives were unusual both I nature and in number.
- Some of ACP’s expectations lay clearly beyond the scope of capabilities within CiviCRM without significant custom programming.
- There was a major dues change in 2013 but ACP wanted to make sure that people renewing in 2012 didn’t get a discount by signing up before the end of the year. Also, memberships that expired in 2012 but were considered under a grace period, still were to receive the 2012 rate if they signed up after the beginning of the year. This would require a customization to switch the price set based on their status and the current date.
- ACP wanted to force users to use their email address as their user name so the user name field on all the forms had to be set up to autopopulate with the email address once it was entered.
- In addition to organizations, ACP also wanted to permit up to four designated individuals to be members as well. This would require the creation of a signup form to accept 4 individuals first names, last names, and email addresses as well as create an individual contact record and membership for them.
- ACP wanted different levels of access to reports for different levels of administrators. Chapter Board members were allowed certain access to reporting for their own chapter but not other chapters, while Corporate Board members had the ability to see reports that gave an overview at the national level.
- ACP’s relationship with its previous vendor, TEI, had degenerated to the point that they were turning off their servers at month’s end. In addition to the relational problems this created for team members, we needed to get the database dump from them which came in two segments. We needed to organize and scrub this data quite a bit and then verify it with the project lead at ACP. Subsequently we had to create usernames for everyone (which was the current email they had on file from the old database) then create new passwords for everyone.
- ACP’s expectations needed to be further adjusted inasmuch as the original timeline they presented was physically impossible to meet.
CiviCRM is the CRM of choice for the Association Development Group so that was the only choice for this project. For that reason, and because we knew going in that this was going to require a lot of customization, our approach was to get the website up and running and import all the contacts in to CiviCRM and work on the customizations as the project matured. This was a quite long and ongoing process with considerable amounts of development after the site had gone live.
- A customization was put in place to ensure that the chapter custom field was populated when a member signed up or renewed under a different chapter.
- To accommodate the dues change we created a customization that would switch the prices based on member status and the current date.
- The user name field on all the forms was set up to autopopulate with the email address once it was entered.
- We created a signup form that accepted 4 individuals first names, last names, and email addresses and created an individual contact record and membership for them.
- Access restrictions and allowances were installed to meet the different needs of Chapter Board members versus Corporate Board members.
- To support both individual and organizational memberships with separate pricing structures, we added support for organizations to add 4 more individual contacts that shared this membership (requiring only first name, last name, and email). This required creating a form for individual member signup and a separate form for organizations with the customization for extra contacts.
Most of the issues were solved through custom PHP coding either by overriding the core files or through the use of hooks. A few were addressed by working within the template files as well, using jQuery for autopopulation or adjusting fields after the page had been loaded.
Web and Database Developers Brad Bouchard and Jason Farrell, independent CiviCRM consultant Brian Shaughnessy and Mike Gifford.
Custom field added to Chapter membership function
Dues collection customized to accommodate status and date of member
autopopulation of user names with email addresses
Organization and individual sign-up function
Custom coding using PHP
iQuery for autopopulation
ACP chose to host the site on their own server for security reasons.