Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 08:05
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We had another well-attended meetup last thursday, hosted by the folks at Rayogram, with about 20 people participating. Annalee Van Kleeck, Lyric Systems, who has an extensive background in various fundraising systems, presented a case study of her work using Drupal/CiviCRM for Hands On, focusing on online ticket and subscriptions sales, a calendar of cultural events, and a resources library. This project was her first civiCRM installation, and she noted several times at how impressed she was of what civiCRM and drupal can do in comparison to other fundraising software.

Annalee identified areas that she would like to see improvements and/or develop custom modules in CiviCRM that would allow her to:

  • [for price sets] apply appropriate service charges for people who pay for tickets or subscriptions by credit card and also exempt service charges for those who pay by check
  • [for price sets] define sub-categories for various fee levels and be able to tally the counts of tickets that an individual orders based the sub-categories and subscriptions, and
  • have access to tokens for other civi tables for use in CiviMail in addition to the tokens currently available for the contact table

Despite the improvements she'd like for her wish-list, Annalee raved about CiviCrm's other features and functions:

  • the error reports generated during imports are extremely helpful, and
  • the Administrator side of Civi is so much more user-friendly than other fundraising software

Annalee's presentation generated quite a number of questions, so we then split into 4 smaller groups - one on the Pledge functionality as described in Father Shawn's blog, another focused on payment processors, one on general development questions, and the usual newbie / intro to civiCRM group. The newbie group did a round-robin of questions around what civi can do, what do you need to consider regarding hosting, security, and other requirements to get civi up and running, and various discussions around the use of drupal vs. joomla, drupal hooks, and the BIG question: what does an organization need to do to plan for a move to civiCRM.

The room was a-buzz with discussions and networking. I'm always energized by the high-level of engagement from those who attend as well as seeing a core group of folks who have been attending each meeting. With that said and after discussions with Jane, Sacha, and Joseph at Rayogram, we decided to hold meetings every first Thursday of the month as long as there's interest.

So our next NYC CiviCRM meetup will be held on Thursday, Nov. 5th from 6-8pm at Rayogram. We also looking for folks who would like to volunteer to present a case study for the next sessions. There's already a request to see if someone would like to present a case study involving membership and CiviCRM.

If you'd like to present a case study at our next meetup, please email Alice at

Until next time!

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