Sometimes I get frustrated with CiviCRM. For all the great features there are problems / limitations that we seem to keep hitting. So, if lots of people want the same things added / fixed why aren’t they being fixed?
Quite simply – someone has to pay for a developer to spend time on it. Many organisations would benefit from, for example, being able to collect additional information about the ‘on-behalf-of’ organisation through the contribution form, or improvements to de-duping but no ONE organisation will benefit sufficiently to step up and foot the bill.
In a licensed software situation we would all be putting in an amount each month that would enable many people to fund the development of features that benefit many. However, in Open Source there is no ongoing income for development – much of it is the ‘scratch your itch’ variety which means that sometimes we get lucky and get great new functionality like CiviCase off the back of a large organisation’s sponsorship. Often, however, 10 organisations will spend $1000 each working around a problem that would cost $5000 to fix and build into the CiviCRM core for everyone to benefit from.
Put simply we need to find a way to enable and encourage smaller organisations to contribute financially towards developing CiviCRM in directions which are of benefit to them. In my perfect world we would have a system somewhat like User Voice in which the ‘votes’ are bought and can be manipulated fairly fluidly by the end user until a particular sponsorship target it met. But, we’re not there yet so I won’t wax on about how I imagine it working.
For now, I have managed to get the go-ahead from Lobo to trial a Civi-Make-it-Happen initiative based on existing CiviCRM functionality on the CiviCRM site. I have set up contribution pages for 5 of the ‘commonly requested items seeking sponsorship’ off the Roadmap for release 3.3. Code freeze is pretty soon so we only have until 21 Sep to try to raise the funds to get any of these things included. If they don’t make the cut you have the option (choose on the contribution page) of :
If none of the current initiatives are of interest to you please consider making a small donation anyway to encourage the Civi-Make-It-Happen project. Note that as punishment for suggesting it I have been put in charge of administering the Make-it-Happen initiative so contact me with any questions but obviously use the forums for general questions on it.
Allow the use of a profile for information about an organisation on contribution forms
This initiative will result in the contact tab displaying the smart groups a contact belongs to as well as their 'hard' groups on their contact tab. Some optimisation of smart groups will be carried out in order to implement this
Get CiviCampaign included in Core. You can get more information in the Support Canvassing and GOTV blog post
This will automatically link a contact's work address with their employer's address off the contact summary (and potentially extendable to the on-behalf-of form)
There are numerous suggestions that have been made to improve de-duping – we’re hoping to raise enough to at least start with the merging of CMS records. UPDATE: we have now raised this & are trying to raise funds for the exception table.
* Batch dedupe and merge (Jason's Blog Post) - 50 hour
* Rationalization and restructuring of the strict/fuzzy rules (Xavier's Blog Post) - 20 hours
* Allowing specific workflows to use a specific dedupe rule (Xavier's Blog Post) - 30 hours
* Adding an "exception table". Two contacts that are similar are not the same and the user can report that so that the dedupe rules dont include it in the merge candidate list. JIRA Issue - 20 hours
* Add PREV/NEXT links to merge screen - 20 hours
* Merging CMS User Records - 10 hours