Irene's blog for the Edinburgh CiviMeetup on 20 February

2019-03-05 10:15
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Attendees represented developers, new and potential CiviCRM users, a good mix of experience.  Topics covered included webforms, focussing on conditional fields.  We also looked at webform layout, which allows the placing of webform fields inside boxes.  The fields can then be arranged into rows and columns.


We then looked at the contact summary, showing how all contact involvement can be accessed from this one screen.  This led on to a discussion about how CiviCRM, as an Open Source system evolves and grows.


A short presentation on Mosaico followed.  A new template was created from one of the base templates, showing the drag and drop features.  A block was then modified, adding images and text.  The use of tokens to personalise the mailing was then covered.  The presentation then concluded with the new template being used for a mailing.


This was followed by a presentation on CiviCRM in WordPress context using the tabs on the Dashboard.


Marcus explained that CiviCRM revolves round Contact Records and that by using the ‘Search’ box, Contacts can be traced – by name, email, or by their current or previous relationships. The example given was current orpastemployees.


‘Contributions’ refers to all financial information which is to be recorded and saved.   The system can be configured to show payment methods e.g. by credit cards; and can generate and record sending receipts.  If required this can then build up complete financial records over time.


‘Events’ tab can display full Event details – date, place etc, full details of who has registered and their status – attendee, volunteer, speaker etc.  It can also be configured to send out event confirmation, updates etc. 


‘Activities’ tab shows all interactions and can be filtered to show specific activities as required.


‘Groups’ can be set up as required and relevant individuals added to specific groups to facilitate better targeted communications.   ‘Smart Groups’ can also be set up as the result of a ‘Search' depending on criteria. These groups are dynamic and can change over time, for example those set up based on age, or location.


‘Notes’ field can be useful to record information when no obvious tag exists.


‘Change Log’ provides a record of when things were updated and by whom.


‘Event Reports’ menu has commonly required reports built in, for example an Attendees registered list. However specific customised reports can be generated using the filters available.


There were questions regarding how the system might work with Sage.  Marcus advised that through the ‘Administer’ menu ‘CiviContribute’ used industry standard Financial Codes and that the practice of exporting Financial Batches to Sage was built in.


Marcus answered questions regards data manipulation and volumes advising that CiviCRM can manage hundreds of thousands of contact data as evidenced by its being used to record membership of the Green Party in England.


Graham and Marcus thanked everyone for their attendance and input and to Macmillan cancer Support for hosting. The next Meetup is scheduled for 22ndMay at 3.30 once again kindly hosted by MacMillan Cancer Support.






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