It’s been on my tasklist to write about the CiviCRM community. Like most people it seems, my task list is longer than I care to admit, so I’ve put this off for some time. I had a moment of inspiration the other day when I was jogging about trying to visually represent some of the key elements of our community, however this was problematic for two reasons. First, our community is complex, offering different ways for people to participate around a common vision, often with little structure to support them.
The Core Team has spent the past six months assessing its capacity, managing a cultural transition, and overseeing the CiviCRM project in a post-founder environment that requires a different approach to economic sustainability. The challenges and opportunities presented by this transition can’t be overstated. We’re confident that, with strong community support, we can evolve CiviCRM into a model open source project.
CiviCRM sprints are a tremendous opportunity to get involved with the community while supporting the project. But, they can be a bit off-putting for non-developers because there is often a perception that they’re geared towards writing code. There are always opportunities for non-developers to get involved with CiviCRM, and this year’s post-CiviCon Colorado sprint is no different.
CiviCRM continues to make incremental improvements across various aspects of the project in order to both foster growth and stability in the product, as well as deepen community engagement and progress towards financial sustainability. With respect to events, we rolled out some basic guidelines intended to help standardize CiviCRM events. We’ve tried to keep these flexible while at the same time consistent with the Core Team’s overall objectives of ecosystem growth and financial stability.
Compared to other open source projects like Drupal, WordPress and Joomla, CiviCRM is quite small and unassuming. It’s powered by a dedicated community that serves an important need; providing world-class software for nonprofits, non-governmental organizations and for civic sector organizations. Though CiviCRM is used around the world, the Core Team would like to see the total number of active sites grow substantially, thereby improving our capacity to grow not only the project’s base of contributors and supporters, but to increase the overall impact that the software can have.
CiviCRM packs a ton of features for nonprofit organizations, ranging from contribution and donor management, to event management and mass email capabilities. If you use CiviCRM, then you already know that it’s a competitive piece of software for nonprofits. And yet, as a CRM, it’s not widely known. In fact, it wasn’t even listed in Idealware’s recent review of plugins for nonprofits using WordPress.
As a project and as software for nonprofits, CiviCRM benefits from events in that they not only raise funds for the Core Team, they raise awareness about this incredible open source CRM and they foster the community participation needed to drive it. We’re excited to see that the first two CiviCon’s in 2016 are coming online, both slated for May/June time frame, though on opposite sides of the world; Ft. Collins, Colorado in the United States and Woerden, Netherlands.
Back in May of 2013, Dave Greenberg made a push to improve the marketing of CiviCRM, resulting in a team of partners and contributors working together to help raise awareness and promote the software. Fast forward to 2016 and we’re continuing to market CiviCRM, building upon their initial efforts. Today, we’re taking another step.
It’s amazing that we’re talking about CiviCRM in 2016. First, because it’s 2016… how time flies! And second, because we’re still pushing CiviCRM forward after 11 years! This year does mark a big change for CiviCRM, however. As Dave Greenberg indicated several weeks ago, he and Donald Lobo, the co-founders of CiviCRM, have transitioned to advisers of the project and are no longer active Core Team members.