We've been talking for a while now about how we can improve the ways that we recognise the non financial contributions people make to CiviCRM. This topic came up a fair amount when we designed the partner program - lots of people said things along the lines of "we need to make sure the many non financial contributions people make aren't marginalised by the partner program" and while we agreed it was super important, we wanted to put it on hold until we got the partner program up and running. Well, the partner program is pretty bedded in now so thanks for your patience everyone - we're now ready to take some steps along this road.
The bottom line is that CiviCRM will thrive in direct proportion to the amount of contributions that people make, so we want to do all we can to encourage contributions. We think that properly recognising contributions plays a key role in encouraging more of them for a number of reasons, including 1) recognition is a great motivator for a lot of contributors, and 2) seeing how people are contributing to the project is a great way to signpost people who have not started contributing (or who want to increase the amount of contributions they make). Plus, of course, it is only fair and reasonable to recognise the hard work that people put into CiviCRM.
Before we start, a couple of things to bear in mind:
Here are our some initial thoughts we had on how we can improve stuff. The conversation started out focused on our active contributors page but widened out a bit as we talked it through. Since we are at an early stage in the process, it would be great to get constructive criticism, ideas and resources from you guys to help us along the way.
At the moment, we think that our active contributors page https://civicrm.org/providers/contributors is a bit lacking in a few ways:
So we brainstormed ways in which we could improve things. And although the conversation moved away from https://civicrm.org/providers/contributors specifically, we think that we'll be able to use the results of this to feed back into that page.
We came up with the following principles
With regard to the last point, we talked about different ways in which we could collect this information
We brainstormed a quick list of the kind of contributions that we want to recognise / encourage. This list is definitley not exhaustive, but just meant as a starting point to get people thinking.
We also talked about how to store this info. We thought that making notes on the wiki would be v. simple way to start (since it would be automatically public, etc.). But such unstructured recording does have it's down sides, and at the moment, we are thinking that 'activities in CiviCRM' is our preferred method, since it is eating our own dog food and it seems more extensible. We also realised that there is a fair amount of overlap with CiviVolunteer and we thought that installing CiviVolunteer and leveraging that to the maximum extent possible would be good practice.
As usual, we are thinking small steps and do thing iteratively. Some initial things to get in place include:
This approach means an incremental improvement on what we are doing at the moment since 1) we are recording more frequently 2) stuff will be made public automatically. It is also a solid base for us to improve on as we go. We thought we could experiment with this model for while, and review it once we've used it for a bit.
In terms of who will record tasks, we imagine starting with this as a core team task, but think that exploring ways to open it out as we go would be sensible.
There are a few of other recognition sites / schemes that I'm aware of that we might want to look at / get inspiration from as we move along with this.