23 June, 2014
The Capital Area Greenbelt Association (CAGA - www.caga.org) is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and preserving the 20 mile Greenbelt trail that circles Harrisburg, PA. The trail was initially created in the early 1900's, as part of the national City Beautiful movement. The trail was created as a pedestrian-use only, paved road linking several of the parks around Harrisburg and surrounding communities. Unfortunately, during the Depression the trail fell into disrepair and was not restored until the 1990's. At that time, a small group of conservation-minded individuals rediscovered the trail and banded together to clear many decades of debris and overgrowth, and begin the work of repaving, weeding, fencing, and many other maintenance tasks needed to keep the trail safe for walkers, bikers, and joggers.
 
Although CAGA receives funding from federal, state, and local grants and donations...
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27 May, 2014
 
It was back in 2009, my two sisters were starting a non-profit project related to their passion: Indian Classical Dance. The project was called Güngur and I decided to help them out. So, I googled “CRM + Open Source + Free + nonprofit” and CiviCRM came up.
 
At that time, our company (iXiam) was ending it’s 2nd year of life. We were doing heavy .NET / J2EE custom application development. 
 
I didn’t want to bother the developers with this personal project so I (not being a coder) decided to install it myself and see how far I could go. To my surprise, the installation went smoothly and we have being using CiviCRM since Güngur’s first day of life.
 
In the meantime we discovered Drupal and we decided to adopt it as the CMS of choice for our projects. We redesigned iXiam’s website, and...
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23 May, 2014

The Alliance for Catholic Education at University of Notre Dame is a nationwide program that forms teachers and school leaders and provides research and broad support for Catholic schools across the country.  ACE seeks to ensure that none of today’s social and economic hurdles will prevent any child from experiencing the gift of an excellent education.  ACE operates very much like a nonprofit in that it needs to steward its financial resources very carefully in order to maximize impact.

 

Why did you choose CiviCRM?

ACE has been using Joomla, an open source Content Management System for the last 5 years.  When the time came to select a Constituent Relationship Management (3 years ago), we gravitated to the open-source community due to our positive experience with Joomla and the relationship we had forged with that community. CiviCRM really stood out because it is an...

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23 May, 2014

I run an adult education program for my home town’s public school system called Livingston ACE. It’s small. I’m a one-man show. When I was hired for the job several years ago, I promised to transition the program from a paper catalog with no website to a web-based catalog with online registrations and email advertising. I chose CiviCRM. I had no prior experience with it. Nevertheless, within a month I had CiviCRM up and running on a server in my house. My classes were listed online and registrations happened electronically.

 

Three years later I am still very happy with CiviCRM. I continue to learn how to use it more effectively. There are no more paper catalogs. Teachers can come to me with an idea for a class. I can advertise it and make it happen in a month’s time. Prior to taking the job, catalogs were published twice a year. New teachers would have to wait up to six months for an...

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23 May, 2014

Student Voice is a UK based non-profit working to become the representative body for school students, supporting young people in representing their views on issues around education and schools.  We asked Rachel Roberts, Assistant Director, a few questions on how using CiviCRM had benefitted their organisation.

Why did you choose CiviCRM as your customer relationship management system, and how do you use it?

As it’s free for any secondary school students in England to become a member of Student Voice,  it was important that we had an easy way for young people to sign up and that this would link to a database which we could use to contact them.  

We use Civi to easily track our membership numbers along with their ages and geographical locations.  We also use it to be able to send direct emails to different groups of students.  Through Civi it is possible for adult...

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07 May, 2014

An interview with the National Hispanic Voter Educational Foundation

The National Hispanic Voter Educational Foundation (NHVEF) was created to encourage, inform and enable individuals in the Hispanic community to appreciate the importance of voting and to consistently exercise this privilege.  This non-partisan foundation is dedicated to helping individuals find their voice in order to make a positive impact on themselves, their family and the community.  NHVEF also manages a call center to reach out to the Hispanic community and engage them in this goal through a voter pledge.
Cividesk recently spoke with Nikki Swarn of the NHVEF about their experiences with CiviCRM.

What were you using before CiviCRM?
We were using a system called Jot Form, but it didn’t allow for searches or segmenting the data into groups. Jot Form was a good way to capture information on the backend and fairly easy to use, but...

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25 April, 2014
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for the deaf and hard of hearing in the US. NAD is not a high revenue organization, so they need to allocate their financial resources intelligently. CiviCRM has allowed NAD to utilize technology to improve their processes without incurring a high cost. As Andy Foster, Web Support for NAD, wrote: “if NAD was to use Constant Contact, we would be broke by now”.
 
The CiviCRM functionality mostly used by NAD are:
1. Event Management
2. Membership Management
3. Email Communication
 
Event Management: NAD uses CiviEvent to host conferences, workshops, trainings and their Biennial Conference.
 
The 2012 Biennial Conference was the first time that NAD used the full CiviEvent functionality. This feature improved the...
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25 April, 2014

I had fallen into technology almost by accident. As someone who enjoys delivering solutions I often find myself in conversations with people who are trying to build software infrastructures. It spawned a curiosity of technology puzzles. This brought me to Open Source software and I was soon building and configuring WordPress websites, and creating a workspace that allowed me to collaborate with the larger software communities. I have benefited from using open source software and I want to give back.

Dana Skallman

I had done some work with CiviCRM on Drupal sites, focusing solely on the CiviCRM pieces before it was available in WordPress. Now the bulk of the work I do is with WordPress + CiviCRM. As a collective...

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15 April, 2014

We still have to do a really good showcase, but I do quickly want to share some encouraging figures from the MAF Norge CiviCRM implementation with you:

  • in the old system we could process 100 contributions per day, with CiviCRM we can now do 200!
  • in the old system it took a couple of hours to send a batch of PDF letters to donors, it now takes me a couple of minutes

Nice eh? Totally out of context and probably not really fair comparisons....but I do like the numbers :-)

26 March, 2014

Please note that this blog first appeared in White Fuse's website and we've re-posted it here with their permission.  

CiviCRM is an open source Constituent Relationship Manager that has been designed with non-profits in mind.

An underutilised feature of CiviCRM is its newsletter functionality, which allows users to create, manage, and send mailings to mailing lists.

While there are already web-based email clients that allow you to do this, e.g. Mailchimp, the benefit of using CiviCRM is that all of the data is centralised, including your mailings.

This means that information such as who is responding to your email campaigns is collected in the same place as your other information about that person, and adding people to mailing lists can be...

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