17 November, 2011
By laryn

In doing some research for a potential project, I was exploring what kinds of eAdvocacy options were available to plug in to CiviCRM. Many of the big commercial eAdvocacy tools have big commercial price tags to go with them (and don't integrate directly with CiviCRM besides).

In an older thread on CiviCRM, mbriney describes the problem:

"The problem is not in building a solution... it's maintaining it. Most of the congressional offices utilize a web form as the only method of sending email. These forms often change, are replaced with new code, new systems, the member redesigns their site, someone new comes in, there are many reasons why this changes. What the big advocacy firms do is monitor these sites for those changes and...

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14 November, 2011
By sfyn
We've been offering CiviCRM consulting and hosting on a per-client basis for some time now, and as we have grown, we have started to feel the need for greater automation and consistency in our hosting offerings and contracts. Koumbit is currently in the midst of developing a comprehensive hosted CiviCRM offering, with the support of a few courageous clients. On the technical side our solution is intimately linked to the Drupal frontend and the Aegir hosting system. The aegir hosting system is primarily designed to host multi-site drupals. Once configured on a server, aegir handles many aspects of site deployment, from database creation to virtual host configuration. It also allows for the easy cloning of existing sites and the migration of sites from one Drupal codebase to another. At Koumbit we use Aegir to partially automate minor and security updates of Drupal and CiviCRM. Koumbit has participated in the... Read more
28 October, 2011

Background
Pogstone's client had already been using a web-based membership database, however that system did not have any features related to households and other features needed when interacting with families and children. They also needed many features related to needs of a typical synagogue that were missing from the previous system.

Roll-out process
First Pogstone helped them identify and prepare which records from the previous system they wanted to bring into CiviCRM. That was loaded into CSV files, then Pogstone loaded that data into the new CiviCRM database. We did staff training just before as well as just after the data import so the staff of the organization would understand how their data would appear in CiviCRM, and also be able to review the results and work on deduping after the import was complete.

Pogstone set up the deduping rules based on many discussions with the client, however the final decision...

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18 October, 2011

I recently completed a conversion of about 8 years of history from a 5 year old Blackbaud Kintera site to a Drupal CiviCRM solution. Confused yet? Don't worry, all we be revealed in time. As a way of giving back, I am planning to share my experiences good and bad, what worked, what did not, what I learned and what I will and won't do next time.

Let's start with a little background. I have been the technology consultant for Women in Development, New York (www.widny.org) for the past 8+ years now. I started out as a member, graduated to a board member and in the end became their consultant. I have been with this organization since before they had a formal database to manage their members and before they had their first website. Back then, I used my own mail servers to send out their mass emails, my how the times have changed. In addition, to selecting and managing their original database solution, maintaining their first website and...

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16 October, 2011
I've just released the stable 2.0 version of the Drupal Webform CiviCRM Integration module and wanted to share some of the cool new things you can do with it. Version 1, which I wrote earlier this year, was basically built for a single purpose: you could have a user fill out a webform, and their contact record (name, address, email, etc.) would be created/updated and an activity of the form submission would be logged. That alone is pretty darn useful, but suggestions from users, the advent of API v3, and a commission from the core team got me setting sights higher for the next release.

New Features in Version 2

  • Handling multiple contacts and contact types

    Instead of processing a single contact per form submission, you can now have as many contacts on the form as you like, and they don't all have to be individuals. A simple use for this would be to allow a person to fill out their own...
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15 October, 2011

As most non-profits know, driving revenue exclusively off of events can be a hit or miss adventure.  Revenues YOY are not consistent, and its difficult to find those supporters who will organize and host fundraising events to support your cause.  Many are intimidated by hosting large fundraisers or simply don't have the time or resources to pull it off.  So to sum up our problem: we needed a broader more consistent source of revenue to fund our programs.     To expand our source of revenue, we looked to our community of donors, families, and fundraisers to raise money on our behalf through their own social networks.  The average user on facebook has 30 friends [http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics] which means that we could exponentially increase our reach through online social networking...

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07 October, 2011
San Francisco Baykeeper's case study of moving from Blackbaud Raiser's Edge to CiviCRM was the featured topic at this month's San Francisco meetup. I previously wrote about our transition in this blog and wanted to provide an up-to-date look at that process, plus our latest advances and ongoing challenges. Baykeeper has now been successfully using CiviCRM for almost a year. There were around 15 people at the meetup, and we had a lively discussion with lots of Q and A during the presentation. The presentation is available for download here.
28 September, 2011
By cpc

As a freelancer, here are a few notes and an overview on how I solved a client's contacts consolidation when the data came from external sources:

My Use Case
- Client had ongoing events and conferences over several years which meant there were databases and mailing lists all over the place (many of which had crossover).
- I set up ongoing JSON exports of the contact data from the external sites, which could be queried by date range to get the latest changes.
- I had a contact consolidation script on the CiviCRM end, that took these JSON exports, and loaded them into Civ via the API.
- About 5 different source sites created about 1200 contacts

A Few Challenges
- The documentation can be quite scattered and it was difficult sometimes to find the right versions. I really pity whoever has to deal with this challenge though!
- It took me much longer than it should have to learn how to activate the API...

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06 September, 2011
By xavier

Hi,

Two weeks already since civicon, the dust has settled and Amy Dobbs and the team at skillmatters have filmed and uploaded the sessions.

  • For those that have attended CiviCon london and ended up the day desperate about all the nice sessions they missed, you'll be pleased to know that you can see them online.
  • For those that missed CiviCon london, well, really, you should have been there, we missed you and we hope you'll be able to attend the next one.
  • For the speakers, could you post a comment with a link to your slides? I'll update this article.

Anyway, the videos are online too, a couple needs some setting changes to be viewed, stay tuned and come back soon.

 

welcome to civicon state of the project & keynote

By Kurund Jalmi,...

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04 September, 2011

Like many others who have no doubt gone before me, I found myself spending a large chunk of time this week finding and merging duplicate contacts. Civi's deduping UI has gotten a lot better lately, and I love having the ability to go through it more quickly than before. But deduping is only as good as the queries it runs, and of course prevention is better than cleanup.

Here are some observations of how all those dupes in my DB got created:

  • People treat nicknames and first names interchangeably -- Bob might call himself Robert on one form and Bob on another, and not even notice he's doing it.
  • People change email addresses like they change their shoes!
  • Ditto for phone numbers and addresses!
  • Phone number is currently just a textfield, so deduping on phone is almost useless (555.5555 doesn't match 555-5555 or 5555555 or 555 5555 and if you include area codes there's even more permutations)
  • A slightly mistyped...
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