22 April, 2011

Our existing system for managing the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) tracking requirements has worked well for several years. With new state level requirements being issued the lack of flexibility of our current system became apparent. Looking at vendor solutions appeared to stick us with extremely robust applications whereas we need functionality for just a few state and federal laws.

 

CiviCRM had cropped up several times as a potential application to use for traditional CRM roles but during a brainstorming session on our new FMLA app, my fellow developer said, "It seems like CiviCRM might be able to do this." The proverbial light bulbs shattered above our heads as we started mapping existing civi modules and components to our application requirements.

  • Track employees FMLA types -> CiviCase
  • Follow a workflow for when an employee goes on leave ->CiviCase Activity Sets
  • Send letters based on the type of leave...
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21 April, 2011

Thinking it would simplify things, I decided to try to set up CiviCRM on my personal Mac (running 10.6.7, or Snow Leopard) so I could do some learning and testing before messing up the server. I did three searches: "OS X", "Mac", and "standalone".

 

Trying to search for "OS X" I learned that the search engine in the forums wants a minimum of three characters, but the search at the CiviCRM home doesn't mind. So on the home page I saw the following results (which includes items from the forum I couldn't find directly via the forum search):

 

CiviCRM Dev Environment on Mac OS X using MacPorts, NetBeans ...

May 25, 2010 ... This is an "Optional Install" on the Mac OS X installation DVD, or you can download them from the Apple Developer Connection website. ...

wiki.civicrm.org

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20 April, 2011

My name is Tim and I am a board member for the Open Roads Bike Program (http://www.openroadsbike.org/), a Kalamazoo, Michigan youth development program, founded in 2009, that teaches social skills and bike mechanic skills to youth in our community. This program began as a one-time program created by my friend Ethan Alexander, funded by a grant from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. For this our third year, the board has put together a plan to turn this great idea into a permanent, self-sustaining organization - with help from CiviCRM.

 

Many of you are familiar with the process: creating brochures and letters, developing partnerships, organizing fund-raising campaigns, writing grants, developing our elevator speeches, organizing volunteers, planning events. With a small but dedicated group and many tasks, organization is essential. Efficiency is important. Some of our board members were familiar with web-based CRM...

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30 March, 2011
By xcf33

Many modern web applications have a lot of spam deterrent such as Captcha, Bayesian filters, URL, ip detections etc. One example is trying to do 2 consecutive search on the CiviCRM.org forum and you will get a an error that look like

 

"Your last search was less than 5 seconds ago. Please try again later."

 

The concept behind this is flood control is to prevent a webbot (automated script) that is trying to spam and flood the server. 

 

Sometimes this technique is useful in place of something such as a Captcha system because when someone performs a search on the forum, it would be annoying to have to play the "guess game" with a captcha everytime. Therefore discourages the usage of the searching functionality. 

 

We are applying the same concept to CiviContribute contribution page in attempt to stop spammers from using the contribution form as a gateway to test fake or stolen credit cards. See the code in the...

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14 March, 2011
By jcm55

We're a small children's theatre company and make great use of Google Analytics.  We use CiviCRM/CiviEvent for our patron database and online ticket sales, and wanted to add Google Analytics ecommerce tracking to track the effectiveness of our various marketing activities.

 

I did this by copying /civicrm/templates/CRM/Price/Page/LineItem.tpl into a custom template directory, and adding the tracking code to my custom version.  All of our "events" use price sets, and the price options are various ticket categories (child, adult, senior, etc).  The code below tracks not only the entire order amount, but also the quantities of individual items in the order.

LineItem.tpl is called multiple times during the order/checkout process, so my custom template inserts the tracking code only when the $trxn_id variable is present -- this indicates that the order is finalized.

 

If you...

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23 February, 2011
By lcdweb

 

We are excited to announce the publication of Using CiviCRM, by Packt Publishing – the first full-length, commercially published book covering implementation, configuration, and usage of CiviCRM.

The book goes beyond technical “how to’s” by helping the reader think through their systems, organizational processes, and existing data in order to most effectively make use of CiviCRM’s tools. Using case studies, practical recommendations, and best practices, the book walks through configuration and use of the core software and its functional components.

Weighing in at over 450 pages – it provides a comprehensive review of the software and the ways it can be used.

The book is an important step forward for the CiviCRM project, opening new opportunities for users and implementers who want to better understand the system and become power users. In conjunction with recent updates...

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25 January, 2011
By Stoob

I'd like to introduce our client and case study the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.

NAO and my company, Korlon LLC, worked together late last summer and I'm finally getting around to doing a writeup about it.  The project, despite a tight budget and tighter timeline, utilizes the following CiviCRM features with style:

  • Donations
  • Online event registration
  • Online membership signups of multiple types
  • Automated email membership reminders
  • CiviCRM Membership -> Drupal Roles sync Module
  • Contact and membership imports
  • Robust relationship management and permissioning
  • Custom data fields and profiles up the wazoo
  • CiviCRM...
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25 January, 2011

The staff at Denver DataMan have identified CiviCRM as the CRM that we believe is best suited for making a truly robust CRM that will be accessible for the blind. We have received funding from the Colorado Center for the Blind to allow us to support the development of this innovative project.

The solutions that we are proposing to implement will also help make the overall structure of CiviCRM more adaptable and in doing so paves the way for the development of mobile sites and other applications requiring functional changes based on user selections or device limitations with CiviCRM. 

You can read the post I made recently on the boards to see the methodology we used to identify the issues that need to be addressed to achieve the goal of making CiviCRM accessible to the blind. 

There are a few overarching areas that challenge the accessibility of CiviCRM. These are outlined here along...

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02 January, 2011

 

We recently completed a project with San Francisco Baykeeper, a pollution watchdog in the Bay Area. They asked us to help them move from an expensive yearly contract with Blackbaud Raiser's Edge to the libre and "free kittens"* CiviCRM.
 
Never having worked directly with Raiser's Edge (RE), we relied on Eliet Henderson, Baykeeper Development Director, to help us get our head around all of their data. She exported the RE database as CSV files, grouped by Individuals and Organizations. Each grouping then had subgroups consisting of relationships, gifts, recurring contributions, notes, address information, etc. With all of the export files generated we began to configure CiviCRM and build the tools that would handle the import.
 
Here's what we were dealing with:
  • 35: Number of...
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20 December, 2010

We had a lively meetup at Wikimedia Foundation HQ in San Francisco last week. Despite the super crummy weather, Carl Tashian from the Participatory Politics Foundation came downtown on via bicycle to share their experiences migrating to CiviCRM from phpList, using the Sendgrid service for mailings, and integrating CiviCRM with the Ruby on Rails application they use for their Open Congress project. This is a great example of using the REST API for tools integration. You can check out the slides from Carl's presentation here. Be sure to also check out Open Congress! Thanks Carl for a great presentation.

We also spent some time reviewing the new...

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