04 May, 2015

My colleague Tommy has been leading our response at AGH Strategies for Civi911 calls that come in, and he's noticed a few common themes.  I suspect that you may encounter some of these same issues, and this might save you some time and money in addressing problems that crop up on your CiviCRM site.

Six Common Problems We’ve Seen in the First Six Months of Civi911

Six months ago we launched a service for emergency, one-off support requests called Civi911. We’ve gotten calls from all sizes and types of organizations, and many of them share common problems.

  1. Wordpress Plugins - Not to name names, but the first thing we do with a non-working Wordpress site is to disable all the plugins. Typically it is a caching plugin that is wreaking havoc, but it is best to leave no stone unturned. The most problematic have been the plugins bundled with a particular theme or...
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03 May, 2015

For core team member Coleman Watts, it all started while working for an environmental & peace education center that needed a database. Trying out CiviCRM, he soon discovered its power to unite different facets of the organization into a coherent whole. Using a holistic database transformed a weakness (running many programs meant piles of spreadsheets and disorganization) into a strength (a person's engagement with multiple aspects of the organization could now be tracked, facilitating collaboration between departments).

After attending a CiviCRM developer training, Coleman began extending the system and adding custom features for his organization. Inspired by the open source community he reworked his custom form code into...

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13 April, 2015
By petednz

We have started a small collection of blogs about using Views, Views Bulk Operations (VBO) and CiviCRM Entities to provide a Views-based interface for bulk updating Civi data.

This opens up a number of possibilities for bulk data updating which may not yet be straightforward in CiviCRM itself.

The recipe is basically

  • install CiviCRM Entity version 2.x & Views Bulk Operations VBO
  • create a View based on the Civi entity in question eg Contact or Participants or Relationships
  • add the VBO field and configure the desired 'bulk operation'

Setting up a View with a bulk operation to modify the entity in question is pretty straightforward. The one 'catch' at this point is that as far as VBO is concerned, we have to enter the CiviCRM 'value' not the 'label', so if you are wanting to update a...

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31 March, 2015
Harlem Pride is a New York City based 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit.  Our mission is to advocate for, 
educate, promote, and unite Harlem’s Same Gender Loving/LGBT individuals, organizations and supporters 
in cultivating a sense of honor, dignity and respect for our diverse culture and community.
We have many segments within our community of constituents and need to communicate effectively with them 
all.  CiviCRM integrated in WordPress has helped us accomplish this in many ways. We use most of 
CiviCRM’s features: Contacts, Contributions, Events, Surveys, Petitions, Profiles, Mail, Memberships, 
Volunteers  and Reports.
CiviCRM allows us to easily create contribution forms for donations, tabling fees for events, and sponsorship 
payments. Event registration helps us gauge event attendance as...
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31 March, 2015
By johnff

I just hung up the phone with the President of a US-based CiviCRM consultancy. He's interested in collaborating with Future First on our SMS based survey system. We discussed a lot of different options, but all of them had one thing in common: we had to release the resulting software publicly. That, to us, is what CiviCRM is. It is collaborating and sharing, to produce, deliver, and share the technology we all need.

Future First engages the former students of state-funded schools and colleges to help those institutions. Private schools and Universities have been doing this for decades - they know it is a very effective way of raising students' aspirations - and Future First want to do the same to level the playing field between privately funded schools and state-funded schools. We bring people from all walks of life, including doctors, policemen, athletes, journalists, firemen, businessmen, engineers...

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24 March, 2015

An Interview with the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Texas

The Italy America Chamber of Commerce (IACC) of Texas provides business related services to Italian companies interested in doing business in the US and to the Italian-American business community in Texas. The chamber hosts Italian delegations in various business sectors and arranges meetings to assist them in finding partners or investment opportunities. They also provide translation and interpretation services for the Italian Consulate, organize networking and business events and advertise employment information to the community. In addition to their Houston office, they have branches in Austin and New Orleans, Louisiana. Cividesk recently interviewed Alessia Paolicchi, Executive Director, about the chamber’s experiences transitioning to CiviCRM and the benefits it has provided.

What systems or programs...

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17 March, 2015
By roshani

On March 9, 2015, the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education (HFC) won the 2015 Nonprofit Innovation Awards for Management Operations from the Central Penn Business Journal for their CiviCRM implementation. The Nonprofit Innovation Awards recognize central Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations and their leaders for developing creative ways to help the region’s citizens with limited resources. Read the press release about the award.

Deb Livingston, HFC's Board of Directors President, reflected on the importance of CiviCRM in their organization and how it helped them to improve their operations. She explained, “Our constituents engage with our organization for varied...

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16 March, 2015
By roshani

It was great to see old friends and make new friends at the Nonprofit Technology Conference (#15NTC) in Austin from March 4-6.  I had a great time and learned a lot.  I was wearing two hats so to speak--NetSquared DC Organizer & Ginkgo Street Labs' Director of Strategy & Engagement.  

As a NetSquared DC Organizer, I had the opportunity to connect with Elijah van der Giessen, Community Manager of NetSquared, and the great team of organizers from all over the world. We shared tips and challenges of being organizers, and enjoyed exploring the Box.com office with amazing views of Austin.  If you're in the DC metro area,...

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15 March, 2015

Compare your fundraising success last year with other CiviCRM users and small- to medium-sized nonprofits.  Third Space Studios have been conducting the Individual Donor Benchmark Survey for three years, helping smaller nonprofits compare their aggregate fundraising information to get a fix on how successful they are raising money from individual donors.

In return, the survey helps small and medium non-profit organizations gain useful insight into their own data, and contrast that with similar size organizations, to enhance their fundraising strategies.

This year, we realized that much of the survey data is already available in CiviCRM in a standardized way, so AGH Strategies wrote a report extension to help CiviCRM users easily gather data for the survey.  The report gives you totals question-by-question to match the survey.

Want to get started? ...

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26 February, 2015

Heart of A Warrior (HOAW) Charitable Foundation supports educational, cultural, and life-enhancing enrichment programs targeted to underserved children in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Cividesk recently spoke with Jeff Martini, executive director about his experiences learning and using CiviCRM and how it has benefited his organization.

The foundation began using CiviCRM in 2013 with the help of Cividesk who implemented, configured and trained staff on the database.  At that time, the organization really didn’t take advantage of the many functionalities CiviCRM has to offer. “Even though the staff had CiviCRM available to them, it just seemed easier to rely on what they knew”, explained Jeff. 

When Jeff joined the HOAW team in the fall of 2014, he inherited paper...

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