29 June, 2015

The Women's Fund of Santa Barbara (WFSB) is a collective donor group that enables women to combine their charitable donations into significant grants focused on the critical needs of women, children and families in Santa Barbara.  The organization is run exclusively by a team of volunteers.  Cividesk spoke with Mary Garton, Susan Robeck and Julie Capritto about making the transition to CiviCRM and how this solution has changed the way they manage their organization.

Before using CiviCRM, the Women’s Fund had a customized CMS system and also used Excel spreadsheets to store data. But there were limitations to the system: they couldn’t manage contributions, events or memberships, and they didn’t have a way of accepting online payments.  The team of volunteers decided it was time to make a change to a new system that could better meet their needs in the areas of tracking memberships, contributions...

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17 June, 2015

Amnesty International Flanders (AIVL) have been using CiviCRM for a couple of years now, initially with memberships mainly but lately more and more as a fundraising tool. They have implemented CiviBanking for their incoming bank transactions and are now in the process of testing CiviSepa for their direct debits. We (as CiviCooP) are part of their CiviCRM family and work together with them to support their processes in the best way we can, making the most of CiviCRM. Other CiviCRM community members like Xavier Dutoit and Björn Endres (of Systopia Organisationsberatung) also for part of the team with some projects and ongoing development.

AIVL has an ambitious goal for their street recruitment, striving to increase the numbers of donors but also the retention rate and the donated amounts. One of the key development areas in this respect is the...

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03 June, 2015
There is a jungle of donor management systems. All promise the heaven on earth for development officers, fundraising professionals and nonprofit executives. And if you think CiviCRM is just one among many, you might want to take a closer look.
 
Aside from its fully integrated system which manages all contact information and activities around all people involved in your organization, CiviCRM is also state of the art technology with a very attractive price point as open-source. There are no licence fees. It’s all installed on your host if you’d like to stay in control of your environment, data and security. As with any software system, it needs its fair share of set-up, configuration, maintenance and training.
 
I have been burned with open-source software quite a bit in the last decade but working with open-source has also been the biggest delight. There are open-source software communities that stand out and CiviCRM is...
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12 May, 2015

We received this message yesterday from our friend Steinar at MAF Norge:

Our pilots and logistical experts are co-ordinating flights to bring relief to hard-to-reach areas inaccessible by road. The helicopters are carrying medical personnel, relief workers and vital supplies to reach the most vulnerable communities. Women and children make up a large percentage of these villages. We are working in close partnership with more than 25 groups, including the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), Operation Mobilisation and the Nepali Government. The most critical need in Nepal is shelter from the monsoon rain, clean water and rice/food. But also Medical evacuation.

The SMS function in CiviCRM made it possible for us to make an appeal to our network of supporters as soon as we knew the need for MAFs support in Nepal. This made it possible for us to raise hundreds of thousands NOK even before we had sent out any mailings or had any adverts. The cost in...

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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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