22 October, 2014

My name is Erik Hommel, 51 years old. I live in the Netherlands in a small village called Brummen(between Apeldoorn and Arnhem) with my wife Floor, our 2 youngest children and four Siamese cats. Our 2 oldest kids have either left home or are in the process of doing so. My working career in ICT started in 1988 as an RPG programmer on the IBM S/38. Having moved past positions as technical consultant, project manager, IT manager and ERP consultant I call myself a CiviCRM project manager/consultant/developer and love it!

CiviCRM has been part of my life since 2010 I think. The first official date I can find is a certficate from a CiviCRM Developer Training in Brussels in February 2010. At the time I was working together with Erik Brouwer as EE-atWork and we were mainly working with Dutch housing corporations as software implementors and consultants. In 2009 we bumped into Drupal when we were developing our own website, and as we focused on CRM within housing...

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21 October, 2014
(adapted from “Jumping to Civi Under The Gun”, CiviCon 2014 presentation)
 
Music Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization that has worked since 1989 with a mandate to encourage the creation, development, growth and promotion of Nova Scotia’s music industry. Music Nova Scotia exists to grow and nurture the Nova Scotia music industry, to retain our own natural resource and promote investment, by:
 
• Providing education, information and resources to our membership
• Acting as the advocate for the industry to all levels of government and private enterprise
• Supporting membership in the promotion of the export of Nova Scotia music regionally, nationally and internationally. 
 
Membership is mainly made up of Nova Scotians but some join us from other regions of the East Coast as well as across Canada. We are songwriters...
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21 October, 2014
Hi, my name is Allen Hutchison.  I am the Director of Communications and I.T. at Glenwood Community Church in Vancouver, WA, USA.  We started our slow move to CiviCRM in 2013 when one of my bosses asked me to find a single solution for our database woes.  We have a number of ministries (Children's, High School, weekly small groups, etc.), and each department had their own system for managing people (MS Access, Excel spreadsheets, our website).  Our front office uses a proprietary Church Management System called Powerchurch.  It is great for accounting purposes, but its people management is lacking, most because it is only accessible on the network by a select few people.  We needed something accessible on and off site by all of our staff, integration with our website, tiered permissions, and yet some customization to each ministry.  The need list was high, but really any solution that allowed the sharing of data had us headed...
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30 September, 2014

Finding enough money in your budget to market your organization effectively can be challenging. Most nonprofit organizations need to focus their limited resources on providing programs and services. Google makes it easier for nonprofits with Google Ad Grants. That, in combination with CiviCRM provides a power engine fueling your marketing, outreach and CRM needs.

So let’s start with Google Grants...

GoogleGrants gives $120,000 per year of free advertising to each nonprofit which meets the requirements of the program (http://www.google.com/grants/eligibility.html).

What does this mean? Anytime you Google a word or phrase, there will be results at the top of the page and in the sidebar that returns relevant results. Most of the time, this is paid search (which is very different from organic search, but that’s a different topic for a different day.)

So $120,000 a...

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24 September, 2014
As soon as our organisation (a UK church) started using Civi, we realised that there was one particular gap in its functionality which had a big impact on us - the ability to deal with recurring events. We run lots of things that 'recur' - courses on parenting, marriage, the Christian faith; youth clubs; weekly children's groups - so Civi's inability to deal with them was a challenge. I did some research on the forums and realised that others wanted this functionality too as many organisations run courses, classes, training events, regular meetings and so on. Encouraged by that I decided to start a Make It Happen campaign. 
 
I launched it with a lightning talk at Civicon 2012 and had some good feedback and some initial donations but then things went quiet. I contacted people who sounded like they may be interested via the forums, networked as hard as I could and blogged, but to no avail. There was plenty of...
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22 September, 2014
By gholt

The Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) is an organization dedicated to supporting planetarium professionals. Prior to 2011, our solution for membership management utilized a Microsoft Access database. This proved to be difficult when transitioning from one Membership Chairperson to another, and provided no remote access for other individuals in the organization that needed to know who the current members were. Conference management solutions were reinvented by a new conference host each year. Needless to say, this form of conference management was inefficient and inconsistent. Switching to CiviCRM greatly streamlined both the membership management and conference management workflows.

Management of these two areas continues to be streamlined and refined each year. Almost two years ago, we created a Conference Registrar volunteer position. The registrar interfaces with the conference hosts each year,...

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16 September, 2014

We all know CiviCRM provides a lot of power and usability "out-of-the-box". But it's only got where it is because of hours of hard work from the core team, other developers and end users pitching in the funds to make it happen.

Here at GMCVO Databases, we work with a number of organisations who run grants programmes. Although CiviGrant is great for the internal management, one organisation in particular wanted their grant applicants to be able to submit their application online - saving administrators the time spent doing the data input required to get the applications into CiviCRM for management.

Although there is a Grant Application extension, our user case wanted more! Particularly, a lot of the features the the Drupal Webform with CiviCRM Integration module...

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09 September, 2014

The Denver Ballet Guild supports and celebrates the beauty and power of dance by encouraging interest in ballet and other forms of dance.  The organization is managed exclusively by volunteers, who promote dance at all levels and conduct annual fundraising activities to support the dance community. Cividesk recently spoke with Suzanne Goderstad, a volunteer board member, who serves as the database co-coordinator for the organization about their experiences with CiviCRM.

Before transitioning to CiviCRM, the Denver Ballet Guild used Access to manage their contacts and print their hardcopy directory. MailChimp was used for mass emailing to members and contacts. The Board hired a consultant to implement CiviCRM several years ago when they were also putting in place a new Drupal based website. The choice of Drupal as CMS was made to allow for integration with CiviCRM.  However, the database was not being used by the volunteers for several...

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27 August, 2014

For over 15 years, NDItech has been in the business of developing technologies for development. One of our newest pet projects is called DemTools, or the Democracy Toolkit. DemTools is a set of four webapps to solve some of the most common problems our global partners experience: civic organizing, managing constituent relationships, tracking election data and fostering civic debates. Two of them are custom-configured versions of CiviCRM, so we’ve been working closely with the core team throughout our design and development process. 

The thinking behind DemTools was simple: to design context appropriate solutions for advocates of political change that were informed by user needs and could enhance existing workflows. However, what we learned from conducting a host of usability tests on our Civi-enabled tools was that making them work was anything but simple.

In a recent DemWorks blog post, we shared some of the...

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25 August, 2014

The 4.5 Documentation Dash,held on Sunday, July  27th and Monday July 28th, was a remote sprint designed to finish documenting all the new features coming up in CiviCRM 4.5 and finalise the restructured Membership section.  With typical CiviCRM flexibility people worked on issues before, during and after the designated Dash days.  We closed 14 issues  (see https://issues.civicrm.org/jira/secure/RapidBoard.jspa?rapidView=14 )

Participants ranged from experienced CiviCRM users and documenters through to people who are fairly new to CiviCRM and were first-time documenters. Thanks to Joanne Chester, Jen Crothers, Eliot Mason, Chris Ward, Graham Mitchell, Diego Viegas, Laryn Kragt Bakker, Oliver Gibson and Michael McAndrew.