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.

24 August, 2014

I am Yashodha Chaku, one of the core team members of CiviCRM. I stumbled into the Civi-world quite by chance. After graduating from college with Bachelors in Computers Science I happened to join Web Access (which hosts a Civi team in India) in 2006 and started working on CiviCRM. When I started off CiviCRM was in its nascent stages (1.4 I guess) and it has come a long way ever since. With each added feature it has started getting more and more traction from a wide range of organizations both in terms of size and spectrum. 

I am very excited about the work we do on CiviCRM which involves building on each other's ideas to create the best of breed solutions for non profits. The crowd-source nature of open source software makes sure it's in sync with the needs of non profits. The sheer amount of enthusiasm, expertise that community members bring to the table is amazing and interactions that we have had with folks during meetups, CiviCON, sprints...

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24 August, 2014

Mthulisi Ncube, Data Coordinator at MSF South Africa says: “We are working closely with our service provider Ixiam who have helped us customise CiviCRM.  MSF South Africa has been using CiviCRM for over a year now to store and manage all our fundraising contacts and donor database.  We chose to go with CiviCRM because of its customizability and free online availability. We do a lot of emailing to our donor base and CiviCRM helps us track who opened what and the click-through rates. Our contacts also have an option to opt-out and all the interactions are recorded directly into the CiviCRM.

CiviCRM also allows us to generate financial files when we run monthly debit orders, and it sends this information to the our payment software, linkserv, which enables collections from bank accounts. As per regulations in South Africa, we are also able to generate Consolidated...

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24 August, 2014

Kabissa is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1999. Our mission is to help African civil society organizations to put Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to work for the benefit of their communities.

Kabissa's current priority is to support the networking, information sharing and ICT peer learning needs of African civic society organizations.  This is done by maintaining an online platform at http://www.kabissa.org with a searchable organization directory, community blog and monthly member newsletter. Kabissa also runs a community forum and organizes webinars. Kabissa works closely with Erik Hommel, their in-house CiviCRM guru who contributes a few volunteer hours a month to Kabissa.

On May 20, 2014, Kabissa organized a...

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24 July, 2014

Contributed by Christie Wentz, Executive Director of Drug Free Pennsylvania, Inc

In the spring of 2013, I was appointed as the Executive Director of Drug Free Pennsylvania. It didn’t take me long to realize that we had a challenge when it came to the several disparate tools we were using to track and interact with the supporters of our programs . As a parent organization for three sub-programs, we had a substantial amount of data to track. A critical step in growing our outreach was to identify an agency to help us update our outdated websites and marketing materials. As I reviewed our processes I began to realize how everything was interconnected. Donations were being passed through our website to PayPal where those transactions and contacts were being stored. Constant Contact was being utilized for mass email campaigns, QuickBooks for billing, and another employee had Filemaker Pro on their laptop for...
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