Before I started working as a CiviCRM consultant, I was a CiviCRM user at a small nonprofit. We got a large chunk of our revenue through grassroots donations, but we never had an opportunity to see how we compared to other organizations like ours.
(TL;DR – you should install the Individual Donor Benchmark Survey extension, run the report, and submit your survey response.)
Nowadays, some proprietary donor databases collect users’ data and publish reports, but besides being creepy, they can’t get good data without involving organizations directly. They also only cover users of a single software system.
Besides, how do you know the data covers organizations like yours?
The Individual Donor Benchmark Survey was developed by Third Space Studio to address these...Read more
It's a time of year when machines and people get stressed, particularly in countries where tax laws and custom favour end-of-year donations. And if you've ever managed a CiviCRM installation, the last thing you probably want is to interrupt your end-of-year festivities with an issue of someone being unable to make a donation.
But of course, it's inevitable - there are no fool-proof systems. There's always someone trying to make a last minute donation with an old Internet Explorer 6 for example. And chances are, you got a call with something like 'your website is down' - no name, no time, no url, etc.
If you're using iATS Payments for your CiviCRM payment processing, then there's a useful diagnostic tool that I'd like to share here.
In case you're not already convinced - diagnosing the real issue is the most important first step. If you're able to trace the interaction of the donor with the server via web logs, then that's often extremely useful (e.g. it'll...Read more
This little story about financial transactions has a couple of objectives:
1. share what we want to do for the benefit of each and everyone
2. find out if there are more organisations out there that would be interested
3. even better, organisations out there that want to co-fund and influence!
At the moment CiviCRM allows for the linking of a financial account to the financial type as a basis for data exporting to whatever software you are using for accounting. You can also attach an asset type financial account to a payment instrument. When creating, updating, cancelling or refunding a contribution the financial 'traffic' between the configured financial accounts is nicely recorded in the financial transactions table. We are not sure...Read more
Some contributions to your organization might be sensitive if widely known. For example, a planned bequest might need to be kept quite confidential since the donor wants to keep its existence private from other possible inheritors or to remain anonymous about their large donation. Or you might want to restrict viewing of membership contributions to the Membership staff, and events registration contributions to your Events organizer.
The fewer people who have access to confidential information the better. Staff turnover in memberships, event organizing, or even volunteer access to some contribution information to help with receipts or fulfillment might endanger the needed confidentiality for sensitive bequests.
A little known feature was added to CiviCRM back in April to support hiding some contributions from some staff.
If you are a permissioned administrator you can navigate to Administer > CiviContribute > CiviContribute Component Settings, and enable ...Read more
About a year ago, IMBA's membership team noticed many of our members were renewing after their expiry date, and often after the "Lapsed" or grace period of two months we have in place. To help accelerate these renewals, our membership team decided to offer a "members only special"—a t-shirt normally reserved for $100 and up memberships for a lower membership fee of $50—if the member renewed as an "Early Bird" i.e. before their expiry date. Since this functionality wasn't readily available in CiviCRM, we made it a "call-in" special only, so a renewing member would have to phone up our membership team to take advantage of the offer. We had a positive response to the special, but it wasn't sustainable from a human resources perspective.
We decided to go digital.
Working with a contractor, we laid out several scenarios we'd like to use the extension—early bird renewal offers, special premiums for members who were expired, the ability to offer different premiums to...Read more
This is the final week for the Individual Donor Benchmark Survey, a tool to help you see how your grassroots fundraising compares to other small nonprofits across the United States. This is the second year that AGH Strategies has supported the survey by building a CiviCRM extension for easy data collection, so you can complete the survey this afternoon.
The report also compares performance between different CRMs and fundraising databases, so you can help share the story of your success with CiviCRM.
Crunch your data
- Go to your Manage Extensions page in CiviCRM.
- Click Refresh, and once the list refreshes, go to the Add New...
Are you responsible for planning, managing and monitoring campaigns for your organisation? If yes, you are probably using CiviCampaign to link contributions and campaigns and analyse their success. However, unless your campaign requirements are rather simple, I bet that you encountered some limitations of CiviCRM's campaign functions such as:
no function to record costs involved with a campaign action or to track the campaign's budget
no campaign hierarchy
limited reporting options
not much of an UI to manage and or visualise...
Hello everybody. I am assessing the feasibility of a CiviCRM integrated 'Community Shares' extension on behalf of my client, the Kindling Trust.
Community Shares are an investment mechanism available to Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies in the UK - see CommunityShares.org.uk if you want more info.
Kindling are a not for profit organisation based in Northern England, who have been using Civi for a number of years, and are planning on launching a community share offer in the future, in order to raise funds for a community owned farm, to develop sustainable food practices, and regional food security.
I anticipate that the new extension would build upon the existing CiviContribute and CiviMember components, and have attached an outline document describing how I would see it functioning.
We are interested in talking to members of the...Read more
If you're like most leaders of small nonprofits, you want to know where your fundraising stands as compared to other organizations your size. CiviCRM stores a wealth of data, but it might be time-consuming to search for it all. Even then, how will you know you're comparing data apples-to-apples with the rest of the sector?
The survey and extension
This is where the Individual Donor Benchmark Survey comes in. By asking standard questions of small nonprofits across the United States, the survey allows you to see how your organization stacks up against nationwide benchmarks, and you can compare your own results in subsequent years.
AGH Strategies is a sponsor of the project, and we produced a ...Read more
I've been working on a few larger CiviCRM migrations lately. Out of that work I've been adding some new pieces to the iATS payment processor extension as well as my more generic recurring payments extension, and here's my story.
The original CiviCRM model for recurring contributions was built around what let's call the Paypal model, which tries as much as possible to give the donor ownership and management of their payments, by managing the recurring schedule and giving donors their own 'account'. This has benefits for donors and also for the organization receiving the donations - e.g. less administration.
But I've found that for many organizations migrating to CiviCRM, this model isn't ideal. For a start, a lot of older regular donors don't want to manage their payments and assume it's the responsibility of the organization. Secondly, having...Read more