25 April, 2011

Eli Beckerman is the second winner of a copy of Using CiviCRM from Packt Publishing. Eli is excited about the potential of CiviCRM to organize bottom-up transformations to deal collaboratively with the many crises facing the world today.

Packt has also selected a runner-up in its contest: an experienced CiviCRM user from the City Bible Forum, ken, will get a downloadable eBook copy of the book.

Here's some background on Using CiviCRM from Packt's site:

What you will learn from this book:

  • Create a successful CiviCRM implementation project
  • Install and configure CiviCRM in Joomla! or Drupal, understand advanced configuration options, and review the upgrade process in detail
  • Get...
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19 April, 2011

Sheila Burkett is the first winner of a copy of Using CiviCRM from Packt Publishing. Packt is running a promotional contest where you just have to post into the forum or email them to qualify to win a copy of the book.

Here's some more information about the book from the Press Release:

Using CiviCRM is the first commercially published book on CiviCRM, and came out in February 2011. It will teach readers to build a CRM that conforms to their needs and to integrate it with Drupal or Joomla!. Written by...

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15 March, 2011
By jalama
Filed under CiviMail, Drupal, Extensions

Rooty Hollow is excited to announce the release of our Constant Contact Integration module for CiviCRM.  If you are not able or willing to deal with sending bulk e-mails form your host this module is for you.

A year ago or so we quietly published a module on drupal.org (sorry Drupal only at this point) to allow for synchronization between contacts in CiviCRM and Constant Contact.  Thanks to funding from Constant Contact we recently were able to work out the kinks in the module and have posted it to a release candidate just this week.  The original work on the module was  developed by Fidelity Investments' LEAP Program in partnership with the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers thanks to an opportunity made possible by Common Impact.
The core fucntionlity of this module is:
  • Upload contacts from a CiviCRM installation...
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04 February, 2011

The webform module is a great way to collect info from your contacts, perfect for things like application forms, surveys, contact forms, feedback forms, etc. The hard part is getting those form submissions to actually link to your CiviCRM contacts... until now.

Until now, getting your webforms to work with CiviCRM was a little like Groundhog Day. You wake up in the morning, create the usual form (First Name, Last Name, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone Number, Email, etc.). An hour later, you're done with the easy part. Now you have to write a custom PHP script to intercept those form submissions, call up the Civi APIs (go A team!), and start trying to match up field keys to API $params. It's kind of tedious, and doesn't always work the first time (was it supposed to be 'prefix_id' or 'individual_prefix' or 'individual_prefix_id'?). But a few hours and a few dozen test submissions later you've got it all working. Now...

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20 December, 2010

We had a lively meetup at Wikimedia Foundation HQ in San Francisco last week. Despite the super crummy weather, Carl Tashian from the Participatory Politics Foundation came downtown on via bicycle to share their experiences migrating to CiviCRM from phpList, using the Sendgrid service for mailings, and integrating CiviCRM with the Ruby on Rails application they use for their Open Congress project. This is a great example of using the REST API for tools integration. You can check out the slides from Carl's presentation here. Be sure to also check out Open Congress! Thanks Carl for a great presentation.

We also spent some time reviewing the new...

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03 December, 2010
By lobo
Filed under CiviMail, v3.3, Drupal

A large organization using CiviCRM is planning to switch to using CiviMail for their broadcast email needs. This is great news for CiviMail and will take it to the next level in terms of feature set and functionality. As part of their migration, we are integrating a workflow engine into CiviMail. For this version, we will be using Drupal's rules module, thus making it Drupal specific. (if you are a joomla user and interested in sponsoring this for CiviCRM on Joomla, please contact us via email / IRC). For this project, we'll be focussed on extending the CiviMail schema to facilitate workflow. Sending a broadcast email will be split into three steps:

  • A user creates the email content. On creating / uploading the content, an event is triggered which informs the QA group of a new mailing
  • The QA group verifies the mailing and works with the user to improve the mailing. Once this is done, the mailing is...
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09 July, 2010
Filed under CiviMail

Sendgrid is a relatively new cloud-based service that takes care of mailing list SMTP delivery and attempts to get the highest possible deliverability rate. We didn't want to have to manage our own SMTP server here at the Participatory Politics Foundation, so when we migrated to CiviCRM recently, we decided to take the sendgrid route for SMTP.

Integration with CiviMail is pretty straightforward: all you really have to do is change your SMTP settings in CIviMail to match your sengrid credentials. But sendgrid is different from a typical SMTP server in the way it handles bounces and spam reports. First of all, sendgrid uses a reputation score to keep spammers away -- the gist of it is that 80% or more of your messages must deliver without failures. If you go below 80%, your sendgrid account can be suspended. Furthermore, they don't send any bounce or spam report messages back to you, the sender. And...

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17 September, 2009
Filed under CiviMail, v2.2
There was a thread in the forum a few weeks ago about adding generic replacements for tokens that dont have a value for a specific contact. An example is where the first name field is blank and the organization would want to substitute friend or member instead of keeping it blank. The token engine does not provide this functionality by default, however implementing it via a hook is relatively trivial. We use the tokenValues hook to "modify" the token values substituted in any outgoing email. If a contact does not have a token value for a specific token, we just insert the default value. The below code assumes you have a drupal module called civiexample. for joomla change the function name to joomla__civicrm_tokenValues and to standalone_civicrm_tokenValues for standalone.
function civiexample_civicrm_tokenValues( &$values, &$contactIDs ) {
    if ( is_array( $contactIDs ) ) {
        $single = false;
    } else...
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04 June, 2009
Filed under CiviMail, v2.3, CiviCRM

Greetings and Salutations :-)

As some of you may already know, the existing "Greeting Type" feature in CiviCRM is pretty broken. You can't use it to specify a greeting for either email or printed / postal communications (no token or export support). In addition, as described in Tony Guzman's recent blog on Better Household Management - it's not designed to support a number of key use cases. So... Tony and the folks at Dharmatech have been working with us to figure out a flexible WORKING solution which can handle the simple cases ("Dear Dave") as well as the more complex cases ("Dear Dave and Bob", "The Honorable Scout Conberg", etc.). If you haven't read Tony's blog yet - start with the Greetings and Salutations section there. Then, if this is... Read more
26 May, 2009
By rczamor
Filed under CiviMail, v2.2, CiviCRM, Drupal

Trellon has been working on a fairly large implementation of CiviCRM for an advocacy group based in DC that was seeking to implement a CRM system that will help them manage their online fundraising and email marketing program. Email marketing is a large part of the organization's outreach strategy, so having a mail system that can deliver their 50,000+ emails in a short amount of time was a necessity.

We explored methods for optimizing CiviMail and decided to follow recommendations made by Lobo on the CiviCRM wiki. We set up the client mail and database server on a dedicated server with an Intel 2 Quad Core 2Ghz processor, 16GB of RAM, and 70 GB of disk space. We wrote some custom scripts to batch emails over to the mail server on cron to increase delivery speeds as well.

We have been able to get some really good times on delivery...

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