28 November, 2013
Filed under CiviCRM, Community, Meetups

At the London Meetup last night, the idea of having a CiviCRM co-working day was discussed, so we are certainly planning to do that in London on CiviDay 2014 (Wednesday, January 29th), and wouldn't it be great if the same pattern could be followed around the world.  The idea would be that the CiviDay Meetup in the evening would be at the same venue as the Co-Working day, ie that we book a venue for the whole day and into the evening, and that the venue has good wi-fi available and access to refreshments.

The idea of co-working is a bit like a sprint, except that you work on anything that is CiviCRM-related (eg customer-related work), rather than specifically towards the CiviCRM project as you would in a Sprint.  (I regularly attend Drupal co-working days, and find them really useful as I get to meet others who work in the Drupal community, whom I would not normally get to meet, and I can ask others about how to solve particular problems, and get answers that are not only so...

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26 November, 2013
Filed under Community

We've been talking for a while now about how we can improve the ways that we recognise the non financial contributions people make to CiviCRM. This topic came up a fair amount when we designed the partner program - lots of people said things along the lines of "we need to make sure the many non financial contributions people make aren't marginalised by the partner program" and while we agreed it was super important, we wanted to put it on hold until we got the partner program up and running. Well, the partner program is pretty bedded in now so thanks for your patience everyone - we're now  ready to take some steps along this road.

The bottom line is that CiviCRM will thrive in direct proportion to the amount of contributions that people make, so we want to do all we can to encourage contributions.  We think that properly recognising contributions plays a key role in encouraging more of them for a number of reasons, including 1) recognition is a great motivator for a lot of...

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25 November, 2013
Filed under Community, Meetups

Last January, we have 24 amazing CiviDay meet ups in cities around the world. I looked back just now and was reminded of all the great things that came out of those meetups (including CiviCamp DC!).  It was great to see existing meet ups energised and new ones started.  This coming January 29th 2014, we want to repeat the success of last year, and push it up a notch.

We all know there is no better way than face-to-face meetings for properly connecting with people.  IMHO, our meet ups have two main goals:

  1. existing users can get together, build their networks and skills, share experiences, provide support and help to each other
  2. people who are considering starting out with CiviCRM can talk to real people who've been using CiviCRM, hear real life success stories, find out what support is available locally, and get energised about the possibilities.
  3. ...
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15 November, 2013
Filed under Community

I ‘discovered’ CiviCRM in 2010 whilst trawling the Internet for an alternative to the proprietary CRM my employer, the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), was using at the time.  I read the user and administrator book, played on the demo site and spent some time on the forums.

We started small, using CiviCRM for registrations for a series of seminars we run for health professionals each year.  Following on from that successful trial, ABA now also uses CiviCRM to manage memberships, journal subscriptions and donations.

My enthusiasm for CiviCRM has continued to grow and a recent holiday saw me in the UK for CiviCon London 2013 followed by the Dalesbridge sprint (and writing my first blog).

I thoroughly enjoyed the sprint.  As a CiviCRM administrator, the online user and administrator guide has been invaluable to me and I was happy I could help with updating the...

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25 October, 2013
Filed under Community

Life Cycle UK is a small, innovative, UK charity which aims to transform lives and the environment through cycling. We run a range of practical services and projects designed to help people to overcome the barriers stopping them from cycling – anything from confidence boosting cycle training for adults who haven’t ridden a bike for 20 years and want to ditch the car and cycle to work – to a range of "inclusive cycling" projects which target specific disadvantaged groups.

These 'inclusive' projects include ‘Two’s Company’ a project which, with the help of sighted volunteers, offers blind and disabled individuals opportunities to enjoy days out cycling on tandem bicycles, for free; and ‘Bike Back’ a bicycle recycling project based at Bristol Prison where we teach bike mechanics skills to prisoners, giving them a meaningful way to spend their time inside and saving unwanted bicycles from landfill in the process.

Set up in 1996, Life Cycle first moved to CiviCRM in 2012...

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21 October, 2013
By meberly
Filed under CiviCRM, Community, Drupal
The Trinity Forum (TTF) is a nonprofit organization that engages leaders with the great ideas of civilization in the context of faith for personal and societal renewal. 
Previously TTF used a stand-alone ecommerce store to manage the sales of their products.  This solution was not integrated with CiviCRM.  This meant a lot of time and effort was spent inputing duplicate data, plus a lot of time and effort spent "managing" the store.  For example, Margaret Eberly, Events Coordinator was responsible for manually emailing customers that had purchased downloadable products.  In addition, she also had to send all the orders to the mail order house.
Backoffice Thinking worked with TTF to implement Ubercart with CiviCRM integration.  The first step was for our Project Manager to identify TTF's needs and understand the...
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21 October, 2013

Theatre groups, political organisations, environmental charities... CiviCRM is used by organisations of all shapes and sizes and the faith-based sector is a growing part of that. Here's a snapshot of our own Civi journey at Woodlands Church in Bristol, UK.  

We started using CiviCRM three years ago after considering various proprietary church software options. We chose Civi because of the flexibility it offered us and a skilled Drupal developer who attends the church took the project forward.

CiviCRM offers lots to faith-based organisations. Its integration with our website means that people can book onto events and courses, sign up for newsletters and keep their groups up to date. We’ve also started to record financial contributions and the new Gift Aid extension will help us to claim tax back on the gifts we receive.

There are some further areas we’d love to see developed and we’re working with UK-based Circle Interactive so that Civi can offer even more to...

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17 October, 2013
By vshura
Filed under Community

The November issue of the CiviCRM Community Newsletter will focus on faith-based organisations, and I was contacted by Linda Wu Pagano to write something about our involvement with the project. So here is our story!

I work for the Dublin Buddhist Centre.  We are a small Buddhist Centre, part of the worldwide Triratna Buddhist Community, and there’s four of us working full-time on the centre team. The centre is the hub of a Buddhist community in Ireland which now has several hundred people who attend events, and we’ve approximately 2,500 people on our mailing lists. I have several roles in the Buddhist centre – Manager, IT Manager, teaching Buddhism and meditation, being the main events coordinator and planner, and doing lots of other jobs that everyone in a small organisation ends up doing...

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16 October, 2013

One of the most important things about any database is the integrity of its data.  Is it possible that you could be overriding existing contact information with incorrect information?

One of the many hats I wear at BackOffice Thinking is helping the CiviCRM team reach out to the CiviCRM user community and invite them to share their stories in the CiviCRM Community Newsletter.  During one of my conversations with Radoslav Minkov (IT Manager, CEPS), a future newsletter contributor, I found out that even though he is extremely happy with the CiviMail functionality, he was getting so frustrated with the Events/Registration functionality that he disabled this module from his installation.

His issue is one that affects many of our clients.  The issue is that when an administrator registers a person for an event, if the email entered has a match in the CiviCRM database, the new information will override any existing information in the CiviCRM database.  

Since I am...

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14 October, 2013
Filed under Community, Sprints

Thousands of feet in the air, halfway between my Washington, D.C. home and the cottage I shared with 20+ CiviCRMers for the better part of a week, I struggle to sum up the code sprint that has put ideas into motion like pinballs inside my head.

I could write about the beta release of CiviVolunteer, which Michael Daryabeygi and I have been spec-ing, architecting, and developing since April 2012. I could fill a blog post with descriptions of the slick UI of the soon-to-be-alpha-released CiviBooking extension and the variety of use cases it supports, the impressive CiviHR demonstration Tim Otten gave and the elegant code that powers it, or the Backbone.Marionette JavaScript framework leveraged by all three extensions.

But the thing that most stands out to me about the CiviCRM project is its extraordinary community.

We have so much diversity. Represented at the sprint were the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Belgium, Germany, the United States, and Spain. English,...

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