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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08 October, 2013
By johnff

I first started coding with CiviCRM about three months ago.

I'd left my previous job to start working, for the first time, as the only Software Developer at a small London-based charity. Future First is an education charity that aims to help state schools mobilise their former students. This can involve (but isn't limited to) getting alumni to e-mentor current students, do presentations in school assemblies, meet students at open days, or provide donations, in much the same way that private schools have been doing for centuries. The results so far have been spectacular, having started in 2009 in London, Future First is now operating in schools throughout England and are soon to start in Wales. This isn't mentioning the pilot project in Kenya!

But big ambitions need a big database, which brings us to CiviCRM.

Every year, CiviCRM hosts sprints where developers group together to help solve common problems and...

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07 October, 2013
Filed under Community

Last week during CiviCon in London I introduced CiviCooP to the audience. CiviCooP is a Dutch cooperative organisation (“coöperatieve CiviCooP UA”) which aims to help CiviCRM customers (mainly NGOs) with all aspects of CiviCRM.

In this blog my aim is to explain to you what CiviCooP is about, its roots and what might be in it for you. What are we about? Well, to be able to explain this I have to tell you a little about our roots. So let me take you back to a nice Thai restaurant about a year ago. Around the table Xavier Dutoit, Erik Brouwer and Erik Hommel. All active CiviCRM community members supporting NGOs with their CiviCRM implementations.

The topic of discussion: how are we going to meet the growing demand for CiviCRM and offer better support on a daily basis to our customers? How are we going to work together in a way that ensures we keep our individuality and independence whilst at the same time providing one contact point...

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29 September, 2013
Filed under CiviCon, Community

CIVICON LONDON October 3rd and 4th

130 people have already registered for CiviCon London this Thursday and Friday, but there are still a few tickets left - now is your last chance to register - click here to book your place!

CiviCon London is Europe's biggest CiviCRM meetup.  It is packed with sessions to help you learn about CiviCRM, and is the best place to meet and network with other CiviCRM users and providers.  The conference is designed for new and existing users, and also for those considering using CiviCRM.

You don't have to be a techie to attend - have a look at our full session line up for users, including:

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27 September, 2013
Filed under CiviCRM, Community

Congregation Etz Chayim is a liberal Jewish congregation located in Palo Alto California with about 300 families. We differ from other congregations in the area because

  • We are unaffiliated with the Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform movements
  • We wrote our own prayer book which includes Hebrew, English, and transliterations so that everyone can participate
  • During the Bar or Bat Mitzvah service there is a unique question and answer dialogue between the Bar or Bat Mitzvah student and the congregation

Several years ago we started a project to update our website at http://etzchayim.org. One of the challenges with the site was keeping it up to date and being able to add new features. We were very dependent on volunteers with technical backgrounds to manage changes.

Being in the heart of Silicon Valley, many of our members work in high technology and we wanted our members and prospective members...

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24 September, 2013
Filed under Community

Josué started doing social justice work when he participated in the Center for Third World Organizing‘s organizer training program in 1990. That led to a decade of working as an organizer for both community groups and labor unions. In 2000 he decided to switch careers, focusing on supporting the technology needs of groups doing organizing.


From 2006-2009, Josué was the Technology Manager for The Praxis Project. Along with elevating the technological infrastructure of this national intermediary, Josué supported the work of many groups across the country. Additionally, he built two web based tools: the HealthJustice ReportCard and the Detention Watch Network’s Detention Centers Map.


Josué started working with the Progressive Technology Project in...

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18 September, 2013
Filed under Community, Sustainability

For the past eight years, CiviCRM's core team have been shipping a free, powerful, industry-leading solution for non-profit organizations. This blog post examines how we have achieved this -- and what it will take to continue delivering a great product for the next eight years.

Of course, since we are an open source project, the work of the core team is just a part of a bigger picture, sitting alongside the countless contributions from our users and providers.  But in this blog post, I’m focusing on how we can ensure a healthy core team to keep the project moving forward for years to come.

CiviCRM's income - an abridged history

Lets start with a quick recap of the last eight years.

In the begining, we were blessed with generous funding from of a couple of private foundations.  This enabled us to assemble a team of developers to build out the first versions of CiviCRM. CiviCRM 1.0 was our minimum viable product...

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06 September, 2013
Filed under Community, Sustainability

A massive thank you to all the service providers (listed below) who signed up as founding partners and helped us exceed our fundraising goals for the partner program. In total, we raised $90,000 from 43 founding partners (our goal was $75,000) which is a fantastic step for the sustainabilty of the project and shows the strength and diversity of our service provider ecosystem. 

Partners are still signing up and with a bit of luck, we'll hit $125,000 in recurring revenue each year for the project.  If you deliver CiviCRM services, please do consider becoming a partner and helping us reach this new goal. Doing so would mean that we're raising approximately 25% of the revenue we need to sustain the project. So a good moment to take a step back and celebrate, but we still have a lot to do.

So what is next? As promised, we'll be digging deeper into how much it costs to run CiviCRM, and where your money goes.  We'll also be formalising our...

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06 September, 2013

Last January we shared here that the Spanish - Mexico (MX) translation project of CiviCRM was completed thanks to the community of translators. Even though this was a huge accomplishment, other challenges remained.

The Challenges

Having the Spanish - Mexico (MX) project translated was great, but definitely not enough.

  • The Spanish (ES) translation still varied too much from the Mexico (MX) project. The Spanish (ES) should be useful for a lot of Spanish-speaking countries, not only in Spain but also in Latin American countries, including: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Paraguay among others
  • Despite the fact that the MX project was 100% translated, the translation was not normalized and sometimes inaccurate. Community based translation projects are great collaborative projects, but sometimes they can be...
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