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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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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