Long time contributor Eileen McNaughton recently won the New Zealand Open Source Award for Open Source Contributor, so we thought we’d reach out to a few members of the community to get input on her efforts with CiviCRM. Erik Hommel and Dave Greenberg are kicking off this blog post with their own personal thanks to Eileen. If you have a comment, story, or just want to say thanks, post it in the comments!
Thanks from Erik Hommel
I was really really happy last week to read that Eileen McNaughton won the NZ Open Source Contributor Award 2016. I can not compare to other open source projects as I only know the CiviCRM community really well, but man does she contribute! Always approachable on our communication channels, ready to help anyone in the community, fixing code, enhancing code and mothering most of the unit tests. There are times where I thought she had two lives at the same time until I read...Read more
Nearly 78% of sites using CiviCRM are on either version 4.6 or 4.7 (check out CiviCRM stats online). Why is that significant? Because those are the only two community supported releases currently. If you’re not on one of these versions, most importantly, don’t be alarmed. There might be a reason you’re not… perhaps you’re using a partner that continues to support an previous version, or have customizations that prohibit an upgrade. If that’s the case, feel free to skip the rest of this post. But, if there’s no good reason not to upgrade, then read on.
What do we mean when we say that 4.6 and 4.7 are the only versions being supported? Well, just that. CiviCRM 4.7 is the latest stable version of the software and is the primary focus of the Core Team. Version 4.6 is the current LTS, meaning that security updates (but not new features) will be back ported to it for a not-yet-determined amount of time. If you’re on any other version, then...Read more
This year, around 25 dedicated and fascinating people have gathered together in Edale, Peak District, to make improvements, discuss progress, and learn more about the CiviCRM project. Some have already left us and some will be here right up to the end of the weekend, but we have all contributed to the project in a helpful and constructive way.
We are staying in a lovely cottage in the Peak District, at the foot of the Pennine Way and half way between Sheffield and Manchester. We chose early on to split up into two groups: the Developers (‘Devs’) and the ‘Non-Devs’, each with different targets, supplemented with opportunities to come together and grapple with various issues, usually over food.
The Devs have been focussed on reviewing Pull Requests (PRs) and writing tests, which has evolved into various side projects, including writing procedures to reconcile table indexes, fixing new bugs found when testing PRs, improving reports, making Buildkit work with Bitnami...Read more
As the title implies, we’ve stuck our toe into improving the contributor framework before, but never quite settled on the best approach. But, it’s high time we do so. Why? Because contributors are key to sustaining and improving CiviCRM. The trouble is and has always been that recognizing, rewarding and encouraging contributions from the community is a complex task. Contributors come to the project through various channels, for various reasons, making it difficult to track and deepen engagement. Some contributors want recognition, others don’t. Some want to contribute, but don’t know how or are confused with the complexity of our community. Where do they start? Most contribute in a variety of different ways, raising the question of how best to value contributions.
Again, it’s no small task. Other open source projects, like Drupal for example, go to great lengths to accomplish this. Still others gamify engagement with elaborate badge/reward systems. In any case, moving this...Read more
It’s been on my tasklist to write about the CiviCRM community. Like most people it seems, my task list is longer than I care to admit, so I’ve put this off for some time. I had a moment of inspiration the other day when I was jogging about trying to visually represent some of the key elements of our community, however this was problematic for two reasons. First, our community is complex, offering different ways for people to participate around a common vision, often with little structure to support them. Second, because even though I am often struck with great ideas (at least, I think they’re great) when I’m running, I rarely remember them by the time I return home. Sadly, I don’t typically run that far.
But this one stuck with me: put together a very simple venn diagram demonstrating how the community works. Ideally this will help clarify and deepen understanding of this open source project, specifically within our end user base such that we see greater...Read more
Her address will focus on Wikimedia's data-driven approach to online fundraising and how CiviCRM and other tools are used. Caitlin manages the organization's global fundraising email campaigns which spread over 30 countries in more than 20 languages and raise about 25% of Wikimedia's overall budget.
I discovered CiviCRM as I was transitioning from accidental techie to intentional techie. While it's true that a TRS-80 Color Computer featured heavily in my childhood — I would secretly leave it powered on for the days it would take me to key in the recipes from Getting Started with Color BASIC, as we didn't have the cassette storage peripheral that would have allowed me to save my progress — I never set out to become... well, a geek.
Like so many in our community, I landed at the doorstep of technology through other activism, and purely by accident. In college I co-founded a campus animal rights organization. Having already lost two webmasters to burnout, graduation, the...Read more
The Core Team has spent the past six months assessing its capacity, managing a cultural transition, and overseeing the CiviCRM project in a post-founder environment that requires a different approach to economic sustainability. The challenges and opportunities presented by this transition can’t be overstated. We’re confident that, with strong community support, we can evolve CiviCRM into a model open source project.
Before we do that, however, It’s important to recognize that not only are we undergoing a significant cultural change at CiviCRM, but that we’re also in a space (open source) in which there are few good business models. Needless to say, it’s very challenging to build a viable business based on freely giving your product away. CiviCRM’s own model has been based on community participation and has been financially supported by a relatively few number of individuals and organizations. Going forward, CiviCRM will become exceptional at cultivating its community for...Read more
Giving back to my community is a core of who I am and it gives me purpose. That is why I love being a contributor to CiviCRM. Volunteerism is how I discovered the power of CiviCRM. As a past board member of the Webster Groves School District Foundation, they reached out to me in 2009 to evaluate their need to review their engagement with eTapestry. I decided to do my research to look for alternative solutions available to understand our options. That is how I found out about CiviCRM and the power it gave nonprofits to integrate their web presence with their donor, event and membership management systems.
At the same time, I was in the early planning stages of starting Spry Digital with my partners. We shared a love for the open source community and their passion to build great technology platforms. Since starting in 2010, our team has worked with the WordPress, Drupal and CiviCRM communities to promote these platforms,...Read more