In late 2009, we were looking for a better solution for one of our larger faith-based clients. The AMS and CRMs we investigated were either too expensive or too simplistic. We had taken a hard look at CiviCRM about a year earlier, but we didn’t think it was ready. However, with the release of CiviCRM 3.1, CiviCRM was more mature and gave us the flexibility and Drupal integration we needed. CiviCRM was ready and so were we.
Making the decision to implement CiviCRM was probably the most pivotal decision we made at BackOffice Thinking. Flash forward to 2016, CiviCRM is still our go-to CRM/AMS in many situations ; CiviCRM has matured and developed into a leader in the space.
I’d been involved in other open source “communities”, but this one is different for several reasons. Two that stand out are:
(1) CiviCRM becomes the lifeblood of nonprofits it serves. The community understands how important this is and it drives us to make...Read more
With over ten thousand organizations using CiviCRM worldwide, you might think it would be easy to find qualified, experienced people to hire for your job opportunities. However, it can sometimes be a challenge for job seekers to know if their CiviCRM skills will be of use.
CiviCareers aims to change that. The site brings together jobs at organizations worldwide who use CiviCRM to track and engage their supporters. Jobs in fundraising, organizing, event planning, and more—...Read more
It's been on our agenda for a good while to improve the way that we recognize the contributions people make to CiviCRM. I'm pleased to report that we've made some decent progress on this front. We now have a way to regularly 'poll' 'sources' for 'tasks' completed by 'contributors' to CiviCRM.
We're recording completed tasks at https://contributors.civicrm.org. This site will eventually turn into an API for consumption in different places like civicrm.org or your own professional/personal website. While that side of things is built out, I've scaffolded a UI that helps you visualize what's happening. You can see the most recent tasks that have been polled at and a prototype 'hall of fame'.
By default the hall of fame is based on all tasks from 1 year ago until today. You...Read more
In September last year, the core team started using Slack (a proprietary chat platform) to improve our internal communication and co-ordination. It worked really nicely for us and coordination and we wanted to role it out more widely, but there were a couple of limitations: the free version of slack has limited history (you can only search and browse the most recent 10k messages) and the full version costs $8 per user per month, which isn't going to work financially for us.
Thankfully, in February this year, in a email exchange on the partner list, we were introduced to Mattermost: an open source Slack clone. We've been trialing Mattermost since February and it's worked pretty nicely. We're now ready to roll it out across our community. Here's a quick intro to how we see it working...
How is it organized?
Mattermost is organized into channels. Each channel has a different purpose and you're free to join and leave channels as you wish. Channels provide a...Read more
This year seems to have flown by, and it's time to solicit CiviCRM User Summit sessions. If you use CiviCRM at your organization and have a story to tell—how you use a feature, what interesting customization you have, or how you'd like to see CiviCRM improve—you should submit a session. All accepted session leaders from nonprofits attend the conference for free.
The CiviCRM User Summit is in Washington, DC, September 22 and 23. Learn more and register today! (We'll certainly refund you if you submit a selected session.)
If you implement or develop for CiviCRM professionally, we'd...Read more
Photography by Alicia Fox / Cool Earth
Cool Earth is the charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rain forest destruction. Saving the rain forest isn’t a new idea. But managing to do it is. Over the last 40 years, half the world’s rain forests have been destroyed. That’s why Cool Earth decided to go about things differently.
Our model puts local people back in control, giving them the resources they need to keep their forest intact. And by saving at-risk rain forest millions of acres of neighbouring forest are put out of reach of...Read more
Over the past few months we've had a few requests for more clarity in on how the CiviCRM community is structured - how things are organized, lines of accountability, etc. It's crucial that this stuff is well understood by everyone that uses and contributes to CiviCRM. It helps us stay productive, helps newcomers understand how they can get involved, and helps us to scale.
We realised that although we've done a fair amount of work recently on explaining how the core team works and how you can interact with us, we haven't spent much time bringing clarity to the wider community. Our structure is often explained as 'the core team with a community of contributions. The lack of further definition of our community is telling, and its time to give it a bit of definition. It's time to say hello to teams and working groups.
There are a few 'interest groups' in our community already - they've sprung up...Read more
Girls on the Run's mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum. Teams are paired with coaches who teach valuable life skills over a 24-lesson curriculum that culminates with a 5K run at the end of each season. Every 5K event requires the registration and coordination of thousands of team coaches and over 800 volunteers. Also, as part of sharing their strengths with the community, each Girls on the Run team plans and implements a community service project, which allows them to discover the unimaginable strength that comes from helping others.
With so many volunteers and activities, Girls on the Run St. Louis had a few big questions to solve:
How could they migrate their data away from DonorPerfect, a CRM that was...
CiviCRM packs a ton of features for nonprofit organizations, ranging from contribution and donor management, to event management and mass email capabilities. If you use CiviCRM, then you already know that it’s a competitive piece of software for nonprofits. And yet, as a CRM, it’s not widely known. In fact, it wasn’t even listed in Idealware’s recent review of plugins for nonprofits using WordPress.
As an open source project, CiviCRM relies heavily on community participation to not just build the software, but to spread the word, and to encourage adoption of the CRM and participation within the community. Just this year we’ve taken steps to form more defined project teams, including a community team, in order to help attract and cultivate contributions of time and talent to this end.
Just as...Read more