05 June, 2015
Filed under CiviCon, Community, Meetups

Last week we celebrated the first CiviCon for the South of Europe in Madrid. It was a great day that provided the opportunity to bring together users, developers and implementers from the local growing community in Spain. We had close to 40 people interested on CiviCRM. 

During the morning we had sessions from end users such as Amnesty International, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid or the Spanish Fundraising Association; other more technical ones from implementors like iXiam about CiviSEPA, Francesc with a talk about the use of CiviCRM on social action entities, and Michael McAndrew presenting CiviCRM community.
 
For those that have been using CiviCRM we had a Help-desk to solve specific questions and make CiviCon the best experience as possible. ...
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05 June, 2015
By bgm
Filed under Community, Drupal

For those of you in the New York City area, 16-19 July 2015 is NYC Drupal Camp (pronounced "nice camp"), an annual grassroots non-profit conference run by volunteers. The event covers a broad range of topics related to Drupal. As part of the camp, the developers of the Aegir hosting system have organised the first Aegir Summit, 16-17 July.

For those not familiar with Aegir: it is a control panel based on Drupal and Drush to help automate the installation of Drupal, typically in a multi-site architecture (1 code base, many independant sites). With the provision_civicrm module, Aegir can also automate the installation of CiviCRM. This means that with a few clicks, you can create a new database, install Drupal and CiviCRM, configure the web server and optionally manage the SSL certificate. It also helps...

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03 June, 2015
There is a jungle of donor management systems. All promise the heaven on earth for development officers, fundraising professionals and nonprofit executives. And if you think CiviCRM is just one among many, you might want to take a closer look.
 
Aside from its fully integrated system which manages all contact information and activities around all people involved in your organization, CiviCRM is also state of the art technology with a very attractive price point as open-source. There are no licence fees. It’s all installed on your host if you’d like to stay in control of your environment, data and security. As with any software system, it needs its fair share of set-up, configuration, maintenance and training.
 
I have been burned with open-source software quite a bit in the last decade but working with open-source has also been the biggest delight. There are open-source software communities that stand out and CiviCRM is...
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25 May, 2015
Filed under Community, Documentation

https://civicrm.stackexchange.com/ is launched in beta and thriving as a place to ask and answer questions about CiviCRM. The benefit of the Q&A format is that good questions and good answers can get voted up, and better serve as an expert repository of our community's experience. Search rankings will soon be able to find good relevant answers to everyone's beginner and expert support and development questions.

Already we're averaging 10.9 questions per day, which is more than the 9.9 new topics started per day in http://forum.civicrm.org during the first quarter of 2015. 267 people have asked questions with a score of 1 or more, and 123 people have posted an answer that earned a +1 score or above. More than 90 percent of questions are answered, which is a healthy beta. There are over 550 users after two months, and 40 have asked or answered enough questions to get...

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06 May, 2015
By totten
Filed under Architecture, Community

CiviCRM sits in the middle -- exchanging data with your CMS, payment processor, email service, SMS service, spreadsheets, ad nauseum.  CiviCRM is also extremely flexible -- supporting multiple CMSs, multiple payment processors, multiple email providers, multiple SMS providers, ad nauseum.  These are great power features, but they also come with a cost -- complexity.  The on-boarding process for a new organization requires evaluating and configuring a plethora of integration options, and the configuration is not always easy. I'd like to talk a bit about this problem and a nascent project to solve it.

Integrations today

The cron service is a good example of an integration. Every site running Civi needs a set of cron jobs to keep the system moving -- to deliver mail blasts, to update membership statuses, to send scheduled reminders. Cron is actually a fairly simple service, but there are a lot of small variations (which are almost trivial... but...

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03 May, 2015

For core team member Coleman Watts, it all started while working for an environmental & peace education center that needed a database. Trying out CiviCRM, he soon discovered its power to unite different facets of the organization into a coherent whole. Using a holistic database transformed a weakness (running many programs meant piles of spreadsheets and disorganization) into a strength (a person's engagement with multiple aspects of the organization could now be tracked, facilitating collaboration between departments).

After attending a CiviCRM developer training, Coleman began extending the system and adding custom features for his organization. Inspired by the open source community he reworked his custom form code into...

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30 April, 2015
By Dahndy
Filed under CiviCon, Community

Now that CiviCon 2015 is over, it is a good time to reflect on the people we met and the great new things we learned. I attended the CiviCon conference as well as two full days of training prior to the event. Joining me in Denver were designer Kurt Thomas and front-end developer (and former organizer) Phillip Kent Knight from the Los Angeles LGBT Center, a Black Brick Software client organization.

Developer Training

Developer training was awesome. My experience with CiviCRM development up until now had been entirely self-taught, so I was excited to start with some of the basics - learning from the guys at Ginko Street Labs (they really know their Civi!)

We began by setting up CiviCRM Buildkit - this tool can spin up, snapshot, and restore instances of CiviCRM. Currently this kit only supports Drupal or WordPress. (As a proud member of the Joomla! developer community, I’m hoping to encourage more Joomla! devs to join the Civi community and maybe build...

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31 March, 2015
By elijah
Filed under Community, Meetups

Have you ever wanted to start a local CiviCRM user group? Or introduce CiviCRM to more local nonprofits? NetSquared might be able to help you kickstart a meetup through a co-hosted event.

I'm Eli, the Community Manager for NetSquared, a global volunteer-run network of nonprofit technology meetups. Our group leaders are currently holding events in 50 cities (across 20 countries) and they have venues and relationships with local nonprofits. But what they don't have is access to is experts who can come in and lead a presentation or workshop introducing these tech-minded nonprofiteers to the tools they can help solve their problems.

That's where you come in! I'd love to connect CiviCRM Ambassadors to my NetSquared local organizers. They can handle all the logistics of holding an event and you get to play the expert. :-)

What do you think? Does this sound like a fit for the...

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31 March, 2015
By johnff

I just hung up the phone with the President of a US-based CiviCRM consultancy. He's interested in collaborating with Future First on our SMS based survey system. We discussed a lot of different options, but all of them had one thing in common: we had to release the resulting software publicly. That, to us, is what CiviCRM is. It is collaborating and sharing, to produce, deliver, and share the technology we all need.

Future First engages the former students of state-funded schools and colleges to help those institutions. Private schools and Universities have been doing this for decades - they know it is a very effective way of raising students' aspirations - and Future First want to do the same to level the playing field between privately funded schools and state-funded schools. We bring people from all walks of life, including doctors, policemen, athletes, journalists, firemen, businessmen, engineers...

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18 March, 2015
Filed under CiviCon, Community

Still trying to decide whether CiviCon Denver is for you?  Whether you're new to CiviCRM or a seasoned expert there is something for you in the Mile High City at CiviCon Denver 2015! If you still need reasons to pack your bags, here they are:

TOP 5 REASONS FOR ATTENDING CIVICON:

  1. Increase your Knowledge: the focus of all the sessions is to improve your knowledge of CiviCRM. The more you know, the more efficient and strategic you can be once you return to work.

  2. Sharpen your Problem Solving skills: you have access to experts in this ecosystem.  Pick their brain and get your questions answered.

  3. Generate Creative Ideas:  presentations of case studies can spark new ideas as how your organization can use CiviCRM to engage...

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