29 October, 2014
By Stoob
Filed under Make it happen

"Sort Name" is used by CiviCRM for tabular search results. CiviCRM has historically just copied the Household and Organization names directly into the Sort Name field.  For names such the "The Can Company" and "Tom and Jeri Cooper" this doesn't work out so well; the sort will happen on the letter T as in "The" rather than the letter C as is more appropriate.

There's good reason and popular demand that Sort Name should be a customizable field (for Individual contacts too)...but it's not so simple.  There are some technical hurdles because CiviCRM must remember when to override this default behavior and preserve a saved human Sort...

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10 October, 2014
By pmoz

A little background.

Established in 1972, we are a non-profit human services organization that serves many diverse populations in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

A large part of our focus is on homeless services, but we also do some mental and physical health programming, early childhood development, community integration and host a large food pantry near the University of Pittsburgh campus. 

Because of our disparate clientele and locations, we have been using multiple Access databases to track participant information.  For many years we wanted to move it online so staff in people's homes, could enter updates from the field.  However, the cost to implement was prohibitive to say the least.

Our Drupal and CiviCRM experience

When we rebuilt our website using Drupal, I stumbled upon CiviCRM as an alternate to Constant Contact.  For two years, we have used Civi on the backend of our site to register for events, make online contributions and send out...

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24 September, 2014
As soon as our organisation (a UK church) started using Civi, we realised that there was one particular gap in its functionality which had a big impact on us - the ability to deal with recurring events. We run lots of things that 'recur' - courses on parenting, marriage, the Christian faith; youth clubs; weekly children's groups - so Civi's inability to deal with them was a challenge. I did some research on the forums and realised that others wanted this functionality too as many organisations run courses, classes, training events, regular meetings and so on. Encouraged by that I decided to start a Make It Happen campaign. 
I launched it with a lightning talk at Civicon 2012 and had some good feedback and some initial donations but then things went quiet. I contacted people who sounded like they may be interested via the forums, networked as hard as I could and blogged, but to no avail. There was plenty of...
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22 September, 2014
By gholt

The Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) is an organization dedicated to supporting planetarium professionals. Prior to 2011, our solution for membership management utilized a Microsoft Access database. This proved to be difficult when transitioning from one Membership Chairperson to another, and provided no remote access for other individuals in the organization that needed to know who the current members were. Conference management solutions were reinvented by a new conference host each year. Needless to say, this form of conference management was inefficient and inconsistent. Switching to CiviCRM greatly streamlined both the membership management and conference management workflows.

Management of these two areas continues to be streamlined and refined each year. Almost two years ago, we created a Conference Registrar volunteer position. The registrar interfaces with the conference hosts each year,...

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18 September, 2014

If you’ve ever wanted to setup a repeating event in CiviCRM, for example weekly church groups, then you’ll know thats its not the most straightforward task in CiviCRM at the moment, requiring large amounts of manual labour to get the desired end result. Up steps the Zing funded MIH with a large dose of user input from Lindsey @ Woodlandschurch and others who fed back on the wiki.

When Zing first approached us about the work we started with ideas and sketch of repeating events, however one of our key goals was to ensure the work became part of the core civicrm codebase and not an extension. The main reasoning behind this was to ensure that other extensions, such as CiviVolunteer and CiviBooking, could also take advantage of the repeating nature of events for their implementations. Up stepped our Core Recursion...

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04 September, 2014

Generously funded by ZingCivicon London will see the launch of new functionality enabling Civi to handle recurring events and much more. Rather than being restricted to ‘one-off’ events, Civi will now handle far more complex scenarios.

The new features will be incorporated into the core of CiviEvent but there are added bonuses as the recurring functionality has wide-ranging applications within Civi. Do you want to schedule volunteers every Tuesday at 4pm and on the third Friday of every month? Do you need to make a room booking every Monday evening for 6 weeks, three times a year? In time, the recurring functionality should make this possible in extensions such as CiviVolunteer and CiviBooking.

Back to Events,...

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25 February, 2014
By kreynen

We did it! Now what?

Unfortunately we can't just sit back and wait for the student project proposals to roll in. If you look at the list of 190 organizations Google approved, we're competing w/ projects with a lot more name recognition...

Google expects to approve ~1,300 students...

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12 February, 2014
By kreynen
Filed under Community, Make it happen

The developers who've already volunteered to help mentor students, organizations that agreed to give back by allowing their staff to co-mentor a project, and everyone who's already submitted project ideas deserve a HUGE THANKS!! We got the level of participation we needed to submit the official application to Google for CiviCRM to be mentoring organization... but that doesn't mean I'm done bugging the community for more project ideas and looking for more developers and organizations who want to get involved. If you had an idea and just didn't have time to flush it out before Feb 10, you can still add it to the Google Summer of Code - 2014 Wiki or start a thread in the Developer Discussion to get help flushing the idea out.

No idea is too small, too big, or too complicated to be discussed. Small projects can be combined...

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27 January, 2014
By kreynen

Did that get your attention?

Unfortunately it's not as simple as just coming up with ideas and waiting for a check from Google. As a community, CiviCRM has to apply to even be part of the program. We are still looking for both more project ideas and more mentors to include in CiviCRM's application to be a mentoring organization in Google Summer of Code 2014.

I've been told this blog post was too long. So the tl;dr summary is that organizations with project ideas and developers interested in mentoring a Google Summer of Code student should add their ideas and information to Google Summer of Code 2014 Wiki.

At this point in the process we are trying to make CiviCRM appealing to both potential students and Google. Several months ago we started updating the wiki of project idea...

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30 August, 2013
Filed under v4.4, Make it happen

Although many organizations already use CiviCRM to manage volunteer programs, a more streamlined and integrated approach to volunteer management and tracking functionality has been high on many peoples' wish list for several years. Thanks to generous financial support from the Kahle/Austin Foundation, Friends of Georgia State Parks, Confluence, and JMA Consulting - along with work above and beyond the call of duty by Frank Gomez, Michael Darabeygi, Yashodha Chaku and Coleman Watts - phase 1 of the new CiviVolunteer extension will be released as part of the upcoming 4.4 version of CiviCRM.

The features for this release focus on volunteering at events, but the design creates a foundation for adding support for volunteering...

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