Last month I attended Sustain Summit 2018: an inspiring 'one-day event for open source sustainers' organised by Open Collective. It was great to spend a day with people who are working hard to tackle the sustainability problem. Some focused on their own projects, others looking more broadly across the open source ecosystem. The sustainability conversation has moved on significantly since the last time I looked, in about 2013, and there are lots of new ideas and projects with the potential to impact how we work.
In this post, I want to try and do two things: give a comprehensive account of CiviCRM's sustainability story; and share some ideas that I think could be useful for the road ahead.
Our sustainability story
A couple of times during the conference, I found myself telling our sustainability story (my version of it at least) and it struck me that although we often share parts of it at events and in blog posts, we have never written the whole thing down...Read more
Of the 261 voters in this election, 199 cast ballots.
Those elected are:
Allen Shaw, US
Claire Williams, UK
Erika Bjune, US
Kathryn Carruthers, Canada
Rose Lanigan, UK
Of the 62 voters in this election, 49 cast ballots.
Those elected are:
Alice Aguilar, US - Progressive Technology Project
Andrew Hunt, US - AGH Strategies
Erik Hommel, Netherlands - CiviCooP
Peter Davis, NZ - Fuzion
Over the next two months, the committee will develop...Read more
The CiviCRM Core Team is pleased to announce what we hope will become an annual event; a combined governance summit and code sprint. This year’s event will begin on September 25th, immediately following CiviCamp Hartford, and will be located in West Milford, New Jersey (within an hour from major airports). Full event details including agenda and discussion are online (or will be soon) here: https://lab.civicrm.org/community-team/governance-summit-code-sprint/wikis/home
This event will be comprised of a governance portion and a code sprint portion.
This portion of the event will take place over the first 2 days and is intended to provide a forum for general project management and governance for the project as a whole. Partners, members, sponsors, and active contributors are invited to participate in this portion of the...
Earlier this year, we did a community wide survey to better understand the CiviCRM user base as well as help refine our priorities as a Core Team. While there were a few surprises in the results, one item that we expected to stand out was a need for ongoing training. Let’s face it… CiviCRM can be complicated, at least for those that leverage its full potential and adapt it to their own business processes. Though there are a ton of resources to help, such as documentation, videos, training events and webinars, most could likely benefit from ongoing training opportunities. That’s why we’re psyched to roll out two new member benefits focused on training: Ask the Teacher, and access to CiviDesk’s CiviTips!
Ask the Teacher
Starting in February 2017, CiviCRM member organizations will have access to quarterly online webinars in which Stuart Gaston, aka CiviTeacher, will answer all...Read more
Last week, I wrote about the CiviCRM community and tried to boil it down to a very simple venn diagram. Not only does 'community' play a huge role in producing the software through new features, bug fixes, etc., it also is invaluable for helping promote and raise awareness about CiviCRM the software.
Part of the diagram outlining the CiviCRM community includes providers and organizations that financially give back to CiviCRM, like partners, members and, as is in the title of this post, event sponsors. We often say that CiviCRM is free to download, but not free to maintain, support and improve. Those end user organizations and providers that financial support CiviCRM truly go above and beyond to make certain that the software is maintained and continuously improving.
Special thanks to our CiviCon London...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
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
As a project and as software for nonprofits, CiviCRM benefits from events in that they not only raise funds for the Core Team, they raise awareness about this incredible open source CRM and they foster the community participation needed to drive it. We’re excited to see that the first two CiviCon’s in 2016 are coming online, both slated for May/June time frame, though on opposite sides of the world; Ft. Collins, Colorado in the United States and Woerden, Netherlands.
Though there’s a huge distance between them, we’ve tried to align these and all future CiviCRM events such that they can support the operational objectives of the Core Team, specifically to raise funds and to grow the CiviCRM ecosystem. We took a step in this direction late last year when we began to better establish guidelines for CiviCRM events, and now with the recent re-formation of the...Read more
I've had the opportunity to present the ‘state of CiviCRM’ now at both the recent DC User Summit and at CiviCon London. While we often talk about and evaluate the features and technical capabilities of CiviCRM, we do at times lose sight of its central purpose... the 'why' behind what we do. Going forward, we hope to keep this front and center in our communications. Why? (I knew you’d ask that)...
Because the central purpose of CiviCRM is its most ‘significant’ feature. Simply put, CiviCRM exists to empower organizations all across the world to have meaningful impact.
I'm asking you to consider this because I believe that appreciating CiviCRM for its purpose is necessary to reach sustainability. The more that I understand about CiviCRM and its community, the more I realize that supporting it because of what it can do technically is sufficient in and of itself. However, supporting it for its purpose, the reason why it exists, is...Read more
Salvation Army Echelon, the official young adult auxiliary of The Salvation Army, is the product of an idea that began in Dallas, Texas in 2010. Echelon is the next generation of community action for the Salvation Army. Men and women age 21 to 35 engage in networking, fundraising and community service in chapters across the U.S.
After the network of chapters expanded from one club in Dallas to several clubs across the nation, Salvation Army Echelon wanted a solution to house the chapters under one umbrella while allowing each club to customize their own site. They chose Skvare based on their expertise in CiviCRM and the added benefit of having all web-related services - web development, hosting and maintenance - provided by one company.
Angie Harmon, Chair of PR & Communications of the Echelon Peoria Advisory Board says,...Read more