15 April, 2016
Filed under CiviMail, Extensions, Tips

Note: this post was edited August 17, 2017, to include pricing changes on Mailjet and Sparkpost.

CiviMail is a great way to send targeted email to your supporters using CiviCRM to segment recipients and populate token values. Meanwhile, email marketing services such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact provide sending infrastructure so you don't have to worry much as much about deliverability. By using CiviMail with an SMTP or email API service, CiviCRM users get the benefits of both.

One popular service is Mandrill, which is offered by Mailchimp. Hundreds of organizations use the extension that integrates it with CiviCRM. However, in late February, Mandrill users received an email about “some significant changes that will affect your Mandrill account”.

To summarize, Mailchimp is looking to shed users who are not using their core Mailchimp product. Mandrill users will have to sign up for a paid monthly Mailchimp plan, and the allowance of...

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14 March, 2016

Hi! My name is Christian Maltais. I'm a founding member of Praxis Labs Coop. We recently launched a Civi hosting service with automated updates. However, I also wanted to help the community on a more personal level. Since I'm not a developer, I felt unsure. How could I fit in?

Luckily, the Civi folks are very welcoming, and the project needs all sorts of skills. I studied litterature in college, and I'm a pretty good copy editor. Turns out the "Features" section on civicrm.org needed some editing. That felt just right for me, so I got on it.

Editing is like thinning and weeding your garden. You're moving or removing what gets in the way; identifying and fixing potential problems.

Online readers have notoriously low patience. That's your biggest problem.

You can't make the readers more patient. You can however remove the things that try their patience, so that should...

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19 February, 2016
Filed under CiviCRM, Extensions, Tips

CiviCooP is working with Emphanos on a nice CiviCRM project (of which I am sure Young-Jin will blog at some point in the near future). As part of this project I developed a specific extension that creates or updates Activity Types, Contact Types, Custom Groups with Custom Fields, Event Types, Groups, Membership Types, Option Groups with Option Values, Relationship Types and Tags from JSON files.

So for example there is a JSON file for activity types which looks like this:

{
  "cont_education_info":{
    "name": "cont_education_info",
    "label": "Continuing Education Info",
    "is_active": 1
  },
  "award_win":{
    "name": "award_win",
    "label": "Award Win",
    "is_active": 1
  },
  "advocate":{
    "name": "advocate",
    "label": "Advocate",
    "is_active": 1
  }
}

When the scheduled job Update is executed it will either create or update all the activity types in the JSON...

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15 February, 2016
By bgm
Filed under CiviMail, Tips

On 9 February 2016, Gmail announced it would warn users when they receive e-mail that was not encrypted by the sender. After all, e-mail often includes personnal information, but has historically never been encrypted. A webmail might use https, an IMAP account is usually using encryption as well, but users do not have an easy way to know if the communication between two e-mail servers is encrypted. Gmail therefore introduced a small red open padlock in the e-mail header to warn users if the communication was not encrypted.

If you are affected by this change, contact your server hosting provider to make sure that their outbound SMTP e-mail server supports encryption. You can also use a commercial bulk e-mail...

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03 January, 2016
By totten
Filed under Community, Tips

(Updated: As v4.6.12 and 4.7.0, these directions have been simplified slightly.)

If you're working on a site with CiviCRM v4.6.5+ and rely on StackExchange, IRC, JIRA, or other community media for support, then you should consider making an anonymized site profile.  You can prepare one with a few clicks and paste it into any support requests.  This will provide a report of key technical details (such as the exact versions of CiviCRM, PHP, MySQL) which may assist others in diagnosing your problem.

How To

Log into CiviCRM as an administrator. Navigate to "Administer => System Settings => Connections". This page will display an option called "Site Profile" with a "Connect" button.  Click it.

 Enabling the Site Profile

Review the information and continue.

Next,...

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31 October, 2015
Filed under v4.7, CiviCRM, Extensions, Tips

Your CiviCRM installation may have undead contacts.  Contacts are marked as deceased in CiviCRM by setting the is_deceased column to 1; living contacts are marked with 0.  However, it's possible for import mistakes to cause contacts to have a value of null for is_deceased.  The result is that the contacts don't appear as dead when you view them, but they're excluded from mailings and other features that filter on is_deceased = 0.  The same goes for Do not mail, Do not email, and so forth.

A recent question on StackExchange, along with the Halloween holiday, prompted me to write an extension that checks your system for zombies.  It uses the new Status Messages page to display a notice with the fields with an inappropriate null value:

...

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15 September, 2015
By Dahndy
Filed under Tips

CiviCRM has a great feature that allows it to check email boxes and add new contacts and activities based on the emails in that box. Gmail has an awesome system of tags and filters. Emails in Gmail can be very tagged and sorted using a vast number of criteria. Together, Gmail can filter and sort large volumes of email with excellent accuracy, then CiviCRM can import the relevant, and only the relevant emails into the contact records.

This processor checks for emails in a specified folder, downloads them, processes the relavant content to an activity on a new or existing contact, then moves them to a new folder. In the days where everyone ran a standard email server accessible with POP3/IMAP, this was perfection.

The most difficult part I found of this entire setup of the Gmail setup, was getting authenticated with Gmail. Google employs multiple layers of security for their accounts and letting in some random login attempt from and unknown ip at an unknown location is...

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10 August, 2015

I have just completed the first cookbook on CiviRules, with 2 basic examples and an example on how to automatically classify donors based on their contributing behaviour. Have a look, any comment is highly appreciated :-)

http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/CiviRules+Cookbook

The CiviRules extension is in the CiviCRM extension list (https://civicrm.org/extensions/civirules) and on GitHub (https://github.com/CiviCooP/org.civicoop.civirules)

14 July, 2015
By pkeogan

I am often asked by our clients to help with hire a CiviCRM administrator.  This can be a new hire or a promotion of someone within the organization.  Although every organization has specific needs, I've found the below job description to be helpful as a starting point.  Hopefully you can find it helpful as well.

 

Position Overview
The CRM Administrator is responsible for the overall administration and support for the CiviCRM Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system. The successful candidate is not necessarily a technologist, but a person:
  • with a good understanding how a CRM should and can be utilized across the organization.
  • who has skills using online technology and has the curiosity and expertise to learn CiviCRM and participate in the CiviCRM community.
  • who is someone who wants to be a go-to person for the users. The candidate should be an advocate for the CiviCRM within the organization and...
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26 June, 2015
Filed under Tips

Are you tasked with making your instance of CiviCRM the best it can be? Do you like keeping up with the latest tips and techniques in CiviCRM land? Then you should definitley sign up for the weekly newsletter from our new Stack Exchange site.

Our Question and Answer site on Stack Exchange is flourishing - every day people ask and answer questions about how to do clever stuff with CiviCRM and we're rapidly building up a comprehensive knowledge base there.  Each week, Stack Exchange create an automated newsletter that lists (amongst other things) the most popular questions and answers of the week.  Subscribe to the newsletter and you can keep up date on all the clever stuff that people are doing and   The questions cover all topics and range from the introductory and very general ("How is CiviCRM different in Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress?") to the specific and advanced ("Simple,...

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