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.


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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 :-)


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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04 May, 2015

My colleague Tommy has been leading our response at AGH Strategies for Civi911 calls that come in, and he's noticed a few common themes.  I suspect that you may encounter some of these same issues, and this might save you some time and money in addressing problems that crop up on your CiviCRM site.

Six Common Problems We’ve Seen in the First Six Months of Civi911

Six months ago we launched a service for emergency, one-off support requests called Civi911. We’ve gotten calls from all sizes and types of organizations, and many of them share common problems.

  1. Wordpress Plugins - Not to name names, but the first thing we do with a non-working Wordpress site is to disable all the plugins. Typically it is a caching plugin that is wreaking havoc, but it is best to leave no stone unturned. The most problematic have been the plugins bundled with a particular theme or...
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13 April, 2015
By petednz

We have started a small collection of blogs about using Views, Views Bulk Operations (VBO) and CiviCRM Entities to provide a Views-based interface for bulk updating Civi data.

This opens up a number of possibilities for bulk data updating which may not yet be straightforward in CiviCRM itself.

The recipe is basically

  • install CiviCRM Entity version 2.x & Views Bulk Operations VBO
  • create a View based on the Civi entity in question eg Contact or Participants or Relationships
  • add the VBO field and configure the desired 'bulk operation'

Setting up a View with a bulk operation to modify the entity in question is pretty straightforward. The one 'catch' at this point is that as far as VBO is concerned, we have to enter the CiviCRM 'value' not the 'label', so if you are wanting to update a...

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25 February, 2015
Filed under API, Documentation, Tips

Whether you're just getting started with customizing CiviCRM or you already think you know everything about it, I invite you to spend a few minutes playing with the new API Explorer in 4.6. You'll be glad you did.

New look

Building on Xavier's great previous work (thanks X for writing the original explorer) I rewrote the interface in 4.5 to reflect new api techniques and take advantage of new user-friendly UI widgets like select2. In 4.6 I've added even more goodies, so be sure to upgrade when it is released - some of the features listed below (marked with a *) are only in 4.6.

Interactive option lists

No need to type in secret codes, you can...

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19 February, 2015
Filed under Tips

CRM Data plans refer to documenting agreements on representation, format, definition and structuring of data. Current and future CiviCRM users can utilise it to increase efficiency, knowledge creation and interoperability with other systems.

In order to optimise and future-proof the CRM system, the data structures, in addition to the data itself, need a good re-work. There are two main steps to the process:

  • Reviewing data and operations, and setting the new structures
  • Remodelling existing data to match the new structures

Create a Data Plan

  1. Collate and list all data fields (names/ headings, descriptions, options) that are collected through all channels, formal, informal, paper, digital etc. onto a single repository.
  2. Create a data dictionary. Consider adopting data...
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