10 October, 2014
Filed under CiviCRM, Schools, Teams, Tips

This goes out to CiviCRM users (yes YOU too!), admins and developers.

A key productivity tool in my day to day life is a set of Q&A websites called Stack Exchange. They have different sites for all sorts, from programming through to parenting(!). Typically, I'm on the programming ones usually, but stay with me, this isn't about to get technical.

What happens is that I'm getting on with my work and I get stuck on a problem that I'm sure a million others must have solved before. Or I'm doing something and I'm sure that there's a better/simpler/easier way. After the preliminary web searches fail me I'll hop over to the appropriate one of these Q&A sites where I'll hit the Ask A question button and start typing.

First this makes me phrase my problem as a question, and one that other people will be able to understand. This is a great discepline and...

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30 September, 2014

Finding enough money in your budget to market your organization effectively can be challenging. Most nonprofit organizations need to focus their limited resources on providing programs and services. Google makes it easier for nonprofits with Google Ad Grants. That, in combination with CiviCRM provides a power engine fueling your marketing, outreach and CRM needs.

So let’s start with Google Grants...

GoogleGrants gives $120,000 per year of free advertising to each nonprofit which meets the requirements of the program (http://www.google.com/grants/eligibility.html).

What does this mean? Anytime you Google a word or phrase, there will be results at the top of the page and in the sidebar that returns relevant results. Most of the time, this is paid search (which is very different from organic search, but that’s a different topic for a different day.)

So $120,000 a...

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31 July, 2014
Filed under CiviCRM, Documentation, Tips

Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the Structure of Dedupe Rules
  3. Creating Dedupe Rules
  4. Basic Dedupe Rule Attributes
  5. Field Weights, and Weight Threshold
  6. Some Recommended Rule Recipes
  7. Using Dedupe Rules
  8. Merging Contacts
  9. Using Dedupe Rules when Importing Contacts into CiviCRM
  10. Dedupe Exceptions
  11. Tips for Setting up Effective Dedupe Rules
  12. In Conclusion

1. Introduction

Dedupe rules are a very useful feature of CiviCRM, but one that can cause a fair bit of confusion to new or less technical users. The documentation on them is fairly spartan — sufficient for developers or...

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06 May, 2014
Filed under Community, Security, Tips

Don't ask for your privacy. Take it back.

Reset the Net is a campaign to improve individual and organizational privacy against mass government surveillance. I think we as CiviCRM community members should step up and act. In particular, hosting providers, implementors, and organizations using CiviCRM should up their game to implement SSL, HSTS, and PFS.

As users, administrators, and developers of software used by non-profits and advocacy groups around the world, we should all be concerned about the security of information in CiviCRM databases.

Many administrators and consultants went into overdrive to respond promptly to the recent http://heartbleed.com/ security vulnerability. But we also need to be aware of threats from mass government surveillance. 

Whether it is America's NSA, the Communications Security Establishment Canada, Britain's GCHQ, China's military, or other...

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28 April, 2014

After having worked with CiviCRM for going on a year, I was excited to see the community around the project and learn more about others who are using CiviCRM. Initially, I questioned the risk vs. reward of traveling 3000 miles across the country and leaving my new business for so many days. As the time drew closer and I started digging deeper into the session descriptions I began to get excited.

Flying to Civicon San Francisco 2014

 

Background

For the past 10 years, I have been working with businesses in the For Profit sector to develop and implement CRM’s and Business Management software. A year ago I started my own business offering web development and cloud based software integration for non-profit organizations. I saw a large need for data management in the nonprofit sector and one of our first large clients brought up a...

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20 February, 2014
Filed under Documentation, Security, Tips

We've just added a page detailing CiviCRM's security policy and release process.

This page is intended to help people identify how they can stay abreast of security updates, know when to expect them, and how to tell which release of CiviCRM to expect security fixes for.

If you maintain or operate a CiviCRM site (or sites!) then you this is a page you should be familiar with, and there are a few actions you should take -

  • Make sure your team are subscribed to security notification updates.
  • Put the newly announced security release window, first Wednesday of the month, in your schedule.
  • Make sure your installed sites are running a supported release, so they qualify for security fixes!

The CiviCRM community are making ongoing...

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06 February, 2014
Filed under CiviCRM, Drupal, Tips

Because of the way the synchronization process works with the UF_Match table, deleting records can be tricky business.   If done in the incorrect order, your CiviCRM database can end up with a bunch of Junk contact records.  Below is a best practice process for removing records, first the Drupal user record should be deleted then the CiviCRM record.

Process to Follow

Step 1 - Identify the Identify the Contact record(s) to be merged/removed in CiviCRM and note the Drupal User ID for the record to be removed.

Step 2 - Search for and locate the Drupal record for the CiviCRM Contact you are deleting that you identified in Step 1 and use the Cancel Account button to delete the Drupal User record.

Step 3 - Go back to CiviCRM and merge/delete the CiviCRM Contact record.

 

Step 1

  • Identify the Contact record(s) to be merged/removed in CiviCRM.
  • Determine the record which is to be removed and note the Drupal User ID....
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23 January, 2014
Filed under Tips

Every new install of CiviCRM starts out fresh and clean, with only the built-in data fields. However, as every organisation has its own data needs, we often find ourselves adding more and more custom fields to this. This can easily start to clutter your contact views.

An important way to avoid this and manage your custom data fields is to create relevant contact subtypes and assigning your custom data fields to those subtypes.

As a simple example, as a training event organizer, say you are keeping track of participants, speakers, and support staff in the same database. You may want to create custom fields for the speakers to keep track of their areas of expertise, for the support staff to monitor what roles they have received training for, and for participants to make sure that their knowledge of the training languages is recorded. Using subtypes, you can then easily assign these custom fields so that they only appear for that particular kind of contact. If...

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13 January, 2014

If it’s taking too long, there is a faster way… 

As I was getting ready to print our labels for this year’s Christmas cards, I first needed to add the address for about 80 of our clients in our CiviCRM.    Piece of cake, right?  Yes, if you take advantage of the Batch Update via Profile.   Unfortunately, I was unaware of this feature, so this simple task took me a whole day to complete.  

I performed a search for all of our customers’ employees.  Once the results were displayed, I proceeded to edit each contact that didn’t have an address.   In order to do this, I had to go to every single contact record.  Every time I finished adding and saving the address to a contact, I would have to run the search again and then edit the following contact without an address.  This was time consuming and cumbersome.

What I should have done instead, was: 

Make sure I had a Profile with the correct fields...

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20 December, 2013

The 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference (14NTC) is coming to Washington, DC, March 13-15. Don’t miss the opportunity to take part in the largest gathering of nonprofit professionals that put technology to use for their causes. Register now to attend the 14NTC to learn the latest nonprofit technology tools and trends, to share best practices from your peers, and to take part in all of the networking opportunities that this three-day event has to offer.

There's no shortage of educational experiences at the 2014 NTC. Learn alongside passionate nonprofit professionals who, like you, want to use technology effectively to advance their missions and bring about social change. Breakout sessions,...

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