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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19 December, 2013
Filed under Tips
Are you performing a search or an advanced search that returns thousands and thousands of contacts from which you have to select a large number of contacts to perform different actions, such as exporting to a spreadsheet, creating mailing labels, adding them to groups, etc.?   
 
Instead of just showing the default of 50 contacts/page, you can alter the URL on the search results pages to show more than 100 records at a time.
 
In order to do this, perform your Search
Look at the bottom of the page when Civi returns all the contacts that meet your search criteria. The default is set to 50.
Change number of rows to show from default 50 to 100 by clicking on 100.
Now look at the end of the URL in your browser (note the crmRowCount value is 100):
 
...
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18 December, 2013
Filed under CiviCRM, Community, Meetups, Tips
CiviDay2014 (Wed. Jan 29, 2014) will be here before you know it.  Thank you to all of you that have already committed to leading a meetup on this day.  As of now, we will have a CiviDay in 24 locations.  Yay!  That's the same amount we had last year...it would be great to see if we can see a handful more started.
 
We need everybody's help to create some buzz around this day.  In order to help you spread the word in your network, please feel free to use the following sample tweets: 
 
Thrilled to attend #CiviDay Jan. 29, 2014 & learn how others are using #CiviCRM. Tweet at me if you'll be there too! [registration link]
 
Hey @friend, want to come to #CiviDay with me? [registration link]. Great way to learn about #civicrm and how it can help you.
14 November, 2013
By seank

Down here in Bristol, we’ve been putting more bones on the video project and talking to lots of people who want to be involved, so we thought we would give you an update on how things are progressing and what we need from the community at this point in helping developing the plans for the future.

We’ve now assembled 10 complete videos to cover discrete simple actions in CiviCRM and you can see links to these on the wiki. Our aim was to produce finished videos around 2 minutes long, but as you'll see they range from about 1 to about 3 minutes.

We've also been documenting the creation process which will probably be familiar to anyone who has done any video production in the past, but will hopefully be useful to contributors new to this activity. We’ve had some good tips from professionals (...

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08 November, 2013
Filed under Tips

CiviCRM has a lot of clever functionality but it isn't always easy to find. I wanted to share with people a very useful feature that is hiding 'in plain sight' on the advanced search form.  I've pointed this out to folks a few times during trainings, and it seems to be something that quite a few people (even those that have been using CiviCRM for a while) have missed.  Maybe this is because there are many other buttons competing for your attention on the advanced search page. Or maybe it's because once you have familiarised yourself with a page, it is easy to miss extra options that appear during upgrades. In any case, here is a quick look at what 'Display results as' can do for you.

Have you ever wanted to

  • search for event participants but found the options in the Find participants screen too limiting? Maybe you want to find all event participants that were also members.
  • search for contacts based on...
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