15 March, 2017

Before I started working as a CiviCRM consultant, I was a CiviCRM user at a small nonprofit. We got a large chunk of our revenue through grassroots donations, but we never had an opportunity to see how we compared to other organizations like ours.

(TL;DR – you should install the Individual Donor Benchmark Survey extension, run the report, and submit your survey response.)

Nowadays, some proprietary donor databases collect users’ data and publish reports, but besides being creepy, they can’t get good data without involving organizations directly. They also only cover users of a single software system.

Besides, how do you know the data covers organizations like yours?

The Individual Donor Benchmark Survey was developed by Third Space Studio to address these...

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30 January, 2017
Filed under v4.7, v4.6, Tools, Extensions, Tips

My clients regularly need to import data from sources such as Just Giving, CAF, and various other sources like Mailchimp downloads. The problem they had was that the data was a mix of contact and contributions, and some of the rows belonged to new contacts, others belonged to existing contacts. Sometimes they had a scrappy list of names and emails where the name was all in one field instead of split out. You know the sort of thing.

At the time (a few years ago) I knocked together a Drupal module to help pre-process this data so that it could be used efficiently with CiviCRM's built in import functions. I made it in Drupal because that was quickest for me to develop a solution and they used Drupal, but I've now re-written it as a native CiviCRM extension that should work for Drupal users, and the ever proud and cheerful (but wrong) Wordpress fans alike. Maybe even Joomla. ;-)

How does it help me?

It takes your spreadsheet (...

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27 January, 2017

email imageWhen email was first designed, security was not considered important and up until fairly recently it was still possible to send an email from any address and get away with it.

However, as spam, phishing and spoofing attacks by email have become increasingly common there have been various attempts to make email more secure.  In the last year or so the major providers (AOL, Google, Microsoft etc.) have all seriously tightened their security and authentication requirements for validating and receiving email.  The result of this is that a lot of legitimate email is now being classified as spam or rejected by those providers.  In order to ensure that your email continues to be marked as legitimate and received by these larger providers it is now almost essential that you implement SPF, DKIM and DMARC on your domains otherwise many of your...

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19 January, 2017
By hershel

Way back when, in the early days of CiviCRM, there were two CMS’s supported, Drupal and Joomla, and CiviCRM’s codebase was complicated, but ran reasonably well. After a few years, the code was greatly improved but also significantly expanded to include a tremendous amount of additional functionality, and thus CiviCRM became a serious server resource hog. Finding hosting that could run it at all was sometimes a challenge and finding a host that could run it well was difficult.

In those days, Drupal sites far outnumbered Joomla sites, both generally on the web and also for CiviCRM sites. Since CiviCRM released WordPress support, however, what we have seen at CiviHosting is an increase in WordPress sites and today in fact, for new installs, we see that more clients choose WordPress over Drupal (by a small percentage).

Back in the early days, the majority of CiviCRM users were small to medium sized organizations, but...

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02 January, 2017
By totten
Filed under Tools, Extensions, Tips

cv (https://github.com/civicrm/cv) and civix (https://github.com/totten/civix) are Unix/CLI tools for developers. cv provides access to your Civi site on the command line, and civix generates skeletal code for new extensions. We've had a few recent updates to each of these tools, so I wanted to introduce cv more formally and then recap some of recent improvements for each tool.

cv: Introduction

cv originated as part of the Testapalooza project which broadened support for automated tests in CiviCRM -- testing of CiviCRM extensions or external integration modules; testing with PHPUnit or Behat or Codeception; testing for headless scenarios or end-to-end scenarios; ad nauseum. In all of these cases, we start with some...

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14 December, 2016

This little story about financial transactions has a couple of objectives:
1. share what we want to do for the benefit of each and everyone
2. find out if there are more organisations out there that would be interested
3. even better, organisations out there that want to co-fund and influence!

If you are interested and want to co-contribute, drop either Björn (endres@systopia.de) or me (erik.hommel@civicoop.org) a mail!

At the moment CiviCRM allows for the linking of a financial account to the financial type as a basis for data exporting to whatever software you are using for accounting. You can also attach an asset type financial account to a payment instrument. When creating, updating, cancelling or refunding a contribution the financial 'traffic' between the configured financial accounts is nicely recorded in the financial transactions table. We...

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29 November, 2016
Filed under Tools

Preparing for a session at CiviCon London last month, I realised I needed better data than the out of the box sample data. It's a situation I've found myself in a few times so rather than write a one of script to generate the data, I decided to try and write something more generic and reusable. The result is something I am calling CiviPop (or Pop if three syllables / 7 letters is too much for you).

The basic idea is that you create a 'pop file' (in yaml format) that summarizes the data you want to generate and let Pop do the hard work of realistic sounding names and associated entities etc.

At it's simplest, you can use it to create a single set of entities. For example, the following will create 1,000 individuals.

- Individual: 1000

Behind the scenes, Pop is giving each individual a realistic name (using the Faker library) and is creating...

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randomness