The organizations we work with are experiencing the benefits of a robust tool that is
easy to use, supports their work, and allows them to collect and track data from various parts of their organization, such as membership, fundraising, communications, and organizing into a centralized database. CiviCRM as an open-source solution also allows us to nurture and build a user community to share and create a common vision of future features that would be useful to the community organizing field. Just two years after our pilot project, we're currently supporting 30 community organizing groups to use CiviCRM, and the community is steadily growing.
The community provides excellent forum support, new ideas and feedback on suggestions. The CiviCRM software suits many use cases and allows us to support a large number of diverse UK voluntary sector organisations.
The functionality and design of CiviCRM help us to integrate "relationship management" features into other platforms (like Drupal). Many of our sites are driven by relationship, community and connection, not merely by content.
I work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. We switched to CiviCRM so that we could be sure that our membership data stays safe, secure, and private. Now we have control over our CRM and can customize it to work for our needs.
<Cross posted from Advomatic.com The code blocks will be easier to read there.>
Sometimes after launching a new site our clients find that there are fields and features in CiviCRM that they don't use. We are working with a client that wants to remove all fields and features that aren't useful in order to simplify their user interface and make it easier to use. This includes things like SMS features, email signatures, and demographics. There are also several fields that they wanted renamed to be more consistent with the legacy system that they migrated from. To fulfill this requirement I used a combination of template overrides, and CiviCRM's translation system.
First up I should point out that if you do want to go down this path you need to make clear to the client that this will take a fair amount of effort up front (hopefully less for you now that you are reading this recipe). Additionally, if/when you upgrade CiviCRM these customizations will need to be reviewed at the very least, and possibly even re-done to some extent. So while this customization will make things more usable for CiviCRM administrators, it will add cost to both the initial site build, and to ongoing maintenance.
By definition CiviCRM is used by many organizations in the political sphere. For those organizations working in the US one useful metric to have on your contacts is their congressional district. Up until now this has usually been accomplished with either custom code, or exporting your contacts, sending them through a bulk lookup tool, and re-importing them. There is now an easier way to get this with the CiviCRM Sunlight Congressional District module.