Tips

End-user tips and tricks go in this category.

Highlights from my recent development experiences

Publicat
2022-08-20 11:47
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In case you have been living under a rock, the CiviCRM development environment has dramatically changed over the last 5 years. Recently I've had the opportunity to upgrade my 10 year old CiviCRM development chops by learning some of the new tools and I thought I would share my experiences.

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How to fix unexpected header/footer in recent maillings

Publicat
2022-06-30 02:39
Written by

If you’re starting to see unexpected content at the top and/or bottom of your mailings, this may be to do with a recent upgrade (to 5.49.0+). For example, you might see text like “default HTML header”, or a footer offering opt-out where there previously was none. You might also see old headers/footers that you used to use.

Why has this happened?

(If you don’t care and just want a fix, skip to the next heading!)

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Advanced Reporting with Jasper

Publicat
2022-06-24 04:31
Written by

So you have loads of useful data in your CiviCRM database… but the core CiviCRM reports just aren't cutting it. What to do? A number of our clients have worked around this by utilizing Jasper Reports, an open source tool that allows for building complex and flexible reports using data, read directly from CiviCRM.

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How to Import Contributions in CiviCRM

Publicat
2022-05-19 06:17
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We get questions about importing contributions fairly often, so we thought we’d walk you through the steps we typically follow to ensure that the contributions are a) imported correctly and b) attached to the correct contacts. Does it take a bit longer? Perhaps – but we believe accuracy is well worth the few extra steps.

One important note: for contribution, membership, activity, and participant imports, Civi won’t add any of these to contacts that don’t already exist in the system, so it’s crucial to do a first pass to ensure the contacts exist.

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Prevent Custom Field Lost Data

Publicat
2022-03-24 07:45
Written by

It’s a great idea to create a Custom Field with the field type Checkbox, particularly when you have many, many options. Did you know there is a risk of losing data if you don’t have the checkbox set up properly?

CiviCRM will attempt to save the information to the database without regard to the length of the items chosen.

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Improve your email delivery

Publicat
2021-11-19 03:14
Written by

This month at CiviCRM North East, Rich Lott of Artful Robot spoke about how to improve email deliverability and avoid your mailings being marked as spam.

As we discovered, it is quite a complex topic but Rich did a great job of explaining the technicalities.

Rich answered questions such as:

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Webinar - deduplication

Publicat
2021-10-08 08:08
Written by

Learn more about how you can deal with duplicate records in CiviCRM in this talk by Aidan Saunders of Squiffle Consulting.

This is a recording of the talk Aidan gave at the CiviCRM North East meeting on 8 September 2021. He spoke about:

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Showing it! New website documenting various use cases

Publicat
2021-09-01 06:03
Written by

When looking for CRM software for your organisation, you want to see screens, what it looks like, what it can do, and also what is involved to integrate it with your existing other systems such as your website or your financial or bookkeeping software. 

There is a community created website containing 4 detailed use cases to give you that information:

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Corona Crisis: Use CiviCRM to organise neighbourly help in your community

Publicat
2020-03-27 10:39
Written by
We live in challenging times, and we should now help each other more then ever - especially when on lockdown.
 
We created a CiviCRM extension to coordinate help for the vulnerable and most affected members of your neighbourhood, community, town or county. It provides two simple public forms, where people can sign up either to request or offer help. These forms then create CiviCRM contacts with the help requests/offers stored in custom fields.
 
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Civicrm Entities: not just for coders

Publicat
2019-11-18 09:28
Written by

In 1992, there was a little known new thing called the world wide web. By 1995, it was a "thing". Now, what exactly do those quotes do to the word "thing"? And what does this have to do with "entities"? Cue my favorite programming joke.

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New setting available in 5.17 should improve performance on most sites

Publicat
2019-09-12 13:04
Written by

Credit goes to other people but I wanted to point out a new setting now available as of 5.17.0 that should speed up most sites. At worst it should have no effect. It's like that button on traffic light poles - you press it and sometimes it does nothing but sometimes the light changes faster. Either way you're no worse off, except they now have your fingerprints on file.

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Searching for Non-Primary Data in CiviCRM

Publicat
2019-03-21 09:17
Written by

One of the questions we occasionally get from our clients concerns how users can search for non-primary emails, addresses, and phone numbers in CiviCRM.  Because so many constituents use different emails for different purposes - one for billing, one for bulk emails, and so forth - it can become a challenge to locate people in your data.  However, we have a couple of suggestions for how you can search across all emails, phone numbers, and addresses.

Option 1: Add Them to Your Search Results

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Using CiviCRM form processor extension to handle form submissions from an external website

Publicat
2018-08-08 06:03
Written by

In this blog post I want to show how you could use the new form processor extension to handle form submissions from an external website.

My (imaginary) organisation provides buddies for young people and the form on our website is submitted when somebody is interested in becoming a buddy for a teenager. We ask for the name, address, e-mail, telephone number, birth date and gender.

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A little preparation helps good organizations be great clients

Publicat
2018-07-10 15:02
Written by

Last year at #17NTC, I met a consultant who reminded me of the dreaded phone call, “Hey, a colleague referred me to you and I want to get a quote for moving to CiviCRM.” Those phone calls are often challenging, as the client hasn’t done much in the way of organizing their needs and helping us help them.

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Sending emails with personalised links / Opt-in to communications

Publicat
2018-03-26 10:08
Written by

I've had a few requests from clients recently with queries around updating contact details and permissions with the new GDPR data protection legislation coming into force in Europe in May.

As a result I've developed two very simple extensions which I'd like to share:

Contact Checksum

This extension provides a simple UI under the contact summary via Actions->Contact Checksum.

When opened a simple UI is displayed with information and example links to use in emails when sending personalised / "update your details" links from CiviCRM.

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GMCVO Databases CiviMail Masterclass

Publicat
2017-07-04 02:51
Written by

Based on feedback from clients, we're launching a series of Masterclasses this year. They will provide an opportunity for you to deepen your knowledge and skills in a particular area of CiviCRM. These courses will assume that you have a basic understanding of CiviCRM as a Contact Management System.

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CSV Import Helper extension released

Publicat
2017-01-30 02:58
Written by

Got a load of spreadsheet data from a 3rd party to import as activities/contributions but it's not matched up with contacts? Want an efficient way to reduce duplicates caused by messy spreadsheets? This extension might just help.

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Developers: Updates for civix and cv

Publicat
2017-01-02 18:41
Written by

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.

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PSA: Please verify PHP extension "mysqli"

Publicat
2016-07-19 18:17
Written by

To ensure that CiviCRM continues to work with standard, contemporary PHP hosting platforms, a future version may make a subtle change in hosting requirements. We expect this to be mostly seamless; however, we're looking for administrators responsible for sites running a recent CiviCRM (e.g. v4.7+) to spend a few minutes to help ensure a smooth transition.

Q: I'm not too fluent in geek-speak. What should I do?

Forward this to whoever manages your server. If you work with a CiviCRM partner, they may be thinking of you already.

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Mapping it in 5-10min - a CiviCON 2016 Lightning Talk

Publicat
2016-07-09 11:31
Written by

Someone asked me to post this here - so that he can give it a try!

I did a Lightning Talk at CiviCON 2016 showing how you can put your Contacts on a Leaflet Map. It only takes a few minutes to put your CiviCRM Contacts on a Leaflet Map if you're using Drupal. Leaftlet is an open-source JavaScript Library for interactive maps. In addition what's really cool is that you can color the PIN based on the value of a CiviCRM custom field!

I've posted the details in a QA format including some of my slides from my CiviCON Lightning Talk on CiviCRM's StackExchange site:

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Using Civi to track Major Donor and Grants cultivation

Publicat
2016-06-27 12:01
Written by

I’d like to pose a question to users of CiviCRM that is not particularly technical.  It’s more to do with using the existing features of Civi in the most effective and efficient way to do 2 very important things...cultivate Major Donors and apply for Grants. 

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Alternatives to Mandrill

Publicat
2016-04-15 14:29
Written by

Note: this post was edited August 17, 2017, to include pricing changes on Mailjet and Sparkpost.

CiviMail is a great way to send targeted email to your supporters using CiviCRM to segment recipients and populate token values. Meanwhile, email marketing services such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact provide sending infrastructure so you don't have to worry much as much about deliverability. By using CiviMail with an SMTP or email API service, CiviCRM users get the benefits of both.

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Wherein the new member of the community finds his place, and the editing guidelines he shares thereof

Publicat
2016-03-14 13:54
Written by

Hi! My name is Christian Maltais. I'm a founding member of Praxis Labs Coop. We recently launched a Civi hosting service with automated updates. However, I also wanted to help the community on a more personal level. Since I'm not a developer, I felt unsure. How could I fit in?

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Extension to configure CiviCRM items

Publicat
2016-02-19 08:09
Written by

CiviCooP is working with Emphanos on a nice CiviCRM project (of which I am sure Young-Jin will blog at some point in the near future). As part of this project I developed a specific extension that creates or updates Activity Types, Contact Types, Custom Groups with Custom Fields, Event Types, Groups, Membership Types, Option Groups with Option Values, Relationship Types and Tags from JSON files.

So for example there is a JSON file for activity types which looks like this:

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PSA: Gmail un-encrypted e-mail warnings

Publicat
2016-02-15 16:28
Written by
bgm

On 9 February 2016, Gmail announced it would warn users when they receive e-mail that was not encrypted by the sender. After all, e-mail often includes personnal information, but has historically never been encrypted. A webmail might use https, an IMAP account is usually using encryption as well, but users do not have an easy way to know if the communication between two e-mail servers is encrypted. Gmail therefore introduced a small red open padlock in the e-mail header to warn users if the communication was not encrypted.

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