The participants of the first ever CiviCRM Governance Summit in September 2018 had expressed that there was a need for: greater transparency on how decisions were made by and for CiviCRM, a process for which the community can agree on the general direction of CiviCRM, and more effective participation by all contributors to the project.
The participants jointly agreed to create an Establishment Committee to address their concerns. Through an elections process, the Establishment Committee was formed in November 2018 to carry out the mandates put forth from the Governance Summit. (See details here - https://lab.civicrm.org/marketing/events/governance-summit-dev-camp/-/wikis/governance-summit/Governance-summit-decisions)
After 7 long months of discussions, the Establishment Committee met with challenges in that some wanted to move forward quickly with a governance structure, while others wanted to take a more gradual approach and favoured a more advisory structure. You can read more about the proposals from the Establishment Committee here - https://lab.civicrm.org/community/ec. As part of the proposal, the Establishment Committee felt that a new elected body, a Community Council, should be formed to continue developing a process for decision-making, work closely with the Core-team, and creating processes that are transparent and accountable to the community.
At the 2019 Global CiviCRM Summit in Barcelona, representatives from the Establishment Committee reported on the proposals and brought the discussion of issues of a governance structure vs. an advisory structure. The participants of the Global Summit were in favour of establishing an elected Community Council to continue the process to address the issues around transparency and decision-making. The participants in Barcelona were in favour of a more advisory structure and defined the purpose of the Community Council:
"The CiviCRM Community Council is an elected body charged with coalescing the ideas, opinions and values of the community, nurturing our intra-community relations and protecting our community as a safe space to collaborate on our overall aim of providing a world-class open-source CRM aimed at doing global good."
The CiviCRM Community Council was elected and officially established in April of 2020.
Notes from the 2019 Global CiviCRM Summit in Barcelona can be found here:
The Community Council members are
- Alice Aguilar, (she/they) United States (Austin, Texas), Executive Director, Progressive Technology Project (PTP) (https://progressivetech.org), PTP provides Powerbase/CiviCRM Training, Strategic Coaching, Tech Support, Hosting Services, Powerbase/CiviCRM development
- Alison Barham, United Kingdom (London), Membership Manager, The Nutrition Society
- Tricia Gbinigie, United Kingdom (Birmingham)
- Erik Hommel, (he/him) The Netherlands (Brummen), CiviCooP, developer and consultant
- Heather Oliver (she/her), United Kingdom (Manchester), Systems and Databases Manager, Red Hot Irons Ltd
- Joe Murray (he/him) Canada (Toronto), JMA Consulting, consultant and systems architect
- Neil Planchon (he/him) USA (Oakland, California) longtime CiviCRM ambassador, coach, community onboarding and event producer. All pro bono.
- Detlev Sieber, (he/him) Germany (Wiesbaden), with roles as CiviCRM user (Digitalcourage e.V., Administrative Director), local community manager (Software für Engagierte e.V., Founder and Board member), and CiviCRM implementor (civiservice.de GmbH)
How to contact the community council
If you would like to get in touch with any council members, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are hosting a CiviCRM event and would like a council member to join to share an update or information about who we are and what we do, please get in touch.
Process and achievements and contributions
Since it’s inception, the community council have met every month for an hour to discuss current issues. Of course, using a jitsi meeting, as we are proposing Free Software!
During the whole election period, the pandemic situation made meetings in person impossible. There was a CiviCamp planned for October 2020, which had to be cancelled. Also, it was not possible to organize a "summit" as we had in 2019.
Originally, elections were planned in 2021 for half of the council, and 2022 for the other half. This schedule had to be postponed, also due to the pandemic.
The council was involved in creating these community documents:
- Handbook https://docs.civicrm.org/handbook/en/latest/
- Community Blog Guidelines https://civicrm.org/blog/heatheroliver/community-blog-guidelines
Conversations we have had
Working with CiviCRM core team to bring use of CiviCRM in following domain urls into compliance with https://civicrm.org/trademark:
A letter from the CiviCRM Community Council on Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation: https://civicrm.org/blog/mikeymjco/letter-civicrm-community-council-richard-stallman-and-free-software-foundation
Some background blogs
- CiviCRM Establishment Committee Elections Results, November 1st, 2018
- Establishment Committee releases Proposal for Elected Body, June 11th, 2019
- Election time!, February 10th, 2020
- Nominations are open, February 17th, 2020
- Community Council Election Results, April 2nd, 2020
- The Community Council dives into S-3, June 17th, 2020
- Community Council Election update, October 13th 2021