ARCH National Respite Program logo

Migration from a proprietary Searchable Contact database to CiviCRM

ARCH National Respite Program

800 Eastowne Drive, Suite 105
27514 Chapel Hill , NC
United States
North Carolina US

Non-profit organization CHTOP handled an online nation-wide database of respite service providers since 2001. Their system (web interface and database) was proprietary and over years they naturally lost support for the aged Microsoft OS and Access database, not to mention that the original coder changed his profession. CiviCRM proved to be perfectly versatile and had success at importing:

  1. registrations of thousands of organizations
  2. dozens of custom fields of various properties - text, yes/no, number ranges
  3. multiple registration interfaces for Searchers and Program Providers (registrants)
  4. custom search interface with dozens of custom selections

Allora conducted CiviCRM setup, orchestrated the migration process and helped the customer expand the functionality by adding extra features such as document library, displaying additional info for each state, proximity based location search, etc. The live site can be found here:

  • Contact Management icon

On Joomla

Joomla logo
  • sample search in California


1) Custom fields , custom profiles for a very specific Search Engine design. Each Respite Program is characterized by ~60 custom parameters not including the standard info

2) Bulk updates

3) Map's display for the Search results


It was important not to lose any data of course: no scaling-down. The customer requested additional features, for example: on the search results for any specific state the Contacts must be accompanied with a state-specific page bringing additional information of state regulations. The combination of CiviCRM Profiles + Smart Groups + minor code customization allowed us to achive this goal among many others.


The looks. In order to achieve the desired appearance of the sign-up form we had to rely on CiviCRM's Front-End Profile code from an older CiviCRM version (pre-AJAX) and fully matched the requested look. Nevertheless we had to compromise in the section of displaying Search results on the Front-End because not everything was tweakable via CSS.

Developed by

Allora Consulting's personnel:

Sergey Nosenko

Michele Lake

CHTOP's staff:

Jill Kagan

Mike Mathers

"The new system is working well. Kudos!.."

Mike Mathers, Executive Director of CHTOP

Why did this project use CiviCRM?

Community Builder was another contender but our firm had substantial experience with integrating CiviCRM-based solutions and feature-wise we felt like CiviCRM is a better tool for our goals.