A CiviCRM makeover
Australian Childcare Alliance NSW
The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW is a member-funded organisation acting as the peak body for privately owned early childhood education and care services in NSW. It provides advocacy, policy and regulatory support and advice; member services; and professional development for members across the state of NSW, Australia.
Having inherited an inadequately implemented, heavily customised, poorly supported and undocumented older implementation of CiviCRM (with Joomla! 1.5), ACA NSW went back to square one, and this time planned the system around their business processes with an emphasis on maximising the benefits that CiviCRM has to offer, using and extending CiviCRM’s existing functionality.
Management put in time and resources to make the systems successful and a strong and responsive system’s administrator took ownership over the two-phase implementation process.
Data from the old system was thoroughly cleaned, restructured and imported to the new system.
Importantly, multiple training sessions were conducted, customised step by step user manuals were created specifically for the organisation, and the system was fully documented.
Laurice Chahine, System Administrator describes the results:
The new version of CiviCRM is a lot easier and quicker to work with for my day to day duties. Updating memberships is much quicker and more efficient than in the old CiviCRM, and simple activities such as just searching for a member’s profile is so much more rapid than it was in the past”.
I find that I am now capable of recording more membership data, which is beneficial to the organisation. I can see the long-term benefits of the increased data we are now able to collect, and this is something that was not possible in our old CiviCRM system.
There are so many features of the CiviCRM that I enjoy that is it hard for me to determine which feature is the best. I love the simple features like the advanced search engine, which has proven to be very helpful with my activities, and being able to extract the information that is needed.
The one thing I did wish it had is a mechanism to extract the company information along with the centre’s information. If this was a feature it had, it would be the best feature for me.
CiviCRM's components used were CiviEvent, CiviMember, CiviContribute, CiviMail and CiviReport. In addition, members’-only content and Users' Self-Service areas are included within the public website (using Joomla! 3.3).
The initial promise was to customise CiviCRM to reflect the organisation's business processes, automate manual processes and compliment the Association's work. Additionally, comprehensive training and a detailed how-to manual to ensure that the system is used correctly and consistently and to its optimal capacity for the duration of its life.
Integrating all the business rules into the system: ACA NSW’s business model dictates a complex membership structure, with membership inheritance spanning different organisational and individual sub contacts types. Membership status, in turn, influences all digital interactions with constituents, from access to content through to newsletter subscriptions, members’-only events and event registration fee levels.
"Our new CiviCRM has made an enormous difference to every aspect of our business. Our staff can quickly and efficiently locate member records, run reports, enable prompt payments and ensure member details are up to date. It has dramatically streamlined our administrative processes, allowing us to spend more time helping our members."
Brianna Casey, Chief Executive Officer
Why did this project use CiviCRM?
Current staff resentment towards their CRM was high. Yet, ACA NSW were willing to give CiviCRM another go.
Being a membership based advocacy and training organisation, ACA NSW acknowledged that CiviCRM WAS a great match for them. They were able to see that CiviCRM had developed and matured and that it was far more ready to comply with their needs than it had been five years ago.
For the greatest part, CiviCRM was given a second chance and came up trumps because it was implemented the right way.