IMBA Extends CRM Services to Local Chapters Using CiviCRM
International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide. Since 1988, IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail management solutions. IMBA's worldwide network includes 35,000 individual members, more than 750 bicycle clubs, more than 160 corporate partners and about 600 retailer shops. IMBA's members live in all 50 U.S. states, most Canadian provinces and in 30 other countries. IMBA's extensive network of US clubs have traditionally operated independent of the national office in Boulder, CO.
We recognized that continuing down an independent path would lead to competition between clubs, and no incentive for IMBA or the individual chapter's to invest in each other's growth. So we set out to create a model with joint membership, where individuals and organisations became members of IMBA alongside their local chapter and where all the organizations could grow together.
Prior to Drupal and CiviCRM, only an handful of IMBA staff were able to manage CRM and content creation on the website. Today in the US, it supports 50 internal staff and over 250 local volunteers all of whom have access to CRM and content creation services. There are over 128 chapters now being served by the system. Administrators at each chapter have access to their own contacts in CiviCRM, and all the relevant modules they need to manage membership, communication and organisation of their members.
- Drupal/website integration
- Contact managment
- Membership structure - yearly memberships to individuals and orgs, with variously priced levels of support. Contribution page for each chapter
- ACL Permissioning
A way to affiliate more closely with local clubs, we set out to create a legal relationship, shared structure and revenues, which would benefit all the organisations involved.
Providing joint membership - IMBA and your local chapter.
To create a CiviCRM structure that could serve IMBA as a central organisation and also provide the necessary functionality for the individual chapters to manage their own members.
In the beginning, there was a very small team with limited technical resources and finances. The biggest challange was keeping costs down.
An internal database, powered by filemaker needed to be replaced with a CiviCRM, best structured to manage the different chapters, and the relevant access permissions.
Jason embarked on this challenge with limited experience with CiviCRM but with a background implementing and customizing other Open Source software. As is the nature of Open Source projects, it can take a lot of time and patience to navigate the documentation. So it was down to him to get the functionality in place in the most efficient way possible. What he says today is getting really involved in the community from the very beginning is key to building an effective system.
Drupal help from Open Media Foundation - Bryan Hiatt
A contractor from NY to help with data migration.
Jason Bertolacci did all the Civi work internally for IMBA.
Why did this project use CiviCRM?
Looked at sticking with Convio - they have a chapter model built in. But put off by the ability to influence the direction of the software development, as a small organisation, we felt like very small fish in a big pond. The tech support wasn't very sympathetic. Pricing was problematic for longterm growth and scalability.
Salesforce, and various others were looked at as well.
We knew that this would be getting rolled out across 100s of organistions, and CiviCRM seemed the most scalable option. Also, a big part of the decision fell in the fact that we knew we'd be able to have an active role in the software development.
Working with an Open Source product for a non-profit makes sense. Both financially and 'karmically'.