CiviCRM is a powerful tool for NFP's - small or large, rich or poor. The ease of customisation, huge feature set and great support forums make it possible for me to provide my organisations with exactly hwat they need.
We help many not for profits implement CiviCRM through consultancy, training, configuration and custom development. Many of them come from a painful world of old Access databases, multiple spreadsheets and even paper. It's really satisfying to
help people move on with a system that's so much in tune with their own ethics of sharing and collaboration. We also 'eat our own dog food' and use Civi in-house for our client records because we love the flexibility and control it gives us.
For us it's important to share code and advice with other members of the community when we can because we know we get it back in help at other times. The community really is awesome and one of the friendliest and undaunting I've come across. We appreciate the huge value of the software to us and our clients so we try to contribute back and make it even better.
CiviCRM and the community help me provide maximum value to our constituents by making accurate information available to us in real time. With limited resources we have to work smarter and CiviCRM is key to delivering to our mission.
The CiviCRM community is a fantastic resource of developers, end users and system implementors. We believe whole heartedly in the power of open source communities such as CiviCRM to make things happen that wouldn't come into being in a purely profit-driven setting.
Continuing our amazing productivity during sprints, we introduce our 9th and final sprint of the year. This sprint is being held at the offices of De Goede Woning in Netherlands from Dec 12th - Dec 16th. A big thanks to the sponsors - De Goede Woning - for offering facilities, bosworX for installing WiFi and to Erik H and Erik B from EE-atWork for sponsoring the food, drink and accommodations.
This sprint we are trying something a bit different. In addition to the folks gathering in the NL, we will have a virtual sprint going on at approx the same time on the #civicrm IRC channel. Considering we have developers spread across different time zones (europe, india, US east coast, US west coast, new zealand), we should be going pretty good around the clock :) We'll have a virtual meeting on a daily basis @ 3:00 pm NL time (click on the link to find that time locally)
This sprint is focussed on these areas: Unit and Web Tests, Documentation, and CiviMobile.
I’ve just come out of the Code and Book Sprint in Lincolnshire where we made good progress on lots of fronts and had a really good time. It was great to put faces to names and share food as well as ideas. A major breakthrough means D6 support should continue, while the main CiviCRM manual got a thorough overhaul and spawned a new Developer Manual, and some good thinking made serious improvements in CiviCase scalability. All good stuff and it all drives the project forward on one level or another. However, for me one of the most important things that happened was a much smaller conversation in the kitchen - missed by many - about Marketing.
We reviewed the marketing output of the last year, which didn’t take very long, and set to thinking what we can do to move things forward. Filled with the excitement of the moment (or perhaps with my workload radar impaired by the long days) I volunteered to get things going with a blog post, some ideas and organising a regular irc meeting for anyone interested in this aspect of the project.
One of the issues seems to be that the wonderful CiviCRM community provides an easy way for its more technical members to start contributing in simple stages:
take part in a forum discussion
answer a how to question on the forum
find a bug and report it
find your next bug and provide a patch
before you know it folks will be hassling you to write unit tests
Submitted by AbrilRocabert on August 29, 2011 - 02:03
I´m Abril from Mexico City, I´m working in Alternativas y Capacidades, a civil society organization that was founded in 2002 to contribute to Mexico’s social development, by strengthening civil society organizations and grant makers, working towards a favorable environment for their professionalization, promoting their advocacy capacities and encouraging inter-sectoral collaboration.
I came to England to meet the CiviCRM community and to learn more about the software, because in Alternativas we believe that CiviCRM is a powerful tool that can support the work of many organizations in Mexico. In my country there’s almost nobody implementing CiviCRM and we would like to spread all the knowledge of the trip with other Mexican organizations.
Submitted by Peter McAndrew on August 28, 2011 - 06:43
We've been working hella hard on the sprint so far and yesterday was no exception! at least for the book sprinters, the coders went off on a social to Stamford castle. Although they weren't out of contact for long, we met up with them on IRC while they stopped for a Costa coffee "Come for the coffee, stay for the WiFi" or so the saying goes .
We've nearly reached the end of the third day of booksprinting here at Cawthorpe Hall in the UK. This is my first sprint and first blog post. I'm one of the few end users attending the sprint and so far, the experience is demanding, but the best way yet of experiencing the Civi community in action. It's been really valuable for getting to know people involved in Civi development, including Donald Lobo, Dave Greenberg, Michał Mach, Kurund Jalmi, Yashodha Chaku, Michael McAndrew, Xavier Dutoit, and many more dedicated developers.
Goals for this sprint are quite ambitious - three books instead of updating only one, so second day was quite intensive. Alice with Robyn from Progressive Technology Project are making incredible progress on describing CiviCampaign, Michael from Third Sector Design (who's also book maintainer) and Dave from Circle Interactive are putting together freshly spinned off developer handbook, and Abril from Alternativas y Capacidades and myself writing about applications of CiviCRM in human rights work. Not too much more to say about today - everyone is typing their keyboards furiously, since there is still a lot of work ahead of us. Helen from Flossmanuals joined us today - she will be working with us as editor for the rest of the spring, looking out for inconsistencies in the book and helping us make more polished.
Maybe a few words about what we do with Abril - out goal is to prepare small booklet for organisations working in human rights field, with descriptive information about how CiviCRM can be used to make their work easier and more effective. We are writing about using CiviCRM as human rights violation documentation system, but also decided to describe a few most common activities, like fundraising, mobilising supporters, managing volunteers and also do a bit more research about existing examples. We're still at early stage - writing a log of notes, researching and exchanging ideas, but it seems like it will be quite interesting and useful material. Hold your fingers!
Submitted by Michael McAndrew on May 10, 2011 - 06:20
At the last user and admin training in London we decided to create exercise books to accompany the training. The idea was to move from an online format to a printed format, and we used the same tool that we use to create 'CiviCRM: a comprehensive guide': Booki.