We feel there are too many obstacles facing not-for-profits (NFPs) considering commercial CRM offerings, including many of those that are charity oriented. From licensing models which restrict the fluid expansion of an organisation's user base (why should you be punished with higher costs for being successful?), to support from commercial companies being inherently tied to one supplier; a NFP would benefit from the option to 'shop around' for those most appropriate, e.g. based on: proximity and availability on-site, cost, experience, value added services... They also often lack the capacity for charity relevant workflows, necessitating either customisations, complicated and inefficient workarounds or an en-masse call for new functionality, as individual charities do not appear to carry the weight required to influence subtle NFP-only changes to market leading software, without large expense.
On the flip side, CiviCRM is completely free and open-source, carrying with it a friendly, hard-working and enthusiastic community of developers and implementers, constantly listening to the users' needs and sculpting future releases to the requirements of NFP organisations. This is exciting!
I chose to learn to use CiviCRM to learn how to help NPOs :) And because it seems to be a meeting point and a continuity of my values, my skills, and what I think we should develop for the next step of our humanity.
I work for a nonprofit that helps other nonprofits with web and graphic design, and CiviCRM is a major help to the small-medium groups we typically work with who need high-end CRM functionality that is deeply embedded in their websites.
I am trying to build a stronger End-user community withing CiviCRM to increase cooperation among non-profits using CiviCRM in similar ways. Going to CiviCON and being a part of the community at the conference has made me want to make the End-user community more robust. I think the open-source and non-profit focused nature of CiviCRM lends itself to strong community building as is an aspect of CiviCRM that is exciting!
CiviCRM provides a great solution for our Non-Profit customers. And as a big proponent of software with no per user fees, no recurring subscription costs, and an open eco-system, I absolutely love what CiviCRM offers for our customers.
CiviCRM is seamleassly integrated in Drupal, the world's leading social publishing system. This Open Source combination allows for the most flexible solutions while enjoying continously improved CRM-standards that shorten the time-to-market span of your individual demands.