CiviCRM Saves Seismologists From "Faulty" Website

Seismological Society of America

Tadpole Collective helped SSA integrate CiviCRM into their existing website, and then led multiple follow-on projects: implementing single sign-on feature for their members and redesigning their WordPress Theme (in collaboration with LB Design). The final phase of this project will replace the last of SSA’s embedded FilemakerPro code with native WordPress+CiviCRM functionality, eliminating the last of their legacy applications.

Organizational focus
Organization type
Non Profit


The Seismological Society of America chose CiviCRM to replace multiple proprietary systems and consolidate all their operations with one open-source solution. We at Tadpole Collective are proud to have helped them build a powerful organizational tool using free software. 


We suggested – and SSA showed an interest in – Tadpole’s “CiviCRM Launch Pad” product, a basic CiviCRM installation for managing Contacts, Contributions, Membership and Mailings. Once on board with CiviCRM, SSA decided to redesign its WordPress Theme to provide a more streamlined experience for their members and move towards a pure WordPress+CiviCRM solution for all its organizational and outreach activities.



Most of the challenges were time-based and required careful planning to roll out each module based on deadlines for SSA’s annual meeting registration, board elections, membership drives, etc. CSS styling for CiviCRM forms is an inherent challenge, but for this we developed our own CSS Helper extension to allow the Theme to override and control CSS for frontend CiviCRM forms and pages.


  • We began by adding CiviCRM for Contact Management, Contributions, and Membership, importing SSA’s existing contact data from MemberClicks and FilemakerPro and creating the custom fields to meet their tracking requirements. SSA has a complex membership fee structure, so there was a fair amount of work involved in configuring price sets and accounting codes prior to import.


  • Tadpole built a custom function to allow SSA members to vote in the annual board of directors elections. The function checks membership status, passes members through to the voting site, and ensures each member can only vote once.

  • We added Event Additional Signup to allow for online registration of SSA’s field trips and their annual meeting, an event with thousands of of participants. We created a CiviMail template that SSA used to announce the event and link through to the CiviEvent registration form. SSA now uses CiviMail for all their newsletters and announcements.


  • Tadpole implemented a single sign-on feature, providing a seamless experience for members bouncing between the SSA website and the third-party subscription sites where its academic journals are published.


  • Tadpole brought in LB Design to replace SSA’s outdated WordPress Theme, replacing much of the hard-coding with native WordPress functionality and/or plugins. With its new look and feel, the new website leverages the best of WordPress and CiviCRM, enabling SSA to better serve their members and the broader community.


  • The final phase of the project, now in progress, adds the single sign-on feature to allow for the submission of presentation abstracts, and replaces the remaining legacy FilemakerPro code with a WordPress solution to display all presentations from the Annual Meeting.


Project images (click to enlarge)

Tadpole Collective