CiviCRM at the Museum

Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme

The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme (mahJ) is the largest French museum of Jewish art and history. Located in the Marais district of Paris, France, the museum’s permanent collection presents 700 objects and works of art (out of the 12,000 objects in its collection) that represent the history of Jewish communities in Europe and the Mediterranean from the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum hosts a variety of cultural events, provides educational services to children and families, offers an extensive media library and bookstore for visitors.

MahJ primarily needed a solution that would manage their members and daily activities all in one place and that would also integrate with their new Drupal website and accommodate the French language. Additionally, mahJ required a system that would allow multiple staff members access at the same time, effectively manage donations, facilitate museum ticketing, data searches, reports and also mass emailing options without the need to outsource through another company. They found all of this and more in CiviCRM.

Organizational focus
Arts and Culture
Organization type


The museum needed a solution to manage contacts and members that integrates well with their Drupal website, accommodates French language accents and special characters, effectively manages memberships, renewals and donations.


The most difficult task for the museum during the implementation process was providing a cleandata file for import, since they had several FileMaker installations that needed to be combined.
They recommend taking plenty of time to prepare the files for import and to go through existing data to clean up duplicates. Once CiviCRM is implemented, “It’s important to put in place procedures with staff so that everyone uses the database the same way and enters data in a standardized format, otherwise, it becomes a problem where you have no consistency with capitalization and accents”.


The museum faced major limitations with their previous contact management system, FileMaker, notably the inability to have all staff members use the program at the same time. Secondly, they had several duplicate copies of FileMaker in use and no possibility of synchronizing the various versions. There were also many inconsistencies within the installations regarding normalization, specifically capitalizations and accents for proper names. Their need to better manage donations, membership and ticketing for museum visitors (none of which are possible in FileMaker) were additional reasons to identify a solution that would allow them to more effectively manage the daily operations of the museum.

The museum chose CiviCRM because it met all of these needs and more and it was recommended by their Drupal agency since it is open-source and integrates very well with Drupal. Additionally, CiviCRM has been translated in French and accommodates French language accents and special characters which is key for mahJ to maintain language consistency throughout its data. 


The museum is currently focused on membership management in CiviCRM which includes both recording new memberships and sending out renewal notices to expired members. The Schedule Reminders feature in CiviCRM facilitates sending automated emails to members when their membership is about to expire. This tool is especially helpful for rolling memberships that expire at various times throughout the year. Having all donations recorded in one place in the contact record is another huge benefit for the museum.

A customized feature developed by Cividesk allows the automatic separation of the payment between the membership dues and the donation. We offer a membership category where you can become a member and make a tax-deductible donation at the same time. The custom development automatically splits the contribution so one part is recorded as a membership payment and the other as a donation

Another customized feature mahJ uses is a special search option where a list of French cities appears once a zip code is entered. Contacts can choose their city name from this list which increases efficiency when filling out an online form and has been a benefit in improving the normalization of the city names in the database. This is especially helpful in French where there are different accents and varying capitalization within proper names. 

Developed by


Cividesk provides affordable CiviCRM services for nonprofit organizations including implementation, training, data import, hosting, maintenance and support. We are headquartered in Denver, CO but also have a presence on the west coast in CA, and in India in order to optimize support for our customers in various time zones and to answer our customer’s needs for software development and customizations.

Cividesk was founded in 2011 on the premise that CiviCRM users will need on-going support and best practices sharing to fully realize the potential of this incredibly rich software. Over the years, Cividesk has grown to become one of the leading Software-as-a-Service providers for CiviCRM. We have customers in more than 25 countries or states around the world, spanning all types of nonprofit organizations: charitable, humanitarian, advocacy, religious, political, governmental and trade-oriented.

Our service provides you with a fully configured CiviCRM. We take care of all the technology behind the scenes and are always available to answer any questions you might have. No surprises. Hosting, maintenance, mentoring and unlimited customer support are bundled into a fixed monthly subscription so you can budget your expenses in advance.