"After the camp is before the sprint"

2023-09-18 11:37
Written by
Detlev - member of the CiviCRM community - view blog guidelines

CiviCRM Sprint in the "Nudelfabrik" in Zeitz near Leipzig

For 33 of the participants at the CiviCamp in Leipzig, it went straight on: for two more days, they worked on the further development of CiviCRM in a sprint in the small town of Zeitz near Leipzig in the "Alte Nudelfabrik". "Software für Engagierte" had proclaimed the topic of "fundraising" as its focus. And so this sprint not only involved developers and CiviCRM implementers - but with Civi admins, power users and experienced fundraisers, a broad spectrum of CiviCRM experience and expertise came together.

Bringing together these diverse competencies has shaped the special "spirit" of this sprint: This time it was not the "nerds" who set the tone - but a broad mix of very different people from the CiviCRM community. This is exactly what Software für Engagierte wanted to achieve as the organiser of the sprint. It was precisely the colourful composition of the participants that made this sprint something special.

Here is an overview of the most important topics:

Providing fundraising metrics in CiviCRM

CiviCRM is successfully used by very many organisations for their fundraising. However, what fundraising professionals always miss is the integration of common key figures (e.g. the "RFM score") into CiviCRM. At the sprint in Zeitz, a working group of fundraisers, experienced CiviCRM users, implementers and developers developed a detailed concept (based on existing basics in the CiviCRM Core and in tested extensions) and wrote a draft for a specification. We will keep you informed, most probably with a make-it-happen - "stay tuned"!

Further development of FormBuilder

The FormBuilder is an important cornerstone for the entire CiviCRM project: One goal is to be able to create all online forms for CiviCRM with the FormBuilder - from newsletter registrations to donation pages to complex forms for grant applications or petitions. The clou here is that with the FormBuilder we become independent of form generators from WordPress or Drupal. The FormBuilder is thus also an important building block for the "CiviCRM Standalone" project, which in future will manage entirely without a CMS.

At the moment, however, the FormBuilder is still a "work in progress". During the sprint, a team has now worked out in detail which functions are currently still missing. They compared these with the roadmap of the core team and wrote a number of feature requests:

While the sprint was still in progress, a video conference with CiviCRM core developer Coleman Watts began the discussion on how to proceed so that the FormBuilder would be "ready" as soon as possible.Here, too, the exchange between users and implementers was particularly helpful and ensures that the documented requirements really do correspond to practical needs.

In this context: For the further development of FormBuilder, a Make-it-Happen is currently underway to raise funds for "FormBuilder Remote Forms": https://civicrm.org/make-it-happen

Making the extension CiviBanking more usable

With the extension CiviBanking (which we have to admit is primarily important for European organisations) it is possible to transfer bank transactions automatically into CiviCRM and even to book them (partly) automatically. However, the configuration is demanding - CiviBanking is therefore only used by relatively few organisations.

A working group in the sprint has therefore revised the documentation of CiviBanking and supplemented it with examples (and also submitted a few small bug fixes). More about this in the (German language) Community Portal.

Transfer shop orders into CiviCRM

Many organisations also run an online shop - for example to sell information material or books. And they would like to be able to see in CiviCRM which orders someone has placed, to be able to make target group-specific evaluations.

At the sprint, a working group developed an extension with which order data from various shop systems can be transferred to CiviCRM. The data is displayed contact-related in a separate tab. Details here.

Further development of the extension SQL TaskManager

Further work was also done on this helpful extension: Under the lead of Greenpeace CEE (Central and East Europe, i.e. Austria and Eastern Europe), participants have agreed on new functions and merged them into the code of the extension.

At the end of the sprint, all participants were very satisfied with the community feeling they had gained, including the joint ironing out of mishaps. How did we achieve this? We set a focus topic, we looked for a place where we could have a good time together (making pizza!). We made sure that the participation fees were low so that this hurdle could be overcome, especially for users. We explained what makes a sprint special: that everyone can make a contribution and that everyday knowhow is just as important as fundraiser superhero skills, coding as well as documenting.

Want to join the Sprint 2024 in Germany or just network in between?
→ email: info@software-fuer-engagierte.de


Congrats on a very productive sprint developing specifications and a roadmap, and involving a diverse set of users in this process. The pizza making event is one we might try at the Montreal event in February!

Love the venue name, love the dog. And a great way to learn about some extensions, thanks for posting!