CiviCRM Annual Report & 2024 Roadmap

This report provides a general overview of CiviCRM LLC (“CiviCRM”) as well as CiviCRM the project (also “CiviCRM”, though we often refer to it as “the project”) related to 2023 performance and plans for the coming year. It includes information from the CiviCRM Community Council as well.

This report cites various financial metrics, operational achievements and future goals throughout the report. For reference and additional detail, please review:

  1. Income Statement (with 3 year comparison)
  2. Balance Sheet (with 3 year comparison)

To view previous annual reports, please visit the links below:

  1. CiviCRM Core Team Annual Report 2019
  2. CiviCRM Core Team Annual Report 2020
  3. CiviCRM Core Team Annual Report 2021
  4. CiviCRM Core Team Annual Report 2022


In general, 2023 was a positive year for the CiviCRM Core Team with respect to its development efforts and a positive year with respect to its overall financial performance. We continued our focus on development, undertaking improvements to SearchKit, FormBuilder, and CiviCRM (standalone), among other things, as well as maintaining the monthly releases and issue queue. 

At the same time, we initiated an evaluation of the underlying use of Angular as a JS framework and put resources into determining how best to address it in the future.

Financial Highlights & Forecasts

  1. Income increased 13.75%, driven by modest increases in income generated from ESR, Spark and earned income, along with significant growth in event based income.
  2. Expenses increased by 8.01% driven by an increase in labor and event related expenses.
  3. Overall cost of labor increased 8.05% due to increased contract labor and a slight increase in Core Team labor. We expect to pull back on contract labor slightly in 2024 and to increase Core Team labor.
  4. Overall net income was (on a cash basis) $20,246, up from a small loss in 2022. This was due in large part to an influx of receivables at the end of the year and a delay in payment of corresponding, errr, payables. As a result, we have front loaded 2024 with above average expenses, which is not typical (i.e., we’re not off to a great start).
  5. We expect financial pressure throughout 2024 as 1) visibility on earned income is low, 2) community support is stable but growth is slow and 3) we’re making increased investments into capacity, notably labor and marketing, and core initiatives, such as the retheming project

Special thanks to the following supporters for hearing our call to support a budget increase and grow our capacity to drive several new initiatives in CiviCRM!

More Details

Core Team capacity remained mostly flat from 2022, staying around 2.8 full time equivalents. Combined with a roughly 5% pay increase, total Core Team labor costs rose by 5.41%. The last pay increase was taken in the spring of 2022. Labor capacity was supplemented by contract labor as in previous years. In 2023, we increased use of contract labor resulting in a 31.93% increase in expense. Towards the end of 2023 we began pulling back on this commitment and are reducing use of contract labor in general.

Earned income rose by 20.39% over 2022, however it is still far below both 2021 and 2020. Moreover, as has been the case historically, our visibility around earned income and related projects is very low. We have no specific forecast in place regarding this line item.

Income from Extended Security increased 16% over 2022 driven largely by ongoing strong support from BackOffice Thinking as well as an increase in subscriptions from individual organizations.

Though it represents only 4.73% of Core Team earned income, Spark income grew by 44.52% despite the fact that the pace of signups has slowed down. The increase in income is the result of pricing increases and feature changes adopted early in the year.

Overall community support grew by a modest 10.07%, accounting for 62.3% of the 2023 budget, down from 64.38% in 2022. The increase was largely driven by an increase in funding from Platform Sponsors (Stripe, iATS, PayPal and TSYS: their financial commitment to CiviCRM represents 22.71% of our budget, up 3.17% from the previous year), events and MIH campaigns. 

The growth in community funding was tempered by a 9.88% decline in partner dues along with year over year declines in other community funding streams such as member dues, grants, etc.

Special thanks to Lighthouse Consulting & Design, Wikimedia Foundation, Greenpeace in Zend-und Osteuropa, JMA Consulting and BackOffice Thinking for their significant financial support and funding of key projects throughout 2023. All of these organizations/partners have been strong supporters over the past several years and warrant special mention.

On the Community Front

The Community Council held elections in 2023 and spent much of the year organizing various initiatives such as creating information and Q&A sessions for interested individuals (special thanks to Kathryn Carruthers for providing voting tech support) and working to strengthen the connection between the Community Council and the Core Team. 

The Community Council has also been actively supporting various developments, including:

  1. Supporting CiviClick project, initiated by Software für Engagierte and funded by a grant from the DSEE. This community project aims to build a framework for one-click installs of CiviCRM (Detlev Sieber).
  2. Enabling remote CiviCRM forms without needing special code on the platform. This involved CiviCRM supporting oEmbed content provider for remote presentation of its forms and other content (Joe Murray).
  3. Working to revitalize the Documentation Working Group and restructure CiviCRM documentation to make it more user-friendly for the CiviCRM Community (using Diátaxis precepts and guidelines. Thanks to Don Hirst for driving this).
  4. Initiating and coordinating various grant applications to fund CiviCRM projects (Detlev Sieber and Joe Murray).

In 2023, significant value was found in connecting with, learning from, and sharing with others on the Community Council about distinct initiatives and challenges. This aimed to uncover partnership opportunities in support of the advancement and stability of CiviCRM as a project and ultimately helps to improve community communications and to establish project priorities.

Return of Events

2023 witnessed the return of in-person events (in a big way) in the European theater with various CiviCamps and sprints taking place in Leipzig, Brussels, London and Manchester. Big thanks to Veda Consulting, Northbridge Digital, Ruza Solutions, Red Hot Irons, Squiffle Consulting, Mind Manchester, MJW Consulting, Software für Engagierte, CiviCoop and Third Sector Design for their support in organizing these.

Development & Operations

2023 was very similar to 2022 in that we focused most of our efforts on actual development work, specifically on SearchKit, Form Builder, APIv4, Standalone and on several related projects. We’ve been quietly working on remote form support, most recently using oEmbed (thanks JMA Consulting), and support for payment processing in FormBuilder.

Non-development oriented projects remained mostly idle, though the end of 2023 saw a rekindling of improving CiviCRM’s overall marketing.

We continued to make incremental improvements to various aspects of the CiviCRM website including a revision to the partner program, introduction of global partners, and, thanks to Mathieu Lutfy, a refreshed and more up-to-date contributor listing (built off of SearchKit and FormBuilder, of course). 

On the climate front, in late 2022 we did a fair amount of research into supporting solutions that offset the impact of our technical infrastructure. Because CiviCRM is such a distributed project, it is difficult to measure exactly what our impact is or has been. Likewise, there are any number of ways to do it. We opted to support Ecologi and have been doing so on a monthly basis to help address the climate emergency. It is a small gesture, however we feel that it’s important and that every small effort is needed to avert significant problems in the future.

Adopting Artificial Intelligence

It’s hard to have a conversation these days without mentioning AI, so we’re taking the cue and are starting to dabble in it. 

At present, we’re deploying a chatbot (trained using Chat GPT 4) that references the user, developer and system administration documentation and is capable of responding in a conversational format to user queries (in many different languages). The objective here is to put the documentation at users’ fingertips. The bot will be retrained monthly after each monthly release and publication of release notes (and hopefully corresponding updates to the documentation).

Still on the AI front, we’re actively testing a chatbot that can parse partner profiles on to quickly assist users in locating an ideal partner with which to work. We expect to roll this out on both and within the next 30 to 45 days.

That’s a Wrap (of the 2023 summary)

As always, I want to take a moment to recognize various Core Team members and their efforts throughout 2023:

  1. Coleman Watts continued to drive SearchKit and shifted a lot of attention over to FormBuilder, putting the latter in a sweet spot with support for conditionals, among other niceties.
  2. Tim Otten has done quite a bit of work around CiviCRM’s JS framework, remote forms embed and CiviCRM standalone, in addition to maintaining the ongoing releases. 
  3. Eileen McNaughton continued to clean up the code, support and test releases, and drive internal Core Team prioritization.
  4. Seamus Lee continued to broaden his role on the Core Team, participating in various efforts beyond just security. He’s also stepped up to wrangle Core Team members for our weekly meeting and has kept meetings on point.
  5. Mathieu Lutfy continued in his capacity as the quiet infra guy with strong opinions, and spent some time continuing to improve the signup process for Spark as well as consolidating Core Team infrastructure. 

So, What’s Next?

In general, we are happy with the operational trends in that they support our core development strengths and objectives. We see a need for more development capacity on the Core Team and have identified Ben Walpole as a resource that we are planning to bring on starting in February of 2024.

Ben hails from the UK and has demonstrated a broad technical skillset and understanding of CiviCRM. He’s worked most recently on data visualization for SearchKit (looking forward to bringing this online soon!) and will hopefully be instrumental in helping drive future FormBuilder and SearchKit developments. 

In addition to expanding our internal capacity, we are undertaking additional work to reposition CiviCRM’s marketing and make better use of both and As a result, we expect greater cost associated with the marketing and promotion of CiviCRM. In anticipation, we’ve eliminated advertising costs (mostly Google Ads) associated with CiviCRM Spark and will instead focus on fostering strong organic traffic.

Finally, one of our long standing roadmap goals has been to retheme CiviCRM. We’ve been slowly building momentum with Nic Wistreich and Rich Lott to develop a comprehensive approach to retheming CiviCRM. 

To fund these three initiatives, we are suspending pay increases for 2024 and are seeking to increase our operational budget by 17.5% or roughly $75,000. That amounts to approximately 26 hours of additional labor each week.

We realize that this is a very big objective, however in order to realize our goals for 2024, we have to push hard on several key initiatives, and we need extra capacity to do so. Our focus areas for 2024 will be:

  1. Enabling contribution support in FormBuilder (can’t mention payment processing without mentioning Eileen McNaughton! She’s already laying the foundation for this… big thanks Eileen!).
  2. Supporting remote form capability in FormBuilder (thanks JMA Consulting for pushing forward on the oEmbed work).
  3. Implementing at least version 1 of a new default theme.
  4. Scaling to be the default site for new users evaluating CiviCRM.
  5. Pushing SearchKit more throughout the admin interface (special thanks to Aidan Saunders at Squiffle Consulting for coordinating this).
  6. Moving the JS framework transition forward.
  7. Stabilizing and growing CiviCRM (standalone) (big thanks to Rich Lott of Artful Robot and Mathieu Lutfy of Coop SymbioTIC for working so hard on this effort).

While we have other objectives on the docket, these are the primary ones that we believe will result in a better, more stable, more flexible product with a growing markshare and community.

Support CiviCRM

As always, we invite you to support the CiviCRM Core Team and the project at large as a contributor and as a financial supporter. Now is a great time to help push CiviCRM forward. You can support our work by:

  1. If you are a provider and you earn a living with CiviCRM, now is a great time to Become a Partner
  2. Contribute to one or more make it happen campaigns targeting specific functionality
  3. Donate specifically to grow the Core Team’s 2024 capacity

Support the CiviCRM Core Team!