CiviCRM Annual Report & 2023 Roadmap

Consistent with our operational trends over the past few years, we’re scaling down this report to be bare bones and to the point, focusing only on information that may be relevant to the community and the project as a whole. For previous annual reports, please visit:

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

We will cite various financial metrics as well as 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)

General Summary

In general, 2022 was a positive year for the Core Team with respect to its development efforts and a slightly negative year with respect to its overall financial performance. We continue to maintain focus on development while eschewing non-development oriented work where possible. 

We continued to focus heavily on SearchKit and FormBuilder throughout 2022 as well as completed a handful of smaller projects related to performance and multilingual email support. We continue to see a lot of interest around both SearchKit and FormBuilder and are putting most of our effort here in 2023. 

In addition, we continued to manage releases on the normal monthly schedule along with periodic security releases. We see no change in the near future around this process as feedback continues to be generally positive. 

General Highlights

  1. We opted to forego a pay increase in 2022 and instead implemented a health stipend and tech stipend for Core Team members to offset costs related to health insurance and technology expenses.
  2. We have enlisted additional support specifically to help drive FormBuilder development as well as to move the default theme in CiviCRM forward.
  3. We invested in Spark and in order to grow traffic as well as broaden its market to include much of Western Europe. Likewise, we adopted new pricing as well as a new tier in order to attempt to grow income in this line of business.
  4. Undertook an assessment of the various Javascript frameworks and worked up initial models to phase out AngularJS.
  5. We have been making slow progress on supporting and reintroducing the CiviCRM Standalone version.
  6. After some extensive research, we opted to support Ecologi and contribute to their climate offset solutions. You can view our level of support at:

Financial Summary

Overall from a financial perspective, 2022 was down slightly while at the same time witnessing continued shifts in our income streams. Community support grew, driven most by support in our revenue-share programs, whereas earned income dipped significantly.

Earned income has historically been very difficult to project going forward as we have historically lacked visibility on projects within the community that may involve Core Team development work. While work on both SearchKit and FormBuilder maintained pace in 2022, funding for both slowed down.

At present, we expect to see further slow downs in investments. Likewise, we expect to see some interest and resources shift on to other initiatives, such as reevaluation of AngularJS and possible adoption of an alternate javascript framework.

Financial Highlights

  1. Our operational budget increased 8.52% due largely to the adoption of a health stipend to offset costs of health insurance, some travel expenses and an increase in ad spend for Spark.
  2. Overall income declined year over year by 20.18%, largely driven by a decline in earned income. The result of an increase in our operational budget and decline in our income resulted in a small loss of $2,200 for the year.
  3. Earned income, i.e. income derived from 1) project work, 2) Spark and 3) ESR, declined by 49.21% year over year.
  4. Both Extended Security and Make It Happen campaigns witnessed declines as well. Income from ESR was down 26.47%, accounting for 3.25% of total income. MIH campaigns continue their slow march into oblivion, witnessing a decline of 73.37% and accounting for .28% of overall income.
  5. On the positive side, we saw year over year income growth in the member and partner programs, coming in at 13.03% and 5.3% respectively. Likewise, we saw growth in both Spark and in our revenue-share (“platform sponsor”) program, coming in at 29.41% and 44.51% respectively.  
  6. Overall cost of labor increased 1.01%, including funding for theme work, periodic investments in key extensions and additional labor assumed to support FormBuilder development. Combined with the adoption of a health and tech stipend, the total cost of labor increased by 5.83%. The generally low pace of labor cost increase is due to further lessening of non-development related labor costs. Core Team capacity remained roughly the same as the previous year.
  7. Overall infrastructure costs decreased 11.54%.
  8. Advertising for Spark increased by 61.82% as we’ve been exploring LinkedIn as a marketing channel.

Scorecard from 2022

The following were the objectives from 2022 grouped by progress:

Complete or In-Progress:

  1. Maturing Form Builder - SearchKit is in a very sweetspot, and now we want to shift back our focus on to Form Builder in order to bring it up to par. We’re putting a lot of effort into FormBuilder at present.
  2. Expanding development capacity on the Core Team - we are evaluating our budget and are beginning to search for up to a ½ FTE to come on board. This is mostly complete, though not to the level we want. That said, we are approaching this cautiously as we’re seeing our budget change more dramatically than we want.
  3. Supporting CiviCRM standalone - we’re making progress to re-introduce CiviCRM standalone.
  4. Adopting a new default theme - we’ve enlisted help from Rich Lott and Nic Wiestrich to help drive this forward and ship a new theme as the default theme in CiviCRM.
  5. Starting to swap out interfaces with new displays - we’re reviewing various screens within CiviCRM and plan to start replacing them with equivalent displays built on SearchKit/Form Builder. Some strong progress was made at the sprint in Manchester.
  6. Expanding platform sponsors - we continue to pursue partnerships with companies that offer revenue sharing agreements and have a few opportunities planned for 2022. While we’ve not added new sponsors, we are pursuing a few and have seen the revenue-share continue to grow.
  7. Growing Spark - subscriptions continue to grow slowly, though we’d like to see that ramp up more quickly in order to help grow the ecosystem. Now that we have some traction at, we’re planning to increase focus on organic optimization as well as tie in more content related to partners and to support resources.

Not Started:

  1. Implementing the CiviCRM Foundation - we’re launching a new US-based NPO (or trying to) focused solely on marketing CiviCRM, specifically targeting offerings like Google for Nonprofits and similar. We started this in 2022, but have made little progress on it. This may get nixed as we lack the bandwidth to push it forward.
  2. Revising the CiviCRM Partner program - this one has been on the list for a long time, however it’s time to reevaluate the program and make incremental improvements that support partners and maintain this funding stream. This is slated for Q2 2023.
  3. Making multilingual - another task that’s been on the list for a while, this one is quite important as the CiviCRM website is our central marketing channel.
  4. Promoting contributors - this is a pain point that we need to finally address; how best to recognize and promote contributors. We’ve stopped and started a few times but it’s high time we see this through. Also slated for improvements in Q2 2023.

As always, I want to give a big thanks to Coleman Watts, Tim Otten, Eileen McNaughton, Seamus Lee and Mathieu Lutfy of the Core Team. They all continue to be very diligent, thoughtful and hardworking and have been pushing hard on many of the recent initiatives.  

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