PTP is a nonprofit focused on building the capacity of community organizing groups through training, funding, consulting & tech assistance, and the use of appropriate technologies for community organizing work. Enhancements to CiviCRM, known as the new components of CiviEngage and CiviCampaign, create a common platform of features support the common workflows for community organizing groups to track their constituency's engagement with their work and the organization's organizing efforts.
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In 2008, PTP began exploring several CRM's that would best meet the needs of nonprofit community organizing groups in the U.S. to track and build their constituency's engagement with their organizational and issue work. Our gut feeling was that CiviCRM could meet nearly 85-90% of the groups' needs since there were workflows that were common to community organizing work. In 2009, we initiated a 1-year pilot project, with four community organizing groups to determine the common features that were needed to support their work. We worked closely with the CiviCRM core team and others in the CiviCRM community to enhance CiviCRM, so that out-of-the box, groups would need to do minimal configurations to begin using CiviCRM for community organizing work. With these enhancements, CiviEngage and CiviCampaign was born, and provides a common platform of features where training on skills, strategies, and a culture of database use can be shared amongst community organizing groups. We now call this project, PowerBase, where all our enhancements and development is contributed back into core CiviCRM. The organizations we work with are experiencing the benefits of a robust tool that is easy to use, supports their work, and allows them to collect and track data from various parts of their organization, such as membership, fundraising, communications, and organizing into a centralized database. CiviCRM as an open-source solution also allows us to nurture and build a user community to share and create a common vision of future features that would be useful to the community organizing field. Just two years after our pilot project, we're currently supporting 30 community organizing groups to use CiviCRM, and the community is steadily growing.