I've combined my notes from the CiviCRM affinity group meeting and the user meeting and added notes from one conference session. In general, there were more people at the affinity group meeting this year than last year, more sessions that included CiviCRM, and I sensed more enthusiasm for CiviCRM. (One person told me she had been to the affinity group meeting and will be using CiviCRM.)
CiviCRM Affinity Group Meeting, April 26, 2009, at the NTEN conference, San Francisco, about 56 people
User Meeting, April 29, 2009, at Creative Commons, San Francisco, about 16 people
Jim Taylor: Instructional Technology Services of Central Ohio, ITSCO, Columbus, Ohio. Members are schools. Classes are events -- www.itsco.org/schedule. Keep track of events and who goes. Also uses Drupal Views.
Tony, of DharmaTech: Native Americans in Philanthropy, nativephilanthropy.org, membership based. Some content for members only. Map membership status to Drupal role to control which fields can be seen. Member is a role. Login checks membership status (for example, expired). Out of the box use. Also use Drupal CCK and Calendar. Has member by relationship -- a person can be a member because they are an employee of an organization that is a member. Similarly, a person can be a member on behalf of their organization. CiviCRM lacks reporting -- coming in 2.3. Uses custom searches. There's more info at dharmatech.org/projects/native_americans_philanthropy. Also see civicrm.org/professional for information about DharmaTech.
Peter Davis, Green Party Election Campaign, www.fuzion.co.nz/blog/about/project-portfolio/, complex geographical memberhip roles. CiviCRM simplified donations. CiviMail messages contain links to their donation page so they can go there directly. Donors can update their own contact information (address, phone, etc.) Email sent to donors quarterly to keep in touch and keep contact info up to date. Peter uses Organic Groups for Green press releases. Peter showed a kids site and pointed out that all the kids in a family use the parent's email address. Also see civicrm.org/professional for information about Fuzion.
David Dantowitz: Physician Health, physicianhealth.com, uses CiviCase. Record events. Status in columns, types in rows. Project management -- case is a project. So you can track projects. Physician Health rows are actions like inpatient treatment, return to work. Cases are a series of interactions. Uses custom fields -- caller, problem person, how did you hear about us. Uses proximity search -- modified to include tags (there's some info at forum.civicrm.org/index.php?topic=7081.0).
Integration of CiviCRM with Joomla is weaker than Drupal. About 35% of CiviCRM installations are Joola, 60% Drupal, and some standalone.
Personal campaign pages, where you can invite a friend to join at campaign, are in 2.2.
2.3, due out in August or September 2009, has CiviEvent improvements, including waiting list management and moderation to approve RSVPs as well as reports.
A CiviCRM book is coming. Should be in review in mid May. Will be able to print on demand or get a pdf version.
Watch the blog -- civicrm.org/blog.
Conference session: "Selecting and Implementing Open Source Constituent Relationship Management: Views from the Trenches with CiviCRM, MPower & SugarCRM Users." Jeff Porter talked about the work he's done, as a volunteer, for Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. The organization has no physical office. He started working with them in 2006. They had no online fundraising. Online donations have increased from 0 to $300,000. Also see wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Foundation+for+Prader-Willi+Research.
Some tech skills are required for some things, like creating events.