Published
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 21:33
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Earlier this week we received some pretty excellent feedback from some CiviCRM users. This made our week, so we decided to share :). Erik Möller from Wikimedia Foundation writes:
CiviCRM definitely is becoming the leading open source product in this
space, and its growing mindshare and modular framework is helping it
to support other non-profit needs as well. Wikimedia has been using
CiviCRM as a fundraising backend for more than a year now after some
early experiments with it and custom solutions - we're also funding
custom code development that goes back into the core. I hope that most
of the non-profits on this list that need fundraising support
technology will consider using it, so that we can all help contribute
to an improving infrastructure for the non-profit sector. :-)
Another piece was from Karl Fogel (of subversion fame) who uses CiviCRM for QuestionCopyright.org. Karl also blogged about CiviCRM on his personal web site: CiviCRM saves the day. Here are some quotes from Karl:
For those of you running foundations that have members and/or accept
donations and/or hold campaigns and events:

If you're trying to figure out what software to use to track this stuff,
give CiviCRM a try.  We (QuestionCopyright.org) are using it in its
Drupal-module incarnation, and it's totally saving us, now that
donations are coming in at a higher rate than manual processing could
handle.

Some pros:

  * The interface is intuitive enough.  People outside your IT staff can
    use it.

  * The entities and relationships between them seem to be arranged the
    way one would want.

  * It can talk to payment processors (like PayPal and Google Checkout).

  * It's Free (obviously).

  * Paid support is available: http://civicrm.org/professional.  (I got
    good free support from Donald Lobo in #civicrm on irc.freenode.net;
    not sure how much Donald wants me shouting about that here :-) .)

Some cons:

  * Installation required IT expertise; depending on what you enable,
    there's some placing of magical keys into config files, etc.  The
    installation and maintenance procedures will feel very familiarly
    "open sourcey" -- this may be a good thing or a bad thing depending
    on your tastes.

  * There can be places where the UI makes you stop and think for a
    moment.  I've never gotten lost yet, but I've occasionally had to
    ponder what move to make next.

  * We ran into some http:// vs https:// problems (some sensitive pages
    are SSL-protected), and as a result I'd be logged into the system as
    "admin" and still not be able to reach certain pages.  This got
    worked out eventually, I don't remember the details -- the problem
    may have been that I didn't finish setting something up during our
    installation.

Overall, CiviCIRM has been very good for us.  The other day I had to do
a search for contributors who had contributed over $500 (they get a
special acknowledgement), and it was a beautiful experience, especially
when compared to what we used to have to do in our old ad hoc system.

At http://www.rants.org/2009/04/29/civicrm-saves-the-day/ I describe one
particular feature -- pulling pending payment records from payment
processors automatically -- that's new in CiviCRM and that's useful for
orgs that get a lot of small donations from random sources.
Kinda cool to have such awesome users. Thanx Erik and Karl for promoting us
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