Sprint to update Understanding CiviCRM - you can input now!

Exactly one month from now, a team of CiviCRM developers, implementors and users will sprint to update 'Understanding CiviCRM: A Guide for Non-profits'. We've heard from lots of folks that to have this free online book as a learning resource is really important. And we're pretty excited about this sprint, especially given the amount we achieved last time.

There is lots to update and improve and we'd like your input to make the new version of the book as useful as possible to you. There are a few ways in which you can help now.

Another lively night at NYC's March CiviCRM Meetup

We had another engaging NYC meetup on March 16th, competing with the first warm sunny day after the crazy noreaster, where around 20 people spent the evening to dig in to CiviCRM.

After our usual intros where folks can express what they'd like to get out of the evening, Fred kicked off a case study of how he used civi for the Man Up Campaign, and demonstrated the use of profiles to collect information from individuals who would like to engage or contribute to the campaign.

Support Canvassing and GOTV (Get Out The Vote) functionality in CiviCRM

Political groups and campaigns have been some of the earliest users of CiviCRM. We've had quite a few political parties using CiviCRM: Green Party of New Zealand, Green Party of Canada, Oregon State Democrats, Vermont Progressive Party and even the Pirate Party of Germany! One of the features missing from CiviCRM has been Canvassing, GOTV, PhoneList and WalkList functionality. This has been long requested and there have been various specifications on the wiki for this. Earlier this year we worked with Progressive Technology Project (PTP) on CiviEngage, a Drupal Module that brings address parsing, walklist and phonelist support into CiviCRM. You can read more about this work here: Canvass and Phonebank. At the same time Will Brownsberger, a state legislator from Massachusetts, started using CiviCRM to support his office and campaign operations. As part of his campaign he wrote a drupal/civicrm module to do voter canvassing. Will was kind enough to attend and demo his module at the CiviCRM Boston Developer Camp in February.

CiviCRM / CiviEvent handled thousands of registrations in one day

Every year in June, around the 10th day, a commemorative event happens in Akron, Ohio - the annual celebration of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. Hosted at the University of Akron, over 10,000 participants from around the world gather to celebrate the founding of this wonderful fellowship. In recent years, registration for this all weekend event has moved from mail-in forms to an online registration process.

CiviCRM and Drush Integration

Following some issues to integrate drush and making civicrm upgrade process accessible from script, I started looking at drush on how we can take advantage of it for civicrm, and was surprised with the ease I was able to reuse drush code to add few utilities for civicrm. Some of the utilities currently implemented are:

CiviCRM and Google Summer of Code

CiviCRM is considering applying to be a mentoring organization in Google's Summer of Code program (GSOC). If you're not familiar with GSOC, you should be! (http://socghop.appspot.com/) -- it's a fantastic program that can jointly help open source projects advance development, while encouraging students to become involved in the open source community. The basic thrust of the program is that Google sponsors students (monetary stipend) to work on projects for open source software.

Creating custom contact tabs and filling them from Drupal

To make custom tabs when viewing a contact, begin by using the tabs_hook "hook_civicrm_tabs".
http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/CiviCRM+hook+specifica...
A simple example given on the hooks documentation link above

function civitest_civicrm_tabs( &$tabs, $contactID ) { // unset the contribition tab, i.e. remove it from the page unset( $tabs[1] ); // let's add a new "contribution" tab with a different name and put it last

Boston CiviCRM User Group February Meetup

Last Thursday, a dozen local CiviCRM users, developers and persons interested in learning about the system met at the NEXUS Resource Center to discuss the Boston CiviCRM training and challenges that we each have faced during implementations. Thank you to the The Green Roundtable for allowing us to utilize their space for this meetup.