Handling Attendance for Extended Care Activities in CiviCRM

This is a continuing series of blog posts on deploying CiviCRM at San Francisco School. In the previous blog posts we discussed how to expose relationship information in a profile and how to manage parent teacher conferences. There are also some slides explaining the module from a recent training seminar Our latest project was automating the extended care (classes before and after school) system. The previous process was quite manual and labor intensive (and error prone). The attendance sheet was printed (via a CiviReport) from the students signed in. The students queued up and were signed into the extended care program. Some of the students had to be manually written in (if they were not signed up). At the end of the day, the parents would pick up the child and locate the childs name in the multiple sheets and sign them out. Typically 10-20% of parents would not sign their children out. The business office would then take this piece of paper and then calculate the "activity blocks" (based on time spent in extended care) and enter them in an excel spreadsheet. There were a few exceptions to the rule (children of staff, students who signed up for unlimited extended care and some activities are free)

Final Call for CiviCRM / Joomla Developers at Joomla Dev Camp, NY, Dec 5-6

Worried that CiviCRM integration with Joomla is not keeping pace with Drupal? Wanna take CiviCRM / Joomla integration to the next level? Want better permissioning support for CiviCRM in Joomla? Want more front end exposure of CiviCRM in Joomla?

Report from the 2009 Non-profit Software Development Summit

A passionate posse of folks interested in advancing the state of non-profit software gathered this week at the Non-profit Software Development Summit. CiviCRM was a sponsor of the event which featured a full "track" of Civi-related events. Some civ-highlights from the conference:
  • Helping some current users solve problems and get up to speed on more advance features in the CiviCRM 201 session. Our community does pretty amazing things in the "cloud" - but I really love having opportunities to interact with users and integrators and developers "live and in person". The feedback on 3.0 usability improvements (especially the new navigation menu) was super positive and very gratifying.
  • Participating in Lobo's "action-packed" 60 minute session on Extending CiviCRM without Hacking Core. The more I play with all the things that can be done with our evolving hook functionality - the more excited I get.
  • Joining with a group of CiviCRM integrators (and a few users) to brainstorm about Building the CiviCRM Community. This session was organized by the folks at Dharmatech - and partly inspired by a really cool book - The Art of Community - written by Jono Bacon who is the community manager for Ubuntu (a popular open source operating system distribution based on Debian Linux). It was exciting to collaborate in thinking about how folks with different interests and skills can potentially contribute towards strengthening the CiviCRM community and accelerating adoption of the platform. If you're interested in the ongoing sustainability of CiviCRM - I would encourage you to read Jono's book and think about what "team" you can join and / or create.
Thanks to Gunner and the team at Aspiration for organizing a great event!

Report from the CiviCRM testing sprint in San Francisco

The past two days a group of us gathered at the Mitchell Kapor Foundation offices in downtown San Francisco for the first CiviCRM Test Sprint. Some of the highlights of the event were:

  • Introducing the concept of testing and our current framework for unit testing. CiviCRM uses PHPUnit for unit testing. We also use XDebug for code coverage. You can see the latest results of our testing here

Powerbase field trip

hey folks,

The Progressive Technology Project (PTP) has a pilot project running using Powerbase, an enhanced version of CiviCRM for base-building community organizing groups. I am responsible for two of the four sites, a community group in Oakland and one in San Diego. I did a site visit last week and wanted to share some of the feedback I received with the community here. As PTP further develops this database project, we hope to keep contributing to CiviCRM and we thought sharing what comes up could be one way for us to do that.

3.1 Alpha Release

The team is excited to announce that the first ALPHA release of version 3.1 is now available for download. You can also try it out on our sandbox site. Please remember this is an ALPHA release and it should NOT be used on production sites.

This release includes several major new features:

  • Contact Subtypes - Extend (and / or rename) the built-in contact types and create custom fields specific to a subtype (e.g. Staff vs. Volunteer custom fields). Thanks to the folks at Alpha International for sponsoring this much-requested feature (learn more...).
  • HTML Emails for Receipts, Event Confirmations and more - Templates for all system-generated emails are now stored in the database and editable by administrators. You can easily add styles, logos and more to your emails.
  • HTML layout overhaul for online contribution pages - Phase 1 in efforts to make front-end CiviCRM pages much easier to style / modify via CSS (learn more...). Thanks to Kyle Jaster and the folks at rayogram.com..
  • Usability improvements - Streamlined DATE input and list sorting widgets. Prevent users from losing work by alerting them if they try to navigate away from a form with unsaved changes.
  • Support for price sets in Contribution - Allows the admin the flexibility to incorporate the more complex contribution options (e.g. "Contribute $25 more to receive our monthly magazine.").
... and lots of other improvements. Check out the 3.1 Roadmap for a good overview. Or you can review a compete listing of new features, improvements and bug fixes on the issue tracker.

First EU developer camp

Hi all,

Following the success of the UK developer camp and meetup this summer, Michael, the Polish team of CiviCRM (Michał and Piotr) and myself have been discussing about organising one in Brussels.

We have chosen to organise it just before or after FOSDEM, that will happen this year on the 6th and 7th of February 2010.

This event is an opportunity where CiviCRM developers, administrator and users from the UK and Europe can get together around CiviCRM – and we’d like you to tell us what you want to see at the camp.

One click PayPal donations with CiviCRM

Creative Commons has been using CiviCRM for several years. A number of months ago we decided that for our annual fundraising campaign we wanted to streamline the donation process, possibly reducing it to a single click on the CC site.. About a month ago we launched our annual campaign along with a one-click donation process.

The process required a bit of custom coding, but fortunately very few changes to core CiviCRM code. Some of the main benefits of this method are: