End-user tips and tricks go in this category.

Tip: Share a site profile when seeking help

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2016-01-03 13:00
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If you're working on a site with CiviCRM v4.6.5+ and rely on StackExchange, IRC, JIRA, or other community media for support, then you should consider making an anonymized site profile.  You can prepare one with a few clicks and paste it into any support requests.  This will provide a report of key technical details (such as the exact versions of CiviCRM, PHP, MySQL) which may assist others in diagnosing your problem.
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New Extension Finds Zombies

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2015-10-31 09:52
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Your CiviCRM installation may have undead contacts.  Contacts are marked as deceased in CiviCRM by setting the is_deceased column to 1; living contacts are marked with 0.  However, it's possible for import mistakes to cause contacts to have a value of null for is_deceased.  The result is that the contacts don't appear as dead when you view them, but they're excluded from mailings and other features that filter on is_deceased = 0.  The same goes for Do not mail, Do not email, and so forth.

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Leveraging CiviCRM Email-to-Activity Processing in Gmail

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2015-09-15 15:45
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CiviCRM has a great feature that allows it to check email boxes and add new contacts and activities based on the emails in that box. Gmail has an awesome system of tags and filters. Emails in Gmail can be very tagged and sorted using a vast number of criteria. Together, Gmail can filter and sort large volumes of email with excellent accuracy, then CiviCRM can import the relevant, and only the relevant emails into the contact records.

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First cookbook on CiviRules showing automated donor classification

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2015-08-10 08:41
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I have just completed the first cookbook on CiviRules, with 2 basic examples and an example on how to automatically classify donors based on their contributing behaviour. Have a look, any comment is highly appreciated :-)

http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/CiviRules+Cookbook

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CiviCRM Administrator Job Description

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2015-07-14 11:50
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I am often asked by our clients to help with hire a CiviCRM administrator.  This can be a new hire or a promotion of someone within the organization.  Although every organization has specific needs, I've found the below job description to be helpful as a starting point.  Hopefully you can find it helpful as well.

 

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Civi911: the first 6 months

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2015-05-04 07:17
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My colleague Tommy has been leading our response at AGH Strategies for Civi911 calls that come in, and he's noticed a few common themes.  I suspect that you may encounter some of these same issues, and this might save you some time and money in addressing problems that crop up on your CiviCRM site.

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Data Standardisation: Creating Sound Data Plans for CiviCRM

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2015-02-19 15:02
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CRM Data plans refer to documenting agreements on representation, format, definition and structuring of data. Current and future CiviCRM users can utilise it to increase efficiency, knowledge creation and interoperability with other systems.

In order to optimise and future-proof the CRM system, the data structures, in addition to the data itself, need a good re-work. There are two main steps to the process:

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CiviCRM - flexible, open source system for all

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2014-12-15 06:58
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My first exposure to CiviCRM was around 2009. I was working at Freeform Solutions, Canadian IT nonprofit organization that supports other nonprofits by providing technology support. We were looking for a CRM system that would support an HR organization that had a few thousands contact records.

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A new CiviCRM Q&A resource needs YOUR help to get started

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2014-10-10 08:55
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This goes out to CiviCRM users (yes YOU too!), admins and developers.

A key productivity tool in my day to day life is a set of Q&A websites called Stack Exchange. They have different sites for all sorts, from programming through to parenting(!). Typically, I'm on the programming ones usually, but stay with me, this isn't about to get technical.

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Using CiviCRM with $120,000 Google Grant

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2014-09-30 09:33
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Chicago agency SocialRaise explains how to combine a $120,000 Google Grant with the power of CiviCRM. Imagine having an online marketing budget of $120,000 handed to your organization. That, in combination with landing pages created with CiviCRM and the tools to segment and organize your communications, will enable your nonprofit to reach more people, increase volunteers and drive fundraising efforts.

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Reset the Net, CiviCRM

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2014-05-06 10:50
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Don't ask for your privacy. Take it back.

Reset the Net is a campaign to improve individual and organizational privacy against mass government surveillance. I think we as CiviCRM community members should step up and act. In particular, hosting providers, implementors, and organizations using CiviCRM should up their game to implement SSL, HSTS, and PFS.

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My impressions from CiviCon San Francisco 2014

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2014-04-28 16:29
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After having worked with CiviCRM for going on a year, I was excited to see the community around the project and learn more about others who are using CiviCRM. Initially, I questioned the risk vs. reward of traveling 3000 miles across the country and leaving my new business for so many days. As the time drew closer and I started digging deeper into the session descriptions I began to get excited.

Flying to Civicon San Francisco 2014

 

Background

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CiviCRM Security Policy page added

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2014-02-20 12:00
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We've just added a page detailing CiviCRM's security policy and release process.

This page is intended to help people identify how they can stay abreast of security updates, know when to expect them, and how to tell which release of CiviCRM to expect security fixes for.

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Best Practice for Deleting CiviCRM Contacts and Associated Drupal User Account

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2014-02-06 09:07
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Because of the way the synchronization process works with the UF_Match table, deleting records can be tricky business.   If done in the incorrect order, your CiviCRM database can end up with a bunch of Junk contact records.  Below is a best practice process for removing records, first the Drupal user record should be deleted then the CiviCRM record.

Process to Follow

Step 1 - Identify the Identify the Contact record(s) to be merged/removed in CiviCRM and note the Drupal User ID for the record to be removed.

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Using contact subtypes for a clutter-free life

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2014-01-23 23:22
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Every new install of CiviCRM starts out fresh and clean, with only the built-in data fields. However, as every organisation has its own data needs, we often find ourselves adding more and more custom fields to this. This can easily start to clutter your contact views.

An important way to avoid this and manage your custom data fields is to create relevant contact subtypes and assigning your custom data fields to those subtypes.

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Tip from a CiviCRM Newbie: Updating Information in Batches

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2014-01-13 11:51
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If it’s taking too long, there is a faster way… 

As I was getting ready to print our labels for this year’s Christmas cards, I first needed to add the address for about 80 of our clients in our CiviCRM.    Piece of cake, right?  Yes, if you take advantage of the Batch Update via Profile.   Unfortunately, I was unaware of this feature, so this simple task took me a whole day to complete.  

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Participate in 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference and other CiviCRM Events in DC (March 11-15)

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2013-12-20 12:10
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The 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference (14NTC) is coming to Washington, DC, March 13-15. Don’t miss the opportunity to take part in the largest gathering of nonprofit professionals that put technology to use for their causes. Register now to attend the 14NTC to learn the latest nonprofit technology tools and trends, t

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TIP: How to see more than 100 contacts on a search results page

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2013-12-19 12:43
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Are you performing a search or an advanced search that returns thousands and thousands of contacts from which you have to select a large number of contacts to perform different actions, such as exporting to a spreadsheet, creating mailing labels, adding them to groups, etc.?   
 
Instead of just showing the default of 50 contacts/page, you can alter the URL on the search results pages to show more than 100 records at a time.
 
In order to do this, perform your Search
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Let's Create some Buzz around CiviDay

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2013-12-18 11:51
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CiviDay2014 (Wed. Jan 29, 2014) will be here before you know it.  Thank you to all of you that have already committed to leading a meetup on this day.  As of now, we will have a CiviDay in 24 locations.  Yay!  That's the same amount we had last year...it would be great to see if we can see a handful more started.
 
We need everybody's help to create some buzz around this day.  In order to help you spread the word in your network, please feel free to use the following sample tweets: 
 
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Video Project Update

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2013-11-14 09:02
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Down here in Bristol, we’ve been putting more bones on the video project and talking to lots of people who want to be involved, so we thought we would give you an update on how things are progressing and what we need from the community at this point in helping developing the plans for the future.

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Tip: Making the most of 'Display Results As' in Advanced Search

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2013-11-08 04:29
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CiviCRM has a lot of clever functionality but it isn't always easy to find. I wanted to share with people a very useful feature that is hiding 'in plain sight' on the advanced search form.  I've pointed this out to folks a few times during trainings, and it seems to be something that quite a few people (even those that have been using CiviCRM for a while) have missed.  Maybe this is because there are many other buttons competing for your attention on the advanced search page.

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