We feel there are too many obstacles facing not-for-profits (NFPs) considering commercial CRM offerings, including many of those that are charity oriented. From licensing models which restrict the fluid expansion of an organisation's user base (why should you be punished with higher costs for being successful?), to support from commercial companies being inherently tied to one supplier; a NFP would benefit from the option to 'shop around' for those most appropriate, e.g. based on: proximity and availability on-site, cost, experience, value added services... They also often lack the capacity for charity relevant workflows, necessitating either customisations, complicated and inefficient workarounds or an en-masse call for new functionality, as individual charities do not appear to carry the weight required to influence subtle NFP-only changes to market leading software, without large expense.
On the flip side, CiviCRM is completely free and open-source, carrying with it a friendly, hard-working and enthusiastic community of developers and implementers, constantly listening to the users' needs and sculpting future releases to the requirements of NFP organisations. This is exciting!
When implementing CiviCRM in our organisation, we got for the first time a complete overview of all our contacts, mailing lists, partners, members in one tool. You do not need to be a database genius to use it on a daily basis, and my colleagues have embraced the tool due to the easy and user-friendly interface. It meets all our needs as a contact management system and as a mail manager. I am sure that we will start using more of its components in the future.
CiviCRM helps my clients move past entrenched habits that see them keeping records in locally saved spreadsheets and stacks of paper. Once they are freed up from manual processes, they can focus on improving their services and offerings rather than constantly digging through data.
The community around CiviCRM is international, multicultural, friendly, sometime opinionated but always respectful and welcoming new ideas. It is a real pleasure to interact with these people - but see for yourself: dive in and ask your first question on the forums!
We thoroughly appreciate CiviCRM as a software and this community, and when helping our customers implement and make the best of CiviCRM we are always looking for ways to contribute back.
If it weren't for CiviCRM we'd be using at least 5 different
systems for Woolman: one for donor management, another for email newsletters, a third for our school enrollment, a fourth for our summer camp registration, and then a whole bunch of spreadsheets for keeping track of things like event attendance, prospective students, CSA memberships, etc. And of course none of those systems would talk to each other or make it possible to get a whole picture of the many ways one person might participate in our education center's activities. Migrating all of our scattered data and disparate systems to CiviCRM was a long and challenging process, but the results have been more than worth it. Our ability to track and report on our programs has improved dramatically, while the burden on staff to do data entry has been greatly reduced, and our participants are happy that they can now register/enroll online rather than mailing or faxing paper forms.
It is super important for non-profits, advocacy and related groups to take charge of their destiny. Having control of your data is a good start. The crowd-sourced nature of an open source project in so in line with the co-operation and principles of most non-profits
CiviCRM is a project that strives to make the above possible. It is FREE as in kittens.
CiviCRM is helping us serve member-based community organizing groups across the
U.S. to keep better track of their events, fundraising, and membership data. It's helping our community to aim higher in terms of what kind of questions they should be asking and what kind of data they should be collecting. We chose CiviCRM because it's the best all-around tool to do what our groups need, AND because it's open source.
Can you help Fuzion take the Drupal 8 integration module that was developed as part of 2014 Google Summer of Code and get it working with the most recent version of Drupal 8 and publicly available for testing?
Submitted by brandonferrell on December 12, 2014 - 10:58
Here at Skvare, we strive to make Drupal and CiviCRM work as one to accomplish goals in a way that is simple and intuitive. Continuing our work in Drupal/CiviCRM integrations, we’ve cooked something new up for you all. We would now like to take this opportunity to introduce Views in CiviCRM Dashlets.
Submitted by SarahGladstone on November 24, 2014 - 16:15
When preparing an email newsletter, one part of it that is time consuming is gathering together all the content that is needed. In my experience, virtually all the content already exists elsewhere, such as in the local CMS, in CiviCRM, or on a blog, or some other online source. So I was thinking how can I make this process easier. What I did: I created mail merge tokens for CiviCRM that autofill a list of recent blog posts, stories, or any other type of CMS content.
Established in 1972, we are a non-profit human services organization that serves many diverse populations in the Greater Pittsburgh area.
A large part of our focus is on homeless services, but we also do some mental and physical health programming, early childhood development, community integration and host a large food pantry near the University of Pittsburgh campus.
Here at the CiviCRM 2014 Edale Sprint we've been working closely with members of the core team. As well as fixing bugs, working on integrating Google Summer of Code projects, and readying extensions for release, it's been an excellent opportunity for the Future First Software Developers to learn directly from the CiviCRM experts themselves.
Submitted by kcristiano on September 17, 2014 - 06:53
I just returned from my first CiviCRM sprint. It was called the DC Sprint, but as Jeremy has already posted, we were actually in Maryland.
As a first time attendee of a CiviCRM conference and sprint, I really did not know what to expect. I was very pleased that both WordPress and Joomla! received some real attention at the sprint and I hope we are heading to a place where CiviCRM can be truly CMS agnostic.