Over the past 15 years I've been involved in several open source communities.
CiviCRM is without any doubt the one that has the strongest focus in welcoming "newbies" and letting everyone feel at home here. Another impressive feature is the focus on shipping. No matter what you think of CiviCRM today, you are almost sure that there will be a newer and better version in a few months.
At the Wikimedia Foundation, we leverage CiviCRM to maintain millions of records of donors and their contributions. Working with the product and particularly with the community has been a terrific experience. There's nothing quite like two open source organizations working together to meet their respective goals while ultimately strengthening the open source community as a whole.
As CiviCRM trainers and implementers, the CiviCRM community provides Emphanos with opportunity to help NGOs get rid of the headaches involved with managing their constituents so that they are better able to spread their message.
CiviCRM allows us to bring all benefits and capabilities of a large commercial CRM and
donor management system to medium and large non-profits at a fraction of the cost. CiviCRM also allows smaller non-profits to benefit from an integrated solution for donor management, events, bulk email, etc. substantially increasing their effectiveness as compared to managing a variety of nonintegrated software and spreadsheets. Thanks to a strong CiviCRM community, CiviCRM’s functionality continues to advance and CiviCRM’s market continues to grow rapidly.
We use CiviCRM for our Membership and Supporters system. We're committed to using Open Source solutions and are keen to expand the variety and success of our member recruitment and fundraising efforts.
CiviCRM provides a vital tool whereby nonprofits and other social projects can implement strong contact-relationship management capabilities without high monthly fees. It also provides the integration and customization capabilities necessary to make such software useful in the complex, lived reality of doing social engagement work. Plus it continues to build the open source toolset made available to the Commons and grow the common good.
In New York City we have been fortunate to have had in person user group meetings. It has been useful to CiviCRM see case studies presented by companies and individuals. To learn about how people use and customize CiviCRM for different types of organizations. It is also useful to meet in person other implementers, developers and users to work with on professional and volunteer projects. I think it is also important and fulfilling to try to share knowledge and resources with others to help sustain the community and project. I also run a non-profit Man Up Campaign to stop violence against women. To have the insights into civiCRM helps us make progress on our mission!