CiviCRM is a great solution for non-profits looking to integrate their fundraising, event, membership, grant and email management systems. JMA Consulting is a leader in developing extensions and core contributions for CiviCRM.
CiviCRM enables us and our clients to invest precious funds into configuring the CRM to meet organisational needs, and building innovative new features, rather than paying annual license fees. With access to the source code and tight integration with leading website content management systems, CiviCRM is extremely flexible.
CiviCRM has one of the most active and friendliest communities I have come across. From initial tentative forum posts I was encouraged into engaging more actively through IRC and directly with other groups & individuals and am now happy to count many community members as friends. I recently found an article on the web that said if you post a question about CiviCRM anywhere on the web Lobo will post an answer within a few hours. It often feels like that is true.
One of the most valuable way in which the community supports me is by allowing me to bounce my ideas around and often someone is able to suggest an approach which is better than mine.
We learned so much from community resources - meetups, forum, blog... as well as the wealth of knowledge and experience CiviCRM developers and users have about the system, and the fact that so many are willing to give their time freely.
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!
I find the engagement with our community of users to be intellectually stimulating
and rewarding. Seeing folks with expertise in a particular area step up and contribute their time and ideas to help improve the product is quite exciting. Every time I hear about a new interesting organization starting to use CiviCRM, I get a renewed sense of excitement about our work. The range of civic sector organizations currently using the software is quite amazing to me - from large international advocacy organizations to local performing arts troupes. I also really enjoy interacting with our international community - building friendships and getting to share culture (food, music, humor ....) with colleagues on every continent.