City Bible Forum is an Australian not-for-profit Christian organisation. We need to communicate effectively with our constituents, and CiviCRM gives us a comprehensive set of tools for managing relationships. Interestingly, we often find that new features are being added just as our need for those features is becoming apparent. It's the right fit for us.
I am trying to build a stronger End-user community withing CiviCRM to increase cooperation among non-profits using CiviCRM in similar ways. Going to CiviCON and being a part of the community at the conference has made me want to make the End-user community more robust. I think the open-source and non-profit focused nature of CiviCRM lends itself to strong community building as is an aspect of CiviCRM that is exciting!
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.
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.
The CiviCRM community has been a tremendous resource for new ideas and helping us solve problems. We are excited to contribute customizations EFF makes back to core and support new features such as batch entry for offline donations or multiple payment processors on one donation form.