CRM recommendation: CiviCRM

GNOME Marketing Folks & Membership Committe,

We'd like to use a CRM system to track finances, donors, sponsors, members, etc.

I'm recommending that we use CiviCRM,, and I'd like your feedback. (Note that one way to do this would have been to install all the CRM systems or to get demos of all of them. I didn't do that. I read about them, talked to people and checked out their webpages.)

Here are some of the reasons I think we should use CiviCRM (over SalesForce, SugarCRM,Oracle, SAP ...)

CiviCRM is used and well liked by a number of other free software organizations:
* Wikimedia
* Wikipedia

Here are the things we need it to do (that it does):
* It's free software: under an open source license (GNU AGPL) and developed in an open source model with a community.
* We can install it and support it ourselves. (Several people voiced dislike with the hosted some where else model.)
* Configurable - you can add and edit your own fields for every type of person you are tracking.
* It has community support as well as paid support options. (We'd do community support but if the Foundation grows a lot, at some point it might be good to be able to hire back up support for the sys admin team.)
* Integrates with Paypal and Google Checkout.
* Automated mailings to donors (so we can thank them automatically, send receipts, send annual reminders, etc. Comes with features like groups and not resending to the same people, tracking click-throughs, handling bounces, etc.)
* track people (members, volunteers, sponsors and donors)
* track donations and subscriptions - it tracks in-kind, cash, and volunteer time
* track events (not sure we would use this)
* import and export contribution data to/from other systems like an accounting package (I don't know if it works with gnucash but I assume with some work we could make that happen if it doesn't already)

It has lots of features that might be fun to have like:
* "Allow constituents to create their own personal fundraising pages linked to an organization campaign. Supporters add their own add content, and can choose to include a progress bar and an 'honor roll' of contributors. Supporters are given 'soft credit' for each contribution that comes in through their fundraising page."

It was designed for nonprofits.

What it doesn't do:
* document managent (Currently the board, Rosanna and I do not have a good place/way to put contracts like for our insurance, 401K plan, etc.) It does integrate with Joomla! and Drupal so I don't know if something could be done that way.
* track action items (Currently Rosanna and I need a way to sync and track action items and the board manually tracks action items in the wiki/board meeting minutes.) It doesn't do any project management that I can see. It was suggested that you could use "activities" to manage tasks. I looked at it a bit and I think that would work.

Areas where it might be weak:
* Integrating with snail mail (and Rosanna sends out gifts for Friends of GNOME)
* Managing prospects (the only prospects we keep now are sponsors and that number is suffiently small that we aren't doing lots of things to it automatically)
* Accounting integration

You can try it out here: It seems relatively intuitive.

I think it would make life easier for me, Rosanna, the treasurers and the Membership Committee. It would make it much, much easier to track our Friends of GNOME donors.



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