Re: CRM recommendation: CiviCRM

On Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 21:58, Stormy Peters <stormy gnome org> wrote:
GNOME Marketing Folks & Membership Committe,

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

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
* 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,
* track people (members, volunteers, sponsors and donors)
* track donations and subscriptions - it tracks in-kind, cash, and volunteer
* 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
* 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
* 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.

+1 from me

For missing functionality we could always decide to code it up ourselves


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