CiviCRM
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CiviCRM

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4.7 out of 5 stars
18 9.3 / 10
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Open source constituent relationship management for non-profits, NGOs and advocacy organizations.
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CiviCRM Reviews (43)

Out of the box it does almost everything an organization wants. It manages contacts, communications, memberships, events, payments, casework and a whole load more.... Read More
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Tony Horrocks
Consultant in Internet
Nearly feature complete for many non-profits 'out of the box', while still being easy to customize or extend. Read More
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Kevin Reynen
Consultant in Information Technology and Services
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Nonprofit-focused CRM with excellent online integration

What do you like best?

CiviCRM is designed to strengthen the capacity of nonprofit organizations to do their work. In a field dominated by mega corps that sometimes treat nonprofits as an afterthought, CiviCRM stands out. CiviCRM encourages collaboration and community contribution, and everything that goes into Civi helps strengthen the nonprofit sector.

Plus, Civi is a great contact management tool and has very strong online integration with our website (in Drupal). My organization needed a CRM that offered online contribution pages, event registration pages, and personal fundraising pages, and Civi offers all of those in a way that integrates very cleanly with the database. CiviCRM is highly customizable, so we've been able to set up many data structures that best fit our strategies.

Finally, CiviCRM is progressing in leaps and bounds. Every release brings tremendous improvements that make life easier for users like me.

What do you dislike?

Civi's tools for searching and reporting on data aren't as sophisticated as I've experienced in Raiser's Edge -- while it's easy to customize the way data is stored in your database, it's not very easy to customize searching & reporting criteria and results.

And as I said above, Civi is driven by nonprofits ... which means there's never enough money to go around :) If you have a problem, you can't just file a ticket and wait for it to be fixed. Instead, you have to search the forums, read the documentation, ask around, hire a consultant, and/or build community support for implementing a new solution. Fortunately, the Civi community encourages this kind of participation -- but you need to be prepared to spend this extra time to make the system work best for you.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Take the time to find out what Civi can do out of the box, what's easy to customize, and what requires a developer to customize.

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CiviCRM is a fantastic CRM choice for Non-Profits

What do you like best?

CiviCRM is reliable, clear, intuitive and free.

CiviCRM is the rare organization that values the worlds of open source and non-profits while maintaining a commitment to the ethos of both. Civi attracts developers and users by being friendly and accessible as both a software solution and an organization. This sensibility extends to responsive and eager help, on the forums, by email and at conferences - it feels like a true community of users. It's a pleasure to use tools made this way, which softens the frustrations that inevitable with Open source software.

What do you dislike?

Because CiviCRM can do so much, there's a tendency for new users to overreach, or conversely ignore many options. Error messages can occasionally be frustrating to resolve, and while the support network is good it's not like a vendor based solution - though much cheaper as a result.

Recommendations to others considering the product

CiviCRM is largely ready to go upon installation, you just need to configure settings for your organization which are much quicker to do if you hire someone knowledgable who can also train you and your userbase. It's worth retaining such an expert for subsequent database upgrades and troubleshooting.

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Reviewed

CiviCRM is like owning a bike vs renting one, and sharing with friends vs talking to a phone tree.

What do you like best?

CiviCRM is both comprehensive and flexible. It lets us see the range of activities community members take to support our work from donating, to showing up at an event, to emailing their government representatives. CiviCRM is also an open platform, meaning we can integrate absolutely anything with it. When we wanted to host a campaign that could scale quickly and indefinitely, we could. Because of CiviCRM, EFF helped community members send over one million emails to Congress in a matter of hours, completely derailing their attempts to pass the Stop Online Piracy Act. When we wanted to accepted donations in Bitcoin, we could.

What do you dislike?

EFF has one of the largest databases using CiviCRM (and some of the craziest ideas about what we can do with it). At first, we found it slow to return search results, but our developers and core team worked on improvements that would help us and other organizations scale.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Reach out to one of the users listed at civicrm.org/ambassadors. This is a directory of CiviCRM users who volunteer their time to answer questions anyone might have about the platform. Many of us are also eager to help our peers at other organizations solve CRM problems, like how to best structure our data, recommend consultants, and customize CiviCRM to meet our needs. Since these are really tough problems, and someone who has answered them at least once will be far more efficient at implementing or migrating an organization's database, I also recommend that anyone considering CiviCRM work with one of the many kind and incredibly skilled consultants at civicrm.org/what/experts.

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Reviewed

Great affordable CRM for nonprofits - can be customized - keeps getting better

What do you like best?

CiviCRM is a web-based CRM that integrates with Drupal, allows online donation, membership and event registration processing, mass mailings and easy customization. Being open source, it's cost-effective for our limited resources, which go into a good Civi consultant, upgrades and in-house training. It's good to control our own data and know that the software keeps being developed by an active and lively community. An open source community aligns well with nonprofit missions, needs and realities.

What do you dislike?

At first, the learning curve was challenging. Because Civi offers many options, there is some complexity. I've been impressed with the upgrades - the added features have been helpful - but they do require one to keep learning and keep training others. Again, the key is a good Civi developer/implementor who keeps up with these developments.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Work with a developer who works with Civi regularly, not just Drupal. Quality technical support and training is essential. Be sure they do a needs assessment - they need to understand your workflow and you need to know how Civi can improve it. Work with a demo or development site to understand Civi. Clean your data and do a test import before doing the main data import. Start with what you know you need instead of everything you might want. Be cautious about customizing things too much.

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Reviewed

Excellent CRM for Nonprofits

What do you like best?

CiviCRM is a robust, open-source CRM service that integrates seamlessly with Drupal. With a great community of developers working on the project, this excellent product is growing exponentially better every year. CiviCRM has helped my nonprofit grow from a small volunteer-run project to a 4,000 member nonprofit, and at every step of the way it has scaled perfectly with our needs. A straightforward UI allows staff to use the service for membership tracking, bulk mailing, event registration/ticketing, tracking volunteer hours, and processing payments online.

What do you dislike?

As is the case with many nonprofits, we had no dedicated IT staff when we first deployed CiviCRM. Consequently, there was a steep learning curve for configuration and administration. For small nonprofits who are currently managing their data in Filemaker or Excel spreadsheets and considering the move to CiviCRM, I would strongly recommend making the small initial investment of contracting a specialist to help with installation and configuration, or considering the software as a service approach. Once CiviCRM is properly configured to suit your organization's needs, you will not regret your investment.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Reach out to the community if you have any questions. Contact a CiviCRM ambassador, or attend a meetup to learn more.

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