Sunday, October 7, 2007

Relationship Management for Non-Profits (Software)

This software package, CiviCRM, looks promising. It is an implementation of a "Customer Relationship Management" solution, but for organizations that don't really have customers in a commercial sense but still have plenty of relationships to manage. It's a bit like SugarCRM or but designed for not-for-profit type entities.

If you are involved in a non-profit agency that takes donations or has volunteers, this software may help you optimize your relationships, boost your effectiveness, and provide some dashboard like functionality for managing your organization. Well, that's the theory anyhow. :-)

It appears to have an active community and developers. And a good amount of documentation, a FAQ, a blog, and user forums. All signs that bode well for a sustainable open source project, since many applications die off without achieving critical mass.

I have not used it. I ran across it while researching some other software. Since I know folks involved in managing several non-profits, I wanted give them a heads up to explore further. If anyone takes a closer look please let me know how it goes!

CiviCRM: A Free and Open Source eCRM Solution

CiviCRM is the first open source and freely downloadable constituent relationship management solution. CiviCRM is web-based, open source, internationalized, and designed specifically to meet the needs of advocacy, non-profit and non-governmental groups.

CiviCRM is a powerful contact, fundraising and eCRM system that allows you to record and manage information about your various constituents including volunteers, activists, donors, employees, clients, vendors, etc. Track and execute donations, transactions, conversations, events or any type of correspondence with each constituent and store it all in one, easily accessible and manageable source.

CiviCRM is created by an open source community coordinated by CiviCRM LLC, and the 501c3 non-profit Social Source Foundation.

There is a (amateur but it'll give you an idea) Introduction to CiviCRM video and some others here.


Josh Richards said...

An update: It has come to my attention that a Central Coast based developer, Dave Lewicki, has a nifty looking solution that addresses part of the same problem domain and is specifically designed for fundraising events. Dave was involved with KCBX and built a lot of their online tools. His company is called EventCentrics.

I believe this is a fully hosted solution. It would be a great hands off solution (don't have to hire a developer, get a web hosting service, figure out how to get it installed and working, etc).

Josh Richards said...

Other notable resources for software, especially open source, for non-profits:

Software used by others for fundraising
Software used by other organizations supported by donors
Choosing and Using Free and Open Source Software: A Primer for Nonprofits