Friday, September 16, 2005

Civic CRM Released


CiviCRM 1.1 has been released at It is the first major release
of the OpenNGO project to create relationship
management software for the nonprofit and
nongovernmental sectors. CiviCRM stores information on
the universe of people associated with a nonprofit
organization and on their interactions (emails,
donations, petitions, events, etc.).

The technology is designed to be lightweight,
extensible, core functionality that can both
stand-alone as a simple contact management application
and be easily integrated with a broad variety of
technologies and applications (Donation Processing,
Fundraising, Advocacy/GOTV, Event Management,
CivicSpace, Advokit, etc.)

Nonprofits maintain relationships many types of
constituents. They track and solicit donors, recruit
volunteers, track clients, and maintain relationships
with the public for advocacy purposes. They send out
newsletters and invite people to events. CiviCRM
enables organizations to maintain all this information
in a single database, creating efficiencies and new
opportunities for nonprofits to better communicate and
benefit from relationships with their constituents.

Before CiviCRM, relationship management solutions have
been expensive, proprietary and could not interoperate
with other software. The vast majority of the NPO
sector cannot afford solutions from market leaders
like GetActive, Kintera, Convio and others. Solutions
targeted at for-profit companies like
and SugarCRM do not support some of the data
structures and relationships unique to the nonprofit
sector like households.

The CiviCRM open source strategy radically reduces the
barriers nonprofits face to deploying world-class
software solutions to support their missions,
increasing efficiency across the sector, not just
among organizations that can afford the higher costs
of proprietary solutions. The strategy further creates
an ecosystem of high-level NPO-focused software
targeted at fundraising, advocacy, organizing, and
other specific vertical market by allowing those
software developers to avoid rebuilding the wheel and
simply start with a robust relationship management


CiviCRM is being created by a network of nonprofit
technology professionals in partnership with leading
NPO software efforts including CivicSpace Labs and
Advokit. The Social Source Foundation provides primary
software engineering and support for the platform. By
creating a highly qualified network of developers,
product managers, customers and customer advocates, we
are working to build CiviCRM into a robust,
full-featured, and widely used solution to nonprofit
relationship management needs.

CiviCRM is a LAMP-based (Linux, Apache, MySQL, & PHP)
web application. It provides a lightweight extensible
core that can be easily integrated with a broad range
of existing and future modules. CiviCRM can can
function both as part of an ASP-hosted product
offering or as a stand-alone application within the
context of a single enterprise.

CiviCRM core features include:

* Store information on Contacts—Individuals ,
Organizations, Households—and the relationships among
* Store multiple Locations (phone, address, etc.)
for each contact record.
* Internationalization. Support CRM information
for multiple countries.
* Support custom, user-defined fields for each
contact record.
* Support arbitrary, user-defined groups of
* Contact level view/edit permissions.


You can download and demo CiviCRM 1.1 at OpenNGO is an open source
project to create a set of web-based tools designed to
meet the needs of small U.S. nonprofit organizations
and non-governmental organizations across the globe.

David Geilhufe
Social Source Foundation
david -AT- socialsourcefoundation -DOT- org