Author Topic: Let’s introduce ourselves…  (Read 27590 times)

Offline ayduns

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Re: Let’s introduce ourselves…
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2014, 01:05:02 pm »
You may be interested to know that we're currently working on a tweaked version of Civi specifically for churches/mosques/synagogues etc which will have additionality functionality of interest to those groupings. In the coming weeks/months I'll post more about it so that others can benefit too.

Hi Lindsey - How's the tweaked version coming along?

Offline LindseyM

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Re: Let’s introduce ourselves…
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2014, 05:31:29 am »
Apologies for the delayed reply - I've been off work for several months which has meant the project hasn't really been worked on for some time. However, there is some good news that 'recurring events' functionality will be live this autumn, meaning that CiviEvent will be able to handle things like Alpha Courses, youth clubs etc

It's hoped that the functionality will also be incorporated into CiviVolunteer and CiviBooking meaning that CiviVolunteer can handle recurring shifts (eg every 4th Sunday at 11am) and CiviBooking can handle recurring bookings (eg youth club in the main hall every Monday, except in December).

Offline allenthehusband

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Re: Let’s introduce ourselves…
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2014, 09:12:21 pm »
Hi Lindsey,

Per Lobo's comment (https://civicrm.org/comment/8164#comment-8164), recurring events in slated for Civi 4.6.  Does that mean that 4.6 is planned for release this autumn, so quickly after 4.5?

Offline allenthehusband

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Re: Let’s introduce ourselves…
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2014, 09:52:17 pm »
Hi, my name is Allen Hutchison.  I am the Director of Communications and I.T. at Glenwood Community Church in Vancouver, WA, USA.  We started our slow move to CiviCRM in 2013 when one of my bosses asked me to find a single solution for our database woes.  We have a number of ministries (Children's, High School, weekly small groups, etc.), and each department had their own system for managing people (MS Access, Excel spreadsheets, our website).  Our front office uses a proprietary Church Management System called Powerchurch.  It is great for accounting purposes, but its people management is lacking, most because it is only accessible on the network by a select few people.  We needed something accessible on and off site by all of our staff, integration with our website, tiered permissions, and yet some customization to each ministry.  The need list was high, but really any solution that allowed the sharing of data had us headed in the right direction.

Since our website is Drupal based, I wanted an open-source people management system to integrate with our site.  I am very grateful that we discovered CiviCRM.  The learning curve was initially high, but over the course of 11 months, by working on it little by little, our ministry leads are now using it, and we will soon incorporate the front office.  We will still use Powerchurch for finances, but Civi is/will be used for everything else.

We are currently in the beginning stages of a move from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.  We set up our new Drupal 7 site on a subdomain of our current site and installed CiviCRM to integrate with that Drupal 7 site so we would be set for longevity.  I am greatly looking forward to Recurring Events as that will be the final piece of our Civi puzzle.

I attended CiviCon in San Francisco in April this year, and that kicked our setup/development into gear.  Immediately after that we moved from administering our setup to developing customizations to fit our needs.  I have been impressed by the Civi community, both in person and in the forums here.  The high level of desire to help is fantastic.  CiviTeacher http://civiteacher.com/, the online video tutorial service, has also proven most helpful.

Here's how we're using Civi currently:
  • Civi Contact and Civi Mailing for people management and communication.  Our database contains individuals, households and a number of organizations comprised of local schools, other churches and workplaces.  We even keep some of our vendors in Civi so that their contact information is accessible by all staff.  We make extensive use of relationships to maintain a working knowledge of how family members and households tie together and how people relate to organizations (student, volunteer, employee, etc.).  We have a rather lengthy list of groups to organize our volunteers and see how they connect to, and serve in, our ministries.  Our tags show information about the individuals: allergies, skills, resources they’ve offered to share.
  • We are looking into Civi SMS for easier communication for those so inclined.
  • We use Civi Pledge and Contribution to track our Haiti child sponsorship program and issue receipts.  Our accounting program, Powerchurch, is still the ‘hub of truth’ as far as banking/accounting goes.  We import the data into Civi after the fact to make receipting WAY easier.  Our church does not yet offer online payment for events or online giving, but when that time comes down the road, CiviContribute will be the way we go.
  • CiviCase for our ministry application process (background checks, reference checking,  applicant interview).
  • We will use Civi Event and Civi Booking once the Recurring Events piece of Civi is available.
  • We are experimenting with Civi Volunteer to manage our larger volunteer-intensive events.
  • Throughout the above, we make extensive use of CiviCRM Webform Integration to provide internal and external data entry, registrations, etc.  Coleman Watts has done the CiviCRM community a GIGANTIC service with this module. https://www.drupal.org/project/webform_civicrm
  • We are just learning to use the power of CiviReport and customize it to our particular use cases.

Here are some tangible benefits of switching to CiviCRM that we have seen in the short time since implementation:
  • Shared contact information across all ministries without exporting from one system to email a spreadsheet. The significance of this cannot be overstated for us.
  • Targeted emails to Children’s Ministry volunteers without having to make custom distribution lists in MS Outlook.
  • Easy physical mailings to newcomers (creation of PDF letters with mail-merge like tokens; then CiviCRM makes the mailing labels!).  All with just a few clicks.
  • Congregants correcting their own data via webforms rather than our office staff having to track down information changes.  Every online registration is another opportunity for a congregant to update their information.  When our transition to Drupal 7 is complete, our user accounts will tie directly to CiviCRM's data so congregants can update their data at any time.
  • Our ministry applications can now be searched electronically by staff for the first time in our church’s history.
  • The receipts for our Haiti child-sponsorship contributions can now be issued in one afternoon rather than taking multiple days.
  • Countless possibilities for customized reports through CiviReport and integration with Drupal Views.

If anyone has any questions about how we do things or would like to share how they operate, feel free to email me at ahutchison@glenwoodcc.org!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 05:13:37 pm by allenthehusband »

Offline LindseyM

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Re: Let’s introduce ourselves…
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2014, 09:23:16 am »
Hi Allen
Thanks for letting us know how you're using Civi - it sounds great! I'm glad to hear the recurring functionality will be of use to you (see my blog at https://www.civicrm.org/blogs/lindseym/recurring-events-recurring-everything-coming-soon for those unaware of this).

Although we're 'launching' the functionality at Civicon London lobo's right that it will be in the 4.6 release in a few months' time. I'm not sure of the exact timing but will find out more at Civicon. Thanks for your email - I'll be in touch in the next day or so. I'm interested to hear how you're finding the use of households and also tracking membership.

Offline pod

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Re: Let’s introduce ourselves…
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2014, 08:09:43 pm »
Lindsey
I would like to add my name to this list. I am Gord Pierce. I have worked at using CiviCRM for a number of years. The first effort was using CiviCRM as a summer camp registration and program planing system.
In the past two years I have been focused on guiding  Therockchurchsaskatoon.ca to make use of civiCRM to manage all contact information related to their "after school" program. This program starts with vans and buses going into the inner city to pick up children who are registered for the program. The children are transported to the church were they are fed a meal followed by an instructive program. The children are then put in the vehicles and returned to their homes. Every child's details and their parents/guardians are in the system using relationships. The bus/van routs are planed with the aid of postal code sorted lists. The attendance and specific travel arrangements of all children and volunteers are tracked using activities. The completion and renewal dates for volunteer documentation  (references, police checks, interests) are tracked using custom fields in Civimember. Volunteers include drivers, cooks, program people, supervisors etc.
 We are just exploring the use of CiviVolunteer on a test site.  The program directors are using "Volunteer spot" at this time but to integrate this function under the umbrella of CiviCRM will have some obvious benefits. I Looking forward to implementing the functionality of repeating events when it is released . At this point I have not decide if it is better to create a separate event for every week or have an event that spans several months and have separate shift for each week.
 That is likely enough for an introduction.  I am a retired Engineer enjoying these volunteer opportunities.
Gord

Offline LindseyM

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Re: Let’s introduce ourselves…
« Reply #36 on: September 20, 2014, 03:28:04 am »
Good to hear from you Gord. That sounds like a wonderful project you're involved in. Thanks for describing how you're using Civi as that will help others to see possibilities and also to connect with you if they have comments/questions about their own use cases.

Offline LindseyM

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Re: Let’s introduce ourselves…
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2014, 03:49:35 am »
Hi everyone

I was asked to do a piece about the recurring events Make It Happen campaign for the latest Civi newsletter - see https://civicrm.org/blogs/lindseym/championing-recurring-events-make-it-happen

It's great news that recurring events will be in Civi core from 4.6 onwards but there are other possibilities which need some encouragement. Many churches, synagogues and other faith-based organisations deal with recurring volunteers - people or teams who serve weekly or monthly on a regular basis. Many of us also deal with recurring bookings of rooms/resources/people eg youth club using the main hall every Friday, toddler group in the crypt every Wednesday and so on. At present CiviVolunteer and CiviBooking can't deal with recurring elements like this but the extension developers are very open to this.

I'd really appreciate you commenting on my blog to highlight this need and encourage the extensions to incorporate this functionality.
Do pass this on if there are others you know interested in these two great Civi extensions incorporating the recurring element.

Thanks!
Lindsey

Offline Coleman Watts

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Re: Let’s introduce ourselves…
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2014, 02:42:28 pm »
Quote
Coleman Watts has done the CiviCRM community a GIGANTIC service with this module.
Thanks Allen :)
Try asking your question on the new CiviCRM help site.