CiviCRM Review: Open Source Nonprofit CRMBy Partho, Gaea News Network
Monday, April 6, 2009
While I was dealing with salesforce.com review, I came across a lot of experts comparing it with another open source (customer) relationship management solution, CiviCRM. I had CiviCRM on my list of Top 10 CRM software. It is a web-based CRM tool basically designed to meet the needs of advocacy, non-profit and non-governmental groups. CiviCRM allows organizations to use a for-profit sales tool on nonprofit CRM purposes. The CiviCRM is also used by many NGOs including Amnesty International , Creative Commons and the Wikimedia Foundation. Let’s get into the CiviCRM to delve more into it.
Here are some of the important features that should be considered before evaluating CIviCRM
CiviCRM forms allows the organizations flexibility to choose the information they gather from the constituents. The user can configure custom forms using data fields according to the configuration they require.
The users can set up their own custom data fields apart from the fields provided in standard constituent record.
With CIviCRM the users can create their custom code that will initiate actions, calculations etc within the fields.
CiviCRM can be deployed on Drupal and Joomla! content management systems. This allows integration with other CRM systems.
The organization using CiviCRM can chalk out new tasks and get them completed. Specific tasks can be assigned to each staff members. The task will appear on the dashboard of the employee.
CiviCRM offers a native integration for Google or Yahoo! It Maps API to geocode for all the contacts as they are created.
CiviCRM is one the perfect set ups when it comes to non-profit organizations. It is really intuitive to provide out of the box service for such organizations. CiviCRM offers in-built donation pages as well as event registration. It shows better opportunities for extending relationships. It is easy to create groups and smart groups easily in CiviCRM.
CiviCRM is not too adept with data management. This can be a hindrance for organization looking for extensive data management requirements. Reporting is a concern with CiviCRM. It doesn’t integrate membership and payment information with Quickbooks. It also lacks use an external report-writing package that allows easy creation of custom reports.
Salesforce.com is one of core competitors. CiviCRM is no comparison to the much more sleek and polished salesforece.com.Further, Salesforce.com thrives with huge ecosystem add-on that are missing in CiviCRM. Mot significant difference between the two software seems the member management out of the box. But, for a nonprofit set up that has a different approach to data management, CiviCRM could be a better selection.
Despites it’s shortcomings CiviCRM has a core nonprofit design that makes it perfect for nonprofit organizations. If you have something more to provide, give in. .
Tags: CiviCRM Review, CRM Software, Crm tool, Nonprofit CiviCRM, Open Source, open source CiviCRM