CiviCRM – CRM for Non-profits

While evaluating CRM solutions for a non-profit I came across CiviCRM –
I am very impressed by the overall functionality provided by CiviCRM. It is second to none when it comes to managing non-profit CRM related requirements.

CiviCRM is an open source and free CRM for advocacy, non-profit and non-governmental groups. It is integrated with popular Drupal and Joomla Content Management Systems.
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.

Key Features in Detail

  • Segmentation Tools. Use groups, simple and searchable tags, and/or relationships to segment constituents.
  • Extensive Configurability. CiviCRM is highly configurable, allowing you, in most cases, to configure it to work with your existing business processes. Unlimited locations, addresses, phone numbers, emails and custom data fields allow most unique needs to be met.
  • Internationalization & Localization. CiviCRM can store CRM data in many localized formats and supports most languages, currently including Brazilian Portuguese, German, Polish and Spanish.
  • Contacts. Store common nonprofit contact data (individuals, organizations, and households) that support donor management, case management, voter, and advocacy applications.
  • Relationships. Understand the relationships between any two contacts with standard (volunteer, employer, head of household) relationships or create your own unique custom relationship types.
  • Activities. Record standard activities (phone call, meeting, email) for any contact or create your own custom activities that meet your needs. External software can use the CiviCRM Application Programming Interface (API) to register activities with any contact, providing a comprehensive central repository of CRM information.
  • Smart Groups. Create smart groups based on any search criteria or create standard groups that are simply lists of contacts. The membership of a smart group changes automatically according to that moment’s search results.
  • Custom Data. Create unlimited custom data fields in virtually any format, including radio buttons, drop-down menus, etc. All custom fields are searchable and can define a smart group.
  • Support Multi-site Organizations and Networks. Centrally store data across multiple organizations or web sites.
  • Import and Export Functionality with De-duping. Import functionality intelligently maps CiviCRM fields to imported data and checks for duplicates based on user-defined criteria.
  • Permissions. With Drupal integration, access to certain groups of contacts can be limited to specific users, offering a way for volunteers to manage small portions of a larger CiviCRM database.
  • Website Integration. CiviCRM is integrated with both Drupal and Joomla/Mambo. Web site registrations automatically become CiviCRM records and individuals can maintain their own CRM record.
  • Application Programming Interface (API). CiviCRM offers a fully documented API exposing all major functionality. For instance, you can search the database, register interactions with constituents, create or update contact information, etc. This allows CiviCRM to realistically be a central repository of virtually any nonprofit’s CRM information.

Optional Components:

Technical Requirements

CiviCRM is a web-based solution that runs on your own web server, or on a server at your hosting provider. Installs on local machines should consider using the XAMPP/WAMP stacks which almost painlessly install Apache/PHP/MySQL.

  • Apache 1.3+
  • PHP 5.2.x Note that CiviCRM does not support PHP 5.3 as yet
  • MySQL 5.0.x+ with InnoDB support
  • Drupal 6.x / Joomla 1.5.x
  • Server cronjobs
  • 128mb PHP memory limit recommended
  • Multi-lingual features of CiviCRM require SUPER privileges in MySQL 5.0.x (to allow the use of TRIGGERS)

You can download CiviCRM from Sourceforge :


Give it a try, I am sure it will be helpful.


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