This documentation relates to CiviCRM version 3.1. It's not maintained anymore.
Current version of documentation.

What Is CiviCRM?

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This page refers to outdated version of CiviCRM. Check current version of documentation.


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CiviCRM 3.1 Documentation

Support and Participation

Developer Resources


CiviCRM book!

Make sure to check out Understanding CiviCRM as well! You can also support this project by ordering a hard copy.

CiviCRM is web-based, open source, internationalized software that allows you to record and manage information about your members, clients, volunteers, activists, donors, staff, and vendors.

Unlike most other CRM software, CiviCRM was designed from the ground up for non-profits, membership and advocacy organizations. Rather than trying to adapt to a commercial sales-force automation model, CiviCRM gives you familiar terms and concepts. CiviCRM is freely downloadable without licensing fees — making it an affordable and cost effective solution compared to most proprietary vendor offerings.

CiviCRM integrates directly with the popular open source Content Management systems — Drupal and Joomla!. Registration and visitor interactions are logged directly into the system — making CiviCRM the obvious choice for organizations who want to engage and activate their communities.

  • Contact Manager: Is your organization's contact information scattered across multiple databases, spreadsheets, and rolodexes? With CiviCRM you can manage all your contact data, and track correspondence, conversations, relationships and more from one easily accessible web-based system.
    • Install: Quick and easy web-based installation.
    • Configure: (no programming needed) Unlimited addresses, phone numbers, emails and custom data fields allow most unique needs to be met.
    • Import: Flexible data import intelligently maps CiviCRM fields to imported data and checks for duplicates based on user-defined criteria.
    • Organize: Use groups, saved searches, tags, and/or relationships to segment and communicate with constituents.
    • Connect: Create relationships like volunteer, employer, head of household between contacts. You can also define and describe your own relationship information.
    • Track: Record activities like phone calls, meetings, and emails. You can also define and track other types of activities or interactions specific to your organization's needs.
    • Manage Access: Define permissions to view and/or edit groups of contacts, types of data and specific workflows.
    • Translate: Users can create versions of CivCRM in any language using collaborative online translation tools.
    • Extend: Integrate 3rd party modules using CiviCRM's extensive APIs.

CiviCRM includes these optional components for engaging your constituents...

  • CiviContribute: Online fundraising and donor management. Track and manage contributions to your organization. Quickly and easily create customized web pages to accept online donations. Integration with your contact manager means that contact records are created or updated automatically when contributions are made.
    • Define your own contribution types for the different contributions your organization receives: in-kind, cash, and volunteer time, for example.
    • Add custom fields to track extra information about a contribution or contributor (for example, specific information
      required by the FEC for campaign contributions).
    • Create as many different Online Contribution pages as you need — for different campaigns, chapters, etc.
    • Automatically generate receipts, and track thank-you notes.
    • Easily import and export contribution data to/from accounting packages.
    • Search for contributions by type, amount, date, etc.
    • Offer a selection of premiums (thank-you gifts) to your contributors.
    • View past contributions when viewing any contact record.
  • CiviEvent: Online event registration and participant tracking. Integrated online event registration and management for paid and free events. Create customized web pages for event registration, and then track participants.
    • Define your own event types.
    • Add custom fields to track extra information about a participant (for example, meal preferences, special needs,
      etc.).
    • Create as many different Event Information and Registration pages as you need.
    • Automatically generate registration confirmations /receipts.
    • Easily import and export participant data to/from other systems.
    • Search for participants by event, event type, participant role, etc.
    • Allow users to export events as iCal files and configure online calendar applications to "subscribe" to iCal feeds of
      your public events.
  • CiviMember: Online signup and membership management. Fexible membership management for your organization, along with convenient online signup and renewal.
    • Configure any number of membership types or levels for one or more organizations and/or chapters of an organization.
    • Customize membership statuses and rules.
    • Create customized web pages for self-service membership signup and renewal.
    • Search and list memberships by date, type, status, contact info including name and address.
    • Automatically update membership statuses and send renewal notices.
  • CiviMail: Personalized email blasts and newsletters. High-capacity mass-mailing component allows you to engage your constituents with personalized email blasts and newsletters.
    • Target mailings by including or excluding any number of CiviCRM group(s), or previous mailing recipients.
    • Personalize your messages using mail-merge tokens.
    • Track when recipients open your message.
    • Track click-throughs.
    • Manage bounces and unsubscribe requests.

From CiviCRM 2.0 Product Sheet (.pdf file) — A three-page handout describing what CiviCRM is, who is using it, and how they are using it.

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