Community Partners ( http://www.compartners.org/) is a nonprofit corporation in Massachusetts that helps low and moderate-income people get health care. Community partners serves as an infomediary bringing together approximately 1,000 health outreach workers in the state of Massachusetts, delivering relevant policy information and building collaboration and community.
Their primary database needs are:
- Keeping track of outreach workers (tracking attrition, changing addresses, etc.) with each outreach worker able to maintain their own record to reduce data entry.
- Keep track of Massachusetts health care organizations and provide a web-based searchable database.
- Communicating with outreach workers by email.
- Segmenting outreach workers based on their interests and targeting communications to those segments.
- Maintain mailing list of outreach workers.
They chose to implement CiviCRM because it allowed them to meet most of their requirements "out-of-the-box" and they could observe other needed features emerging from the open source community. They choose to use CiviCRM within Mambo because they had an existing Mambo website they wanted to retain and simply extend.
Key considerations for Community Partners included:
- Open Source. They technology lead in the organization had a comfort level with common open source technologies for both their licensing cost (usually free) and the ability to make modifications to the software.
- PHP/MySQL. The choice of common, standard technologies like PHP and MySQL means that the organization can always purchase talent even if their technology lead leaves the organization.
- Affordability. CiviCRM came with no licensing costs and provided a do-it-yourself configurable interface. They could achieve their primary database goals without hiring additional consulting support.
- Active Community. The CiviCRM community offered a responsive, NPO-friendly developers email list to the point even the organization's administrative director was comfortable asking questions on the CRM-dev email list.
Overall. it was critical that Community Partners has a technically competent staff member whose skills exceeded those of an average accidental techie. Nonprofits considering implementing CiviCRM at this stage should have competent technical staff available (either on staff or through consulting contracts) to implement an initial CiviCRM installation.