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Affinity Group Meeting Notes

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Notes from NTEN conference CiviCRM affinity group meeting March 19, 2008

The room had 40 seats and was full. List of those who signed in .

Handout: Product Sheet , .pdf file.

Judy Hallman opened the meeting and briefly showed a few online resources:

We went around the room, introducing ourselves with name, organization, whether or not we're using CiviCRM, and identifying things we'd like to know about. Dave Greenberg listed items people were interested in on the flipchart:

  • Event registration
  • Networking with other users
  • Lessons/Tips
  • Calendar
  • Open source ?
  • Performance/usability
  • Evaluate CiviCRM
  • Formal training
  • Replace other tools ?
  • Implementation costs
  • Maintenance

Most of the people attending were not using CiviCRM yet and wanted to know more about it.

David Geilhufe gave an overview of CiviCRM using the PowerPoint presentation at http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/download/attachments/8069/CiviCRM+Intro.ppt?version=2

John Kenyon said that he provides training in CiviCRM — http://johnkenyon.org.

There was discussion about implementation and maintenance, paying for maintenance, asking for and checking references (be sure to do this!), "solution providers" and perhaps having an online list of firms that are solution providers and a forum for discussing solution providers. Reference was made to a discussion on the developers list (civicrm-dev) about Site Hosting Options , to the Hosting provider information page , and to the Professional Services page . Accidental techies CAN use CiviCRM. CiviMail is complex and installation requires skills of an email system administrator. Shane Hill (shane at uas dot coop), Urban Alliance for Sustainability, provides a service to handle all of the email transactions between your CiviCRM installation and your constituents and users. For more information, see http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/CiviMail+hosting.

CiviCRM provides database functions, the content management system provides the Web/display interface. Every screen is a template done in Smarty. You can move things around.

John Kenyon mentioned some organizations he has worked with who are using CiviCRM, such as Community Information Strategies Australia Inc. (a partner of TechSoup), the Hindu Temple Barsana Dham in Austin, and the American Friends Service Committee . See John's Consulting Client List at http://johnkenyon.typepad.com/john_kenyon_nonprofit_tec/client-list.html

Gregory Heller showed a few Civic Actions sites, such as Montana Conservation Voters .
Civic Actions has a web page for clients at http://www.civicactions.com/clients

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