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Use the instructions below to try out or demonstrate CiviCRM on the site test.nccommunities.org using the Sample Data distributed by CiviCRM. You are welcome to use the site test.nccommunities.org or you can use your own site — the CiviCRM Installer includes an option to load a set of Sample Data. Exploring the Sample Data provides a head-start in learning to use CiviCRM.

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You could also use the CiviCRM demo site — go to demo.civicrm.org/ and login as demo with password demo. The CiviCRM demo allows you to explore CiviCRM as a site administrator. Lots of other people are changing things at the same time, and there's usually a lot more data than just the sample data, so things can get a little confusing. What you see when you get there is whatever was left by the previous visitor to the site. test.nccommunities.org provides a smaller, more controlled environment for getting started.

Getting started

  • Go to test.nccommunities.org and login as demo with password demo. Here you can work with the Sample Data distributed by CiviCRM — view contacts, membership, donations, events, send email to Sample Data contacts, map groups of contacts, and get a good idea of how CiviCRM works, without worrying about messing anything up. It is easy for the site administrator to reset the test site. The site is "read only" — you cannot edit or create CiviCRM information.
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NOTES:
(1) The contact data is generated from a set of names, addresses, etc. When the test site is reset, the contact data changes.
(2) As you explore CiviCRM, read the pages — you'll learn more.

  • Click CiviCRM in the left sidebar.

Find and view contact information

  • Click Find contacts (in the left sidebar or Menu in the body of the page).
  • Click the arrows pointing down to view the search criteria in the dropdown menus.
  • Click the Search button to find all contacts, in any group, with any tag. The Search button is on the far right. If you don't see the Search button and the CiviCRM window does not fill your screen, click the Maximize button, on the right end of the Title bar at the top of the screen, between the dash and the X. If you still don't see the Search button, reduce your text size. [If you are using the Firefox or Safari Web browser, you can decrease the text size from the View dropdown menu.]
  • Scroll down the page. You should see that there are about 100 contacts and an alphabetic list of the first 50 contacts.
  • Scroll back to the top of the page. In the Find line, in the Tagged dropdown menu, select Volunteer. Click the Search button.
  • Below the Print button, select all x records. Look through the actions available in the -more actions- dropdown menu. Select Map contacts. Click Go to see a Google map showing the locations of volunteers. Click a marker to see the name and address of a volunteer. You can zoom in and out, move the map, etc. Click Done, at the bottom of the page.

Advanced search

  • Click Advanced Search (on the right, under the Search button). If the display is truncated on the right, there is a horizontal scroll bar between Contact Source and Address Fields. Scroll through the page to see the information you can use to subset data. The Contact Types are fixed in CiviCRM. The site administrator defines Groups and Tags. The Groups (Administrators, ...) and Tags (Company, ...) that you see are defined in the Sample Data.
  • Under Contact Type(s), select Individuals and under Tag(s), select Volunteer (you may need to scroll to the right). Click some of the items in blue bars, like Contributions, Memberships, and Events, to see additional search criteria available. Click Address Fields. Notice that you can subset data using a variety of address fields. Specify a Postal Code Range from 20000 to 40000 and click the Search button (bottom right).
  • Click a name or View (on the right) to see a summary of contact information. Click some of the blue tabs, like Relationships and Tags. In the bread-crumb at the top of the page (Home > View Contact > Search Results) click Search Results. You should be back on the search results page, showing some volunteers.

Email selected contacts and view activities

  • Check one or two contacts and select selected records only. Jot down the names you selected. In the dropdown menu -more actions-, select Send Email to Contacts. Click Go. [If you get the error message, "Selected contact(s) do not have a valid email address," select a different contact.] Notice that the "From" address is the site System Administrator's address. Type in a subject, for example "Need a volunteer" and a message, for example "Can you help refurbish computers this Saturday?" Click Send email. [Don't worry. The email addresses aren't valid. Messages sent will bounce to the System Administrator.] You should see an information message in a yellow box describing actions taken.
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NOTE: Sending email from the -more actions- menu does not use CiviMail.

  • Click Find Contacts in the left sidebar. In the Name field, enter the last name of one of the contacts to whom you sent email and click Search. Click the contact's name (or View). Click the blue tab Activities and then + to the left of Activity History. Click Details to see the full message you sent.

Membership management

  • In the left sidebar, click CiviMember. Read the information about CiviMember and scroll down the Membership Summary for the Sample Data.
  • In the left sidebar, click Find Members. Notice that there are a variety of ways you can subset membership. Membership Type and Membership Status categories are determined by the Site Administrator. What you see are the categories defined by Sample Data. Check Expired under Membership Status and click Search. Scroll down to see the list of contacts whose membership has expired.
  • Choose a contact in the list. Click View to see their membership information.
  • Click Done. You should be back on the page of expired members.
  • Select all x records. In the dropdown menu -more actions-, select Send Email to Contacts. Click Go. You will probably see an information message in a yellow box saying that email will not be sent to some of the contacts because their communication preferences specify DO NOT EMAIL. You could now send a message to all the other contacts whose membership has expired. Remember that the content of the message will be saved as an activity in the contact information for each.

Donor management

  • In the left sidebar, click CiviContribute. Read the information about CiviContribute and scroll down the Contributions Summary for the Sample Data.
  • In the left sidebar, click Find Contributions. Notice that there are a variety of ways you can subset contributions. The categories for some fields, such as Contribution Type and Contribution Page, are determined by the site administrator. What you see are the categories defined by Sample Data.
  • For Minimum amount, type 100, select Contribution Type of Donation, check Thank-you date not set? and click Search. You could now select all those contacts and send them an email thank-you note. Note that the search results are summarized in one line containing: Total Amount, # Contributions, Avg Amount.

Event management

  • In the left sidebar, click CiviEvent. Read the information about CiviEvent and scroll down the Event Summary of recent events in the Sample Data.
  • Click the name of an event to see information about it.
  • Click your browsers Back button.
  • For an event, under Participants, click the number to see who's registered.
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NOTE: If you go to an event and click Register Now, you'll get an error message (There are no payment processors set up on test.nccommunities.org).

Mass mailing

Go to demo.civicrm.org/ and login as demo with password demo to try out CiviMail.