CiviContribute: A donation module to accept online payments via PayPal, Authorize.net and Google Checkout. Recurring donations are also supported via PayPal and Authorize.net. CiviContribute has support for Pledges and Soft Contributions.
CiviEvent: An event management module for integrated event registration and management
CiviReport: A reporting module to make sense of all the data you collect
CiviMember: A membership module to manage your members
CiviMail: A high performace broadcast email engine
CiviPledge: A module to manage pledges
CiviCase: Case management for human service providers (with thanks to Physician Health Program - British Columbia)
Personal Campaign Pages: add donors and constituents to your fundraising team
Note that CiviCRM now requires PHP v5.2.1+ and MySQL v5.1+ and higher. If you need help installing this component please consult the service provider list at http://civicrm.org/professional/
Note that the CiviCRM license is AGPL v3 which is compatible with GPL v3. CiviCRM v2.1 is for Joomla 1.5 (it is NOT compatible with Joomla 1.0.x)
That said, there are definitely some issues.
1. As others have said, the community leans more towards Drupal, and much of the official documentation references Drupal with not a peep about how to do something similar in Joomla.
2. The component is written in such a way as to generate a massive amount of php and js calls. Apparently drupal people have a way to aggregate such calls to not be such a server burden, but Joomla people don't (to my knowledge). In defense of the civicrm people they keep saying their software most likely won't perform great on shared hosting.
3. The mailing component is just ridiculous. It is so complicated to setup and is ridiculously buggy. You have to do cron jobs and all sorts of other things when there are other mailing components that do everything CiviCRM does (and more) and don't require any of this. I've setup ACY mailing in about 30 seconds. No cron jobs. No php. It just works.
One more pet peeve on the mailing. If you it the "send test email" button it sends every time. With no configuration. But I literally had to try 27 different configurations to try to interpret what in the world the documentation was talking about (again, it was written for Drupal) and even then, it is buggy. If you hit the test button and it works, the real thing should work. If it doesn't, delete the test button. It's useless.
4. The donation part of the software was useless too. Every upgrade seemed to break something obscure. Issues with php/js calls, fields disappearing, template conflicts. Joom Donation installs in 30 seconds. Configures in 30 seconds and just works. 3 freaking weeks trying to get their donation thing to work reliably only to find out that IE users were getting weird errors.
Unless you have someone whom installing and maintaining this stuff is their full time job, I would stay away for now. It was literally my full time job for 3 weeks. I would get sooo close to everything working and then I was constantly chasing down bugs. Over and over. You could do pretty much everything CiviCRM does with $100 worth of extensions and save yourself a lot of heartache.
Your customers will have the exact same experience. We've used CiviCRM for years, and it doesn't allow you to set up the same type of transactional experience customers look for now - yes, even customers of poor little nonprofits. They have to create a log-in account before registering for an event. Then they have to back out to start registering for the event itself. We've had people give up on trying to register for our events - a key source of revenue - because they can't click on an event, register, and pay like they can with almost any other online transaction. Sure CiviCRM has some great administrative and database management functions. But, what's the point if the system runs off your customers?
A few comments:
1. You can set CiviCRM up so that anonymous users can register / contribute. A login is NOT required
2. Most users will add the links to the event / contributon page from various pieces of content (blog post, links on top etc). CiviCRM does not do this for you, and we feel that this is better dealt with at the CMS level. For e.g. see all the links to contributions / events on http://civicrm.org/
Indeed, as noted below, version 3.0 and later is much, much improved. You should take reviews from before fall 2009 with a grain of salt.
civiCRM is an endless struggle or impossible on cheap shared hosting. But you really should not be running mission critical functions like your organizations web site on $5 a month hosting. Learned the hard way. (Moving up to $15 a month or so is sufficient at least for my organizations demands.)
Many of the features in civiCRM are really nicely implemented. It also makes some very complex things (sending a finely customized mailing or setting up registration for a paid event, for example) really easy and quick. It is not a simple program, but the complexity it has is complexity you really need to be employing if you are running a non-profit.
CiviCRM is not quite RaisersEdge, but it's definitely more in that direction than a simple database.
Lastly, while civiCRM has improved, this is indeed a big program (yes bigger than Joomla itself) and requires that much more technical attention. It's probably still true that it isn't for the faint of heart. But then, neither is making your non-profit successful! And yes, the support community is strong and pretty committed to helping you figure things out that you need.
With CiviCRM 3.X, it's become a stable, awesome application for Joomla. If there were a rating above "5", I would give it; it's that good.
Clearing up some myths:
The database is NOT messy - it's actually brilliant to anyone who knows databases. Clean design and essential to the incredible flexibility of CCRM. As a single example, the clear distinction and association between Contact and Member records is correct, and contrasts with the messy relationship between these with other Joomla extensions.
The conversion of the DB from MyISAM to InnoDB (required) is a small pain, but well worth the effort and straightforward. About half an hour with phpMyAdmin.
Lobo is tireless and passionate. His leadership is incredible, the guy must not sleep.
The forums are helpful and pleasant. Questions mostly get answered.
The user interface is wonderfully intuitive, so much so that it's almost training free. I needed to read up on only a couple functions to get my clients up and running in a useful fashion.
It only seems complex because the functions are numerous. But there's no fat in it. I give it an unqualified recommendation as of version 3.x.
There is no finer tool for events, membership and relationship/constituent management. They are committed to improvement, Civi has literally thousands of features, and the team is in this for the long haul.
If you create sites for member-driven enterprises and orgs, Civi is the tool of choice.
It will not install on some commercial web servers - If you are planning to use it on a commercial host check with them 1st and save your self some trouble (godaddy shared hosting - forget about it)
The application is quite complicated and not for the faint of heart. If you have a problem digging into php and mysql this is likely not the application for you.
One other thing the developer community is very unabashedly bias toward "another cms" so keep that in mind while looking for support
While this is the right application for many organizations and has a great feature set be forewarned is is a bear to administer.
Would be good to get more details on:
1. "The database structure is a total mess." A complex db structure does not necessarily mean its a mess.
2. Depending on your application, mysql has got quite a few backup utilities which can safely backup a running mysql instance
3. "the developer community is very unabashedly bias towards 'another CMS'". So does this affect the support that is offered? if so, any examples where this is biased
4. We pretty much are upfront and do warn folks that cheap shared hosting services (goDaddy, site5 etc) are not a appropriate match for CiviCRM
When I moved the site to production, the application broke horribly (using absolute path rather than relative from joomla root?)
Then, when I went to remove it, it left a boatload of crap in the database, making it impossible to re-install.
Promising, but sloppy design in its current state. They have forums but no direct support to be found and the developers do not seem to participate in the forums... so no real support unless you're ready to fork over some cash.
So I rated it "average"... typical joomla app that is flaky with no support.
Note that there is a wiki page documenting how to move a site:
Someone from the joomla civicrm community was nice enough to respond to your support questions:
Not sure what your expectations are for free support?
As others have said, this is really a Drupal module that works on Joomla, and there are times when it shows - but again, Drupal has an ACL system that works, and Joomla 1.5 doesn't - doubtless when J1.6 finally surfaces CiviCRM will start getting more positive comments here.
Definately worth using this module, but don't expect to have it all working perfectly in only a couple of hours.
Note that 2.2.x ships with a sql script: sql/civicrm_drop.mysql that drops all civicrm tables in the right order.
Other than that, we are very happy with what CiviCRM provides. The other so-called "CRMs" in this category on this extensions.joomla.org don't even come close to what CiviCRM provides.
> CiviEvent to create online event registrations - customize the registration form to our needs
> Donation payment system with builtin PayPal (it has others too) payment processors - we just had to configure it with our paypal info
> Member/Volunteer registration with customized fields - our Joomla account creation link redirects to the CiviCRM member account registration page (btw, CiviCRM also creates a Joomla user account for each registration if we want to)
> Volunteer management to assign tasks to volunteers, etc.
> Maintain contacts
We researched many other systems, but none had what CiviCRM provides.
Oh, did I tell you that the support is great, yes it is. :)
While the extension is tilted towards Drupal, I have detected a strong desire and willingness among the CiviCRM development community to make it more Joomla friendly. In my opinion, the best way to do that would be to make it compatible with JoomlaPack, which would go a long way to solving the installation headaches (use of Foreign Keys in the CiviCRM database seems to prevent this - I don't pretend to understand the details behind this).
If you have the time to configure the installation, it is well worth the effort.
I researched this component quite extensively! While it did take some time in the forums to even get it installed on Joomla, I did finally get it done. I then took on the task of using it. While there are many features that are quite appealing in this component it isn’t integrated very well into the Joomla interface.
Most of the “how to” documentation is directed towards the Drupal users and the component itself is better suited to Drupal.
I did try it in Drupal and I wish it was as well written for Joomla. Since I prefer the Joomla interface for my websites I’m going to have to ditch using CiviCRM until they make it more Joomla friendly, which I really hope is soon! Until they write it to be more Joomla friendly, they should reconsider listing it as a Joomla module.
So, unless you have extensive programming knowledge to get this to work on Joomla (which if I did I would just write my own component), I recommend looking elsewhere until CiviCRM is rewritten to integrate better for Joomla. While I do consider myself more than just a point and click user, I can’t seem to get this component to work like it should (like it does in Drupal anyway), much less teach a client to use it.
This is a perfect fit for non-profit organizations that would like to extend the capabilities of Joomla CMS to a CRM. CiviCRM is not a simple component, is a whole CRM system so you need to be patient with the installation process.
I was able to import over 9,400 contacts from over 3,000 organizations. The learning curve is not so bad (it may take you a couple of weeks) and the support is superb.
Event Registration will allow you to customize registration fields and the user can keep a record of all the events that he/she attended. There is also an option to synchronize your events with an iCalendar, so you get the flexibility of displaying the events in different formats.
From the administrator point of view you can collect information for many different internal lists. The records can be exported or imported from CSV. This CRM is just great but be aware that is not for beginners.
Civicrm is bigger than Joomla and is far more difficult to configure. Unlike Joomla you need IT professionals to get it working.