Version 1 (modified by Jamie McClelland, 13 years ago) (diff)


Considerations for the Brecht Forum re Moving to Civicrm

This project is being discussed in ticket #1639


  • Improve recordkeeping capacity by consolidating and integrating data that is now in several locations
  • Improve capacity for targeted email outreach (by group, people who attended particular events, subscribers, etc.)
  • Improve online fundraising capacity


Much of our data is in our offline filemaker database

Contacts (current "participants" table)

  • Categorized by individual, organizations, media, foundations, university, etc.
  • With “profile” info – board and committee members, donors, subacribers, volunteers, etc.


We have been tracking donations in our offline database since the 1980s.

Our online donations page is still on our pre-drupal site and does not go to paypal, but to our original merchant service

PROBLEM: The data for online donations goes into the online donations database and it is still a duplicate entry to move that data to the offline database and it is no longer maintained regularly


Again, our online subscription page is on the old pre-drupal site and info goes into the database we set up on that site. As in the case of regular donations, we also receive them by check.

PROBLEM: This is a very problematic area because it is difficult (requiring several duplicated steps) to get the status of subscriptions all in one place. All of the info does get into the bookkeeping,. There are supposedly ways to integrate quickbooks with filemaker, but we are far from achieving that.

Events --going back close to 15 years

When we switched to a database-driven site, we would download the events entered online and append them to the offline database and then enter registration info so that we could track who participated in what even (these are categorized by “attendee,” “teacher/speaker,” “moderator,” etc.

PROBLEMS: Since we upgraded to drupal, the dates don’t function properly in the offline database, making it largely dysfunctional – we have imported the pre-drupal events into drupal however so this part of the data would need to be imported from our current drupal database, We are not really updating the registration info due to the fact that a lot of registration is now done online and that info goes into a paypal database but is not integrated into our system


We have email records in our database and so it is linked to a lot of information about the relationship with the person, but our weekly email announcements go out of mailman which has no identifying info on the people. We started the mailman list with emails from the database but since then they have come from other sources such as the form on our website. Our weekly announcements are sent through a newsletter module that has the capacity to add subscribers, but currently the mailman lists are the only subscribers.


Q. I’m assuming that civicrm would be simply another feature of our website, among others and be themed, for example: Could the events be displayed just as they are on our current site?

Q. The documentation says that the civicvent component is good for groups that have one or two big events per year. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be good for many events – like we have—but then why would they say that?

Q. Subscribers make monthly or quarterly donations. Both paypal and our other merchant service provider allow for recurring payments to be charged automatically—I understand that paypal even send out notices to donors when a card expires and helps them update the record. How does civicrm deal with recording recurring payments? It appears to me that that page would have to be customized somehow to function the way we do.

Q. Re LOGIN: As I remember, one barrier to going with civicrm when we first switched to drupal was that it appeared that everyone had to log in to the site. It appears from the documentation now that people can contribute and register for events without having to login first, but how does that work if they are already a contact? Will they have to enter address details each time they register or donate?

Q. Filemaker has a “manage database” feature that makes it easy to see the database structure, tables, fields, relationships, etc. -- is this possible in civicrm?? Would it be possible, once data is all in one system, to use filemaker as a front end for the contact info as we use it now? The only areas that would be “public” on the site would be events and pages for online donations and subscriptions,