What are CiviCRM and CiviMobile and how they are simplifying volunteering in the world?
As a rule, periods of rapid development of volunteerism occur in difficult times of crises or inside the state aggravations. Ukraine is no exception — in 2014, during the Revolution of Dignity, public association and mutual help reached unprecedented proportions. Clear and transparent management mechanisms were created, and also necessary changes were made to the legislation, which helped regulate nonprofit organizations’ activities better.
Of course, Ukraine is still a young country in the European international arena, striving to develop and rapidly improve. The priority of the digital transformation policy has already found a response in society — the world’s first electronic passport has become a source of pride and convenient addition. The same thing is now happening to volunteerism, which each day is marching more confidently toward a brighter future.
In the realities of war, it would seem that it is more challenging to reach a consensus regarding the development of the new technology space because most competent personnel are involved in combat operations or are engaged in helping fellow soldiers. Under constant shelling, absence of home, and nervous exhaustion, it is sometimes difficult to find the motivation to work. That’s why any changes that automate long processes and make it easier to interact with people or products are more in demand than ever. Virtual volunteering is becoming one of the essential functions of corporate social responsibility (CSR), sponsoring, developing, and implementing certain areas of activity by small, medium, and large businesses. However, disorderly, chaotic action can harm a brand’s reputation.
To ensure that any helpful initiative is heard and seen, Agiliway implemented and improved a unique CiviCRM-based extension back in 2017. Most companies use such a system in the business landscape, but the CiviCRM from Agiliway is used for the first time on the Ukrainian market for charity. The well-known platform has acquired brighter colors because it has become a more practical and convenient resource than its predecessor. Nonprofits can now receive aid, allocate resources, and manage the flow of funds by applying just one app — the CiviMobile. So, why is this program so convenient, and for whom is it suitable? Let’s figure it out!
What is CiviCRM, and are there alternatives?
CiviCRM is open-source software designed for use by non-profit organizations or the public sector worldwide and in Ukraine. Licensed under the GNU AGPL v3, it has a wide range of features and allows any ambition of trying to improve society, meet a need, or solve a problem to be realized.
CiviCRM allows you to make a database of contacts so that the coordinator can provide support to different people depending on their requests and manage the activities of volunteers. The system can be integrated into Drupal, WordPress, or Joomla to accept donations or create events. The functionality works flawlessly on different platforms and devices, facilitating remote project management.
There are many alternatives to CiviCRM, but they remain unclaimed in Ukraine and European countries. For example, statistics on the use of Little Green Light show its popularity in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Despite its high rating among similar applications, it has not gained popularity in the European market, including Ukraine. The same situation with other worthy programs, such as Bloomerang or G2 Deals, to which the Ukrainian user remains insensitive.
How CiviCRM works
People who care come together and help those in need. In particular, volunteer organizations cover several industries, allowing the state to overcome the crisis. In Ukraine, they have provided strong support for the army and territorial defense, promoted donor programs, searched for people and adoptions, provided communities with food, medicine, and necessities, helped the lonely and elderly, and rescued animals. The volunteers are also ready to share their professional experience: psychologists, doctors, sewing companies, and many others give people not only things but also motivation to live. Today, nonprofit activity has become the whale on which public self-government and the state apparatus are held together. It is regulated and transparent, increasing the population’s confidence and attracting potential investors.
The supervisor and team members should simultaneously automate several processes to manage many operations. CiviCRM and its wide functionality will come in handy for every such organization. Since the system is open-source, it can be publicly updated and corrected. Agiliway developers have created CiviCRM extensions such as CiviCalendar and CiviMobile. The first visualizes scheduled tasks for events, while the second allows users a secure and high-speed connection to CiviCRM from a smartphone.
The CiviMobile simplifies access to data, giving users even more flexibility and freedom to work with the system. The dashboard provides a handy report and clearly shows information about contributions, cases, or membership details.
So, the first advantage of CiviCRM is the ability to create and send emails to all contacts in the database. It’s more convenient than typing in the mailbox, copying the subject, and pasting the message’s text by yourself. For example, you can put a list of things to find in the correspondence box and send it to all your contacts or selected groups of people. Fast and convenient!
It is also quite convenient to create a template sheet and enter their only variables. This is what it looks like in practice:Також досить зручно створити шаблон листа й вносити туди лише змінні величини. Ось як це виглядає на практиці:
An exciting feature is the ability to organize campaigns, for example, to help people. You can create ads to collect books in Ukrainian for children who are forced to be abroad during the wartime state, and potential investors are sure to see this.
However, it is impossible to trace the result of any activity without a detailed report. It can be generated using CiviCRM.
In addition, for greater convenience, each of the reports is assigned to a specific category. For example, the record administrator can keep track of the number of participants or focus on event analysis.
The program involves creating events with online registration, which significantly increases the likelihood that most of the team will attend. Bake gingerbread together and pass it on to the ranks of the AFU, learn first aid, shoot together with the soldiers, or coordinate protests — all this can be quickly and safely organized in a few clicks.
As with correspondence, you can always make a reliable event template and only enter variable values.
You can view the scheduled events by applying the appropriate filter and selecting the All Events tab. You can also get more details by clicking on the right message.
If a particular event requires some team members or investors to attend, use e-tickets. The QR code of the event and the personal invitation will become a perfect occasion for an official meeting of the representatives of the volunteer movement.
When starting to cooperate with a new person, it is important to remember details about them. For instance, whether the schedule allows working on Saturday or whether only on certain days and hours. Fill your notes with important information about the contact, and you’re sure not to get confused. In one of his interviews, Serhiy Prytula, founder of the eponymous charitable foundation, talked about the difficulties of coordinating people.
You can, of course, view your “phonebook” data and make it easier to manage your database by creating groups of contacts with common goals. For example, people who can transport goods or lend their cars should be assigned to one group, significantly accelerating the processing of applications and drivers’ arrival on the spot.
You can quickly find the right person or category by using tags: everything works here, as on Instagram. You enter a tag, such as #need, #consumption, #food, or #territorial_defense, click on the right one, and you can operate on the data without looking through the entire database or remembering the occupation.
To understand the demand, you should use a questionnaire. Create a new one or use existing templates — this will allow you to find out the urgent need for something and respond quickly.
Members can set up meetings, calls, and video conferences using cases as with any social network.
If your team is large and diverse, with a clear division of tasks, use the function of selecting roles. For example, someone can moderate requests and someone to administer organizational issues.
As for charity, CiviCRM has implemented a contributions feature that allows you to track all the payment details. In addition, if the project supervisors set a maximum amount in monetary terms, they can offer the investor a motivational thank-you gift.
The program also allows for creating and signing petitions related to volunteerism.
Organizations that are already using the CiviCRM extension
CiviCRM is used by the vast majority of nonprofit organizations in our country. One of them is the Christian Student Union of Ukraine (CCX Ukraine), a community that seeks to communicate biblical values to the younger generation. You can fill out the standard questionnaire and support a particular project on a separate tab.
Another interesting site is The Price of State, an interactive platform that allows you to understand how much and what you pay for. The “Make a Contribution” appeal function allows an interested investor to support the journalistic team by filling out a simple form.
Case Ukraine also uses an app to receive contributions. An easy and small questionnaire provokes an unprecedentedly positive user experience. You need to fill in your data and enter the desired amount to continue the transaction.
CiviMobile from Agiliway is famous not only in Ukraine but all over the world. In particular, the Apostolic Church of Pentecost platform has been using this software for years for a quick and easy charity experience.
Everything follows the pattern described above: the client goes to the page with the form to fill out and has a positive, rather than painful, experience of donating funds.
As a leading project manager of CiviCRM direction in Agiliway, Maryana Cherkes claims:
“There exist organizations that specialize in psychological/material support for those in need. For instance, they help people get a job while providing some assistance with resume writing, proper preparation for an interview, and so on and so forth.
There are various establishments to help women and single moms. They provide psychological assistance to women after a maternity. These organizations have a base of potential jobs, courses, babysitters, everything and everyone needed to let a young mom start with her new work.
CiviCRM is a smart solution for this very type of organizations”
CiviCRM and its extension CiviMobile from Agiliway in Ukrainian and foreign markets have become a top solution for many non-profit organizations. The project administrator can perform multiple operations in seconds and operate with large data sets in a few clicks. The program’s extensive automated functionality makes it much easier to manage tasks and volunteers, leaving more free time for personal tasks.