CiviCRM User Notes


HCLE is a community. We keep track of lots of people and organizations that have a wide variety of relationships with each other and with HCLE. CiviCRM is a "constituency relationship management" system that has been designed for and by nonprofit organizations. We are just beginning the complex process of setting up and customizing CiviCRM to meet HCLE's needs.

(Note: As of 2017, HCLE is transitioning to Salesforce.)

Who Can Use HCLE's CiviCRM? be written as we figure out more about how this program functions...
There is a public-facing interface, a "members" interface, a staff interface and an administrator's interface. We'll tell you who can do what within the system here as soon as we figure it out.

Things to Do

...lots of functions to write about here. It will take some time to understand exactly which of CiviCRMs many abilities are most useful to HCLE. Here we will only document HCLE's implementation, not the entirety of CiviCRM.

The primary things we do with our People/Organizations database are:
  • Look for information
  • Add information
  • Edit and Correct records
  • Execute automated processes such as sending bulk emails
  • Create reports or lists of people, organizations and activities
The first three activities often involve switching between searching and editing.

The Contacts Tab

Our first use of CiviCRM is to help staff keep track of everyone's contact information and their relationship to HCLE. A lot of this can be done using the "Contacts Tab". Liza has lots of experience writing user documentation so this is where she will start.

Using CiviCase to Track Requests for Funding to Underwrite HCLE's Activities

The process of securing grants can be very complex. We are hoping CiviCRM can simplify tracking our progress from initial project idea, through writing and submitting proposals, to implementation of the project.


Books and Manuals


Desired CiviCRM functions

    • When to use TeamworkPM, wiki and CiviCRM?
    • Tracking fund raising
      • Coordinate individuals with organizations
      • track proposal process
    • Validating catalog data entry people
    • List of contacts and lookup contact info
    • Categorize relationship and generate selected lists
    • Newsletters
    • Keep track of emails
    • Track donations of money and artifacts
    • Track volunteer tasks
    • Track volunteer hours
    • Track team membership and activities
    • Help categorize new contacts

Tom Trimbath's unfortunate operations comments

  • Contacts
    • Location should include an option for Unknown
    • Individuals accidently input as organizations require deleting the organization and creating a new individual
    • No Undo command
    • Duplications
      • After each duplicate is merged, the page has to be refreshed and the number of contacts per page reset.
      • In Merge, merging and “going to view”, leads into a dead-end.
      • Merge allows “Merge All” but doesn’t always show anything to merge.
    • 4 clicks to delete a contact.
    • 3 clicks to enter a twitter name
    • A change in a name is not reflected in the fields used to map the duplicates.
    • Need a tag for tagging names to edit
  • General
    • Cancelling an operation kicks the user back out to the WordPress site.
    • forum verification is arcane (4 software versions required to sign up / ambiguous kaptchka to post a question)
    • CiviCRM works as if it was in advanced beta.
    • Search results (upper left corner) are obscured by the search window
    • There is no way to export lists of fields, groups
    • Expanding the editor to full screen mode eliminates the save and close selections.
  • Reports
    • Create a new report - can’t find a way to give it a name and save it
    • workaround for long reports = pretend print
    • Constituent Detail, no global way to unclick all.
  • Mailings
    • newsletter templates can’t be copied
    • mailings are directed at groups, not just emails
    • composing a mailing involves several screens
    • a reply to a sent email can’t be read
    • html newsletter template has no center align option - but you can view source!
  • Profiles
    • No option to create new groups within the Select Groups menu

More to come...