Group: Donor Transaction and Contact System
On the FSF's High Priority Projects list there is a call for the creation of a donor transaction and contact system. This section of the wiki is to help organize our efforts to either find, customize, or create such a system.
Feel free to add new projects. Help draft specifications for a new project or to help guide the customization of an existing system.
- 1 People
- 2 FLOSS Foundations Effort
3 Existing projects
- 3.1 Apache OFBiz
- 3.2 CiviCRM
- 3.3 Compier
- 3.4 ERP5
- 3.5 Flouzo
- 3.6 Grace Donation Manager
- 3.7 OffstageArts
- 3.8 ON NGO Membership
- 3.9 OpenPetra
- 3.10 OpenTaps
- 3.11 Organizer's DB
- 3.12 ]project-open[
- 3.13 SugarCRM
- 4 To investigate
- 5 Specifications/Major-issues/desired features
- Frank Bergmann
- Joshua Gay
- Xavier Dutoit
- Dave Rolsky
- John Sullivan
- Johann Tienhaara
- Bradley M. Kuhn
- Tom Hallman
- Johnny Storm
- Robert Fischer
- Fady Abdelhamid
- Allen Gunn
- Nathan Kinkade
- Leo Jackson
- Xavier Antoviaque
- Viktor Lindberg
- Eduardo Nacimiento
- Timotheus Pokorra
FLOSS Foundations Effort
FLOSS Foundations, which is a loosely organized, large group of FLOSS-related Non-Profit organizations, have started an email list to discuss creation of new non-profit management software: http://lists.flossfoundations.org/mailman/listinfo/foundations-software
There are also notes on this topic from their last annual meeting: http://flossfoundations.org/notes-floss-foundations-oscon-2008
The Apache Open For Business Project is an open source enterprise automation software project that includes: Open Source ERP, Open Source CRM, Open Source E-Business / E-Commerce, Open Source SCM, Open Source MRP, Open Source CMMS/EAM, and more. It can be used out of the box, or to create specialized solutions.
- Language - Java
- License – Apache License Version 2.0
- Homepage - http://ofbiz.apache.org
- Demo URL - http://demo.hotwaxmedia.com/ecommerce/control/main
- Source Repository URL -http://docs.ofbiz.org/display/OFBADMIN/OFBiz+Source+Repository+and+Access
- Documentation URL - http://docs.ofbiz.org/display/OFBADMIN/OFBiz+Documentation+Index
- Advanced e-commerce and catalog management including a complete CMS
- Complete promotion, pricing, and order management system (sales & purchase)
- Customer management and order fulfillment modules
- Accounting system and other business management features
- Maturing Point Of Sales (POS) module using XUI as rich client interface
- Security Issues (XSRF, XSS, Session Hijacking): exploitation and mitigation See Issue Tracker
- DBCP Connection Pool Issues See Issue Tracker
- As a business automation package and not specifically a donor transaction and contact system, using Open For Business may require modification of the software when using it for this purpose.
- American Heart Association – My Grocery List: View Site
- 1-800-Flowers.com: View Site
- Action Envelope: View Site
CiviCRM is a Constituent Relationship Management system designed specifically for non-profits. The software can easily integrate into the popular content management systems: Joomla or Drupal. With the available civicontribute module CiviCRM will work as both a contact and donation management system.
- Language - PHP
- License - GNU AGPL 3
- Homepage - http://civicrm.org/
- *Documentation URL - http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Documentation+Home
- Allows for storage of common nonprofit contact data (individuals, organizations, and households) that support donor management, case management, voter, and advocacy applications
- CiviCRM is highly configurable and in most cases can be configured to work with existing business processes.
- Designed for the civic sector. CiviCRM was designed for use by non-governmental organizations that engage in advocacy, community and political organizing, and non-profit work.
- CiviCRM integrates directly into the popular free software web systems Drupal and Joomla. Web site registrations automatically become CiviCRM records and individuals can maintain their own CRM record.
- Available add-in modules such as civicontribute, civimail, civievent, and civimemeber make CiviCRM one system that is well suited to both contact management and donor management.
- Can pull directly from payment processors such as Google Checkout and PayPal (creating new 'individual' records automatically as needed, for names / email addresses it hasn't seen before)
- The code is somewhat convoluted, so be prepared to have some difficulties debugging (should it be necessary). However, response from the developers is quite fast at the CiviCRM forum.
- The web interface is somewhat sluggish.
- From the project site there seems to be users experiencing issues with search functions (problems searching users).
- Amnesty International. Using CiviCRM to collect website registration
- Linux Foundation. Using CiviCRM with CiviMember and CiviEvent. The Linux Foundation is now able to receive individual membership dues online.
- Fundraising Wikimedia: Wikimedia Foundation uses CiviCRM for their fundraising efforts.
Compiere encompass ERP functionalities, but in order to avoid the duplication of information and the need for synchronisation, it's organized in a different way. Compiere modules are: Quote-to-Cash, Requisition-to-Pay, Customer relationship management, Partner Relations Management, Supply Chain Management, Performance Analysis, Warehouse, Double-entry Book-keeping, Work-flow-Management and Web Store
- Language - Java
- License – GNU GPLv2
- Homepage - http://compiere.com or http://sourceforge.net/projects/compiere/
- Demo URL - http://compiere.com/products/product-demos/index.php
- Source Repository URL - http://svn.compiere.org/
- *Documentation URL - http://compiere.com/support/
- Compiere lets you automate all of your financial, distribution, sales and service processes quickly and easily. At the same time, Compiere employs an innovative model-driven Architecture that gives you unprecedented adaptability, speed of deployment and low cost of ownership
- This project is actively developed and supported by a number of large companies. Bugs tend to get worked out quickly, and no major issues are currently known for this package.
- A wide range of capabilities makes Compier suitable for many purposes.
- Multi-Organization and Multi-Language supported with a single implementation.
- Large range of success stories from many different industries shows that Compier is quite adaptable and can be made to work for many applications.
- Not being specifically made for contact and donation management, customization may be required in some instances.
- Compier is quite large, and can be intimidating for less technical users. The adaptable nature of the software comes with the price of complexity where new users must learn which modules will work for their needs, and which need to be customized to suit.
- The CRM modules of Compier are very sales/customer centric, and aren’t necessarily well suited for non-profits (in some instances they may be).
- Success stories from various industries available here: http://compiere.com/products/success-stories/index.php
ERP5 is a full featured high end free software solution published under GPL license and used for mission critical ERP / CRM / MRP / SCM / PDM applications by industrial organizations and government agencies
- Language - Python
- License – GNU GPL
- Homepage - https://www.erp5.org
- ERP5 has an extensive list of capabilities. It covers: accounting, CRM, trade, warehouse management, shipping, invoicing, human resources, product design and production management.
- Capabilities built in that are specific to governmental agencies can also work well for non profits and NGO’s
- Company provided training can ease the transition and learning curve of using ERP5 (at a cost). There are also discussion groups available to get help when needed.
- New ERP5 Express edition will provide out-of-the-box functionality for some business models.
- ERP5 is both large and complex. The system itself is well documented, but there will be a learning curve with this package.
- With the size of the software package, changes go much slower. In some instances changes will be necessary to make the software specifically suited to non-profits.
- No specific bug tracker. Users are forced to search through a multitude of discussion groups to try to find and rectify problems through other’s experiences.
- No specific implementation examples provided
Flouzo is a software handling community-based donation campaigns with an emphasis on ease of use. They provide all the tools that are needed to run such campaigns: money meter, certification, payment methods, communication tools, etc. Flouzo is currently in development (alpha stage over, beta under development).
- Language - PHP
- License – GNU APGLv3
- Homepage - http://flouzo.net
- Ease of use. Makes it simple for small to mid-sized organizations to run a donation campaign, manage contacts and maximize donations without setting-up complicated solutions. Can be hosted locally or on Flouzo.net.
- The community-driven model for donation campaigns (that used by the likes of Wikipedia) can be an excellent method to drive donations.
- Under development by a team of developers who are also experienced in fundraising (see the Ryzom Campaign)
- Still in alpha/beta stages of development, but is available for use.
- Not all development documentation available in English.
- Although the software is being developed, it was used to successfully run the donation campaign for the Freebox GPL compliance lawsuit.
- Flouzo was the basis for the Ryzom.org Campaign
Grace Donation Manager
The Grace Donation Manager handles the tracking of donations and donors for a non-profit organization. Grace also handles the printing of receipts & reports and facilitates common administrative operations like bank deposits and exporting of data to an accounting package.
- Language - Java
- License - GNU GPLv2
- Homepage - http://code.google.com/p/gracedm/
- Demo URL - Not Available
- Source Repository URL - http://code.google.com/p/gracedm/source/checkout
- *Documentation URL - http://gracedm.googlecode.com/files/user-manual.pdf
- Includes both client and server programs. The server program runs on your server, and the client software can be run on Window or GNU/Linux PCs by multiple users who require donation/contact information.
- Includes many donation-specific features: create a deposit and enter contributions into that deposit, multiple line items (recipients) possible for each contribution, streamlined data entry and finalizing of a deposit, create multiple funds to receive contributions, receipt printing and reporting capabilities.
- Can be connected to an external accounting system.
- This software is seems geared towards manual data entry which is both time consuming and error prone.
- Since the software is geared towards manual entry, not a lot of help is given to integrate the database into a website. The software uses Apache Derby or MySQL for the server client; it obviously can be done, but will require manual programming to connect to that database for donations garnered through a web site.
- The server that houses the software must run Apache Tomcat.
- Since his software is geared towards manual entry, no usage examples are available at this time.
OffstageArts provides integrated management functionality for arts and other non-profit organizations. It integrates all organizational functions in one place: development, marketing, event management, school and ticket sales.
- Language - Java
- License - GNU GPLv3
- Homepage - http://www.offstagearts.org
- Software includes features for: Contact Management, Organizational Development, Marketing, Donor Management, Schools, Open Classes, Accounting, Ticket Sales
- Efficiency is improved through the automation of routine tasks. All customer, donor and other constituent interactions are tracked; every ticket sale, every student enrollment, every donor pledge, etc.
- Efficiency of scarce marketing resources is improved through advanced data mining techniques based upon all available data.
- On-line ticketing is taken in-house, allowing organizations to maintain control of customer data while avoiding third-party per-ticket fees.
- Designed with non-profit use in mind, and includes features that will work well for some non-profit business models. This one will specifically work well for arts-focused businesses.
- Fairly Arts focused and may not be the right tool for businesses outside of this realm. Customization of the software will likely be required for those outsides of arts/art-schools categories.
- Smaller community of developers than most other systems on our list. Also there is no link to a specific community/support site from their website.
- With Java as the basis for Off Stage Arts, and SVN being required even to get the software, less technical users will have more trouble with this one. On the other hand though, the system is well documented.
- Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre: This software was specifically designed to suit their needs.
ON NGO Membership
The NGO project aims at creating web based member management software for NGOs, based on Grok and PostgreSQL. The functionality will, at first, include handling of member's addresses, contact options, a variety of member stati, and possibly payment of membership fees.
- Language - Unknown
- License - GNU AGPLv3
- Homepage - http://on-ngo-members.alioth.debian.org/
- From the original description of this project, it does sound like a viable solution for contact and donation management.
- This project is in the very early stages of development. No demo site was available, the member site seems void of content, and no uses of the software could be found.
- With the emptiness of the member site, it is questionable whether the software is still in development.
- In development - no examples available
The goal of OpenPetra.org is to provide an easy to use software system for the administration of non-profit organisations. It covers Contact Management, Accounting, Processing of Donations, Personnel, Conference Management, Fund Raising, and more.
- Language C#, works with MS.net 2.0 and Mono 2.x on Linux; also lots of XML and YML
- License: GPL v3 or later
- Homepage http://www.openpetra.org/
- Current status: in development, but preview versions are available for download.
- OpenPetra is the rewrite of Petra, an administration software that has been developed and used by OM (http://www.om.org) for the last 15 years, in over 80 countries worldwide.
- The strength of the software has always been that it is easy to use, since OM has many people who only join for 2 years or so, and many of them are not trained accountants etc.
- Integration of all aspects of the administration of a charity means that data can be used through all modules. It is specifically targeted on charities, therefore handling of donations etc comes naturally to the system.
- OpenPetra supports Windows/Linux/Mac, both for the client and the server. For databases, PostgreSQL, MySQL and SQLite are currently supported.
- Translation is being done with gettext, there is a Launchpad project to work on the translations.
- There is still a lot of work to do, until the software can be used by a bigger organisation.
- The community is still in the process of being formed.
- No user documentation has been published yet. Developers documentation is continually updated in the project's wiki.
- There is currently no browser based client, but the current architecture allows running the "fat" client against a server over the web, and there is a patching mechanism that distributes new versions across the clients.
- Nazareth Kinderheim Kenia e.V. (http://www.nazareth-kinder.de) have printed their first annual receipts for donors in January 2010 with OpenPetra
- Some offices of OM (http://www.om.org) have started using parts of OpenPetra for daily operations.
OpenTaps free software ERP + CRM brings you the power and features of Tier 1 ERP and CRM software with the flexibility and low cost of ownership that only free software can deliver. It includes features for all aspects of business management and provides a 360 degree view of the business at all times.
- Language - Java
- License – HPLv1.1
- Homepage - http://www.opentaps.org
- Demo URL - http://www.opentaps.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=46
- Source Repository URL - http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=145855
- Documentation URL - http://www.opentaps.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=24&Itemid=48
- A complete suite that deliver a 360-degree view of your business, from customers to orders to inventory to accounting.
- Compatible all major relational databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server. Opentaps runs on GNU/Linux, Unix, and Windows.
- Designed for extensibility – well suited as a starting point for building custom applications.
- Compatible with mobile devices.
- Simple to integrate with PHP and Ruby On Rails applications, including the Joomla content management system or custom web storefronts (also includes a fully-integrated ecommerce store – doesn’t require integration).
- Many open bugs, a few of them with high priorities
- Systems of this size, although well suited to modification, can be complex and won’t necessarily be suited for non-profits (especially smaller organizations).
- User documentation seems complex (not well suited to less technical users).
- No specific usage examples provided.
- Requires Windows?
Web-based ERP/Project Management software for organizations with 2-2000 users. ]po[ integrates areas such as CRM, sales, project planning, project tracking, collaboration, timesheet, invoicing and payments.
- Language – TCL (Based on OpenACS)
- License – Main Package is GPL, module licenses vary.
- Homepage - http://www.project-open.com
- Project-open is well matured, actively under development, and backed by a growing company that has partnered with others worldwide to support this project.
- Includes many features that make it an excellent choice for business sites: Project templates, planning, tracking & reporting , risk management, finance, profit & loss, project invoicing, financial reporting, accounting, contact management, customer tracking & classification, payroll, skills, recruiting, portraits, etc.
- Although company support is paid, project open has an active community, on their bug tracking site, where users can go to get help.
- Many free software modules available to extend the software. Commercially licensed (paid) modules are also available.
- The software package is quite large, and as such can be too complex for less technical users.
- There seems to still be various bugs with the software itself. Even with that though, the developers do work regularly to correct issues.
- Since this particular software project is targeted more at ERP (enterprise resource planning) and project management, it may not always be the right solution for non-profit organizations. It is mostly suited for applications where collaboration is important
- Cambridge Technology Partners uses project open for project management.
- Idea Factory Languages used project open for CRM and collaboration
- ComSys USA uses project open for in-house collaboration and project management.
Sugar offers a single system of truth for managing customer interactions across different lines of business. It includes a full CRM system and can be extended to be suitable for many purposes.
- Language - PHP
- License - GNU GPLv3
- Homepage - http://www.sugarcrm.com
- Demo URL - http://www.sugarcrm.com/crm/demo/sugar-suite.html
- Source Repository URL – http://www.sugarcrm.com/crm/download/sugar-suite.html
- Documentation URL – https://www.sugarcrm.com/crm/support/documentation
- Features such as sales force automation, marketing automation, and customer support and reporting capabilities, make sugar CRM suitable for many applications.
- Well supported by a professional development team, and backed by the market leading CRM firm.
- SugarCRM is fully matured in its development and is used by enough people that it boasts a huge community which can make a big difference for users seeking assistance in use or development.
- Available in more than one licensed version for those with different needs.
- Extensive training and documentation resources (some with a cost) to help users learn SugarCRM.
- Only the community edition is free software. While it is continually developed, some users will be required to pay for a commercial version when extra functionality is required.
- SugarCRM in anything other than the community edition requires large partner-licensing fees to be able to modify the software ($2,000 to $12,000 anually).
- SugarCRM is mostly focused on relationship management. Although e-commerce modules are available, for non-profits and NGO’s these may not be well suited for donation management.
- Athena Health - Medical services provider
- NC University – Uses Sugar for recruitment and tracking of students.
- State of Oregon Human Service – Uses SugarCRM for Medicaid claims and billing
- NIC – Developers of governmental websites that help governments and people stay connected.
- http://www.ajatus.info (free network service-y)
One of the biggest issues facing non-profits is the ability to do large mailings. This often requires a lot of RAM, bandwidth, and server space. This is something most non-profits can not afford. Therefore, when taking into consideration the software used for contacting donors, we should also consider systems/web-services that will allow non-profits to pool hardware resources to do mailings together. Many non-profits are seduced into using proprietary network services due to these kind of cost/space/bandwidth constraints.
If someone has some time to work on it, it could be interesting to design a program that could perform controlled chain mailing. Instead of a traditional chain mailing, where each person sends to random persons, we could imagine a system where only a list of people targeted would receive the email.For instance, the list of all the recipient could be divided into 10 sub-lists, numbered from 1 to 10. The email is sent to group 1, with a list of encrypted addresses. Each person in group 1 has a different key to decrypt a personal list of email addresses of 10 persons in group 2. Each of these persons in group 2 has another key to decrypt the addresses of 10 other persons in group 3, and so on. That way, the message could be sent to 10 people and reach everyone, lowering the needs for a mail server. The encryption and the possibility to administrate the senders could also lower the risks of spams, which is a big problem in chain mailing. Each list of addresses could contain the address of the initial sender, so that he could track the progression of the propagation.