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Is Drupal CiviCRM the Right CRM Interface for You? An Analysis.

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Are you looking for a CRM interface for your website? If yes, then it is possible to manage the CRM of your website with a simple open source relationship management system software like CiviCRM.

The best part is that CiviCRM is available for installation as a standalone software or as a component along with content management systems like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. It may also be installed as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Let’s take a detailed look at the benefits offered by CiviCRM, its features and how it can work seamlessly with a Content Management System (CMS) like Drupal.

Web-Based Synchronisation

CiviCRM is a web-based application which is a great advantage, as it can be easily installed and utilised by you with the help of an internet-enabled computer system.

It synchronises seamlessly with various CMSs for effective web-based relationship management, especially for school, church and other charitable or non-profit organisations.

As CiviCRM is developed by the community Hive Mind, you may not get instant direct support for any related issues. However, there are plenty of help forums that provide solutions for various CiviCRM based problems.

Key Features

Online Fundraising and Donor Management

It can manage and keep track of all the contributions or donations to your organisation from your constituents from a single screen within the application.

Fundraising

You are empowered to create customised web pages quickly in order to accept online donations. You also get access to updated details of every donation and relevant contact with no chance of data entry errors.

Online Membership Management

With CiviCRM, you can easily manage the online sign ups, renewals and membership summaries for your organisation.

Membership

It enables you to configure any number of membership types as well as customise membership rules and status.

It is also possible to create customised web pages for self-service membership sign up and renewal. You can break down the membership summaries by date (month), membership type, number of contributions, contact information and the total contribution.

Online Event Management

CiviCRM offers you the functionality of creating customised web pages to manage online events or meeting registration for your organisation and then track the number of people who registered as well as the number of active participants.

Online Mass Mailing Management

With this CiviCRM app, you can create or develop newsletters to be distributed to different members directly from your website instead of having to create the group mailing list manually.

It thereby saves a lot of time. You can keep your constituents engaged with timely newsletters for everyone or personalised emails targeted at only a certain group of members.

Thus, CiviCRM assists you with email marketing, social media marketing as well as personal email campaigns.

Integration with Drupal CMS

In comparison to other large CRM applications, CiviCRM may not offer a similar level of data analysis and reporting.

However, it does offer a free alternative to maintain data records of a wide variety of information related to the constituents of your organisation.

Drupal CiviCRM

It can easily be configured to work with your existing business processes as well as seamlessly customised according to your specific business requirements. Furthermore, it is a free CRM component that is designed to integrate and work with CMSs, such as Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.

However, it is more popularly known for its integration with Drupal. This is because Drupal provides most integration options for CiviCRM and because the Drupal community is more of a developer community, which can handle the technical challenges easily and add to the CiviCRM documentation.

Your website enables you to create roles for site users and grant them permission to execute different tasks, such as edit, view, delete, administer contacts or access specific information.

The Drupal permission settings determine which tasks a specific role will perform and what information it can access. They override any access control setup in CiviCRM, which means that if the CiviCRM settings restrict access to contacts, but the Drupal permission settings allow complete access, then the particular user role will have complete access to contacts.

The Drupal Views module enables you to display website content and CiviCRM integrates with it in order to allow CiviCRM data to be publicly displayed on your website.

When we tried to combine them together for a client’s website, we had to do some configuration, as our CiviCRM and Drupal belonged to different databases.

The Final Verdict

All in all, CiviCRM has several features working in its favour, especially if your business is a non-profit, advocacy or a charitable organisation that has a website CMS like Drupal. It does not involve any licensing fees and so you can add users without any incurring additional costs.

However, you do require certain technical skills to ensure a seamless setup and maintenance of this CRM tool.

So have you explored Drupal CiviCRM before? Do you have any point to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

 

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