Is CiviCRM for You?

This chapter will help you to decide whether CiviCRM is the right tool for your organisation.

CiviCRM is powerful software and has the potential to help your organisation reach its goals - but it won't be the right choice for every organisation. Here are some ways that you can find out whether CiviCRM is right for your organisation:

  • read the book! (you might be doing that right now)
  • identify your organisation needs
  • talk to others who use CiviCRM
  • talk to a CiviCRM consultant
  • play with a demonstration site
  • install a test database

Talking to others who use CiviCRM

If you know of another organisation that uses CiviCRM, talk to them about their experience. Obviously the more similar they are to your organisation, the better. If you don't know anyone that is using CiviCRM, contact a CiviCRM Ambassador, have a look on the CiviCRM forums, at case studies on the community site, or try your local non-profit technology mailing list.

The CiviCRM StackExchange is a very good place to both ask and get answers to questions. Try to formulate your question separately before posting and submit it as concisely as possible - trying as much as possible to use the names and terms used within CiviCRM (as opposed to those used by your business model). This can improve the service you receive from the forums considerably! Stack Exchange questions are answered by volunteers, so the easier it is for them to understand, the more quickly the answers will come. If you wish to ask questions or contribute to the discussions you must register first.

Talking to CiviCRM Consultants

Another option to help you understand CiviCRM is to make use of a professional. The CiviCRM website lists professional vendors and consultants that can walk you through CiviCRM, and there are many others; you may find a local website company who has experience with CiviCRM. Consider hiring a consultant for a day to discuss with you how CiviCRM could help your organisation.