Upleaf favors open source technologies. We’ve found that they can do a magnificent job of handling most nonprofit needs.
Our preferred open source combination is Drupal and CiviCRM. By combining Drupal’s smart views and permissions with Civi’s robust backend CRM power, we can automate public directory displays with complex workflows, control access to content, create user-friendly self-service portals, and enable your org’s community to easily submit data and resources.
It’s the perfect tongue and groove fit for the back stage/ front stage work of your organization.
Below are 8 more reasons why this technology combo is so powerful:
Both Drupal and CiviCRM are highly flexible and can easily grow alongside an organization to evolve new functionality and respond to changing needs. This allows the org to maintain one system for the long-term and avoid having to make costly and cumbersome platform transitions.
The system is also easily scalable. Internal users, membership, database of contacts and website traffic can grow significantly without any rumpling of performance or increase in costs. It can accommodate as many users and visitors as needed.
3. Large Developer Community
New modules and extensions are continually being developed by a vibrant worldwide community of developers. This encourages innovation and helps ensure that the technology stays at the forefront. A solid, far-flung community of developers is continually breathing new life into the infrastructure, as opposed to proprietary models where only a small team of salaried developers has access to, and understanding of the code base. This means the system is rigged for continuity and hardiness, which protects your investment.
4. Seamless Integration
The fact that the two platforms integrate seamlessly offers an excellent user experience for internal users and website visitors, and allows for more in-depth insight and reporting of user behavior.
Because both systems are open-source, there are no annual license fees. The only ongoing cost is hosting / maintenance / security / system guarantee which is an affordable monthly fee. Because the CRM and website are integrated as one system, there is only one interface to design for and one code base to maintain.
6. Continually Updated Technology
Regular system upgrades keep the system performing at its best and ensure that new and better features are always available. This means that as technology evolves, the system will continue to evolve and stay current and secure.
Security of a CRM system and any online data is critical. Your developer can lock down these systems and make sure that they comply with best practices for server, website and CRM security. We have worked with clients who have top-level security requirements, and with Drupal and CiviCRM we can customize all security settings to meet their needs. Some basic security measures you should always have in place are:
- Secure server setup to prevent unauthorized access
- Safe file system permissions to protect files that store sensitive information
- Multiple login access safeguards to protect access to the admin area
- Limited access levels depending on each user’s roles
- Protection against most common hacking techniques
8. Ease of Innovation
A Drupal/CiviCRM combo allows developers like Upleaf to design a new infrastructure in a parallel development environment, to ensure testing and approval before it hits the pavement. Having a separate development environment also allows the infrastructure to easily evolve over time. New features can be added to the development environment, tested, and only taken live upon approval at the ‘flip of a switch’ with little to no interruption of the active system.
This allows the team to experiment with design, content, and CRM configuration on a separate, isolated environment – whenever new features are added – without affecting the public system.