Interview with Sergiy Korniyenko, COO of Agiliway: on peculiarities of new partnership with world leading non-profit CRM platform.
It’s powerful, it’s responsive, and it’s used by more than 10,800 non-profit organizations. We are talking about the best CRM software for nonprofits, CiviCRM. It manages over 189,030,793 contacts around the world, processes more than 116,306,758 donations and opens up possibilities that traditional database denies. Agiliway has recently become an official partner of CiviCRM with intent to contribute to the platform development as well as help Ukrainian NGO to step up their processes.
We’ve asked COO of Agiliway to give more details about CiviCRM, explain what sets it apart from the pack and lift the curtain on peculiarities of this new partnership.
They say that numbers never lie. More than 10,800 non-profit organizations have already implemented CiviCRM system and make use of it on a daily basis. Could you give us a short elevator pitch what CiviCRM is and why so many organizations are satisfied with the product?
Sure. Basically, CiviCRM is an open source CRM that branched out into an engagement platform for NGOs. As any CRM the system allows tracking and managing contact information, though CiviCRM includes extended functionality designed specifically for tracking activities in the public sector and maintains contact information for a vast variety of relationship and people who are directly or indirectly connected to the non-profit organization: staff, volunteers, donors, partners, campaigner, participants, etc. To dig deeper, it’s a system, service, and strategy, geared up to engage the whole organization in interacting with its constituents, something traditional CRMs can’t provide. CiviCRM caught on among so many public organizations as it offers a set of specific modules that are particularly essential for the NGO functioning. Some of them include the possibility to manage different membership types and conditions; track various relationships between contacts; manage membership fees, donations, and pledges; manage and follow up internal projects; set up events, manage interactive communication with constituents or supporters and many other. And it keeps climbing the charts as does the need to strengthen relations with constituents, automate the contacts storage and processing within an organization, substitute Excel spreadsheets for a more reliable and less labor-consuming CRM solution. CiviCRM perfectly copes with the task being a very flexible open source platform, or in other words, free CRM software that makes its implementation twice as cost-effective as building the entire custom system from the ground up.
If I got it right, once an organization identifies its CRM needs, it requires a certain amount of customization to tailor features to its particular needs, doesn’t it? Does AgiliWay have previous experience of CiviCRM implementation?
Right. Out of the box, CiviCRM provides a lot of built-in features specific for nonprofits still each organization has its own processes which may require a fair amount of customization. Yet once the out-of-the-box platform is modified and the transition process is over, you get the system with custom fields and modules fully accommodated to processes within your organization. Around a year ago Agiliway took up a grandiose project to open CiviCRM for Ukrainian market and develop CRM solution for one of the biggest Ukrainian political parties. Ukrainian localization of CRM went smoothly with a huge team of transcribers assembled to provide the top quality professional translation of CiviCRM into the Ukrainian language. Our client felt a pressing need to automate internal processes and donations management, track information about constituents and create a single collaboration platform for all its members. Agiliway team has successfully coped with CiviCRM implementation and went as far as built in custom components that go beyond a basic set of out of the box features, like an absolutely custom User Interface, graphic Calendar for organizing tasks and events or Advanced Security module for keeping access rights under control. To share our experience of CiviCRM implementation, customization and localization for the Ukrainian market with tech savvy and IT folks we’ve recently made a presentation at the CiviCon conference in Cologne.
Sounds like a major breakthrough for the Ukrainian public sector. But why has Agiliway decided to form a partnership with CiviCRM in the first place?
As of today, CiviCRM has established quite a big niche as the best free CRM software for nonprofits. That explains high demand for the product and it’s growing exponentially. With huge expertise in custom software development, Agiliway could not ignore the opportunity to leverage this experience and contribute to the platform, especially to UI development and localization which are usually neglected during CiviCRM implementation due to the high cost of CiviCRM developers.
Secondly, we cannot ignore the fact that following the overthrow of the previous corrupt government and democratic elections in 2014 Ukrainian political parties as well as other public organization got set for a steady development course and felt a need to invest into automatization and improvement of relationship management processes with members or supporters. Agiliway saw this as an opportunity to empower public sector in Ukraine with CRM software free download. Ukrainian localization of the platform is already available to download from the official CiviCRM website.
Great news! It looks like CiviCRM is more than an open source platform for an integrated and streamlined working environment within the NGO, it’s a means of creating positive change in public life. What requirements do you have to meet to become eligible for this partnership?
Sharing fruits of your labor with the community is a key prerequisite. Our partnership with CiviCRM is a voluntary collaborative agreement formed to actively promote CiviCRM via our corporate site and social profiles, blogs, conferences, and events, etc. As a good partner Agiliway team will use its collective effort to support and sustain platform by developing new features, fixing bugs, performing localization, assisting other partners with web development, etc. All in all, the name of the game is an excellent relationship management system and the best CRM software for nonprofits.
Instead, we will get support from Civi core team or other members of the community, access to internal documentation, reduced prices for consulting, and definitely an opportunity for new engagements.
You mentioned earlier popularization of CiviCRM in Ukraine. Could you please tell us a little more about this?
Customizing the CiviCRM platform for the civic sector in Ukraine means giving power to nonprofits to grow and prosper. Our primary task was to open CiviCRM system for Ukrainian market. We completed it successfully by localizing the platform for Ukrainian market. Having customized it for one of the biggest Ukrainian parties, we are now keen on getting the benefits of nonprofit CRM platform further across to public organizations in Ukraine.
It looks like you have a clear vision for the future of СiviCRM in Ukraine. First hard steps are already behind and now when the Ukrainian base version is up and running, what would be the further steps?
We will definitely continue to support and improve the Ukrainian version. At the very moment, Agiliway team keeps working on some custom components like CiviCalendar and security module to make them available on the market in a little while. We also plan to extend our cooperation with other CiviCRM providers over the World to get mutual benefits by sharing technical excellence and business/market knowledge. Also as part of CiviCRM popularization, we are going to host demo version of the platform with fancy UI and custom modules so people could log in and try and use it for free. If need be, our engineers will configure it for any public organization and offer technical support.
Perfect! The best of luck to you and your team as you move on to new challenges. Hopefully, results you’ll achieve are worth the efforts and hard work you put in. See you at the conference in fall
CiviCRM is a new step towards efficiency, optimized work processes and strong constituent relationships. Fast and easy, it will take any political and other nonprofit organization to a completely new level. It’s a win-win solution with low cost or risks and without the aggravation of building custom constituent relationship system from scratch. To step up process management within your organization you are welcome to contact Agiliway.