We're preparing for a new community center which will hopefully break ground this year and open in early 2018. In the meantime, we've gots lots of planning to do and I've been tasked to recommend a CRM.

Initially, we'll need a crowd funding solution for our capital campaign. Then we'll need to manage, members, donors, volunteers, have a color coded event calendar, registration and attendance tracking for events, programs and classes, space reservations, online social community for constituents, management of partnerships with collaborating orgs, and sales of t-shirts and caps, etc.

Which CMS would be best? Cost for creating such a system?

Any other feedback?

  • 2
    For costs I think you will need to send out a requirements list to some partners or other providers.
    – petednz - fuzion
    Mar 31, 2016 at 18:45
  • Good question, but agree with other commenters here: Stack Exchange is the wrong place to ask for cost projections. Replies won't be informed enough to be helpful; worst case could misinform your org's expectations if respondents start "bidding". Fortunately that didn't happen - good luck with the RFP! Do keep asking questions as you work through your process :) Mar 31, 2016 at 20:53

2 Answers 2


You could use CiviCRM for what you describe, though you may want a developer to set it up for your specific use-case. Since CiviCRM is open source, the only cost would be the cost of whatever development team you use. If you have a tech-savvy person of your own, it might not take a developer at all, though it will take a lot of work. To go through your specific needs, with links ot the documentation explaining how it can be done:

  • Crowd funding: CiviContribute, or if you want to include marketing, CiviCampaign.
  • Manage members: CiviMember.
  • Manage donors: I refer you again to CiviContribute.
  • Manage volunteers: The extension CiviVolunteer will do this. To clarify, all the previous links are to core functionalities. This one is not, but it is easy to download and install extensions such as this one.
  • Calendar: This would be managed through CiviEvent. Color coding would probably be through your theming, I'm not entirely sure about that one. But you can create event types, so it shouldn't be too difficult to manage the event types being different colors.
  • Registration, attendance, progams, classes: These are all jobs for CiviEvents.
  • Space reservations: I don't think civiCRM has this capability, but it can be gained in other ways. This thread might be useful to you.
  • Online social community: It sort of depends on how robust you want this to be. It is simple enough to allow members to view each other's profiles, but complex interaction may be more difficult. If you want to set up a facebook page and then link to it, that's simple though.
  • Management of partnerships with collaborating orgs: Each org can be a contact in the CRM, and employees of that org can be grouped to them. You can track emails etc. I'm not sure what other functionalities you're looking for here.
  • Sales of t-shirts etc: CiviContribute again can probably help you, but I'm not sure exactly how others have done this, though I'm sure you can figure it out.

And finally, for CMS, I recommend Drupal as the most robustly extensioned & maintained. But There are more in-depth answers to be found here.

In conclusion: Yes, I think you can run your community center with CiviCRM with few issues.

  • 2
    Thank you. Your response was exactly what I was looking for and very helpful. I think we should put together a RFP as shop it around to a few developers. We thought Drupal would be best due to the various roles we'd need and are looking foward to version of CiviCRM for Drupal 8. Mar 31, 2016 at 15:01
  • 1
    Glad I could help!
    – naomisl
    Mar 31, 2016 at 15:40

I am a bit confused because in the same question you mention that you are tasked to recommend a CRM and you ask which CMS to use. They are two different things so what are you asking?

What you mention you can probably achieve with either Joomla, Drupal or Wordpress so the answer will be a general one. My rule of thumb for what it is worth: if your website requirements are not too much based on logged in users and different roles seeing different things I would probably go for Wordpress as it is widely used. But I have recently heard a dogmatic answer: Wordpress is for babies :-)

If I could predict the cost of such a system based on 4 lines of text I would be a magician!!!! I would sincerely recommend you to either visit another non-profit that uses CiviCRM in combination with the CMS you want, has the same kind of processes and culture, and then ask what they paid. Or contact a CiviCRM expert/partner (see https://civicrm.org/experts) who will be able to talk with you and give you some insight. But IMHO you can not expert even a cost range based on 4 lines of text, sorry!

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