CiviCamps are regional events (multiple events per country per year) with low financial commitments, focused on end user exposure, skill development and community growth. More formal than local meetups, CiviCamps are intended to raise awareness of and expose new potential nonprofit organizations to CiviCRM (the software and the community). "CiviCamp" is a registered trademark of CiviCRM LLC.
Requirements to run a CiviCamp
While CiviCRM encourages anyone to host an event in which CiviCRM is a focal point, only those adhering to the following objectives will be considered sanctioned and recognized appropriately by CiviCRM. Events must be:
Focused on raising awareness of CiviCRM the product and providing funding for the project
Community driven and accessible by all community members
Fair, consistent and transparent in its finances and objectives, and aligned with the project’s programs and overall direction
CiviCRM events are intended to be inclusive and to foster community participation. Such events leverage CiviCRM’s infrastructure for communications and are, upon approval by the Core Team, automatically able to use the CiviCRM trademark and logo, consistent with CiviCRM’s brand standards.
We’ve tried to keep these requirements simple and clear, remaining consistent with the core principles that underlie our operational objectives (sustainability and growth). The following are requirements for running a CiviCamp:
CiviCamps can be run by contributors and financial supporters of the project.
CiviCRM events must be approved by the Core Team in advance. Submit a budget and a summary of the event to the marketing team leader or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Event organizers must provide financial transparency to the Core Team via a proposed budget in advance as well as a detailed final profit & loss statement.
CiviCRM may act as a financial sponsor and can assist with financial arrangements to ensure that each event can be undertaken. Event organizers may also manage event finances. CiviCRM will cover a portion or all of an event’s losses. Proceeds from CiviCRM events fund and are used at the discretion of the CiviCRM Core Team, with a priority for marketing (future events, external conferences, etc.).
CiviCamps are organized by volunteers. CiviCRM will recognize volunteer organizers either via the contributor framework or as event sponsors.
Event organizers will have access to CiviCRM’s infrastructure for the duration of their need to successfully manage the event. The CiviCRM Core Team should be included on communications to the community sent through civicrm.org.
Event organizers are encouraged to use the infrastructure provided by CiviCRM.
How to run a CiviCamp
Now that your event is approved, it's time to get busy! The following include both both policies and suggestions of what's worked in the past.
Once the CiviCamp organizing team is put together it is important that tools and processes are put in place to assure communication and assignments are clear. While the planning process may take up to a year, the time goes by quickly. The following can be very helpful in the planning process:
Setup a project on GitLab for the event.
Schedule regular meetings or conference calls and stick to the schedule. Even if the call is only 5 minutes it is important keep to the schedule.
Have face to face meetings with the team when possible. While not always possible, face to face meetings can be energizing.
Setup a private Mattermost channel for your event, include organizers and volunteers.
The following aspects are all part of the organizing process. Most of these are inter-related and need to be addressed in conjunction with each other. Team members should be appointed to be in charge of each aspect of the event organizing.
Determining the size and focus of your projected audience should be determined at the beginning of the planning process. This will assist in determining many aspects of your CiviCamp including Venue, Sessions, Catering and budget. In looking at your audience the following should be taken into account:
Potential attendees within the desired travel distance. For example if you feel a 2.5 hour drive is reasonable for most attendees you should look at the potential audience within that distance. Number of organizations/users using CiviCRM or potential elevators.
Potential reach, what sort of resources are there to reach your potential attendees such as CiviCRM database & community, Meet Up groups, chambers of commerce or non-profit support organizations.
Potential focus of the audience. While the goal of CiviCamps is to be more user focused a determination of the make up of your potential audience is important. Understanding if there is a large existing user base and/or a large potential user base as well as if there is the potential for a strong developer presence as well will help with the planning process.
Finding and securing the proper venue can be difficult. CiviCamps are community focused and the venue should encourage a community focus. Some things to consider in searching for the appropriate venue.
Size: the venue needs to be big enough to handle the event but not to big this can make the event feel small.
Rooms: there needs to be enough rooms for all the planned sessions as well as a room large enough for full attendee session (keynote, etc.)
Audio/Visual needs: proper audio visual equipment is very important. Some venues will have this in house or you may need to contact an outside company or recruit a community volunteer.
Community Space: A good community space for breaks, lunch where attendees can feel comfortable and mingle with other community members. Having a space that there are areas where small groups can sit to have a discussion or experts can provide help is a big plus.
Travel, Overnight Accommodations & Accessibility: Access to mass transportation, nearby hotels and a available parking should be considered as well as available accommodations for those with disabilities.
Catering: Many venues will require you use their catering services, some do not. Assuring the caterers can accommodate the needs for your CiviCamp, including special dietary requests.
Pre/Post CiviCamp Events: If you are planning an after-party or possibly a meet and greet the night before having local restaurants nearby should be considered.
While hotels and conference centers are a very good option other venues to consider may be: Museums, Public Libraries, Colleges or a Community Non-profit that may have the appropriate space. Many venues can be booked over a year in advance.
The venue in almost all cases will be the largest expense of the CiviCamp. Careful cost analysis should be done to assure there are no hidden costs.
You're encouraged to recognize the event hosts/organizers separately from sponsors.
Emails sent through civicrm.org
In-app messaging (coordinated in conjunction with the CiviCRM Core Team)
Social media - click here to review how to use CiviCRM's social media for events.
We encourage you to set up and manage a project in Gitlab (in the Events Group for your event. This creates a space to document the event, to manage issues, and to collaborate with volunteers. If you need assistance in setting up a project, email email@example.com.
We use Gitlab to track contributor time, so any project you create can do likewise for project participants. Once your project is created, go to the "Integrations" within the project settings and create a new webhook. Use https://civicrm.org/civicrm/timetrack/gitlab as the hook and trigger it on issue events. Save and done! You're ready to track time in Gitlab. If you need assistance, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The schedule should be set for to keep the day moving. Be sure to include breaks and community time. Make sure the start time takes in account travel time and traffic. Folks do not want to miss anything.
The number of sessions and session tracks are dependent on the size and focus of your audience as well as the availability of speakers. Some things to consider:
A welcome session that introduces people to CiviCRM.
A series of training sessions on features for users. (i.e. profiles & price sets, events, membership, etc.)
Looking at the sessions from past events can help with ideas.
Recruiting Volunteers & Presenters
Don't forget that CiviCamps are volunteer run. It's completely up to you, however such contributions are much appreciated and can apply toward your contributor status/level.
Budget & Registration Fees
link to sample budget (gsheet)
Presenters should be provided comp tickets
If training is offered as an additional event, it is ideal to pay accommodation and
food costs for trainers. Exact amounts will vary depending on the location. Expenses can only be paid if the conference as a whole breaks even.
Registration fees should be as low as possible and should reflect an audience that may be new to CiviCRM (i.e. don't price new potential users out of checking out the software and the community!)
Registration pages must include links to terms of service and code of conduct.
Additionally, the footer of registration pages should include a cancellation policy. The default policy is:
CANCELLATION POLICY Conference registration cancellations received prior to 10 days before the event entitle registrants to a full refund. NO REFUNDS will be issued for cancellations received within 10 days of the event. Refunds will NOT be made for no-shows. However, substitutions will be allowed. ANY NO-SHOW (WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE OF CANCELLATION) WILL BE INVOICED FOR THE FULL REGISTRATION FEE TO COMPENSATE FOR COSTS INCURRED BY THE ORGANIZATION.
CiviCamp sponsorship is completely optionally, however it may be necessary in order that you can demonstrate breakeven on your budget. Because CiviCamps are locally run and focused, we strongly encourage you to consider local sponsors that may not yet be in the CiviCRM ecosystem, but that identify with its mission and purpose.
Note that event organizers may either recognize their volunteer efforts as contributions to the project or as complimentary sponsorship (mid level or lower).