Building Use Case Specific CiviCRM Distributions


At the San Franciso CiviCon in April, I presented a session titled Unlocking Potential - CiviCRM Starter Kit Distribution on  In that session I explained how the CiviCRM Starter Kit works and the advantages of using it as the starting point for a site.  There are now more than 125 sites running CiviCRM Starter Kit and more than 25 using the Community Media Starter Kit.  The Community Media Starter Kit combines CiviCRM w/ Drupal modules for handling the display of video on demand and other features commonly needed by non-profits who run telvisions stations around the world.  

When organizations can collaborate effectively, building on a shared distribution can lower costs, improve functionality, and provide more support for staff at the same time.  This session will focus on how a handful of developers can work closely with staff at the organizations using the Community Media Starter Kit to develop and maintain it in a way that works well for everyone.

Organizations that are currently running sites using the Community Media Starter Kit include:

These organizations work with a number of development and design shops to improve their individual sites.  Organizations with more funding are encouraged to invest in the core, community media modules.  Smaller organziations often contribute by helping with testing and documentation. The key difference between these groups and a group that is a non-profit using Drupal and CiviCRM is that the common distribution makes collaboration MUCH easier.   

This session will be technical, but more of a big picure overview.  

Many people have used a Drupal distribution like OpenAtrium, Commerce Kitstart, or Aqcuia Commons without really understanding what a distribution is.  We will talk breifly about what a Drupal Distribution is, but we will spend the majority of time on how your organizaion might start collaborating with other, similar organizations to build and manage a distribution.  

Use cases where a CiviCRM based Drupal distribution might work include:

  • Religious Groups
  • Education Groups (an group offering classes)
  • Polictial Organizations 
  • Micro Charities (groups that need fewer features as default)
  • Outdoor Activity Groups (like mountain biking clubs)
  • Food Coops
  • ??? YOU TELL US ???

Topics we will cover include:

  • Using Features, Profile Builder, and Drush to start to build a distribution
  • How to share a Distribution that can become a Common Starting Point
  • Managing Use Case Specific Documentation
  • Co-maintainer as Agile-esque Product Owner (not everyone has to write code to contribute)
  • Importance of Face to Face Communication - Regularly Scheduled Camps, Meetups, and Hangouts 
  • Tips and Tools to Make the Most of Online Meetings
  • Strategies for Identifying Common Needs
  • Strategies for Funding Improvements
  • Tips for Avoiding the Perfection Trap
  • Contributing back to the foundational projects (CiviCRM & Drupal are obvious, but there are more)
  • What hasn't work (PLEASE, learn from our mistakes w/o repeating them!)


Experience level: 
Session type: 
Schedule info
Session Date and Time: 
Friday, September 6, 2013 -
14:00 to 15:15
Photo Credit: Michael Bentley