15 years helping Irish businesses
choose better software

About CiviCRM

Comprehensive and powerful open source CRM for nonprofits and civic organizations. Easy to use, customize and extend.

Learn more about CiviCRM

Pros:

I like the fact the CiviCRM works nicely, have a lot of features I need and are integrated to my CMS.

Cons:

The software is difficult to self-install on own servers.

CiviCRM ratings

Average score

Ease of Use
3.7
Customer Service
3.6
Features
4.0
Value for Money
4.3

Likelihood to recommend

7.6/10

CiviCRM has an overall rating of 4.1 out 5 stars based on 37 user reviews on Capterra.

Have you used CiviCRM before?

Share your experiences with other software buyers.

Filter reviews (37)

Jonathan
Jonathan
Owner
Verified LinkedIn User
Internet, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source
Source: GetApp

Our go-to for Associations and others

5.0 8 years ago

Comments: CiviCRM integrates CRM functions for associations, affiliation groups and others as an add-on for the top GPL content management systems WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. We have been installing and hosting CiviCRM for several years and it has become a standard part of our toolbox. It is especially strong on event registration and membership management. CiviMail does an excellent job with bounce and subscription management, but it's not as user friendly as a service like MailChimp or Constant Contact for HTML mail composition. CiviContribute handles payments for memberships, donations and events. CiviCase brings case management into to application and CiviVolunteer helps you keep track of the eager beavers who want to help your cause. We have used CiviCRM for projects ranging from an international arts group to our son's Boy Scout troop. We have used it for camping registrations and conference registrations for thousands of users. The real gem, as in any CRM tool are the reporting tools. You can pull membership, attendance or other reports in minutes. Think of a data related question and get an answer quickly and simply.

Pros:

Excellent event registration and membership management at a price that can't be equaled. Best of all, it works in and with our client's websites.

Cons:

It's not an intuitive tool. You need to learn the logic of CiviCRM to get things done. It's not hard, but I wouldn't give it to a client without a few explanations and probably training.

Brian
IT Manager in US
Libraries, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

serves its purpose

4.0 2 years ago

Comments: Overall, it's done what we've needed it to do, reliably, for a long time.

Pros:

We've used CiviCRM for years to handle all of our even registrations. While it may not be the slickest thing out there, it's been very capable of taking on this task.

Cons:

This may or may not be a con for some, but it's been largely unchanged for years. The consistency makes it pretty easy to use, but it's probably aging a bit.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Computer Software, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Very flexible, free, but unfortunately also buggy

3.0 4 months ago

Comments: It's a tradeoff between being free and customizable and stability & security. If you just need something simple to get up and running this is probably not the best tool for you. If you need something very customizable and you have the technological knowledge to customize and maintain it or you can pay somebody to do it for you it is a nice tool. For most small companies it is probably overkill.

Pros:

It's very flexible and integrates well with CMS systems (which is also a security issue). We've created multiple extensions for CiviCRM and made a lot of custom adjustments which is relatively easy to do. It's free and OpenSource and offers a lot of features. The CiviCRM volunteers/engineers I had contact with were very friendly and helpful, but given you don't pay for it you also can't expect and will not get enterprise support. It has a good API to retrieve and update data.

Cons:

It's buggy. After every update there are things that break. We have a customer that has a lot of data (~1 million contacts) stored in CiviCRM and updates are always a nightmare which is why we only do it once per year. It takes me a couple of days to actually update the system and fix all of the bugs that occur during the upgrade and after the upgrade. The update takes a couple of hours and it never runs through without issues. With smaller instances the update usually works better and is done in a couple of minutes. You will need to to be a software engineer to maintain CiviCRM because you will need to be able to go into the code and analyze and fix issues yourself. I've also contributed back a fix to the CiviCRM core. There are few automated tests that catch bugs so old features get broken with updates on a regular basis without anybody noticing. That it integrates with CMSes is a nice feature but it is also a major concern. If you run it behind your website it means your customer data stored in CiviCRM can get stolen if your website is hacked. This is not an uncommon thing to happen to Wordpress and Drupal sites. Also because of the bugs as I said we avoid updating more often than once a year so we also don't get security fixes. This is why we moved our CiviCRM away from the website to a separate server that is not accessible to the internet.

Youssef
Chief Administrator in UK
Religious Institutions, 501–1,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Alternatives Considered:

Great potential and features

5.0 4 years ago

Pros:

The flexibility of this platform is truly amazing. You can customise it to your exact needs and the range of features is unbeaten. Most powerful CRM I have come across.

Cons:

The user interface is what lets this platform down. It is not responsive and although a developer has made a mobile app, it is too late to the game and does not properly give you the power of CiviCRM in your mobile. Considering most people now will want to access these platforms from phones, this is what makes CiviCRM unfortunately not really future proof.

Shirley
Volunteer
Environmental Services, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

High functionality at low costs

4.0 7 years ago

Comments: Very functional so long as you don't need something new

Pros:

Cost -- our volunteer run organization could afford it (we pay for hosting which includes administrator and user coaching) Highly functional and generally very easy to use Very flexible with extensions that are much more advanced than found in cost-comparable products -- membership, events, etc. Very good API Ability to fully get all data out of it

Cons:

Import of large quantities of data using supplied import procedures is painful at best. That said, a person who understands the database can bypass the worst of it -- however, we could do this, and the closest competing product priced itself out of our reach by an excessive import fee. While existing reports are easy to use, creating truly new ones is nearly impossible (need to create a new extension) Sadly lacking documentation on creating extensions

Kitty
Kitty
Office Coordinator in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Public Relations & Communications, 501–1,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Pretty fantastic for doing the essentials

3.0 5 years ago

Comments: It's not a terrible software to have and allows you to carry out ticketing and patron service management at a fundamental level. Wouldn't recommend it at the higher tiered levels of with theatres/spaces that are more complex and demand more.

Pros:

While it is not the most integrated system, Civi's platform allows for the essential patron ticketing needs. The following being the strongest aspects: -Easily accessible patron accounts - Format is very fundamental in account management and ticketing management - Allows for seamless EOD reporting and comp lists

Cons:

Here are the biggest drawbacks that I have seen with this ticketing software: -It cannot retrieve events/reservations once deleted. The recovery process of anything really is very difficult with regards to patron and account management. - Very difficult to change seating arrangements once reservation is secured. - Can be cumbersome with the website interface and do not allow for intuitive browsing.

Richard
President in US
Nonprofit Organisation Management, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

A great option for a CRM if you have the staff to maintain the software

4.0 4 years ago

Comments: Overall, CiviCRM is a great choice for those organizations that have the qualified staff to maintain the backend intricacies along with those who can perform the customizations and those to enter the data.

Pros:

I liked that it was open source and maintained by volunteers. It was fairly easy to add to our Wordpress website and very flexible as far as customizations and shaping it to match our processes.

Cons:

It was hard to upgrade if too many releases went by since you were supposed to do one at a time. I almost had a database disaster during one of the updates and lost a couple days to recover the data. Since that point, we had to just run with the last working version. Also, it doesn't integrate with QuickBooks Online, so there was double bookkeeping involved.

Rusty
Membership coordinator
, Self Employed
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

We have continued to use more features over time

4.0 7 years ago

Comments: Good program

Pros:

Flexibility. It can do almost anything for non computer people, that flexibility can also be a disability

Cons:

It can be complicated. It has such flexibility that it can be daunting . Consultants can help but are costly.

Armando
Armando
Network Manager in Paraguay
Verified LinkedIn User
Computer Software, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

On-the-go solution to manage elections campaign and manage data responses.

5.0 2 years ago

Pros:

CiviCRM allowed me to manage as many as possible thanks to the registration forms, follow up with the CRM and customize your preferences. With the Reports module I was able to obtain voting statistics and focus on undecided voters. An agile solution of multiple applications. Connected to my Joomla Portal.

Cons:

I had problems connecting to my big data server to process the collected information together with other databases. Specifically Kafka.

Alex
Treasurer in US
Religious Institutions
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

A versatile but clunky CRM software

3.5 8 years ago

Pros:

CiviCRM is extremely versatile and customizable. We use it to produce letters to donors and large mailing lists for various functions. If you have a fair amount of technical web knowledge, you can integrate your database with other online software like MailChimp. It is also FREE!

Cons:

CiviCRM is pretty clunky and not pleasing to the eye. While you can segment your database in almost any way with the search features, it's often nearly impossible to know which version of the search interface you should use: Advanced Search? Search Builder? Full-text Search???????

Ashley
Annual Giving Manager in US
, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

Decent open sourced CRM

3.0 6 years ago

Comments: This is a free software program that can for the most part, make it do what you want it to do as long as you are experienced enough. If you have database experience with a limited budget, this would be a good route to go.

Pros:

CiviCRM is an open sourced database, so there are no fees or contracts associated with it, which is nice. If you have previous database experience, it can be pretty intuitive on how to use for donor management. Although there is no customer service as it is open sourced, there are several forums that are helpful.

Cons:

The open source can be a double edged sword. While it is nice that you can build yourself, unless you have a developer/script writer on hand things can get complicated and messy quick. The reporting is alright, but does not do anything extravagant (unless again you have a developer on hand that can help you write more canned reports). The import feature works okay, but often times still creates duplicates.

Chelsea
Communications Coordinator in US
Environmental Services
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

A wonderful experience with CiviCRm

4.5 8 years ago

Pros:

I work for a very small and relatively new non-profit organization and CiviCRM has been the perfect combination of intuitive/ user-friendly, as well as adaptive to our unique needs as we continue to define our direction, expand our scope, and grow to reach a larger audience. Civi has allowed us to track and maintain well-rounded profiles of our constituents, donors, participants, and volunteers -- many of whom fit into multiple of these categories. I have a lot left to learn about Civi and when I get stumped, I can almost always find the answer in the forums online or through our vendor.

Cons:

I've had the most difficulty with CiviCRM integrating into our Mailchimp account and newsletter. Overall, it's worked quite well but there have been several glitches and several times where the solution or steps to take to fix a problem were not at all obvious (to me, at least!).

Heather
Executive Director in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Nonprofit Organisation Management, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Moved away from this for a simpler option

3.0 4 years ago

Comments: It was brief that I actively used it, and it holds a lot and has a lot of capacity, but the flip side of that, like Salesforce, is that you have to have the resources to invest in doing it well and there are just easier options.

Pros:

This was chosen before I got here and was universally recognized as very complicated and buggy. In going back into it for old records, I do like the theoretical capacity if you had the time to figure it out.

Cons:

Complicated and open source is great if you're a programmer, but less helpful when you just need a program to do a specific thing.

Nicolas
IT Manager in US
Nonprofit Organisation Management
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

The best CRM for nonprofits, and it's free!

3.5 8 years ago

Pros:

The depth and breadth of functionality is staggering, and the community provides extensions that enrich the product even more. The software is highly configurable and can be adapted to almost any nonprofit organization's needs. And if a feature is not there, you can always add it as the full source code is available.

Cons:

Setup and administration is quite technical, documentation is extensive but could still be improved. Users will feel lost at first due to the richness of the software, but with a little hand holding will get the gist of it and start exploring.

Costa
Technician
Civic & Social Organization, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

Long user, secure software, lots of features

5.0 7 years ago

Comments: I really like to feel that CiviCRM is a successful free/open source software.

Pros:

I like the fact the CiviCRM works nicely, have a lot of features I need and are integrated to my CMS.

Cons:

Some translation to languages around still need, help everybody could help. Same to new payment methods to places different from Major markets.

Karl
President in US
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

CiviCRM is a great tool for campaign management

4.5 8 years ago

Pros:

CiviCRM is free and open source, meaning the development is driven by a community dedicated to it's success. The community is fairly responsive and keeps an active release cycle as well as an extension community which build meaningful extensions to functionality.

Cons:

Specializing in political clients, CiviCRM is not the most documented to reach these markets. However, I am working with others to expand this as I have personally tested several competing products and found CiviCRM to be the most versatile in this space.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Nonprofit Organisation Management, 501–1,000 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source

Not a product that I could recommend.

2.0 5 years ago

Comments: The problem I had with CiviCRM was more due to the organisation I was working in trying to adapt it for their own sector, rather than using something that was appropriate to their requirements and location. CiviCRM reminded me of a ball of thread that could tangle and loop back on itself very easily, and was almost impossible to unpick.

Pros:

It is adaptable to the requirements of the organisation.

Cons:

This product isn't designed to be used in the sector that I was working in.

Eitan
Business Consultant in US
, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 6-12 months
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

Great Value

4.0 6 years ago

Pros:

Cost - our volunteer based organization is always looking for cheap solutions to complex problems. This coupled with ease of use makes a great software tool for non-profits.

Cons:

Mass imports are painful to execute and time consuming. Existing reports are easy to replicate but custom reports are almost impossible without a consultant.

Steve
CEO in US
Nonprofit Organisation Management
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

Powerful Contact Management for Nonprofits

4.5 9 years ago

Pros:

CiviCRM is open source. There is no cost in getting started if you have the expertise yourself. There is also an excellent Eco-system of vendors that install, upgrade, migrate, extend and support CiviCRM.

Cons:

Because the product is open source is lacking some of the features that other CRMs have. That said there is a large library of extensions and material on the Internet to help you make CiviCRM do everything you want it to.

Detlev
Director of Operations
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

CiviCRM: Big help for accomplishing our goals

5.0 8 years ago

Pros:

- Very broad feature set - Open source: makes us independent from a single provider - large community: Several professional service providers, and many voluntary helpers made us solve any problem quickly

Cons:

- learning curve: Due to the broad features and complexity we needed quite some time to fully understand the capabilities

Donald
Executive Director in US
Primary/Secondary Education
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

Excellent package targeted for the Non Profit Sector

4.0 8 years ago

Pros:

The software is free, libre and open source. it is customizable and extensible and works seamlessly with the most popular content management systems. It has public support forums, chat rooms and issue tracker.

Cons:

The software is free and open, you need to have the expertise (or pay someone) to install and customize it for you.

Joseph
Joseph
CEO in US
Verified LinkedIn User
Marketing & Advertising, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

Exceptional value

5.0 5 years ago

Comments: We have had a wonderful experience with installing/implementing CiviCRM for a nonprofit client. We're very thankful for the community's help when we needed help with an issue, which was quickly resolved.

Pros:

Other than the fact it's open source, which is extremely beneficial to nonprofits, the community is vibrant and quick to offer sound advice.

Cons:

It's truly an excellent CRM for nonprofits. What could be a huge step forward would be a templating system for front-end design.

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Architecture & Planning, 51–200 Employees
Used the Software for: 1+ year
Reviewer Source

Great general use database

4.0 5 years ago

Comments: Still learning it, but it is a great tool for managing our volunteer and client database

Pros:

Super flexible, can be used with nearly any type of data

Cons:

it is not very user friendly / self explanatory

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source

Specifically designed for a variety of Non Profits

4.0 6 years ago

Comments: The flexibility of working with a strong team that understands the business requirements gets the non-profit up to speed faster.

Pros:

Great Business Rules, Forms and Integrations. The setup is complicated as the Non-Profit needs to understand its business processes. Being forced to understand what works and best practices is a significant benefit.

Cons:

Be prepared to spend time on setting CiviCRM on the right path. The user interface is old fashioned compared to Program Management tools I'm used to for software development. Search is in the fashion of a database query rather than as a blob search. You have to know what you are looking for in a number of different areas rather than have the search self-develop,

Fatima
IT Manager in Pakistan
Civic & Social Organization
Used the Software for: 1-5 months
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

Quick-start CRM

5.0 9 years ago

Pros:

CiviCRM includes everything you'd expect from a robust, comprehensive non-profit CRM solution: mailings, memberships, contributions, pledges, volunteer management, contact groups, activity tracking, events, and more. Its extensible, open-source nature means its always evolving and can be adapted to your needs.

Cons:

Like most CRMs, it does draw upon server resources--and since it must be integrated with your site, that means it's drawing upon the same resources as your CMS-based website. I wouldn't want to use it on budget shared hosting, which is unfortunately the kind of hosting most small non-profits have.