You might remember that last year we announced a new integration between CiviCRM and the digital community platform Open Social

If you’re new to digital community platforms, Open Social provides a customisable space for you to create a community specially tailored to your organisation and audience’s needs. Such communities, as can be seen from our work with UN PRI, can have a significant impact on how effectively your organisation can spread its mission.

Today we’ll be diving deeper into the use cases of the CiviCRM-Open Social integration, giving some examples of how it might function within a real world context.

How it works: the basics

Let’s briefly discuss some of the basic information about the integration. First and foremost, it’s important to note that it’s a two way integration.

What’s communicated between the two is, in its simplest form, contact record information and data around groups. This can, as we’ll see further down the article, allow for some rather exciting use cases. As is common with our product stack, the sync can be customised to whatever needs you might have. This may be activities performed by the user, events attended, courses started, etc.

If you’re interested in more of the technical details of the integration please watch the video below or please get in touch with your questions!

Use case 1: a new member signs up

For our first use case, let’s talk through a practically universal usage: synchronisation when a new user signs up. In this case, we’ll assume they’re signing up for a membership offer using a CiviCRM webform with an opt-in for a community portal account.

After submitting the form, their details will be recorded in the CRM. Assuming they opted in, a new member account with a pre-assigned role and permission will also be automatically created in your community. You can customise this too if you offer different membership types or tiers, varying the access they have to areas of your platform.

Use case 2: community group sync

The scenario here is that there is a new group in your community portal which a few other members join. The information about this group, and those who are members of it, is then created in your CiviCRM instance.

On the surface that sounds like a nice to have feature making it easy to check which groups you have on your community platform. One immediate use is that you can create some reporting around which groups you have, their visibility, their members, and more associated features within your CRM. This can help you map out what your community cares about, and analytics such as this are essential in managing a community.

Perhaps the more common use case for this data is that you will be able to directly email these groups or create smart mailing groups for members with similar interests. If you’re running an event on a topic that is aligned with a group’s purpose, you have an easy way to identify the segment of your user base who will be most interested in attending. In this way, you can really personalise the content you send to your members and engage with them on the matters they most care about.

Use case 3: manage boards and committees from your CRM

Some organisations run boards and committees, which could be hosted easily on community platforms. If your staff would prefer to manage them centrally from your CRM, then this integration makes that possible.

This functionality is based on the same groups synchronisation, but relevant for this use case is the ability to modify who’s a member and update their role. That means you can set different responsibilities such as director, vice-chair, secretary etc. from within your CRM. If you have a rotating chair, or a new position on the board, you can even schedule role changes to happen on specific dates. This level of automation makes it much easier to centrally manage a large number of committees through a central location.

Find out more!

If you’d like even more information on these use cases, plus a bonus fourth one, we’d recommend you watch the joint webinar we ran on this topic with Open Social last year.

Integrating your CRM with other platforms has significant benefits and we at Compuco believe in offering you a seamless digital experience to better empower your team. If you’d like more information on this integration or community platforms in general, please get in touch.