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How can Sitefinity CMS give more to GiveCamps?

by Gabe Sumner

GiveCamp GiveCamps are weekend-long events where technology professionals (designers, developers, database administrators, marketers, web strategists) donate their time to provide solutions for non-profit organizations. 

These are great events and I highly recommend supporting the GiveCamps in your local area.  For the past few years, Telerik has donated Sitefinity CMS to any GiveCamp that requests our sponsorship. As an aide, if there are any GiveCamp organizers reading this and interested in sponsorship, please contact Emily Parker (parker at telerik) for the details.

Looking for ideas and suggestions

At the recent TechEd conference in New Orleans, I spoke with Joseph Guadagno (Microsoft MVP, Telerik MVP, SEVDNUG Founder, etc) who co-organized the Arizona GiveCamp. We discussed ideas for how Telerik could help the GiveCamp teams be more productive in the extremely short time they have available.

Here are some of the ideas we briefly discussed:

  • Create GiveCamp specific training/help materials
  • Create a PayPal plug-in for Sitefinity.  (Lots of charities need to take donations.)
  • Create starter templates


Before I launch into this project, I would like to get feedback from GiveCamp organizers and participants.  What can Telerik do to help you address the needs of your charities?  Please post comments below or, if you prefer, feel free to email me (sumner at telerik).  I’ll do my best to address these requests.  The goal it to keep everyone focused on a charity’s unique needs, and not on common problems or CMS issues. 

Your feedback will help a lot!

P.S.  It would also help if you would spread this message through the Interwebs (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc.).  Thanks everyone!    :)

8 comments

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  1. Jim Pendarvis Jun 18, 2010
    One of the requests that we had during the Southern Maryland Give Camp was an easier way to create and integrate forms, then store that data into a table.
  2. David Makogon Jun 18, 2010
    I was at SoMD Give Camp with Jim. Overall, w e were able to accomplish an incredible amount in a very short timeframe - SiteFinity was well-suited for this! Here are a few suggestions for making things run a bit smoother next time:

    1. Setup. We figured out how to get things installed on the hosting service, but we probably could have streamlined that with some coaching. Also: it turns out, the hosting provider has SiteFinity as an option. Maybe in the future, coordinate with them ahead of time to pre-install SiteFinity on the hosting accounts?

    2. Coaching. We had a DNN expert onsite. It would have been tremendously useful to have a SiteFinity expert to coach us, for things such as Jim mentioned with embedding custom code, building input forms, etc.

    Hope this helps...
  3. Gabe Sumner Jun 18, 2010
    Hi David,

    We've been on-site for several GiveCamps in the past.  Recent conference schedules and the CTP release have made it hard for us to do this lately though.  However, our intention is to be on-hand as much as possible.

    For the times when we can't be on-hand, I would like to create a library of resources that can help teams get up & running quickly.  Although I'm curious how best to do this.  Videos, samples, online articles, printable instructions, etc...?

    Your suggestion of working with hosting providers and Jim's custom form suggestions are great!
  4. Charles Romaine Jun 18, 2010
    At SoMD, I pair-developed with David Makogon. I was impressed by the quickness that we were able to get a site up and running. Neither David or I had worked with SiteFinity before, so we had a little bit of a learning curve. That was overcome by the use of the Telerik TV SiteFinity channel. Dave would say "how do I do ..." and I would do a quick viewing for the topic in question. Overall, we enjoyed using SiteFinity.

    Some suggestions:
    1. Better calendar control for holding recurring events. We ended up embedding Google's.
    2. Some of the areas (logo, copyright) needed to be modified on the template that we chose. It had to be done on the ASP Master Page, rather than using the Command Center. Along the same lines, we had a CSS guru's help with some minor page tweaking.
    3. A couch would have helped us to get started. By COB, we were helping each other.

    Looking forward to working with SiteFinity again!
  5. Charles Romaine Jun 18, 2010
    At SoMD, I pair-developed with David Makogon. I was impressed by the quickness that we were able to get a site up and running. Neither David or I had worked with SiteFinity before, so we had a little bit of a learning curve. That was overcome by the use of the Telerik TV SiteFinity channel. Dave would say "how do I do ..." and I would do a quick viewing for the topic in question. Overall, we enjoyed using SiteFinity.

    Some suggestions:
    1. Better calendar control for holding recurring events. We ended up embedding Google's.
    2. Some of the areas (logo, copyright) needed to be modified on the template that we chose. It had to be done on the ASP Master Page, rather than using the Command Center. Along the same lines, we had a CSS guru's help with some minor page tweaking.
    3. A couch would have helped us to get started. By COB, we were helping each other.

    Looking forward to working with SiteFinity again!
  6. Mike Thomas Jun 18, 2010
    1) Sell the Sitefinity licenses on Tech Soup, expand the product's user base:
    http://www.techsoup.org/stock/partner_profiles.asp
    Outside of Give Camp, non-profits get *huge* discounts, as you can see at Tech Soup. Can you standardize the non-profit licensing policies in general?

    2) Make it easier for developers. I would like a license for the equivalent version, to work with on my own, without having to buy a license. I can develop modules year round (its worth the time if I can use them), donate them as community work, and better contribute to the non-profits at Give Camp.

    3) Create an out-of-the-box feature checklist for non-profits. Give Camp organizers can track and estimate development time per feature/page(s). Give Camp feature support should be for short term development tasks.

    That is all. :-)
  7. Mike Thomas Jun 18, 2010
    As followup, you might ask what does #1 above have to do with Give Camp?

    Answer:
    If I do Sitefinity work with other non-profits then Give Camp is much easier. The #1 and #2 requests above might be combined because I support other non-profits outside of Give Camp. If the non-profits I support year round use Sitefinity then I do not need my own license.

  8. Jim Pendarvis Jun 21, 2010
    Maybe you already have it and I have not found it. But an import to the Newsletters Groups would be nice.    

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