CiviCRM is a customer relationship management database similar to FileMaker or Act!. It allows you to collect information on your volunteers, donors, customers, etc. and search through the information quickly and easily. The database is hosted online and accessible to those with the proper credentials. This means that your data no longer has to live on one computer where it is only accessible by one person - or what happens more often is multiple versions on multiple computers.
With this database you can upload all the data you have and then manage it in one location. Data can even be exported and then used in Word, Publisher, etc. to make name tags, mail merge, etc. the same as you can with your local database or spreadsheet.
In addition to collecting information from various sources - online forms, printed forms, etc. - the database also has several other features:
CiviEvent - free and paid event registrations
CiviMember - allows you to have paid or unpaid memberships. The software keeps track of when memberships expire, sends out reminder emails, and more.
CiviContribute - allows you to take donations online.
CiviPledge - allows people to pledge to give donations at a certain interval, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly and send reminder emails.
CiviMail - allows you to send e-newsletters, e-blasts, etc. to targeted members of your database. This will not run on many shared servers because of the resources necessary. Our server is set up to allow these emails to be sent.
CiviEnagage - allows you to do online petitions, hold phone banks and canvasses. Once the appropriate fields are created, you can bring an entire database of voters and their information into the system.
CiviCase - allows you to track a whole host of activities related to a particular individual. This would be great for keeping track of casework at a non-profit or for sales leads.
CiviCRM connects to Drupal, making it easy to use the data and forms from CiviCRM inside your web site. It also means that you can set up rules that state if a person has a particular membership, they can access certain content on the site. Access to that content would be revoked once their membership expired.
We can add this database to your install of Drupal or upgrade it if you're running an older version of CiviCRM.