Private gifts to the University of Oregon are managed through the University of Oregon Foundation (Foundation), a private, nonprofit corporation. The Foundation consists of a staff of several dozen and a Board of Trustees who require frequent communication and collaboration.
In response to ongoing communication needs, and requests from several board members, potential solutions to assist with the consolidation and delivery of important documents were researched and evaluated. Concrete worked with the Foundation to define and develop a centralized communication tool that was flexible enough to serve the unique needs among the Foundation staff, Board of Trustees, and multiple board committees.
Using Concrete's agile development process, the Foundation was able to build a standardized extranet that provided basic tools which all departments could use to document their existing processes, rather than reinventing the wheel. The bulk of the functionality revolves around a windows explorer-like "folder" manager. Folders contain summary information, but also an activity section where members can post comments, files, and even attach actions such as voting or acknowledging receipt of a document. This generalized solution lets any manager create a folder for a unique problem, and use the tools to document exactly what is needed.
The entire application sits behind a secure socket layer, and detailed statistics on actions gives Foundation staff the information they need to run a tight ship. A trustee directory provides instant access to important contacts, based on permission levels. An AJAX interface allows busy board members to choose their current address without leaving the page they're on. Complete version control and a detailed user/group permission structure round out the basic functionality the Foundation needed to make the site dependable and successful.
Members can subscribe to folders using our exciting new "in-the-loop" functionality where any activity posts to the folder are forwarded to the member via email. When the member then replies to a message from their mail client, their reply is automatically archived on the folder, including any files they may have attached to the email. This functionality is just another way Concrete CMS encourages people to continue using the technology they've grown comfortable with, while adding the value they need.