I'm looking for a fairly simple case management system for a local charity that offers support/advocacy for people with mental issues and disabilities. So the only service offered is advocacy, but that advocacy is often used to obtain services from other providers for the client.

In terms of Case Management, there is no need for any specialist workflow found in some legal or medical systems - we're talking about generic functionality to track information on clients, on the interaction with clients (calls, emails, visits), and ideally with some generic, user-definable workflow capabilities. The overlap with CRM is significant, so a generic CRM system might fit the bill.

Anticipated usage:

  1. Registration of clients

  2. Assessment of individual issues & needs

  3. Service planning

  4. Provision of advocacy services

  5. Progress monitoring

  6. Regular review and termination or referral out

Currently, most of the client records are in Excel, Word & emails, so I'm trying help them evolve into using a case management tool that is more suited to the job.


  • simple to use

  • simple to setup and administer

  • free

  • standard case management functionality, summarised as the ability for multiple users to record information about and interactions with any number of clients

  • export functionality, so can quickly and easily output all info on given client

  • 5+ users

Bonus points for:

  • outlook/email integration

  • open source

  • free hosting (for registered U.K. charities), if such services exist

  • user-defined workflow (trigger actions/activities when criteria met or certain events occur)

  • inbuilt backup facility

1 Answer 1


CiviCRM is well known for not-for-profit and civic sectors.

  • It is open source.

  • You can run your own installation, or run the service provided [I don't know costs for this].

  • It integrates with CMS like drupal, wordpress, etc.

  • It has Case Management with workflows.

  • Other features include: contact management, events, memberships, contributions/donations, reports, export, email marketing etc. So you could just use the bits you need.

  • It has email, but also outlook integration. Search it's SE forum for the plugins e.g. Outlook for CiviCRM

  • Backup will depend on if you are running the service provided, or self-hosting. If the latter, you can automate backup of its MySql database and the htdocs directory files via a script or one of the backup modules [if intergrated with drupal, wordpress etc]

It's a good idea to try one of the demos first. I have used it in the past.

  • Unfortunately, this requires them to learn/deploy/maintain one of Drupal/Joomla/Wordpress before even getting to grips with CiviCRM itself. If it existed as a standalone application/site....
    – CJM
    Commented Mar 12, 2019 at 23:02
  • My advice will be to talk to one of the Hosting/SaaS providers first to get an idea if viable. In theory, can be hosted out of country of origin, unless some legal stuff... see civicrm.org/hosting-providers?country_1=All
    – Z Z
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 10:02
  • 1
    Another option which I should have mentioned is suitecrm.com . It is a fork/successor/improvement on the old community version of SugarCRM.
    – Z Z
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 11:37
  • Yes, I'm looking at SuiteCRM already - it does have 'Case' functionality, but I'm still determining how well it fits.
    – CJM
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 12:58
  • Great. You'd probably have to hide a few of the menu items not required, to simplify the interface...
    – Z Z
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 13:25

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