Recipe for a group site using Open Outreach

Need a site that will allow you set up groups? Need these groups to have private content? While a site that requires primarily group-based functionality should probably opt for Open Atrium or Drupal Commons, if your site needs limited groups functionality along with other pre-configured elements, you can achieve this with Open Outreach using RedHen CRM.

Choose your Open Outreach features:

  • Debit  Bio
  • Debut Blog
  • Debut Comment
  • Debut Media
  • Debut RedHen
  • Debut Section
  • Debut SEO
  • Debut WYSIWYG
  • Theme: Sky

Basic configuration:


  • Start by configuring your theme. Sky requires that you save the settings form for block regions to take effect (admin/appearance/settings/corolla).
  • While on the settings page you can choose from one of the colour palettes or create your own. You can also upload your own logo.  Or you can simply save the default configuration and return at a later point to fine tune your theme. Sky is based on AdaptiveTheme (as are all the themes that ship with Open Outreach) and there’s lots of good documentation ( to help you get the most out of your theme.


  • Visit the module page (admin/modules) and enable the RedHen Organization Groups module.
  • Next visit the organization type settings screen (admin/structure/redhen/org_types).
  • Select the Add organization type link to create a new organization type, giving it a name that reflects what your groups are, so for example perhaps the groups are chapters of your organization.
  • Add groups functionality by selecting "Groupify."
  • Optionally select whether group content should be private to Drupal user accounts associated with contact entities associated with a specific organization.
  • Select the content types that can be posted to these groupified organizations. Choose both blog and section.
  • Save your configuration.
  • Only the organization name field will be created by default, so you will likely want to add additional fields. You may want to see the General organization type to see what fields were created there (and which can be added as exiting fields) or add new fields to reflect the information you need to capture.
  • A term reference field will be added automatically to the blog and section content types after “groupifying.”  This field will show on your blog and section node creation forms as the last field (often in an awkward position where it mat be overlooked.
  • Rearrange via the content type administration page (admin/structure/types/manage/blog/fields and admin/structure/types/manage/section/fields).

Adding contacts and organizations

  • You can now begin the process of adding organizations and contacts, and of relating contacts to organizations. Detailed instructions specific to Debut RedHen are located in the user documentation ( for Open Outreach. Full documentation about RedHen can be found on the documentation pages (
  • For illustration purposes, create an organization of the type Chapter and call it Chapter A.
  • Create a new test user, who we’ll give the user name Tester.
  • Now, create a new contact (redhen/contact/add/general) using Test as the first name and User as the last name. Use the same email as used for Tester, and their Drupal account and their RedHen contact information will be linked.
  • Once this contact had been created, it can now be connected with an organization. From the contacts page, select the Connections tab. Add a connection, and select the Affiliated with Connection type. In the Organization field, begin typing in Chapter A and then select from the auto-complete list. Select member for the Organization role. Save your connection.

Creating group-specific content

  • Create a new section and give it the title Chapters. This will be a top level section under which all individual chapters will be housed. Give it a menu link in the main menu.
  • From the Chapters section you can add a child page and give it the title Chapter A. This would be where you list all the core information about this chapter, in essence it would begin the chapter’s homepage. Under group, select Chapter A. If you want the individual chapters to show in the menu, set the menu link and list Chapters as the parent item. Save your section.
  • New child pages can easily be added to Chapter A section, and should also all be marked as belonging to Chapter A.
  • With our settings, blog posts can also be used as group content.

Displaying group content

  • If choosing to make this field private to only members whose user accounts are attached to RedHen contacts that are members of the group, you will need to alter some settings, such as removing the share and email links that are attached to these now private pieces of content.
  • Users will only be able to see the content of the posts—not information directly stored in the CRM unless you want to extend this permission—which would depend greatly on whether or not you want that level of public access. Usually much of the information in a CRM is going to be private to staff or volunteers not all website users.
  • While using complex views work you could create the needed blocks to share the content belonging to a particular group, the easiest way for non-technical users is to add a vocabulary with terms that correspond to the group names and then add that as a term reference fields to the content type(s) you want to include (in our example blog.) You can then add the link to the term on your section page or create a block view that you’ll add.

Setting up the homepage

  • Use the highlighted feature to create a visually appealing entry way into your site. See the detailed step-by-step instructions at:
  • You may want to add some custom text to the homepage panel that describes your organization or project. If you’re using the panels-in-place editor (enable via the modules page), that’s easy to do. Navigate to the homepage and click the Customize this page button. Click the + sign (Add new content pane) in the region you want to add to. From here you could add an existing node, or most likely some custom content. Then you can rearrange using the arrow tool. And remember to save your changes.
  • Since you're using blog but not article, you may want to move the list of recent blog posts to the sidebar region rather than in the home page panel.