NationBuilder Puts Community in Your CRM
Successful community engagement takes more than just a worthy cause. It helps to have a useful, collaborative platform from which to organize events, facilitate fundraising and track supporters’ behavior effectively. Launched in April, NationBuilder aims to be a new community toolkit that connects community organizers with supporters so that non-profits, political campaigns and other community organizations can spend more time engaging, building and making a difference.

Grassroots Organization 2.0

Recently, we spoke with Adriel Hampton, NationBuilder’s Chief Organizer, about how NationBuilder is evolving campaign and community management. Deemed as “Wordpress for organizing,” NationBuilder’s platform is built to leverage the power of grassroots organizations by making it easy to set up, manage and monitor campaigns of all kinds.

Founded by Jim Gilliam, NationBuilder doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t. It doesn’t favor any particular cause over another, nor does it lean left or right, politically. It’s not a project management tool, but rather offers itself as a web 2.0 community platform, able to sync and link with various social media platforms. What NationBuilder is makes it a necessary tool at a time when so many causes strive to capture attention and money.

Colbert Bieber [Your Campaign Here] Nation

NationBuilder is more than just a metaphor. Each campaign account is called a nation. Once built, organizers can begin to set up their public website, supporter database, communications, finances, and much more within a control panel.

eblasts and other eCommunications are organized around broadcasters and accessed from the messages tab in the control panel. Broadcasters serve as the voice of campaigns (executive director, volunteer coordinator, etc) and are often vital to helping to promote a message.

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Whatever contact information is associated with your broadcaster can help to engage supporters. For instance, when a Twitter account is attached to a broadcaster, anyone who follows that account will be added as a supporter to your nation. Anyone mentioning that Twitter account will be tracked and show up in your control panel.

Additionally, NationBuilder makes it easy to grow your community. When supporters are connected to Facebook and Twitter, NationBuilder finds their friends and followers that are also part of your nation and connect them.

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Users can also create and assign tags, which can be generated based on behaviors, such as donating, voting on a suggestion or RSVPing for an event. To simplify your supporters’ actions, NationBuilder lets you see everything happening in your nation in real time throughout the control panel. Users will find the interface similar to a Facebook news feed.

Community Relationship Management

You might expect such functionality from a social CRM, but when you’re rallying around a cause, rather than a product, customer relationship management platforms can leave a lot to be desired. Whether it’s tracking donations, RSVPs or Twitter mentions, community managers have a lot to manage, but it’s not always easy to track conversions, like for-profits do. NationBuilder fills that void nicely, by providing functionality that lets community managers focus on building communities, promoting their message and monitoring their supporters’ activities.

NationBuilder also takes a cue from the open source community by providing a community of its own where users can submit feedback, suggest features and ask questions. New features are added all the time, and NationBuilder’s blog provides tips, tricks and tutorials designed to empower campaign managers.

Pricing is currently based on supporters for independent and corporate accounts. Treat yourself to a tour, and learn not just how to build a successful campaign, but how to build a nation of supporters.