NationBuilder's Southern California organizer Jason Meer and chief organizer Adriel Hampton are speaking on community engagement for politics and governance next week in Los Angeles and San Diego.
Meer, an experienced digital communications specialist who served as new media director for Maryland General Assembly delegate Heather Mizeur before joining NationBuilder, will speak at "We the People of Social Media," a full day of social media training for political candidates on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Other event speakers include former Obama campaign and DNC new media director Natalie Foster and Alex Torpey, the young mayor and early NationBuilder campaigner dubbed "The Social Media Mayor" by Inc. magazine.
For regular basic and advanced trainings on things like setting up your website, using NationBuilder's people database, and working with voter data, check out our NationBuilder Live webinar schedule - nationbuilder.com/nblive
You can also view 30 on-demand how-to videos on our key features at nationbuilder.com/howto
We have hundreds of FAQs about various NationBuilder functions at nationbuilder.com/faq
You can also search on the FAQ page or in the footer of your control panel. In the footer, you'll also find our Support phone and email contact information, as well as links to our video tutorials specific to whichever area of the control panel you're working in.
Happy nation building!
Easy access to voter data for qualified candidates and campaigns is one of our favorite parts of NationBuilder for politics. You'll need to be using the campaign edition of NationBuilder (if you're not, you can change this under Settings > Billing & add-ons > Edition). Then just go to People > Import > Request voter data and make your selections. Please note that it can take five to 10 business days to process a request, and up to three to six weeks if your request is for a newly created district or a custom build. You can find more about voter data at nationbuilder.com/supporter_data.
To set up a donation page after connecting your bank account, go to Websites > New page and select the Donation page type. You'll have a great set of customizable defaults to work from in setting up your public page for accepting credit cards.
For many NationBuilder setup activities, you'll be going back and forth to other websites and information sources, as well as looking at videos and FAQs while creating and customizing your pages and other accounts settings. Working in NationBuilder by opening a bunch of different tabs for different work activities is a good way to move quickly. Just be sure you're publishing pages that default to draft and saving your work frequently.
NationBuilder pages frequently prompt folks to leave their cell phone numbers for mobile outreach and followup. For many campaigns and initiatives, text-based outreach can be very powerful. You can use the Messages tab to select a broadcaster and Texting to do simple mass texting campaigns. If you haven't already set up a phone number, you'll be prompted to do so before you begin a text campaign. You'll also need a texting plan (Settings > Billing & add-ons). Folks you contact will be able to text back and also to call the number (voicemails will come right back to your NationBuilder Dashboard and Messages sections).
Here's a video guide on setting up and using text messages - nationbuilder.com/how_to_text_messages
Before you start emailing on NationBuilder, it's important to have a custom domain and email addresses that match that custom domain. We've made this easy for you with a guide to setting up a custom domain.
We also have some ideas for building up a good opt-in email list for your effort if you don't already have one:
You can import existing email contact lists by following the steps here:
After you have your custom domain and email address and an address list, you can set up your first email under Communications by selecting the representative of your nation you want the email to come from and clicking on "New blast."
There are a bunch of resources on your Communications options here.
Also see this guide on emailing with NationBuilder - nationbuilder.com/how_to_setup_email
Bank account setup is in the control panel under Settings > Bank accounts. The setup is most simple with a Democracy Engine account, and you'll be able to pick whether your nation is a nonprofit with tax deductible status and even set a custom disclosure form that someone must click through before making a donation (important for jurisdictions with unique campaign finance rules).
This video from NationBuilder Live walks you through the process and discusses available payment processors.
In the control panel, you'll be able to review activities, contacts and upcoming and past events in the Dashboard view. Under People, you'll be able to search and follow up with supporters and prospects and log contacts.
In Websites, you can edit and create new pages for your website and manage sitewide settings. Communication is the sub-section of the control panel where you can manage the voices of your nation and send social media messages, email newsletters and group text messages.
Finances is a handy section where you'll be able to quickly review donations and do advanced searches. Under Settings, you'll be able to do things like connect a bank account and manager your account and billing. Members of your nation with lower permission levels (See People > Point People > Permissions) will not be able to access all of these options.