The food revolution to keep cooking skills alive is being celebrated today, May 17. This is the second annual day, with events occurring around the world. From the Food Revolution Day website:
It's a chance for people to come together within their homes, schools, workplaces and communities to cook and share their kitchen skills, food knowledge and resources.
Food Revolution Day is open to any individual, school, business and organisation that wants to take part in hosting or attending activities in their local area on 17 May.
Inspired by Jamie Oliver's passion for engaging communities in cooking and food knowledge, over a thousand events are planned. The NationBuilder staff is excited to be a part of this day: we're having a smoothie party this morning, which will give us time to share tips on incorporating cooking and healthy eating into a hectic day.
For any campaign, business, nonprofit, or creative venture it's important to keep in contact with your most vocal supporters. With mailboxes and virtual phone numbers, NationBuilder makes it easy for you by routing your calls and emails to just the right person.
Listening is crucial. So say goodbye to noreply@ emails by setting up mailboxes in your nation. NationBuilder Mailboxes help create custom workflows with any email system. General email address like info@, jobs@, and volunteer@ can be managed by multiple staff members from within NationBuilder. In this video C.J. walks you through how to set it up mailboxes:
Last week, I attended the Center for Nonprofit Management’s 501(c)onference. I enjoyed meeting others who care about their communities and are interested in using organizing strategies to achieve their mission. Putting people first was the overall theme of the conference. This is actually at the core of what we're doing at NationBuilder so the synergy was amazing.
How to put people first
Here are my takeaways from the conference on how you can put people first in your organization:
The people connected to your organization create your power - even more than money!
Find people who are passionate about your cause and utilize that passion.
If the funding for your nonprofit grows, first invest in your current employees. By helping them grow, you’ll reinforce their passion for your cause and help your organization move forward. Long-term, this is a more sustainable model than hiring “senior” employees to oversee new projects.
Ask a large for-profit organization if you can join them for a corporate coaching day. Leadership and management skills are transferable between sectors.
Look for organizing trainings that are available for free online.
Consider investing in capacity-building trainings at your organization. Trainings can provide a safe-space where employees feel free to brainstorm innovative ideas that can help your nonprofit reach the next level of effectiveness and engagement.
Custom fields have long been one of your most requested features, particularly from larger organizations who want to use NationBuilder to unify their existing mess of databases, spreadsheets and websites into one platform.
I probably don't even need to explain what custom fields are, because it's such a common feature in other web applications. Here's a video showing how it works in NationBuilder.
Custom fields are part of our Enterprise edition, which also includes subnations.
Subnations allow you to give chapters, groups or others affiliated with your nation their own nation with all the organizing power of NationBuilder, while still capturing the basic information about the supporters they bring in.
To try out the Enterprise edition, just drop us an email or contact your point person.
You can create dozens of different types of pages on your nation's website, including blogs, petitions, donation pages, and volunteer sign up forms. How do you hook people into your organization so they'll interact with all of those community-building features? Using compelling images and clear copy is key.
In this clip from a recent episode of NationBuilder Live, VP of Community Adriel Hampton walks through the Australian Road Trip to End Poverty website to show how the combination of compelling images and a clear call to action encourage engagement.
You can choose from dozens of different free designs for your website and hundreds of styles. We know sometimes you want to tweak the color palette of your website, which is why you can create a custom theme that includes all of the elements in a public theme.
In this video from NationBuilder Live, Adriel Hampton explains how to do some basic theme modification in NationBuilder. In this case, he shows you how to adjust the color of headlines by overriding the CSS in one of our public themes.
In Mississippi's democratic primary on Tuesday, attorney Melvin Priester won the Jackson city council seat of outgoing Councilman Chokwe Lumumba who left to pursue a bid for mayor. A Jackson native and first time candidate, Priester won a decisive victory with 65 percent of the votes; his next closest competitor received 16 percent.
Jonathan Priester, who lead the candidate's communications team, had this to say about using NationBuilder for the campaign: "I know for a fact that NationBuilder played an incredibly important role in not only helping to raise awareness about our candidate, but also served as a lynchpin for our fundraising and email efforts." They used one of NationBuilder's free public themes - Tectonica's "Victory" - for the campaign's website.
The candidate and his team plan to continue to use NationBuilder for their work in the city council office.
Lilia Villa is NationBuilder's Email Delivery Manager.
Social networks come and go, but what has always remained constant is email. In 2010 the number of emails sent was 107 trillion, up 19% from 2009. Not only was email the most popular online activity of 2012, but by the end of the year, there were 3.3 billion registered email accounts.
Currently, the average user sends and receives about 115 emails per day. With all of that email action you have to wonder: "Will my emails get delivered or even read?" The only way to make sure you’re set up for success is to follow email best practices right from the start, and not suck at email deliverability.
Chelsea Staley and her husband, Mark, love dogs. They have more than 10 - six permanent and four rescue - at their 20 acre home in Charleston, West Virginia. When they adopted their first puppy, he was so ill that he didn't even make it home from the shelter. It was that moment when Chelsea knew she needed to do something more.
She and Mark started Dog Bless, an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to save dogs from euthanasia at their local animal shelter in West Virginia. Since they started the organization just one year ago, Dog Bless has rescued 568 dogs!
Chelsea and Mark Staley (photo by Lawrence Pierce)
Have you ever wondered why Facebook is blue? It turns out there's a a good reason. Last week, Leo Widrich explained in Fast Company that Mark Zuckerberg's red-green color blindness makes blue the color he sees best. That's why blue was chosen for Facebook. The article provides additional insights on the "meaning" of color in marketing materials, including which colors appeal to women and which appeal to men.
Reading about perceptions of color is interesting, but at the end of the day color is subjective. As Dan Lundmark points out on Quora, 7-10 percent of men and 0.4 percent of women find the colors red and green difficult to recognize, making color blindness a significant issue.
People from different cultures also perceive color differently. For example, in Chinese culture red is a color of fortune and joy, the primary color of weddings. White is associated with death and mourning. According to KISSmetrics, women hate orange yet it's one of my favorite colors.
Widrich used a portion of the KISSmetric graphic below in his article, though he left out the caveat from the original: color preferences are not universal. Their 2010 version describes these color and consumer profiles:
There are many color options available for buttons and other design elements in NationBuilder public themes. With a bit of work in HTML and CSS, you can add a custom button in any color.
While the NationBuilder scheduling feature can be used on a one-off basis to make sure your email is delivered in the early morning or to publish a blog post when more people are awake, it is truly powerful when integrated into a larger content strategy.
Recent press reports have caused some confusion about NationBuilder’s relationship to FWD.us. NationBuilder’s former president, Joe Green, started FWD.us after stepping down from his role at NationBuilder this January. FWD.us is a customer of NationBuilder, as are thousands of political organizations of all kinds. NationBuilder’s strict ethics policy forbids endorsing any political organization.