Lead people to action with paths


With paths, one of NationBuilder’s
newest features, you can create custom steps for leading people to take action towards larger goals. Why are paths useful? 

The problem

Paths solve a common challenge. As a leader, you are trying to guide a group of people from A to achieve B, but this can be extraordinarily messy.  

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How to increase your video-to-donation conversion rate

Every campaign, organization, and company has a story: Why are you running for office? How does your nonprofit make a difference? What does your business stand for? A powerful story can attract new supporters and turn existing supporters into champions.

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Learn more about new NationBuilder features

While our engineering and product teams were busy building the features that launched on Tuesday, the education team built out material to explain how to use it all. Here's an overview of the 11 new HOWTOs and 3 new videos.

  1. Keep track of relationships
  2. Use paths
  3. Create goals
  4. Upgrade from followups and contact types
  5. Default paths
  6. Manage control panel users
  7. Expanded custom field documentation

How to keep track of relationships - this overview of the People section will give you a sense of how paths tie together all of the other features of your people database. 

How to use paths - this HOWTO covers every aspect of paths, from editing default paths to create them from scratch, adding someone to a path manually or automatically or via batch update, paths in a profile (including resurrecting accidentally deleted paths), the incredible new path view, logging interaction on a path, and filtering paths.  

If you prefer learning via video, Kevin Coleman boiled the information down into a fifteen minute video. (Hey, biggest upgrade ever - can't expect the explanation to conform to the less than 5 minute internet standard.)

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Ever want to access your people database via mobile?

Have you ever wanted to access your nation to add, find, or update a contact while being away from your computer?  Good news! 

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NationBuilder's biggest upgrade ever

NationBuilder is software for leaders, and for the last eighteen months, we’ve really been digging into what that means. Leadership is about humans, which makes it inherently difficult. Being a leader isn't easy – you need to know what you want to accomplish, align people around your vision, and move them along paths to achieve your goals. We've built the software to help you do exactly that.

This upgrade represents the beginning of a whole new way to use NationBuilder. It includes 4 major new features, new pricing plans, expanded support, training and professional services. If you are a current customer, we have a detailed FAQ on how to upgrade, including a special offer.

I’m really excited to show you what we’ve built. Please join me and Ben Handzo today, September 22nd at 4pm ET/1pm PT for a live demo and Q+A. Ben also did a blog post describing the new NationBuilder.

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Software for leaders - introducing a new way to use NationBuilder

Since I joined NationBuilder over two years ago, we have been talking about what the core experience of using the product should be. NationBuilder has always been an incredibly powerful and deeply integrated set of tools, but we knew that we needed to help leaders distribute power through their organizations so they could scale their efforts.

So we have reoriented the product around defining your goals and laying out the ways you plan to achieve those goals in your organization. This upgrade is a whole new way of using NationBuilder.

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Service is sacred

At NationBuilder, service is sacred. In order to better serve our own growing community, we’re updating the way we provide support.

organizers.pngA few months ago, we created the Frontline customer service team to provide more personal, dedicated tech support to all of our customers. So, if you ever have a technical question or potential issue that you can’t solve after referring to our online training and support resources, you can send us an email or give us a call to talk to a human.

Along with building this new team, we’re always improving and adding to the training and support resources available on our website. You can get an overview of the platform in our live demos, learn NationBuilder best practices through our support documentation and dive into organizing strategy with our live webinars.

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More inclusive vote history

I'm excited to let you know that NationBuilder now supports vote history for all types of elections.

Full support for international and U.S. municipal elections

Previously we only supported Federal and State elections for the U.S. It's now possible to import and search on vote history for any type of election. Information on how to have your vote history imported are here. 

Non-political elections can also be added

Does your organization hold its own elections? If so you can now keep track of your members’ participation in those elections. You’ll need to send us a .csv with the data about who has voted, more on that in the HOWTO.

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Architect Spotlight: Herman-Scheer

How do you create a website that's not just beautiful but built for action? That's the focus of our Architect Spotlight Series, featuring insights from certified NationBuilder Architects. This week we hear from Herman-Scheer of Santa Monica, CA. 


1) What are the most important elements of an awesome digital campaign?

At Herman­Scheer, we pride ourselves on being an agency of storytellers with a focus on narration, personality and connection. In an age of overused platform integration and data crunchilization, the brands and organizations that are #winning are the ones that have developed a storyline that explains who they are, what they’ve set out to do and why they’re doing it. Oh, and you gotta’ look good while you do it.

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How “For Stratford” is encouraging local political involvement

organizer-faramarz-sokhansanj_(1).jpg"I’ve been a NationBuilder Community Strategist for the past 2 years, and over that time I’ve been able to work with amazing groups that are fighting for change in their communities. For this week’s Customer Spotlight, I talked to Terry Masters from the Joe Paul for Stratford campaign. During the primary for this campaign, Joe was an unendorsed banker running for mayor to empower his community.  Without the endorsement of the local democratic party, he had to rely on his team of volunteers to identify and grow his list of supporters.

They were able to use voter data to see who had interacted with his campaign site to identify their probability score of (1) voting in this election and (2) voting for Joe this election.  Working with Joe’s campaign was one of my favorite moments at NationBuilder. Here you had an underdog fight the establishment using grassroots organizing. The headline in the local paper said it best: ‘Paul wins in shocker.’ For Stratford emerged after the campaign to continue working on local issues."

Describe the mission behind your organization’s work.

We are special here in Stratford. Our mayor spent 14 years as a state legislator and as the state chair for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He’s now national chair of American City & County Exchange (ACCE or baby-ALEC). Our town has historically low voter turn-out that worsened with the abrupt closing of polling locations in minority districts.

So, we organized “For Stratford” as an independent expenditure group. Our mission statement is simple: We seek to improve the quality of life in Stratford by encouraging public awareness and political involvement.

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Update on Democracy Engine donation failures

Earlier today, a Democracy Engine server configuration issue caused some contributions made on NationBuilder websites through Democracy Engine to fail. We have been in contact with Democracy Engine and were notified that the issue has been resolved.

If you're not sure whether you've experienced issues with donations, you can quickly identify any problems by going to your NationBuilder control panel. Here's a link that includes screenshots on how to find failed donations in your nation.
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Architect Spotlight: Strategic Media 21

How do you create a website that's not just beautiful but built for action? That's the focus of our Architect Spotlight Series, featuring insights from certified NationBuilder Architects. This week we hear from Strategic Media 21 of San Jose, CA. 

jamei-and-irene.jpg1) What are the most important elements of an awesome digital campaign?

We believe in data-driven campaigns. The approach informs our design and leads the campaign to a defined, measurable goal. We want to be able to identify success and track our effectiveness as we reach it. We love to build sites that feel natural to their target audience, with elements that are surprising and contagious. 

Finally, an awesome digital campaign needs to be flexible enough to survive first contact with reality. Novelty isn’t enough to keep something afloat. It needs to have a few proven mechanisms working to keep it moving through the ebb and flow of its lifecycle.

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A new header for the control panel

what's the header dropdown look like? We made a small (but I think delightful) change to the interface of the control panel today. We've eliminated the footer and moved all the relevant links and functionality into a dropdown in the header. If you're looking to access your account, sign out, add a control panel user you can now do all of those things from this new dropdown.

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Architect Spotlight: Mosaic Strategies

How do you create a website that's not just beautiful but built for action? That's the focus of our Architect Spotlight Series, featuring insights from certified NationBuilder Architects. This week we hear from Mosaic Strategies of New Jersey. 


1) What are the most important elements of an awesome digital campaign?

This is a hard one! It boils down to three things for me: direct messaging, vibrant visuals and authenticity. These are definitely not special to digital campaigns, they are the same for on-the-ground work too. What's special about digital is that you can improve your success by using analytics to know when to switch out creative and build better, targeted referral networks. Take advantage of how flexible digital is!

2) What is one question you ask your clients when starting a new project that everyone should think about? 

Our favorite last question to ask is: What are your main goals and what are you willing to give up to achieve them?

This helps frame the project, the client's involvement, and priorities. If you want to collect emails from more people through your nation, are you willing to leave off a few of the demographic fields or have a staged sign-up? Is having more photography more important than staying on budget? It's especially helpful when our client's decision making team includes multiple people. 

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Enhance your campaign with social targeting

We see it a lot.

Campaigns devote significant resources towards managing social media, but valuable data from Twitter and Facebook interactions stays in a silo. As a result, leaders responsible for all the other parts of a campaign are missing countless opportunities to connect with new supporters, donors, volunteers, and influencers. 

Our new Social Targeting Guide describes the concrete steps every organization can take to effectively harness social media data. At the end of the day, it's all about listening and meeting people where they're at. If you can do that well, John Q. Public might actually adopt a brighter disposition!  


Download the Social Targeting Guide to learn more.  


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