In case you missed it on Wednesday, here is a recording of our webcast with Gov 2.0 Radio founder and NationBuilder VP of community Adriel Hampton.
This video is for you if you want to:
Learn how governments can encourage citizen engagement using digital tools
Improve the efficiency of your constituent communications and the effectiveness of your customer service staff
See innovative examples of how government offices are implementing NationBuilder's new Government Edition to log and track issues, send email newsletters, build their websites and manage social media communications
This prompts the question, “What can I do with it?” (Thanks, Mike Nellis.) Well, yesterday I spent a few minutes on NationBuilder Live describing the new feature and some organizing tactics it enables - including using the “network” tab on a prospect’s profile to see who they are connected to on Facebook and Twitter. Find a key supporter in that group and they can help move a prospect up your ladder of engagement.
In advanced search, there’s another post-Match tactic that’s especially valuable for building social media buzz. We’ve pulled together this short video (thanks, Kara!) from yesterday's live demo - background sound effects courtesy of downtown LAPD - demonstrating how to pull together an email list to reach your most influential social media super fans:
People > Advanced search > Name and contact, check off emailable, Twitter info and Facebook info
Under Influence, mark out a Klout score range, something like 30-100
Tweak the search as needed (maybe you have more folks with just Twitter+email info), then add those folks to an email list
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera was down at the Wilshire Screening Room in Beverly Hills (me, too!) yesterday to premiere a new film trailer parody of Universal's "Les Miserables." The revision of the classic musical highlights the perils of predatory lending.
Herrera's office is using NationBuilder to spread the word about a $4.3 million settlement for former customers of Check 'n Go in California. Learn more about the settlement at caloanrefund.org.
We have been trying out a new feature with our team for a few weeks and absolutely love it. Today we are thrilled to share it with all of you.
Introducing NationBuilder Match!
NationBuilder now automatically matches a person's email address to their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Klout profiles.
Match means that when someone sends you an email, you can not only instantly see their picture, bio, existing website, and tweets -- you can also see how they are connected to your most active supporters. Match turns an email address into a person.
I know what you are thinking... "I MUST HAVE THIS THIS RIGHT NOW!" :)
a. If you are on the new pricing (where email mailboxes and blasting are included) go into Settings > Billing & Addons and click the Match checkbox. You will need to be an admin of your nation. There is no additional charge.
b. If you don't see the Match checkbox, it means you were grandfathered into the old pricing. Just send us an email and we can move you onto the new pricing that includes Match. Your point person will let you know how your monthly bill will change.
c. All new nations have Match automatically turned on.
Today's guest post is written by Christopher Hubbarde & Josh Stuart of cStreet Campaigns. cStreet is a certified NationBuilder Architect and Expert; you can follow them on Twitter.
The cliché of governments as overwhelming and impenetrable bureaucracies is as old as government itself. It’s not for nothing: too often the same governmental protocols that are meant to encourage active citizenship actually end up discouraging participation and engagement. How can governments be truly responsive to citizens if they don’t engage citizen voices?
Government on the web is seldom any different. Whether serving as dumping grounds for reports, unnavigable messes of links and content, or generic electioneering platforms, sites for governments and politicians frequently lack information and tools that are most intuitive to citizens.
So it’s pretty easy to say that if we really want to encourage citizen engagement through the web, we need to make simple and accessible tools for citizens to use. And to do this, we need to understand how people actually use the internet.
NationBuilder represents the solution to many of these problems.
Creating beautiful websites is getting easier and easier with NationBuilder - we've recently added three new public themes, each with its own set of substyles - and our list of custom theme designers is growing by the week. Our free public themes help nations of any size get up and running in just hours with a professional website connected to a people database, communications tools and rich organizing functionality.
The "BusyBiz" theme by Tectonica is increasingly popular with our customers - far beyond business website use. You can see it live on the Red Point Strategies website and the Qpid.me blog. With more nonprofits and political campaigns choosing BusyBiz, here are guidelines to getting the most from this clean and fresh theme:
Today we announce that Joe Green, NationBuilder's co-founder and president, is moving on to his next adventure as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Andreessen Horowitz. While Joe is stepping down as president and away from day to day operations, we are happy to have his continued support and involvement as a member of the board of directors.
Joe Green has a gift for organizing that made him a natural fit for NationBuilder's core mission to make everyone a leader. We look forward to seeing what Joe does in the future and thank him for his contributions to our community.
I’m a government geek. I joined NationBuilder back in 2011 after several years in city government and City Hall journalism (and founding Gov 2.0 Radio) and immediately put together proposals for how governments could use our community building software. Flash forward to early this month, when the the first customers of our brand new government edition started launching their websites. I was giddy with excitement.
There are 90,000 government bodies in the U.S. alone - and with NationBuilder Government they no longer have to spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for web, CRM and communications technology.
If you work in government, it’s likely you’ve had one of these painful experiences:
You just got elected and all the constituent software your predecessors were using is ridiculously bad.
You want to redo your outdated city website, but traditional vendors want $25,000 a year for a new contract.
You need to manage email newsletters and social media across a team of communicators but stitching together a bunch of different solutions just doesn’t make sense.
Last week we featured NationBuilder Architect Digital Campaign Solutions (DCS) on NationBuilder Live, our daily webcasting program. DCS, which is based in Canada, builds websites and digital campaigns for progressive candidates, parties and causes. Recently, they were nominated for a Reed Award for their work on Kathleen Wynne's campaign for Ontario Liberal Party Leader, which she won last week.
Check out the YouTube video and Q&A with DCS below to learn more about what they do.
Why is NationBuilder a good fit for your business?
Digital Campaign Solutions: Our customers are typically advocacy groups and political campaigns. NationBuilder offers a set of online organizing, fundraising, and mobilization tools that you can't get anywhere else at a comparable price point, so it's perfect for the people we work with. You can build a website on a whole range of platforms and CMSs, but you aren't getting the same sort of functionality and integration as you get with NationBuilder.
Earlier this month we launched our government edition - today we're pleased to announce the addition of the new 'Civitas' public theme by Tectonica. The Civitas theme is designed specifically with government officials, agencies and municipalities in mind, with customizations to enhance the suggestions page and prominently highlight civic events.
The new theme is free for NationBuilder subscribers - you can get started for as low as $19 a month. When you've implemented the theme, let us know in the comments here - we'd love to promote your projects.
Today's guest post is written by Mason Herron, President of The Avoyer Group. Mason is a certified NationBuilder Expert; you can follow The Avoyer Group on Facebook or Twitter.
What makes NationBuilder great is the fact that the platform comes ready with dozens of tools to create websites that can help users organize. These tools are easy to use, but they’re also powerful—two qualities that are usually mutually exclusive.
Those who use NationBuilder are already familiar with these tools—petitions, surveys, feedback, a suggestion box, social media integration, and all the other cool things NationBuilder can do. Most of these features are fairly self-explanatory and they deliver at providing users new ways to interact with their site’s visitors and communities.
Aside from the typical use of these tools, there are also plenty of opportunities to think outside the box to implement these features in new, innovative, and exciting ways.
Here are two examples of page types in NationBuilder that can be used in multiple creative ways.
NationBuilder’s mission is to make everyone a leader, and we’ve been working hard towards that mission every day for the past few years. But there are some people who have been doing that for decades, unwaveringly, because that mission is just who they are. Michael Moschella is one of those rare people, and we could not be more excited to announce that he’s joining NationBuilder as our Vice President of Organizing.
Mike has taught and inspired countless leaders over the past decade. He co-founded New Leaders Council, which provides practical training to young organizers. At the Truman Project, he brought unlikely allies together around foreign policy, coached hundreds of candidates at all levels, and worked to improve organizing efforts in veteran and military family communities. Early in his career, he led congressional campaign efforts, state government races, and one gubernatorial effort. This past year, Campaigns and Elections magazine recognized Michael with its highest honor, as one of the “Rising Stars” of politics.
As our VP of Organizing, Mike will lead NationBuilder’s exceptional team of organizers, helping them support all of you, and finding new ways to empower leaders across the business, political, government, and nonprofit sectors.
The famed Sundance Film Festival got underway yesterday in Park City, Utah and we're excited to be a part of it this year. The power of storytelling and film is close to the heart of NationBuilder. Founder and CEO Jim Gilliam got the idea for NationBuilder after working with Robert Greenwald to create Brave New Films, a grassroots nonprofit that uses media and film to educate and motivate people around important social issues.
NationBuilder helps filmmakers bridge the gap between education and action by giving them the tools to get people involved with the issues they're trying to illuminate in their films. From an award-winning food documentary, to a viral short about a 9-year-old boy that inspired a movement - all kinds of filmmakers are organizing people to create real change using NationBuilder.
We often get questions from our political customers who are just launching on NationBuilder about how to most effectively leverage the platform's features. Here is a case study of an unlikely municipal candidate who used NationBuilder's digital field features to organize his way to a decisive 62 percent win.
Michael Tubbs grew up in Stockton, California with a single teenage mother and an incarcerated father. In high school he earned a full scholarship to Stanford where he graduated with honors in June of 2012. During his last year there, Michael decided to run for office in his hometown.
In November he beat an incumbent candidate with strong local recognition to become the youngest council member in the history of the city. Here's how NationBuilder helped him do it:
Michael was 21 years old when he announced his campaign and he wasn't recognized as a legitimate candidate at first. "No one took him seriously and we realized that we needed to go directly to voters," said campaign manager Nicholas Hatten. They mapped precinct lists with NationBuilder's turf cutter and used them to walk the district every weekend. "We were walking from the primary up until election day and sometimes twice a week. Compared to other platforms, NationBuilder's turf cutting feature was far faster and easier to use. That means the world when you're walking every weekend and rushing to get things done. That's valuable time you can use to coordinate volunteers instead."
During the primary, the campaign organized a group of about 15 of Michael's Stanford classmates to make calls to voters. "I admit, I was a bit frightened about the logistics but it was easy to do using the NationBuilder tools," said Hatten. "As the volunteers were calling people they were able to enter the level of support and that made it a really smooth process."
NationBuilder believes that everyone can be a leader. Not just politicians, or office holders, or people who’ve grown up being told they’re leaders. Everyone.
Going into politics is a well-understood path for aspiring leaders, but it is no longer the only one. If you think about it, politics is about asking for permission. It’s about asking 50%+1 of voters for permission to go to another group of people and ask them for permission to do anything. Then everyone sits around and wonders why nothing gets done! It’s a necessary part of a democracy, but it's just so inefficient.
Whether you are called into political, business, nonprofit, or government leadership, you need tools built on thousands of years of community organizing principles to fulfill your vision. Which is why I’m incredibly excited to announce that we are now offering four editions of NationBuilder, tailored to the needs of different types of leaders.