Three Miss America contestants ran for office this past November. Only one was elected. Starting this month, Lauren Kealohilani Cheape, who won the title of Miss Hawai'i in 2011, will represent the state's 45th District in the House.
Lauren and her family have a history on the Hawaiian islands that goes back 100 years before the state became part of the US in 1959. In 1910, her great-grandfather started Peterson's Upland Farm, which is still run by her family and supplies fresh eggs to the local community.
Lauren's strategy for winning her seat in the state legislature involved staying close to her roots. "I delivered eggs from our farm door to door and talked to people," said Lauren. "It was a truly grassroots effort. Making those personal connections was what made the difference in my campaign."
Facebook pages are ubiquitous among businesses and nonprofits these days. Encouraging someone to like your page is an easy ask. The problem, which we discuss in more detail here, is that the value of a "like" is unclear and the resulting engagement is often subpar. There's no guarantee that the people who like your page will even keep your updates in their news feed.
Facebook can be an effective way to find new people who may be interested in your organization or product. But getting someone to like a post or your page is just the first step to moving them up the ladder of engagement. This Socialbrite article by John Haydon, author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies, shows what the Facebook ladder of engagement might look like for a nonprofit.
To get people interested in your page - which is the first step on the ladder - you have to produce content that people will want to interact with. The best way to do that is by telling your story through pictures and videos. Once you have individuals engaging with your page, NationBuilder is key to turning those associations on Facebook's third party platform into real contacts that you can build more meaningful relationships with outside of Facebook.
Last week on NationBuilder Live, Chief Organizer Adriel Hampton and Support Organizer C.J. MinsterCheng did a session on what it really means to put people at the center of your organization and how NationBuilder can help you do it. Here's some of what they discussed:
The key components of a people-centric organization including an organization's frame or "story of us," content strategy, values, rules of engagement, and a cohesive structure.
How creating a structure to comprehensively track your staff's interaction with community members can help you strategically move them up the ladder of engagement.
How to turn your interactions with prospects online through email and social media into offline and in-person engagement.
State and municipal campaigns that used NationBuilder last month recruited more than half of their volunteers and donors from the internet, data from hundreds of U.S. elections shows.
On average, NationBuilder campaigns in the study recruited 38 volunteers, 21 of them from web signups.
"We probably could have got 50 volunteers on our own with a significant amount of effort," said Matt Leow, who worked with Stand for Montanans on a measure directing the state’s congressional delegation to introduce a constitutional amendment ending corporate personhood. "Instead we got 450. We wouldn't have had anywhere near as many volunteers without NationBuilder."
Web volunteer recruitment was also highly effective on smaller races. Chad Magill won his race for Corpus Christi City Council by 740 votes after recruiting 92 volunteers with NationBuilder.
One of our favorite Southern California Public radio stations, KPCC, aired a story yesterday about how integrated online and offline organizing with NationBuilder was able to make the difference in some of California's closest November races.
NationBuilder President Joe Green was interviewed about how campaigns are using NationBuilder to more effectively communicate with voters through multiple channels including email, text messaging, social media and good old fashioned canvassing and phone banking.
The segment also focuses on NationBuilder's role in three of California's Assembly races.
On Today's NationBuilder Live we featured the work of our Architect of the Week, Tectonica. If you missed it, check out the video below.
Ned Howey, Principal, Strategy at Tectonica answered a few questions for us about what it's like to work with NationBuilder customers and how they design those awesome themes. Here's the full Q&A:
How did you first find NationBuilder?
Ned Howey: Actually we were really lucky. Jesse Haff, cofounder of NationBuilder saw one of our sites on a design gallery and got in touch with us. Honestly when we first received the email we thought it was someone with some kind of spam or that he was just contacting a huge list of designers. An hour later we were chatting on skype and absolutely amazed to see what a great match our work is to that of NationBuilder's. A beautiful partnership was born!
What do you like best about working with NationBuilder's customers?
NH: When Martin and I started Tectonica one of our largest goals was to be involved in building sites that were important, that had positive impact on the world. Both Martin and I are very political. Before working in the web design world, I had worked for 10 years in homeless healthcare and social service non-profits. Both Martin and I are very passionate about politics and the power of government´s decisions to change society for the better.
We dreamed of some day just working on sites for non-profits, green business, and progressive politics. Our partnship with NationBuilder fast-tracked that dream. Every project we are involved with has a goal beyond just the building of a website. Our NationBuilder sites are a puzzle piece in a bigger picture. And we love being part of that and partnering with people who also bring their passion to those causes.
After close to a decade of doing web strategy, I have come to the conclusion that I actually know very little about what constitutes good web strategy. And I don't mean this in some humble and wise "we are always on a path of learning" way.
I mean it quite literally.
Although I’ve been designing, re-designing and marketing websites and email campaigns for many years, I still have very little idea what makes people act the way they do when they go online. I have no idea what makes them "click." And frankly, I don't care to know what makes them click.
What we are doing when designing a website or an email campaign is actually very complex. We are creating an interface between a collection of various human brains (i.e. the people who visit our website) and technology. This system and process is so complex that it would be foolish to think we actually know why people do what they do when they come to a website.
On today's NationBuilder Live, Adriel Hampton and Nate Murphy talked about some interesting articles we wanted to share with you.
Social Media Today did a roundup of findings from a recent Nielsen study on social media use. New platforms like Pinterest are gaining in popularity. While Facebook usage is down slightly, Pinterest activity is up more than 1000 percent!
For accessing social media, mobile is taking over. Mobile app usage increased 85 percent from last year with 34 percent of total time spent on social networks now happening on mobile devices. In a rather strange research finding, one third of 18 to 24 year olds said they social network in the bathroom. It appears that those Millennials are rather good multitaskers.
Alan Simpson of Simpson-Bowles committee fame is the star of a 'Gangnam Style' spoof that's making it's way around the internet. In the video (which you can see below), eighty-one year old Simpson tells viewers to "stop Instagramming your breakfast and tweeting your first world problems." He urges them to get involved with The Can Kicks Back, a non-partisan campaign that's using NationBuilder to rally Millennials to lobby congress for a solution to the country's debt problems.
Daria Ovide moved to Arizona from the East Coast with a single mission: take down Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The long-time Phoenix sheriff has been heavily criticized for his harsh policies toward illegal immigrants, treatment of inmates, and his investigation of President Obama's birth certificate.
Earlier this year, the organizing group PAZ en Accion and the hospitality workers' union, Unite Here, collaborated to launch the Campaign for Arizona's Future, an effort to unseat Arpaio. Daria and like-minded organizers have dedicated themselves to the Campaign for Arizona's Future and have vowed to defeat Arpaio and his anti-immigrant policies.
Despite winning reelection in November, Arpaio's controversial policies and firebrand style have helped give birth to one of the largest progressive grassroots networks in the nation. Daria, who manages communications for the Campaign for Arizona's Future, started the Adios Arpaio nation to coordinate the campaign's online communication efforts.
Taking on an official with a reputation like Arpaio's is no easy task. "The twin facts of a twenty-year sheriff with basically unlimited power and a very frightened community are a real challenge," said Daria. "You have to convince people that action can create change." And through the power of community organizing, Daria and her allies have done just that.
Last week three our developers were interviewed on NationBuilder Live by Kathy Jacobs, a member of our organizing team.
Check out the video to hear how Dan Walmsley, Jacob Green and Ray Pereda manage to stream up to three updates a day onto the ever-growing NationBuilder platform, and also a discussion of our favourite comedy routines...
What would it look like if you took how-to videos and training webinars and made them a little more interactive and YouTube-friendly, bringing customers right inside our offices? That’s the idea behind NationBuilder Live, our new live webcast featuring the community team.
Each Monday through Thursday at 4pm ET/1pm PT, please join us for a healthy dose of detailed training, live Q&A with the staff, profiles on customers and partners, and commentary on important news for leaders.
We’ve been previewing the show for a few weeks, and it’s pretty raw - and it’s pretty fun, too. One day you’ll get nitty gritty details on email deliverability, and another it’s cameos of Nate Murphy pumping iron as Rep. Paul Ryan (Halloween) or the world’s strongest software engineer, Ray Pereda, talking about his ping pong tournament strategy (Election Day, and yes, Ray won).
We want NationBuilder Live to have something for everyone. So we’re dedicating Monday and Tuesday to those who are new to NationBuilder and want to learn how to get their nations up and running quickly. On Wednesday and Thursday we’ll dive into expert topics and invite customers to share their toughest problems -- a bit like Car Talk or Loveline. Anyone can submit questions in the chat box during the show.
The NationBuilder team is having a blast at RootsCamp so far and we wanted to share with you some of the events we're going to be at over the next few days including a special training session for our NationBuilder Experts program on Sunday.
On Saturday, stop by our table at the job fair between noon and 3:00 p.m. to find out about all of our job openings and learn how you can take your digital field organizing to the next level with our NationBuilder Experts program.
If you want to get a head start on Expert certification while you're here in DC, join us for a special training session with our organizers on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It's taking place at The Truman Project offices at 1050 17th St. NW #375. Text EXPERTSDC to 323-739-4978 to RSVP or sign up here: http://nationbuilder.com/dc_experts_training
Developers have a reputation for being unapproachable introverts that do nothing but write code in dark rooms with their headphones on. But if you caught our live webcast on Wednesday you probably noticed that the tech team here at NationBuilder defies that stereotype.
Watch the video below for some tech entertainment with VP of Engineering Dan Walmsley and developers Jacob Green and Ray Perada. Hear about how they came to NationBuilder, the tools they use to build the platform, and our innovative deployment process that keeps it up-to-date and running smoothly.
Warning! This video will warm your heart and brighten your day.
The best part about working at NationBuilder is the inspiring people I get to meet. I was at the Independent Sector Conference in San Francisco this weekend and one of the highlights was getting to talk to Deborah Szekely, a leader and legend in the health and fitness world. As soon as I met Deborah I knew I needed to share her story with the NationBuilder community.
Earlier this week, we got a visit from Sasha Issenberg, Slate columnist and author of the new book, "The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns," which critics have called the "Moneyball" of politics. NationBuilder President Joe Green talked with Sasha about how access to detailed information about the voting public has fundamentally changed campaign strategy and the ways in which it impacted this year's election.
If you missed the event and weren't able to catch our live stream, you can watch the full video of the discussion below. To learn more about Sasha's book and how he used NationBuilder to launch it, visit our blog.