Understand default paths

A path represents the way a person or organization can help achieve your goals. When a feature is enabled within a nation, a corresponding path and goal are created. These defaults can be edited. A default path includes a possible workflow to achieve a specific purpose.

Default paths are enabled automatically for nations created on or after September 22, 2015. Nations created before that date will need to upgrade their pricing plan to use default paths. Full functionality requires disabling contact types and followups. As part of the process of upgrading from contact types and followups to paths, you can edit default paths and create new paths before removing followups from your nation.


Become a supporter

A nation's primary goal is to manage and expand its supporter base. This includes keeping track of non-supporters and turning prospects into supporters.

A prospect may know that your nation exists, but has not actively opted into communication from your organization. Once you have interacted with a prospect, you can define his support level on a five-point scale to clearly identify how strongly the person supports your nation's mission. One is strong support, while five is strong opposition. 

Steps:

  1. Potential supporter
  2. Introduce organization
  3. Opted into communication
  4. Define support level

Most paths begin by identifying your target audience. All prospects should be placed on the first step of this path. Next, you introduce your organization to the prospect -- via 1:1 outreach, a post on social media, or a carefully crafted email. The journey continues when the prospect opts into communication with your nation, by signing up on your website or following a broadcaster. Finally, you define support level, which allows you to distinguish between people following you for oppositional research (4s and 5s), people who are still unsure (3s), and true supporters (1s and 2s). Once support level is defined, the path is completed. If support level is defined as 4 or 5, the path can be abandoned to indicate it is not possible to fulfill the path's purpose.


Become a donor

Donor cultivation can be defined in multiple ways. Quarterly campaigns can be tracked separately from annual campaigns; and soliciting recurring donations can be monitored separately from one-time donations. Your organization may decide to create multiple donor paths to reflect your approach to fundraising.

The default donor path represents the basic steps to cultivating a first-time donation. This path assumes you will ask people to pledge to donate prior to submitting the donation. Using this path will require attaching a payment processor and publishing a donation page

Steps:

  1. Potential donor
  2. Ask to pledge
  3. Pledged
  4. Ask to donate
  5. Donated

First, identify your universe. This may be people who explicitly support your organization or it may be people who have indicated support for your cause, but not necessarily your specific organization (e.g. people who follow a similar organization on Twitter). Next, ask for a pledge to donate. Ideally, your communication will include a story about the work you are doing and how additional money will help sustain or expand that work. When someone takes action on a moneybomb page on your website, a pledge is recorded. You can also record pledges manually. Next, ask people who pledged to donate. This donation solicitation should expand on the story that began with the pledge request. The person can donate online or a donation can be taken over the phone or in-person and recorded. Reasons for completion can be added to clarify which email, social media ad, or campaign elicited the donation.


Become a volunteer

Volunteers are vital to many organizations, from brand ambassadors to precinct captains. We recommend using one path for the process of becoming a volunteer. The reasons for completion can be personalized to differentiate between volunteer roles. Alternatively, you may decide to create separate paths for each type of volunteer you're trying to recruit. You can also create additional paths for the ongoing process of expanding volunteer responsibility.

This path works best when a volunteer signup page is published and other action pages encourage people to volunteer.

Steps:

  1. Potential volunteer
  2. Ask to volunteer
  3. Signed up to volunteer
  4. Confirm suitability for role
  5. Propose volunteer date
  6. Attended volunteer event

The target universe is people who support your organization. Identifying this group of people is the first step to recruiting them. Next, ask the person to volunteer, clearly explaining how increased involvement will help your organization achieve its mission. Ideally, your volunteer signup page will include specific roles, giving potential volunteers a clear understanding of the work expected. Next, the supporter signs up to volunteer. A control panel user follows up with the prospective volunteer via phone or email to confirm suitability for the role. Once suitability is established, a control panel user can propose an exact date / time of the supporter's initial volunteer commitment. Finally, the supporter attends a volunteer event, either virtually or in-person. Note that signing up to volunteer is not the end of this path -- it requires actively participating in a volunteer event before the person becomes a volunteer.


Get out to vote for organization

There are generally two aspects to a political campaign: voter ID, i.e. identifying who your supporters are, and GOTV, getting out the vote of your supporters. Voter ID is handled by the "become a supporter" path. This path provides the basic steps for GOTV.

Steps:

  1. Targeted voter
  2. Determine vote method
  3. Call to remind
  4. Offer ride to poll
  5. Confirm vote at poll
  6. Shared vote status

The target universe is people who will live in the district and will definitely vote for your platform or candidate. These people have previously been identified with support level 1 or 2. Next, reach out to confirm vote method -- whether by mail, at an early voting location, or on election day. A control panel user calls the voter to remind her to vote. If the voter is planning to vote in-person, the next step is to offer a ride to the poll. This communication can also be done via email or social media direct message. Then, confirm the person has voted, either through poll watching or having the voter contact your organization. As a final step to encourage like-minded people to vote, have the supporter publicly share that she voted via social media.


Become a paid member

Membership can be activated within a nation whenever someone takes action on your website. This path assumes your organization is interested in expanding its paid membership base. You will need to set up memberships, connect a payment processor, and set up a donation page that processes membership payments to allow people to complete this path.  

If you are comfortable customizing your website theme, you may also be interested in setting up a page highlighting multiple membership levels.

Steps:

  1. Potential member
  2. Send membership invite
  3. Send social proof reminder
  4. Paid for membership

The target universe is people who support your organization. First, send a membership invitation that explains how becoming a paid member will deepen their connection to the organization and help achieve your mission. One communication is usually not enough to achieve a membership drive goal. Sending a social proof reminder encourages people to become a paid member. This could include a thermometer image indicating the number of paid members who have responded since the initial invitation. Alternatively, it could include quotes from current members on why being a member is meaningful. The supporter can either pay for her membership on your website or you can process an offline membership payment. Gift memberships can be processed offline. Reasons for completion can be added to differentiate between membership levels or methods of payment.


Become a customer

In NationBuilder, customers pay invoices. The workflow involved in this relationship is different from creating an online store and shopping cart checkout. Since every sales process is unique, you may need to edit these steps to reflect your own workflow. 

Steps:

  1. Potential customer
  2. Qualified lead
  3. Assess needs
  4. Negotiate terms
  5. Send invoice
  6. Invoice closed

At the top of the sales funnel are prospects: people / organizations who need your product or service. Once you define your target universe, the next step is qualifying the lead. For example, if a non-customer signs up to receive your newsletter or downloads a case study, that could qualify the lead. When a control panel user assesses the prospect's needs, he works to ensure the prospect's needs align with the nation's services and must be fulfilled in the near future. The fourth step is negotiating terms of service, which detail how your organization can fulfill the prospect's needs. Next, a control panel user sends an invoice. The invoice is closed when it is paid. Once an invoice is paid, the prospect becomes a customer and the path can be completed. Reasons for completion can include the type of service purchased.


How to create and use paths

How to create goals

If you’re unclear on how this feature works, please ask a question. If you would like to see changes to this feature, please submit a suggestion.