How to back up your nation

Back up your nation by taking a snapshot of your entire database. We recommend creating a snapshot before doing something dramatic, like a large import or deleting a lot of people. If you snapshot the database, we will have a fighting chance of restoring the info you might have deleted. Your nation's administrators can also download the snapshot to move your data out of NationBuilder.

How to take a snapshot

An administrator can create and download a snapshot of your PostgreSQL 9 database from Settings > Database > Snapshots.


Use the "Comment" text box to leave a note about the snapshot. 

Snapshot comment

Click Start database snapshot to begin your snapshot.

The time it takes to complete the snapshot will depend on the size of your database. Larger nations will take more time to back up completely. Your data will not be fully backed up until the snapshot is complete. Therefore, avoid making changes to your nation after starting your snapshot as the changes will not be captured.

Once you begin your snapshot, "Requester" lists the user taking the snapshot, "File" either indicates where you are in the queue or lists the file size of a completed snapshot, "Comment" includes the note you make about the snapshot, "Requested" gives a timestamp of when you begin your snapshot, and "Finished" gives a timestamp of when your snapshot is completed.


If you want to delete a snapshot, click the trash icon_trash.png icon to the far right side of the specific file.

What is backed up

  • All supporter, prospect, and non-supporter information (including notes)
  • All custom lists and tags
  • All activity stream information, including comments, tweets, Facebook post likes, and flags
  • All pages and page-types created
  • All event RSVPs and shifts
  • All page/user follows and follow-up settings
  • All donations, invoices, tracking codes, and merchant accounts
  • All data imports, legacy imports, and redirect pages
  • All text, voice, and email messages including broadcasters
  • All email blasts older than 14 days

Restoring your nation

You do not have the ability to restore your database - please contact

To restore your snapshot on your own postgres database, you can use these commands. It assumes you have a UTF-8 encoded database called "nbuild" with a user of "nbuild" already set up, and that your nation slug is "abeforprez":

psql -d nbuild -U nbuild -h --password -c "CREATE SCHEMA nbuild_abeforprez; CREATE SCHEMA shared_extensions; CREATE EXTENSION hstore WITH schema shared_extensions; CREATE EXTENSION dblink WITH schema shared_extensions; CREATE EXTENSION citext WITH schema shared_extensions; CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm WITH schema shared_extensions;"

pg_restore -d nbuild --password --format=c -U nbuild -h --schema="nbuild_abeforprez" --verbose --clean --no-acl --no-owner nbuild_abeforprez-4f231bcdc2e48c27ef000003-20120127.dump

Replace that last filename with the filename of the snapshot that you downloaded.

Learn more about how to open a snapshot on a Mac

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.

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