How to create a new phone number and receive voicemail


You may have created a virtual phone number for your primary broadcaster when you set up your nation by choosing an area code during the install process. If so, go to Communications > [Broadcaster Name] > Voice to complete the set-up process.

The phone number attached to a broadcaster can do the following things:

  • forward phone calls to another phone number
  • answer phone calls with a recorded message and allow callers to leave you voicemail, which will be stored in your nation on the caller's people record.
  • respond to text keywords that you’ve pre-defined to allow people to take action with your nation

While you may choose to use your virtual phone number as your organization’s primary number, the number cannot be used to directly call someone. NationBuilder's virtual phone numbers can be particularly useful as a way to keep your personal number private while connecting with people interested in your organization.

As a reminder, this feature is only available in the U.S. and Canada, though messages can be sent globally. When receiving a text message, it will automatically go into your NationBuilder database.

To add a phone number to an existing broadcaster, go to Communications > [Broadcaster Name]. At the top of the page, click the Add text messaging link. 

You can also create a new broadcaster with a phone number. Go to Communications > +Add new broadcaster. Once you have named the broadcaster, entered an email address and defined the settings, click the Add text messaging link at the top of the page.

Choose the area code closest to your physical location, or if you are a virtual organization, choose the area code where the majority of your current supporters live. Then click the Add phone button.

You can edit the settings for a phone number after selecting a broadcaster by navigating to Settings > Phone.


  1. If you’d like to be able to speak directly to people who call your organization, decide what number to forward calls to. Include the area code when entering the number. If you leave this field blank, calls will go straight to voicemail.
  2. If you enter a number to forward calls to, decide how many seconds to wait until sending to voicemail. The lower the time frame, the less likely you’ll be able to answer the phone before the NationBuilder voicemail system picks up. Ten seconds is a good time frame if you’d like to answer calls when available. If you’d like calls to ring your phone as an alert, but you’d prefer they were picked up by NationBuilder voicemail, you can lower this to three seconds. If you set the wait time higher than your forwarding phone's settings or your phone is turned off when a call comes in, the voicemail will go to your phone and not NationBuilder voicemail.
  3. We recommend checking the box next to "Mark callers as needing follow-up" so that no one falls through the cracks. You can change the default contact and followup type for a broadcaster from Settings > Basics. 
  4. You can tag every caller who calls this broadcaster with a tag. Tags can have spaces in them and you can list multiple tags by separating them with commas.
  5. Voicemail greeting: the automated system will play a greeting for callers before a voicemail is recorded. To record the voicemail greeting, the system will call the phone number associated with the person logged into the control panel. If your account doesn’t have a phone number, you’ll be given a link to update your account with a phone number. 

If you are prompted to add a phone number, enter a number in the home phone, work phone, or mobile phone field of your account info and click the Save account settings button. Then click the back button to return to the phone settings screen. 

When you are ready, click the Call me at XXXXXXXXXX to record a new greeting link. If there is already a number in your profile, but you are at a different location, you can go to Settings > Your account > Contact info to update your phone number.

Accessing voicemails

When a caller leaves a voicemail for one of your broadcasters, that activity will be displayed on the Dashboard, including the ability to play the voicemail.

This activity will also display in the broadcaster’s dashboard. For a list of only voicemail received for a broadcaster, go to Communications > [Broadcaster Name] > Voice. If you have set a follow-up for new callers, the voicemail will also display when reviewing that contact type. The voicemail will also be stored in the caller’s profile. If the phone number is recognized as being associated with someone already in your database, that person’s profile will be updated. If the phone number is not recognized, a new profile will be created in your database.

Delete a phone number

Only people with admin access to your nation can add or delete phone numbers. To add a virtual phone number to a broadcaster, you do so in the Communication tab. To delete a phone number, go to the Settings tab. In Settings > Billings & Addons > Phone Numbers, you'll see a list of the numbers currently being used by your nation. Click the trash can icon next to one of the phone numbers to delete it.

Phone numbers

You will then be taken to a warning screen:

Confirm phone number deletion

Deleting a phone number is an irreversible action. You will permanently lose access to this number. It will also delete all associated text messages, text blasts, and calls. To actually delete the number, you will need to type it into the text box and click on the "I understand the consequences, delete this phone number" button. 

If you decide you do not want to delete the number, you can click through to any other area of your control panel and no changes will be made to your phone numbers.

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