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Building a Greener Future: How TreePeople Leads Community Organizing for a Better Environment

Explore how TreePeople expanded their community organizing initiatives, achieving remarkable growth in their organization to inspire, engage and support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment

50 years ago the grassroots nonprofit, TreePeople, was created to inspire, engage and support communities across California to take personal responsibility for the urban environment. Their extensive work in tree planting, community forestry, urban greening, environmental education, policy research, and fundraising through grants required a robust software solution that could not only track and manage verifiable data but also enhance their community organizing efforts. 

Mario, the Senior Manager of Community Organizing at TreePeople, was looking for software that could seamlessly integrate into their organizing strategies, building relationships, and streamlining the process. Their quest for the perfect software led them to explore various options, and after careful consideration, they concluded that NationBuilder was the CRM that would set the stage for TreePeople's remarkable journey of growth and impact.


The Challenge:

1. Initially, the absence of address data from their verified supporters posed a significant hurdle. In their mission to plant trees and promote community involvement, they needed a way to connect with residents in specific neighborhoods and ensure the well-being of newly planted trees. 

2. With their organization experiencing rapid growth, information flow became murky, and the need for streamlined communication and collaboration across departments became apparent. The reliance on scattered data entry and memory methods was proving to be inefficient and adding unnecessary time onto their organizer's plate.

3. Relying primarily on grants for their funding, they sought software that could provide reliable data, showcasing not only their impact with verifiable statistics but also offering an origin story for each data point.

The Solution: 

NationBuilder emerged as the transformative solution to TreePeople's multifaceted challenges. One of the key advantages of NationBuilder is its adaptability. It offered TreePeople the flexibility to tailor the system to their specific needs, recognizing that not every organization or company operates in the same way. This adaptability allowed them to build out the scaffolding in a manner that best fits their unique work, accommodating their evolving processes and strategies. As an organization that relies on grassroots organizers, the CRM's user-friendly interface proved to be a game-changer. 

“For our organizing team, NationBuilder is like our front door. Where we bring in all of our new contacts and community champions.” - Mario Dagonel

The Strategy: 

NationBuilder's geolocation tools to identify where there are areas with high engagement from their community champions. By mapping out addresses of supporters and residents in specific neighborhoods, they can strategically target their outreach efforts to those areas.

NationBuilder Automations provided TreePeople with a powerful tool to enhance their communication and follow-up processes. It equipped their team to strike while the iron was hot by automating personalized emails and thank-yous within 24 to 72 hours of personally interacting with someone. With NationBuilder, TreePeople's team could focus on building relationships and engaging with supporters, confident that the CRM was handling the essential follow-ups and collection of important information, efficiently.

“Throughout the last two years, we’ve had more people show up to our volunteer plantings, workshops, and tree care events than any two-year stretch in TreePeople’s history. And we haven’t slowed down a beat. I can say that NationBuilder has been a part of that success.” - Mario Dagonel

NationBuilder played a crucial role in ensuring that TreePeople's growing supporter base was well-organized. Through the use of tags and segmentation features, they could direct stakeholders to the departments where they could have the most significant impact. This eliminated the need for third-party communication channels and streamlined their processes.

“I could riff for a long time about how we’re using NationBuilder, how it’s saved us tons of time, in it’s infancy it has already served to streamline a lot of our processes and I know we’re just stretching the surface” - Mario Dagonel

In partnership with NationBuilder, TreePeople has found a solution to their immediate challenges and a dynamic platform that empowers them to continually innovate and advance their mission of strengthening climate resilience and nurturing community engagement, ensuring a brighter, more sustainable future for all.

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