This case study is brought to you by NationBuilder partner Progressive Nation.
When local community organizer Chiara Padovani decided to run for municipal office against a two-decade incumbent, she quickly realized that her small grassroots campaign needed to become more agile, efficient, and ready to scale up. To accomplish that, she turned to the experts at Progressive Nation, the Toronto-based organization who turbocharge NationBuilder and make it into the heart of an integrated, accessible, and scalable campaign—complete with tactical tools and strategic analytics.
The immediate goals and tasks
Chiara knew that her website and campaign organization needed to evolve in order to build a dedicated following of supporters. Progressive Nation implemented their leading website theme framework, including its impactful presentation, easily-accessed subpages, and integrated donations functions. She further added petitions and registration forms to enable members of the public to sign themselves up for email updates and to identify themselves as volunteers and supporters. Her database grew accordingly.
Chiara also knew where she was starting from, and the challenges she was facing as a first-time candidate running against a well-established rival. When election day came, she was pleased to receive more than 5,000 votes—65% of the votes her rival did. It was an excellent result for a first-time candidate and one that could very well have succeeded in a race without an incumbent.
Chiara also knew that she wasn’t finished and that she would run again in the next election cycle. Like Progressive Nation, Chiara further understood that building your brand & name recognition doesn’t stop after voting day: she would take the organizing tools provided by NationBuilder and Progressive Nation to keep up her community advocacy efforts in between elections.
The tools and integrations
NationBuilder is the only accessible and efficient platform Progressive Nation turns to for reliably continuing to build a candidate’s profile, brand, email and contacts lists, phone numbers, and contact records—and then seamlessly transform that data into strategies, tactics, and action.
For Chiara, they have been running integrations that enable members of the public to petition or email their elected officials, that create and distribute Chiara’s community e-newsletter, grow volunteer lists, create advocacy campaign metrics and track goal accomplishment, log contacts, and amass supporter emails and phone numbers.
Further Progressive Nation's integrations mean that email addresses can seamlessly become community newsletter recipients, and phone numbers can seamlessly become invitees to telephone town halls.
Key metrics and results
Chiara’s partnership with Progressive Nation and NationBuilder is paying off: lists have grown, engagement has increased, and her community organizing targets are well on their way to being met.
Her email address list grows by hundreds per month and has grown by 150% in the two years since the election. Her contact list of phone numbers has grown by nearly 35%, and stands at nearly 8,000 in total now, with two years to go before her next election cycle. She has had more than 2,000 people sign up for petitions since the last campaign, focused on important grassroots issues such as affordable childcare, rent control, parkland, and community benefits.
Chiara is now nearly halfway to her goal for signing up volunteers, and she now logs all contacts into her nation, with a target of 20,000 by the next campaign period. Furthermore, NationBuilder’s auto-tagging, filters, and internal points system means her next campaign’s strategy will be led by meaningful engagement analytics and tangible results.
The power of positive growth
With the integrated tools and accessible insights provided by NationBuilder and Progressive Nation, Chiara and her community organizing efforts have progressed and grown, enabling her to evolve well beyond her beginnings as a local grassroots candidate, building towards a Goliath campaign in the next election cycle that can successfully challenge titans.