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How to create a path

A nation's goals can be broken down into paths to meet those goals. A path is a step-by-step workflow that describes how people taking action contribute toward achieving the larger goal. As a person completes various steps, they are moved along the path to its completion. This deliberate distribution of work provides clarity on how individual support helps achieve the organization's mission. Paths are the cornerstone to building internal alignment and accountability.

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How to create a path

Paths appear in the People section of the control panel. Default paths are included automatically based on features enabled in your nation. You may find it easier to edit default paths to accommodate your organization's workflow rather than creating new paths from scratch. However, if you'd like to create a brand new path, we find it useful to use the following guidelines:

  1. Decide the purpose
    • Include in path name, e.g. "Become a donor."
    • Complete the path when the purpose is fulfilled.
  2. Steps are the workflow for completing the path.
    • Include a verb in the step name to help explain when a person moves to that step.
      • For example, "Ask to pledge" is a prescriptive step, stating that a control panel user should ask the person to pledge.
      • For example, "Pledged" is the step a person lands on after she has taken action. By using the past tense verb, the step is descriptive of the person's state.
    • It is possible to skip steps.
  3. A path should move a relationship forward.
    • Paths that sustain an organization by nurturing an existing relationship are reactive, e.g. customer service.
    • Paths that grow an organization are proactive, e.g. become a donor.
  4. A path or step can be assigned to a control panel user.
    • Default assignments indicate who is normally responsible for completion.
    • Assignment creates internal accountability and clearly differentiate responsibilities. 
  5. Most paths have a clear end point.
    • Paths should be defined in a way that completion is expected.
    • It may be useful to create a few paths that do not end. An example of a persistent path is "donor lifecycle."

You'll start creating a new path by clicking on the People tab.

1. In the People section, click on the path picker . A menu will pop up listing paths installed or created in your nation.

2. Click on + Create path.

Give the path a name, and optionally enable expected completion date, enable values, and assign the path to a control panel user.

Click Create path . Once you click create path, you will be taken to the create steps screen. 


Create path steps

A path must have a name and one step to work properly.

On the left side, you will create a new step on your path.

1. Give the step a name.

2. Set step due date for (optional)- The step due date indicates when the step should be completed. Due date options are the same as for an entire path--anything from the same day to 30 days later. 

3. Assign step to (optional)- Assign the step to a control panel user. For example, if the fundraising coordinator decides which supporters should be targeted for new donor campaign, they should be assigned this step. If multiple people are responsible for a particular step, leave this option blank. Each time a path is created on a profile, the default assignment can be changed or removed.

4. Click Create step

After you've created a step, you'll see existing steps listed on the right side. Click the pencil icon  next to a step to edit a particular step. You can also click and drag steps to reorder them. 

Abandonment reasons (Optional)

You may want to create reasons that you abandon a path for a person. For example, maybe they moved out of the area where you hold events, so a reason for abandonment on the path 'Attend an Event' could be "Moved out of area."

 

Completion reasons (Optional)

You may want to create completion reasons for a path. For example, if I have a path aimed at getting a person to attend an event, maybe a completion reason is that they actually did attend the event, therefore completing the path goal.


Set up automated path movement

When a broadcaster is contacted or a person takes action on a webpage, the action can trigger path movement. (This is optional, as you can also manually move people along paths.)

Add to path step when broadcaster is contacted

Whenever a broadcaster is contacted, the action can trigger movement to a path step. The settings are specific to each type of contact: someone who leaves voicemail can be placed on a different path from someone who sends a text message. Similarly, emailing a broadcaster, reaching out on Twitter, or posting to a Facebook page can trigger movement on separate paths. 

 

1. Go to Communication > [Broadcaster name] > Settings.

Adding people to a path occurs within the Email, Phone, Texting, Twitter, and Facebook subsections of the broadcaster's settings menu. For example, when a broadcaster is receiving incoming email, you can go to Communication > [Broadcaster name] > Settings > Email.

2. At the bottom of the screen, check the box next to Add people who email to a path step. Additional options will appear.

3. Select the path an emailer should be placed on.

4. Then, select a step. You can also choose to assign the step to a control panel user and select a due date for completing the step.

5. Be sure to click the Save broadcasterbutton to save changes made to broadcaster email settings.

Chris Asmar wrote about a four step communication path that can help ensure one-to-one communication with broadcasters never falls through the cracks. 

 

Add to path step when action taken on website

When a person takes action on your website, they can be added to a path. This is in addition to other automated tasks that can occur. For example, when someone donates, a tag can be added to their profile, they can be assigned to a point person, they can begin a membership, and they can be assigned to a path.

 

To add this functionality, go to the Website section of your control panel. Select an action page (e.g. petition, donation v2, signup, volunteer, event, endorsement, and survey pages).

Go to [page type] settings > Basics.

Find the “Add to path” checkbox. Click the checkbox to see path options. Be sure to click the Save settings button to save your changes.


 Next steps

You'll want to know how to view a path as well as how to manually move people along paths.


Related HOWTOs

Understand default paths

View and edit default paths

 

 

 

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