NationBuilder is designed to make it easy for leaders to better understand the wide variety of actions people have taken on behalf of their organization, whether that involves signing a petition, registering for an event, signing up to volunteer, renewing their membership, making a donation, or contacting their elected officials, among other activities. Your top-tier supporters are the people responsible for recruiting more voters, volunteers, advocates, and donors into your organization. Their efforts power the engine of your movement, and help you scale to reach your goals. With this in mind, it’s vital that you understand how to identify, recognize, and communicate with them appropriately.
Faced with a wealth of different data points in your nation, the question then becomes: how can you make sense of that data, and how can you use it to answer questions about who your most engaged supporters are?
This is where NationBuilder’s social capital feature can help you. Social capital is a virtual currency through which supporters can acquire points based on actions that they take on behalf of your organization.
- Use social capital to: Award points for actions you want to encourage
- Deduct points for actions you wish to deter
- Identify and empower leaders
- Measure supporter engagement
- Foster friendly competition with leaderboards
How social capital works
Social capital is enabled for all NationBuilder customers by default, so you can start using it from day one. That said, it’s also fully customizable. So, you can change the name of the currency to reflect your organization’s voice and brand (an environmental advocacy group might call their virtual currency “Green Points,” for example), and you can change the value of the point assignments awarded to people for different actions. You can also set up different point values for the people signing up, i.e., the individual completing the action, the person who originally recruited the signup, and control panel users, so you can be nuanced in determining how different folks are rewarded for the same action. What’s more, you can make changes to these settings at any time. For instance, you could adjust how many points someone gets for becoming a member and apply that change to all historic activities in the nation; or, you could make a change and apply it to only the people who complete that action moving forward.
Using social capital gives you the ability to populate leaderboards—which display a ranking of your supporters based on their aggregate social capital points, or by other actions they’ve engaged with in your nation. Leaderboards can help you drive friendly competition among your supporters to meet a goal, and they also serve as a means for easily surfacing your most engaged supporters, volunteers, or point people.
Now let’s walk through the ways you can incorporate social capital into your existing strategies.
Using social capital in your nation
Start by looking through the list of activities you can use to assign or deduct social capital points, identify the activities you care about most, and update the point value assignments accordingly. Then, filter your database to see who has the highest amount of social capital. Consider reaching out to these folks to say thank you, learn more about why they’re so invested in your organization, or see if they might be interested in taking on a more formal leadership role.
By looking through the actions these top supporters take, you can create an accurate picture of the activities and point values that correspond with a supporter being highly engaged with your organization. You can also analyze top supporters’ profiles to better understand what they have in common, and use that data to recruit more people like them into your nation. Another option would be to create a leaderboard that includes only control panel users and/or volunteers. You can then identify the people who are making the largest contributions toward your goals and pair them up with folks who may be in need of additional support.
Gamify your fundraising experience:
- Adjust social capital assignments for activities related to donating and recruiting donors
- Create a public leaderboard page to showcase supporters who have brought in the most funding
- Distribute leadership to supporters by enabling them to create individual fundraising pages (public profiles)
- Share information about rewards or incentives for climbing to the top, and provide regular updates on people’s progress
Gamify your advocacy experience:
- Adjust social capital assignments for activities related to contacts and path assignments
- Create a public leaderboard page to showcase supporters who have earned the most points or logged the most contacts
- Encourage mentorship and information sharing between people at the top of the board and those toward the bottom
- If you’re using an integrated advocacy application, confirm how social capital assignments are updated for various activities
- Create a bespoke experience for top supporters by using liquid variables to surface different badges or text on a webpage that reflects their level of commitment to your cause
The payoff of social capital and gamification
If for no other reason, you should consider leveraging social capital and being thoughtful about how you can gamify your supporter experience because it drives results. Customers using our social engagement and digital gamification tools recruit 25 times more signups, four times more members, and twice as many recruiters. In addition, customers using at least one leaderboard have 23% more donors, 57% more members, 22% more volunteers, and 40% more recruiters. Creating an exciting and engaging digital experience for your supporters helps you ensure that you can count on people to take actions that help you meet your goals—even at times when your organization may only be able to interact with supporters virtually.