Skip to main content


Last September, the NationBuilder engineering team reoriented the entire platform around two new concepts: goals & paths. It was a simple idea, really. Take all that stuff you're doing in NationBuilder - all the field contacts, the emails, the website signups, the social media engagement - and use it to track your progress to goals.


Maybe it's that you need to get 100,000 people to vote for you. To do that, you decide you need 500 volunteers to make 50,000 contacts per quarter. Maybe you need to raise $500,000 from 10,000 donors. Cool, got it.


Then, you figure out your path to achieve those goals. A bunch of people signed up to volunteer on the website or 'liked' a post about volunteering on Facebook? Great, put them on a path and make sure they actually do it. Someone with 2000 followers retweets you every day? Get them to recruit friends to donate.


It creates a method to the madness - it organizes the chaos by making each engagement actionable. Every action your supporters take is no longer just fun to look at - it's a real step closer to achieving your goals, to furthering your cause, and to making the difference you set out to make.


But here at NationBuilder, we're facing a challenge we never thought we would: organizations have no idea what their goals are!


Let's be clear - establishing goals is hard. That's a feature, not a bug. Being a leader is hard, and NationBuilder is software for leaders, so some of the stuff we make you do is hard.


But that doesn't mean you should skip setting goals altogether.


So let's conclude with this: the next time you log into NationBuilder and see the blank screen above, do the hard thing: figure out what you're trying to accomplish. You'll have a much better experience with NationBuilder when you do.

Share this post