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How is NationBuilder different from Salesforce?


Salesforce is a customer relationship management system (CRM)--a database to keep records of your customers, and track customers through a sales funnel. Like all “management software,” Salesforce orients towards organizing your data and reporting on the information that you enter. In contrast, NationBuilder is the world’s first leadership software, meaning that it is outward-facing in orientation, designed to help you identify, attract, and engage more supporters, donors, voters, customers, as opposed to simply managing existing data.

NationBuilder is also fully integrated, meaning the “CRM” or database component of the software is integrated directly with your website, all your communications tools, including email, social media, and text, and the financial tools you need to accept donations. Full integration of all the tools you need to lead improves your insights into the impact your organization is having, and helps you to take action on those insights immediately from within the platform.

Salesforce and NationBuilder both provide extensive app ecosystems to plug in additional functionality unique to your organization.


Salesforce’s pricing is based on the number of administrators (in addition to some other factors). The per administrator pricing schema makes it quite expensive to provide administrative access to large teams or networks, which can limit the effectiveness of the database, as only certain people can update contact information, add notes, from a meeting, or create a new contact. NationBuilder, however, includes an unlimited number of administrators, so that your organization can scale, and unlimited use of features, to encourage a robust use of the software and maximum impact for your organization.

Nonprofits can get up to 10 free licenses, as part of the Salesforce Foundation, but since Salesforce is built to serve a ‘sales’ function, there is likely a significant upfront cost, as most organizations need to hire a consultant to customize Salesforce for their needs. This is true for most implementations of Salesforce, across sectors. For most customers, NationBuilder requires no additional technical support or consulting.

Finally, Salesforce is enterprise software, and can be difficult for people who aren’t tech savvy. NationBuilder’s user interface is built to be easy to use for everyone. NationBuilder also offers enterprise packages with more support, as well a separate product, NationBuilder Network, specifically built for distributed organizations with chapters, affiliates, country offices, or locals.

Want to integrate?

Is Salesforce already embedded in your workflow? Is the idea of transferring systems daunting? You can use NationBuilder to engage your community and send updates to your Salesforce database of record using our open API or Zapier integration.

Ready to start leading?

Join a live demo or call us at 1-213-394-4623