How to manage control panel users

A person with permission to access a nation’s control panel is called a control panel user. Only people explicitly given access to the control panel can see the people database, create webpages, send mass communication, or deal with a nation's finances. The amount of information visible can be limited using custom permission sets.

Table of Contents

How to add a control panel user

In the top right corner of the control panel is your profile icon. If you have an image associated with your profile, it will display.

1. Mouse over your profile icon. A dropdown menu will appear.


2. From the dropdown menu, click on Add control panel user. A pop-up window will appear.

invite user to control panel

3. (Required) Enter the email address for the user.

4. (Required) Select a permission set for the user. Your options will be limited by your level of control panel access. Only nation administrators can invite users to the admin permission set.

5. Click the Invite user button.

An email will be sent to the user, inviting her to activate her account. This notification email is sent directly from NationBuilder and cannot be edited. 

email to activate access to control panel

The new user will click the Activate your account button in this email.

If the user does not have a password, they will be prompted to create one. If they have a password, they will be prompted to log in. 

This process can be used to create a new profile for people who don't exist in your nation. It can also be used to add a permission set to an existing profile. It is the most secure way to grant control panel access.

People who can grant control panel access

Everyone who has access to your control panel will not see the option to add a control panel user from the dropdown menu in the top navigation area. Only a subset of control panel users can grant access to the control panel. A user must have the "add control panel users" or "manage control panel users" permission or be a nation admin.

Permission set

Add profile with same permission set

Add profile with different permission set Edit control panel user profile Reset control panel user's password*
Add control panel users yes no  no no
Manage control panel users  yes yes  yes  no
Admins  yes  yes yes yes

*Anyone can reset their own password following the prompts on a nation's website, triggering a password reset email. Only admins can reset another person's password by editing it on a person's profile within the control panel. 

Add a permission set by editing a profile

A profile can also be edited to add or change control panel access.

1. In single-person icon_single_person_view.png view of a profile, click Edit > Settings.

2. Permission set options will display as a dropdown list in the top right area of profile settings.

3. Once you set or update the profile's permission set, click the Save person button at the bottom of the page. If you need to remove the permission set, click on the X next to the permission set.

We recommend adding control panel users from the top navigation area of the control panel, rather than updating profiles. This ensures that new users have the opportunity to set their own passwords.

Permission definitions

At Settings > Defaults > Permission sets, you can edit or create permission sets. Below are explanations of how each permission expands / limits access to the control panel. When a bold permission is set to no (or none), the permissions within that section cannot be accessed by that permission set. 

People: Everyone

The ability to see and interact with every profile in the People section.

People: Assigned

The ability to see and interact only with profiles assigned to you in the People section. 

If the control panel user’s access to the People section is limited to profiles assigned to them, path movement will change to which profiles the control panel user sees. Here is how assignments work for users with limited visibility of the People section:

  • Control panel user is assigned to a path step. They are responsible for ensuring the step is completed. If a control panel user is only assigned to a single step, once the step is completed, the control panel user loses access to the profile.
  • Control panel user is assigned to a path. They are responsible for ensuring the path is completed. Once the path ends, the control panel user loses access to the profile.
  • Control panel user is assigned as the profile’s point person. They are responsible for the overall relationship with that person / organization. Path movement does not affect a point person’s access to a profile.

Control panel users with the People: Assigned permission still have access to all of the functionality under People > More.

People: None

The People section is not displayed when the user opens the control panel.

People permission Description
Import The ability to import people. This creates new profiles in the database and can edit existing profiles.
Import The ability to use the importer to add people to your nation.
Export The ability to export people from your nation. This includes exporting lists and filters. Begin an export or access exported files from People > More > Export.
Manage memberships The ability to add or edit memberships within a person's profile.
Manage party The ability to edit the "party member" field in a person's profile.
Batch update The ability to batch update profiles, changing attributes on a mass scale.
Manage control panel users The ability to add a control panel user with the same permission set, add a control panel user with a different permission set, and edit control panel user profiles. Does not include the ability to reset a control panel user's password from within a profile.
Manage paths The ability to add, edit, or delete global path settings. This includes path name, default completion date, value, and assigned control panel user. It also includes all aspects of path steps and reasons for abandonment / completion. Note that anyone who can access a profile can interact with the paths a person is on.

Website: The ability to see and interact with the Website section.

Website permission Description
Create and edit pages The ability to create and edit new website pages. Includes the ability to edit pages for which you are the author. Does not include the ability to publish pages or edit pages written by other control panel users.
Publish pages The ability to publish new website pages. With this permission and the "create and edit pages" permission, you can edit pages written by other control panel users.
Manage site settings The ability to manage site settings. This includes site name, logo, and footer information. Also includes global settings around search visibility, showing public profiles, and having email / text message opt-in checkboxes default to checked.
Manage themes The ability to manage website themes, including selecting a theme, editing a custom theme, and publishing changes.

Communications: The ability to see and interact with the Communications section.

Communications permission Description
Create and edit blasts The ability to create and edit email blasts and text message blasts from broadcasters. Does not include the ability to send blasts.
Send blast The ability to schedule and send existing email blasts and text blasts from broadcasters. Does not include the ability to create or edit blasts.
Manage broadcaster The ability to interact with a broadcaster. If a permission set does not have this permission, it will not be able to use the other Communications permissions. Access to a particular broadcaster can be limited to a single control panel user or permission set in the broadcaster's basic settings.
Manage email themes The ability to manage email themes, including creating, editing, and publishing a custom theme.

Finances: The ability to see and interact with the Finances section.

Finances permission Description
Accounting The ability to create and edit invoices.

If you want a user to export financial data, both the "Finances" and "Export" (under "People") permissions must be enabled. We require you to turn on the "Export" permission as an export of financial transactions includes a large amount of personal data.

Settings: The ability to see and interact with the Settings section.

Settings permission Description
Billing and addons The ability to see and manage the nation's billing information. This includes editing credit card information, downloading invoices, updating the nation owner, and enabling features. Also includes the ability to pause or shut down the nation.
Add control panel users The ability to add new control panel users who have the same permission set. Does not include adding control panel users with a different permission set, accessing control panel user profiles, or resetting control panel user passwords.
Manage permission sets The ability to create and edit permission sets. This includes viewing the details of existing permission sets.
*Manage authentication modes This ability is only available for nations on Enterprise or above that integrated single sign-on (SSO). Once enabled, all authorization providers can be managed in Settings > Auth.

API: The ability to see and interact with Settings > Apps and Settings > Developer. This includes the ability to develop applications, access test tokens, view and interact with webhooks, install and uninstall apps. A permission set that does not have access to the Settings section will not be able to use the functionality of this permission.

API permission Description
Sign into apps The ability to sign into a third-party app. You must have the API permission to have this permission.

Admin permission set

The admin permission set is fixed and cannot be edited. A nation admin has unrestricted access to every aspect of the nation. Any limitations placed on visibility do not apply to admins. In addition to all of the permissions listed above, an admin has the following abilities:

  1. Remove people from the database.
  2. View broadcasters and lists with limited visibility.
  3. Add a custom domain.
  4. Share a website.
  5. Share a theme.
  6. Reset a control panel user's password.
  7. Download a snapshot.

How to create a new permission set

New nations are created with two permission sets: admin and staffer. The nation owner is given admin permission.

The staffer permission set is created without access to the Settings section of the nation. It also cannot manage control panel users. You can edit the staffer permission set by toggling the options displayed at Settings > Defaults > Permission sets. Changes made on this page take affect immediately.

Nations using the Leader package can only edit the Staffer permission set. All other nations can create up to five custom permission sets.

To create a new custom permission set:

1. Go to Settings > Defaults > Permission sets > + New permission set.

2. Name the permission set.

3. Click the Create permission set button.

The permission set will be created and you will be taken to the edit page. Toggle between "Yes" and "No" to customize particular permissions. If you select "None" for people, all people-related permissions will be set to "No." The same is true if you select "No" for website, communications, finances, settings, or API permissions.


How to edit or delete a permission set

To edit an existing permission set, click the pencil icon_edit.png icon next to the name of the one you want to edit.

 Tip: Hover over a "YES" badge to see exactly which permissions are enabled in a handy tooltip.

Once you're redirected to the permission set page, you can edit the name of the permission set in the "Name" field and click the Save name button_save_name.png button to save the change.


Toggle between "Yes" and "No" to customize particular permissions. If you select "None" for people, all people-related permissions will be set to "No." The same is true if you select "No" for website, communications, finances, settings, or API permissions.


A permission set that is not in use can be deleted by clicking the Delete permission set button_delete_permission_set.png button at the bottom right of the edit page. To delete a permission set currently in use, you must first remove control panel access from people with that permission set. You could also choose to give those users a different permission set. Once no profiles are connected to the permission set, it can be deleted.

View a control panel user's assignments

To view the paths, steps, and profiles assigned to specific control panel users, go to the People section and use the Assignment selector tool Assigned drop down. This allows you to see what responsibilities a control panel user holds at any time.

Click on the dropdown menu and select the name of the control panel user you wish to view.

Any profile that has the control panel user listed as her point person will display. If that control panel user is assigned to a path or a step on a profile, that profile will also display.

You may also select “Everyone,” which will display all profiles or “Yours,” which will display profiles that are assigned to you. The toolbar defaults to “Everyone.”

The "Assignment selector" can be used in all views including single-person, list, householding, map, and path views. You may further filter the results by using the filter tool.

Note that point person assignments are hierarchal. So, if you are the point person of another control panel user, when you view your “assigned” profiles, you will see both the profiles assigned to you and the profiles assigned to the control panel user.

This overview of relationships and assignments allow you to see all the responsibilities a control panel holds in your nation.

Introduction to the control panel

How to keep track of relationships 

Issues and suggestions on our radar

There are some issues related to managing control panel users that have come to our attention. We are monitoring their importance to the community on the product issues and suggestions page. You can follow the below issues to keep updated on their status.

Control panel users can't access multipage survey

Fundraising goals appear to attribute donations to the wrong control panel user

Error message needed when control panel user attempts to take survey when not logged in

Sandbox user from control panel

Shorten the inactivity timeout for control panel users, or allow customizability per nation

Custom permission set prevents a change from the Organization plan to the Leader plan

Removing a person's permission set does not remove their notification settings

Users with "People" permission set for "Everyone" can no longer use "Edit" for other point people

Record activity on a profile when changes are made

Add a "manage lists" permission

Website list requires edit settings permission

If you’re unclear on how this feature works, please ask a question. If you would like to see changes to this feature, please submit a suggestion.