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Photo by Egor Pasko,
Creative Commons license via Flickr

A key element of organizing is building relationships. This process can begin when one person has an idea and invites other people to join them in achieving a mission. The scope of an organization's work and the depth of its impact is greatly expanded when the responsibility for building relationships is distributed.

While point people have formal responsibility for individuals in your nation's people database, growth occurs faster when all supporters share your message and recruit new people.

This process begins when a supporter follows the social share prompt that automatically displays after they take an action on your website. When a supporter recruits friends to join your nation, it proves they have influence within their network and deserve special attention and recognition. Recruiters should also be nurtured through a "ladder of engagement" so that they feel a sense of accomplishment and investment in your organization's ongoing success.

5 steps to create a great recruiter program

1. Enable public profiles in your nation. Though your nation will log recruiter information without public profiles, these pages allow your supporters to take ownership of the process.

2. Send an email to supporters encouraging them to create their public profile. Using Smart Fields, you can include a dynamic Public Profile Settings URL, making it easy for recipients to get started.

3. Create a recruiter leaderboard to foster friendly competition, and a "Tell a Friend" hub using our Recruiting page type. The recruiting page will provide them easy access to their personal recruiter link, and allow them to see the names of all the people they successfully recruited.

4. Have point people check in with recruiters on a regular basis. The goal should be to encourage more participation, equip them with the resources they need to help spread the word, and to update them on the impact they have made.

5. Consider asking your recruiters to take the next step, and turn their profile into a personal fundraising page. They can set a personal fundraising goal, and track their progress towards it.


Remember, a recruiter link can be created for any action page on your site. When a new person follows the link, any action that person takes will record who recruited them.

A recruiter link is created based on a supporter's NationBuilder ID. For example, my profile in our Abe for Prez nation indicates that my ID is 164781, as you can see in this screenshot:

profile ID in person's record on NationBuilder

So, if I wanted to encourage people to volunteer for this nation, and I wanted to receive credit for the people I get to volunteer, I would share the volunteer page URL and append "?recruiter_ID=164781" to the end of it. For example:

http://www.abeforprez.com/volunteer?recruiter_id=164781

If you follow that link and volunteer — or if you take another action, such as donating — I would be listed as your recruiter in that nation's people database. A dynamic recruiter link can be inserted into any NationBuilder webpage or email blast.

Because recruiters are key to organically growing your nation, it's important to acknowledge their contributions — both publicly through things like leaderboards, as well as through personal one-to-one communication. A simple "thank you" text or email will go a long way in making a recruiter feel appreciated.

Providing recruiters with additional ways to get involved (e.g. supporting a recruiter to host a house party for your organization) will encourage them to keep recruiting, and can help ignite others in their personal network to step-up and become recruiters themselves. A robust recruiter program creates an ever-expanding virtuous circle of people taking ownership of the nation.

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