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How do I safely decrease the size of my database

My current campaign is over, and I want to reduce the monthly cost of my nation (but not pause/shutdown my account). What is the best way to purge/delete people I no longer need from my database (e.g. prospects we imported from the voter file but never contacted), without accidentally losing important supporter data?

Official response from

At some point (e.g. after a campaign), you may want to remove a large number of people from your database. A couple of things you should note first:

1. When you delete people from your nation, you will lose:

  • all information about the people
  • all records of communication with the people
  • all voter data for the people 

 2. If any of the people on the list:

  • have a permission level (i.e. control panel access)
  • made a donation
  • were sent an invoice
  • are connected to an expenditure
    • received an expenditure
    • created an expenditure
    • listed as the person / organization the expenditure was about (in support of or in opposition to)
  • are executing the removal process

They will not be deleted, doing so would make your nation's financial history incomplete and could cause problems for financial reporting. 

Once you manually delete all donations, invoices, and expenditures connected to a person and remove the person's permission level, they can then be deleted individually or via a list. If you need help deleting a lot of financial information, e.g. a donation import, please email help@nationbuilder.com.

Ready to proceed? Here's the safest way to bulk delete people from your nation:

1. Before you delete people, take a snapshot of your nation.

2. Add all of the people in your nation to a list. Navigate to People > Actions > Add all to list > + Create list. Name the list something like people_to_delete and then click Create.

3. Next, click on the Filter button and Add criteria to find the people that you'd like to keep. Make sure to change "Matches all of the following" at the top to "Matches any of the following." Use filters like:

  • is supporter
  • has donated
  • is volunteer
  • has been contacted [Optional: allows you to keep prospects that you have spoken to]
  • has retweeted [Optional: allows you to keep social interaction data]

Click the Filter button when you're finished.

4. Once the list refreshes, click on the Actions button at the top of the page again, and select Remove all from list. Then, find and select the list you created earlier, "people_to_delete." The system will remove your "keepers" from the deletion list. 

5. Now, click on Lists at the top of the page and select the edit button next to the list "people_to_delete." The list will open. Before you delete these people permanently, you may want to look over the list statistics in the overview by clicking on the # of people, just to be sure that it seems correct. If so, you will navigate to the Delete tab. Click on it and select Delete people from nation

You will receive a message at the top of the page that these people are being removed. It make take a few minutes, depending on the size of the list.

Complete and current information on how to use NationBuilder is available in the documentation section.

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