Leadership is about more than software for me and for our customers, and that’s why I've been excited to help create space for leaders to meet, support, and inspire each other in NationBuilder cities. We’ve been hosting events in my city for years, but with the launch of NationBuilder Vancouver and the support of Iko, our Cities Coordinator, we’ve been able to do more than just socialize (though I love that, too!).
After a couple of great events in Vancouver, Iko and I were brainstorming for our next event and got to sharing customer stories. I’ve been thinking a lot about the incredible work that our NationBuilder community does and wondering, how can we really highlight and share the powerful results of passion, collaboration, and organizing? I reflected on how proud I am of our Canadian community and how great it is when I get to share their customer stories. Then, a lightbulb moment. Let’s create a space for our community to tell their own stories and tie it back to the work they’re doing with NationBuilder. Thus, Demo Day was born.
We’ve done Demo Days to share projects internally at NationBuilder, but this was the first the time we’ve hosted one outside of the company. I wasn’t sure people would even want to stand up in front of a crowd and talk about their work. Wow, was I wrong! We hosted a variety of folks from our Vancouver community—Jack Milroy and Lois Chan-Pedley, both NationBuilder Experts; Steve Anderson co-founder and chief strategist for New/Mode, a values-based enterprise that provides targeted online engagement tools; Brendan Jones, the creative mind behind One, a full-shop NationBuilder agency; and Jessica Hannon, the Executive director of NationBuilder customer Megaphone Magazine.
Jack Milroy presenting his work with the Ontario FireFighters
In separate presentations, Jack and Lois highlighted the work that NationBuilder Experts do. It’s really a little bit of everything: helping organizations transition from analog to 21st century digital forces, helping them build member and community support, building out engagement strategies, helping keep an eye out for red flags… you name it, experts have seen it or done it. Or at least, can point you in the right direction.
NationBuilder Ecosystem partners Steve and Brendan wowed the crowd with their creativity and strategic thought. Steve demoed the New/Mode integration with NationBuilder, including letting us listen to one of the click-to-call actions on his cell phone - live! The guys each shared some examples of their work: the $10 a Day Child care campaign that used New/Mode and NationBuilder to build up and activate impressive and diverse base of support (helping to make this one of the top issues of the 2017 election), and the NationBuilder website wizardry that Brendan built to show city-specific supporter counts on the Canadian Energy Citizens site and state specific stats in for the Australian Business Council.
Screen capture of www.energycitizens.ca
Finally, Jessica arrived directly from a ferry (!) to share the work of Megaphone Magazine. Fundraising is a big part of how they support their work and the community connections they facilitate, so Jessica shared a few of their fundraising strategies. Their latest campaign asked supporters to donate and, in return, name something at their new office. From staplers to Jessica herself, they took donations for everything! And it worked. They hit their first goal so quickly that they had to raise it, and they went on to blow that number out of the water.
For Megaphone, a big part of their success is the donor experience. They use a NationBuilder app partner, Facturly, integrated with their nation to help with digital, CRA-compliant tax receipts. This helps them streamline the process, get information to donors faster, and ensure accuracy, creating a better experience for their donors.
Steve Anderson, Lois Chan-Pedley, Victoria Cross, Brendan Jones, and Jessica Hannon at Demo Day in Vancouver
This group of humans and the work they shared was incredibly inspiring. It feels like there is now more space than ever for people to step up as leaders. Whether it’s leading a team like Jessica or supporting organizing goals through creative digital assets like Brendan, what I saw at Demo Day reminded me that our community has already started the work. I can’t wait to see more!
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