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How to keep track of relationships

Relationships are the cornerstone of a thriving organization, and keeping track of relationships can be difficult. In this overview of the People section, you'll learn the key features designed to track relationships, grow your supporter base and achieve your mission!

Table of Contents

Paths: engagement workflows

A path is a step-by-step workflow to get people to complete a chain of actions. Paths define reasons for engaging supporters and creating alignment and accountability within an organization. Default paths are available to support specific features within NationBuilder and these can be edited to reflect your own process and mission.

Each step in a path can be assigned to a control panel user. Similarly, a control panel user can be assigned responsibility for path completion. Tracking abandonment and completion rates can help define a supporter’s engagement and a control panel user’s effectiveness.

People and organizations

There are two types of profiles in NationBuilder: people and organizations. Relationships between people and organizations can be defined within profiles. When a person is connected to an organization, a contact logged within a person’s profile can also be added to the organization’s profile. This allows the organization profile to be a central hub of contact within a nation. Similarly, both people and organizations can be placed on paths. Add an organization to a path if the goal is to move your nation’s relationship with the organization forward.

Since organizations are comprised of people, generally the same fields are available within both types of profiles. A couple of key distinctions to keep in mind: an organization’s name is stored in the last name field and its address is stored as the work address. Both people and organizations have a support status and can have a support level.

Supporters and prospects

NationBuilder helps leaders motivate their community to take action. A community includes supporters, prospects, and non-supporters. Supporters agree with a nation’s mission and have opted into communication. Prospects have not taken a position on the mission and have not opted-into communication. Non-supporters disagree with the mission and may have opted out of communication.

Support status is the distinction between supporters, prospects, and non-supporters. Support level is a number from one to five. One represents the highest level of support, three is undecided, and five is strong opposition. Support level is defined manually or via batch update - it is never created by an automated action.

A primary goal of all nations is to encourage prospects to become supporters and to minimize the effect of non-supporters. This is why it is important to keep all types of people in your database, rather than deleting non-supporters.

Record contacts

Conversations should be recorded in your database. This ensures that everyone involved in the relationship has access to the same information. There is nothing worse than being asked for a $10 donation when you gave $1,000 last year and pledged $1,500 last quarter. Keeping track of everything in one database helps alleviate this type of error.

Logging a contact includes four core features:

  • Contact method: how the interaction occurred.
  • Contact status: result of the interaction.
  • Log to path.
  • Notes from the interaction.

Since paths are the primary way engagement is tracked, a contact may be associated with a path. This means that when a control panel user contacts a person, sends an email, or creates a note on a profile, those actions will be associated with a corresponding path step in the activity feed, allowing you to filter for people based on what step they were contacted on.

It is also possible to use your nation’s virtual currency to measure the effort needed to build relationships. A choice must be made in the currency dropdown menu, though the value can be zero. If an amount is listed, it will be deducted from the person contacted and added to the control panel user logging the contact. The contact can also be logged as part of the correspondence with an organization with whom the person has a relationship. And it is possible to set or adjust a person’s support level and priority level based on the interaction.

Automated tasks

Whenever someone takes action on your website or reaches out to a broadcaster, that action can trigger several automated tasks in your nation.

For example, when someone donates to your organization, you can:

  • Send a simple receipt via email using the donation page autoresponse.
  • Tag the donor’s profile, indicating they responded to a particular fundraising campaign.
  • Move the donor to a path step and assign a control panel user responsibility for completing the step.
  • Apply the donation as payment for a membership, and add a membership with or without an expiration date to the donor’s profile.
  • Assign a point person to the donor, who will have primary responsibility for nurturing a relationship with the donor.
  • Use a tracking code to connect the donation to the particular fundraising campaign.

Targeting communication

It is always best to communicate with people where they’re most comfortable. When people are imported into your nation, NationBuilder Match uses their email addresses to add LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook account information to their profiles. This expands the methods of communication available.

Within your nation, people can be grouped using filters, tags, and lists. Filters are dynamically populated using real-time information from the profiles within your database. Filtering is the most comprehensive way to gather people within your nation.

Lists are completely static groups of people who have been targeted for a specific purpose, for example, to be included in a walk-sheet for in-person dialog or to print a scannable sheet to record the results of those in-person interactions.

Tags are virtual sticky notes added to a profile to describe a characteristic. A tag can be added automatically when a person takes action on your website or contacts a broadcaster. Many organizations find it useful to create a tag library to define a naming taxonomy. Most tags remain on a profile unless they are removed manually or via batch action. The exceptions are tags from filters and shared tags.

How to create a path

Introduction to the control panel

How support status is determined

Defining support level

How to edit a person's profile

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.