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Turning every phone into a democracy building tool

Learn how a nonprofit in Africa worked with NationBuilder partner Social Benchers to optimize their website and increase engagement on mobile.

Turning every phone into a democracy building tool

This case study is brought to you by Social Benchers - a specialized NationBuilder internet consulting firm that provides technology solutions to empower leaders, advocacy organizations and communities online.

Background:  is a non-profit community advocacy organisation that works to empower communities to raise awareness and enact change on the issues that matter most to them.

Their stated goal is to “turn every cellphone into a democracy building tool so that no matter where you live, what language you speak or what issue you care about, you can take action with others." They work toward this goal primarily through petitions and awareness campaigns.

As a growing advocacy platform from Africa, their old site was slightly unstable and not well situated for providing a great user experience. As a result, they were seeing decreasing user engagement for their campaigns. Additionally, since Africa is a continent where a multitude of languages are spoken, they wanted to create localised campaigns to accommodate multiple languages. 

The biggest problem they faced was their site performance on mobileto better serve their mission, they needed their site to load quickly even on feature phones at normal GPRS internet speeds in Africa. 

Making it easier to share campaigns from their site to social media was another important concern. 

After several discussions with the client, we proposed a redesign of their website with light design elements in the NationBuilder platform. To make this more lightweight, we followed a visual approach and defined the placement of every element in desktop and mobile through wireframes.

In order to prioritize website performance, we loaded only the parts that were necessary for the most commonly used devices, thereby limiting redundant requests to the server. We also performed standard optimizations to processes on every page.

To address creating content in multiple languages, we created all the templates in a way that made it easy to replicate the same content in other languages within NationBuilder, so that their non-technical staff could comfortably manage that work going forward. 

Then, we specifically tested the whole website with feature phones at a down-level speed of internet to make sure the new site could fulfill their mission statement.

[ Testing performed in feature phone ]


  • 80% Improved performance on mobile
  • 2X user engagements with new layout
  • Reduced back office work to manage the multilingual site
  • Selected for Facebook Free Basic Program (one of 100 sites which are selected by Facebook to make it accessible when offline)


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