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Email Outreach with NGP VAN

Submitted by Megan on August 18, 2014 - 11:37am
At Richir Outreach, we build websites for various organizations, including political campaigns. A task involved in political campaigning might be to send email blasts, or eBlasts for various outreach purposes, fundraising, trying to recruit volunteers, etc. Eblasts are a useful and effective marketing tool for an organization desiring communication with their entire contact database or just a large group of people. NGP has a great reputation on the market for creating products that are useful to political campaigns, specifically their email blast software. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how one would deliver an eBlast assuming an account is created, with a contact list.
  1. Login to NGP at
  2. Click on Send Emails & Fundraise-this is located on the right view of front page.
  3. Click on Create and Send an email message-this is a link on the left side of the screen.
  4. Click to create a NEW email. - existing saved emails will be on right side in yellow under name saved under.

Working with PHP and the NationBuilder API

Submitted by Nicole on August 5, 2014 - 1:43pm

Last year, NationBuilder released their API to the world, allowing applications to interact with Nations. You can find NationBuilder's API documentation here. This blog post will discuss how to create objects through the API.

The first step is understanding how the API and OAuth2 work. When working with OAuth2, the first request your client makes is to obtain an authorization token. Using that token, you can then make other requests through your application. It's important to note this two step process, as other APIs which use requests such as a RESTful or XML-RPC are generally one step processes. 

How to add a custom email sign-up block using NGPVAN

Submitted by Blake on July 14, 2014 - 6:32pm

These instructions show you how to add an email sign-up block in your site side-bar that will appear on every page, allowing people to easily sign-up for your campaign mailing list without leaving the page they are on. Custom changes to the block's design can be made using the CSS injector under the configuration menu.

To add an email sign-up block to the sidebar:

  1. Create a new form in NGPVAN
  2. Be sure to make it as simple as possible in the beginning
    • Turn off "Fast Action Auto-fill"
    • Turn off confirmation emails
  3. When building page click "configure" and include only necessary elements eg. First name, Last name, Email
  4. Change the header: "Contact Information" to something that is more clear to the form like "Email Sign-up"
  5. Remove all text in the "body" section of the page

Now you must create a block in the sidebar of the page you wish to display the sign-up field on:

Hobby Lobby Wins Case in 5-4 Supreme Court Ruling

Submitted by Kady on July 1, 2014 - 10:58am

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations do not have to provide health insurance coverage for contraception if it goes against their religious beliefs.

Supporting this decision were Justices Anthony Kennedy, John G. Roberts, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.
You can read the opinion yourself at the link below.


Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan dissented. All four agree that the government is justified in requiring commercial enterprises to cover birth control. Ginsburg and Sotomayor also would have ruled that for-profit corporations are not covered by RFRA.


Submitted by Michael on January 7, 2014 - 12:19pm

If you have been searching for a new community engagement platform and are familiar with Drupal as a web platform, your search may be over.