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Setting up paths in NationBuilder

Submitted by Emerson on September 19, 2016 - 1:30pm

According to NationBuilder, "a path is a step-by-step workflow that describes how people taking action contribute toward achieving [a] larger goal". In simpler terms, think of the word 'path' in its most literal sense. One path leads to another which leads to another and so on. We use paths to get to where we need to go. Paths in NationBuilder are smaller goals that must be accomplished before moving on to the next. Once the required paths are completed, you'll find yourself at your destination where you've completed your larger, ultimate goal. Paths are also used as organizational and accountability tools. Paths can be assigned to certain people with deadlines so that your workflow can also have a timeline.

Email Outreach

Submitted by Emerson on July 11, 2016 - 6:35pm

When it comes to effective digital campaigning, the best place to start is email. Email allows your organization to directly engage people with your cause for little to no cost. At Richir Outreach, we specialize in increasing the email presence of organizations. Today, we'll explain how.

1. Strong list-building

The most essential part of email campaigning is to have a strong and reliable list. Growing your email list starts with identifying the right people. There are several ways of going about this. You might already have a list of contacts that you've worked with before. Even so, certain services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google ads can route interested people to your page or petition. Other services, such as EveryAction, use other methods such as voter databases to target certain people.

2. Simplicity

How to understand power

Submitted by Emerson on May 23, 2016 - 2:02pm

Power is a word with many different associations. Some people associate power with knowledge. Some associate power with popularity. Others associate power with force. They are all right. Power comes in all of those forms (and more). Eric Liu defines power as the ability to make others do what you would have them do. Power extends to all areas of life, especially the civic arena. Liu goes on to say that “power governs how any form of government works. It determines who gets to determine the rules of the game.”

Civic power comes from six main sources: physical force, wealth, state action, social norms, ideas, and strength in numbers. Police officers have the power to enforce laws through physical force. Lobbying groups are able to influence policy through wealth. Lawmakers exercise their power by creating laws. Our communities have the power to influence what we deem acceptable and unacceptable in society through social norms. Great ideas often spread like wildfire and gain power through the number of people that support them.

Roy Cooper attends, speaks at reception in Raleigh

Submitted by Emerson on May 23, 2016 - 2:06pm

On Wednesday, May 18th, a reception was held at the home of Christine and George Reddin in support of Roy Cooper's gubernatorial campaign. Cooper, North Carolina's current Attorney General, was in attendance and even gave a short speech to a room full of around 40-50 supporters, donors, legislators, and more.

The host, Christine Reddin, introduced Cooper. She referred to all of the leading voices in the room that came out in support of his campaign that evening. Names such as NC Senate Minority Whip Terry Van Duyn, who is up for reelection in the fall, and NC House Representative Tricia Cotham, who is running for US Congress this year, were in attendance. She also harkened back to a time when North Carolina was considered a progressive beacon of the South and how Cooper and his campaign are aimed at reversing the state's current regressive trend.

Social media strategies for non-profits

Submitted by Emerson on March 21, 2016 - 5:09pm

This morning I got the opportunity to learn about different ways of boosting a non-profit's visibility through social media from Laura Tierney and Gail Marie of the McKinney Ad Agency. As it becomes increasingly necessary to have an online presence, knowing what to share and how to share it can be the difference between successful and unsuccessful engagement. There are several great strategies for engaging the public with your non-profit via social media. These strategies are broken down into two categories: input and output.

Your Campaign's Tumblr Page

Submitted by Kady on August 13, 2015 - 10:41am

A Tumblr blog is fairly simple to use, which means you may be able to add a few functions to it to help it serve as a simple campaign page.

Getting Started

If you already have a tumblr account (with an appropriate email address) that you will use for this campaign, skip this step.

You need an email address to create a tumblr. Get an email address appropriate for your campaign. Visit and fill in the email address, a password, a username, and click Sign Up.

A good Domain Name

You probably do not want to call your campaign tumblr "" -- the .tumblr. in the middle is extra typing to no purpose. If you already own an appropriate domain name then skip to the next step to associate it with this tumblr -- but if not, buy one from an appropriate hosting service ( e.g. )

Below, we will call this hosting service your 'registrar' since it is where you have registered your domain name.

Using Git with Pantheon

Submitted by Kady on July 30, 2015 - 11:35am

Set up a Pantheon Account

First, make sure you have your own Pantheon Account.

If you don't, go get Pantheon and follow the instructions.

Once you do, make sure you're set up as a team member on a site.

Install Git

Install Git on your computer. Don't worry about setting up a repository just yet. Just make sure you have Git installed on your computer.

Set up your SSH Key

  1. Open Git GUI.
  2. Click on Help > Show SSH Key.
  3. Click "Copy To Clipboard".
  4. Go to your Pantheon dashboard and click on "Account".

Choosing the Right CRM

Submitted by Kady on July 28, 2015 - 11:13am

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.



An open-source CRM powered by Drupal, Civi can be customized to do nearly anything for your organization. Civi is powerful, but requires significant Drupal developer knowledge to get off the ground, and is not the easiest system for someone without tech skills to pick-up quickly.


Plenty of basic features bring both CRM and CMS together in one relationship. Although NationBuilder gives add-on access to the voter file, this file is lacking in comparison to the VAN file. NationBuilder has plenty of room for customization on the CMS side, but offers a standard menu of CRM options like: queries, supporter tagging, mass email messaging, etc.


Extremely straight-forward and easy to use, almost anyone willing to spend a little time learning can become a master of the ActionNetwork CRM. Integrates forms into any CMS using iframes and HTML embeds, which can be an up or a downside at times. Offers very basic options, with little room for custom solutions, or powerful engagement.

Choosing the Right CMS

Submitted by Kady on July 21, 2015 - 12:52pm

Have you ever spent what feels like an eternity researching the correct tools for your organization, and just ended up feeling like it was just a big blur? Let us help you sort things out.



Drupal is an open-source CMS that can be customized to do nearly anything. It is powerful and modular (you can find a Drupal Module for almost anything), but does require significant developer knowledge to get started. It has a relatively steep learning curve compared to the other CMSes detailed here. However, it is a very common CMS with a large and helpful community support system.


Wordpress is a very common CMS that, like Drupal, has many plugins to customize the site and a large support community. It's more user-friendly, but less customizable and powerful. Wordpress works best for blog-centered sites.

Raleigh chapter hosts littleBits event

Submitted by Kady on July 14, 2015 - 2:03pm

Saturday, July 11, marked the beginning of a brand new adventure for the Raleigh-Durham area. The first ever meeting of Raleigh littleBits chapter took place. People of all ages and disciplines explored the world of electronics in an open and open-source environment. The Triangle area, which has been referred to as the Silicon Valley of the East by Newsweek, is the perfect fit for a a littleBits chapter, where tech enthusiasts can gather and create.

The theme of this first event was part of a national littleBits campaign called the BitOlympics. The goal of this challenge is to create or modify an existing Olympic sport using the automation that littleBits provide. The session resulted in a wonderful degree of brainstorming. From the creation of a littleBit operated mini-skier (you can see his trial runs in this video ), to a littleBits powered ski lift cleverly designed by a chapter member in the third grade!