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Exclusion Queries and Lists in NationBuilder

Submitted by Nicole on April 12, 2013 - 6:38pm

Note: "Exclusion Query" means searching for people who are NOT something. Not named Smith, not donors, not in the city of Springfield, etc.

One of the capabilities that makes NationBuilder so great is its list-building functionality. However, regardless of the platform, sometimes creating and refining your lists can be tricky - particularly when you’re trying to create a list that excludes a certain group of people, rather than filtering on an inclusion basis. Lucky for us, NationBuilder has tools to help!

The best way to build a list of people based on filters and tags is to use the “List” function, located under the “People” tab.

On the People window you will notice a "+" and "-" on the top left (under "+ New Person"). You will also notice "+" signs under people's profile picture. Clicking these buttons allow you to add people to a list. When you have a list selected, you will notice the "+" changes to a "-" allowing you remove people from a list.

Putting this conept to work, lets create a list that will contain everyone except those folks who have donated recently.

  1. To begin, start on the "People" tab. This will be default show everyone.
  2. click on the "+" and select "New List".
  3. Enter a name for you list.
  4. Change your slug if the provided one is not desirable.
  5. Change the sharing settings if desired.
  6. Click Save
  7. Click on "People" again.
  8. Now click on the top left "+" and select your list.
  9. Once everyone is added to your list, click on "Advanced Search".
  10. Select "Donation History" and check "Yes" under donor.
  11. We want to exclude everyone who has donated in 2013, so click on "Last donated date between"'s first field and select January 1st, 2013.
  12. Click "Search".
  13. You should now see everyone who has donated in 2013. Click the "-" under the "search" button and select your list.
  14. Voila! Your list is now ready to use!

Here's a screencast of using lists: