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Setting up paths in NationBuilder

Submitted by Emerson on September 19, 2016 - 1:30pm
There are an abundance of reasons why your organization should be using paths in NationBuilder.

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.

When it comes to creating paths, it's useful to use the following path development guidelines:

  1. Decide the purpose

    • Include in path name, e.g. "Become a donor."
    • Complete the path when the purpose is fulfilled.
  2. Steps are the workflow for completing the path.
    • Include a verb in the step name to help explain when a person moves to that step.

      • For example, "Ask to pledge" is a prescriptive step, stating that a control panel user should ask the person to pledge.
      • For example, "Pledged" is the step a person lands on after she has taken action. By using the past tense verb, the step is descriptive of the person's state.
    • It is possible to skip steps.
  3. A path should move a relationship forward.
    • Paths that sustain an organization by nurturing an existing relationship are reactive, e.g. customer service.
    • Paths that grow an organization are proactive, e.g. become a donor.
  4. A path or step can be assigned to a control panel user.
    • Default assignments indicate who is normally responsible for completion.
    • Assignment creates internal accountability and clearly differentiate responsibilities. 
  5. Most paths have a clear end point.
    • Paths should be defined in a way that completion is expected.
    • It may be useful to create a few paths that do not end. An example of a persistent path is "donor lifecycle."

For more information on creating and setting up paths, click here.
For more information on developing a content strategy, click here.