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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.

Customized Tell a Friend Options Using NationBuilder

Submitted by Rachel on March 30, 2013 - 5:38pm

Any grassroots organization knows that getting people to invite their friends to join the cause is the best route to gaining momentum and growing an organization. For that reason, it's fantastic that NationBuilder has developed a tell-a-friend option that enables the same sharing online. Now, people can get involved in a nation and then tell all of their online contacts about the nation through Twitter, Facebook and email.

While this is great, Richir Outreach wanted to take the tell a friend scenario one step further. We wondered if we could do more than just add the "flash message" that comes native to NationBuilder. We wanted something that could be customized to a given campaign's message and would include more of a "call to action" approach.

So, we dove in and came up with this custom tell-a-friend solution for ActionNC, one of our clients. There are several benefits to employing a customized option, such as being able to:

Campaigner NationBuilder theme from Richir Outreach

Submitted by Autumn on March 29, 2013 - 6:00pm

The Campaigner theme is an easily-customizable theme from Richir Outreach available for purchase. Here are a few of the most useful features of this easy-to-use theme.

On the homepage, you'll find the featured slideshow that calls out pages you'd like your visitors to see right away. Just below the featured content, your users will be able to quickly see the most recent blog posts and suggestions.

No matter which page your users are on, they'll be able to sign up to your nation via the nifty form, located at the top right of each page. The Campaigner theme highlights social media on each page as well, providing nations with easy-to-implement icons for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Flickr.

If you find yourself needing more navigation, there are three editable menus in the footer to add additional links.

Who are Non-Supporters in NationBuilder?

Submitted by Meredith on March 27, 2013 - 3:19pm

NationBuilder has a lot of integrations that allow you to easily track who is interacting with your Nation, and in what ways. When tracking your people data, NationBuilder puts people records into three different categories: Supporter, Prospect, and Non-Supporter.

In most cases, it’s fairly clear who your Supporters are – they are the people who have actively opted in to your Nation via a variety of actions such as: signing up for emails, taking action on a petition, donating, following you on Facebook or Twitter, or some other similar process. These folks are your advocates.

Similarly, Prospects are more or less clear cut. They are the folks who you want to bring over to your cause. Some examples of people whom you’d import as “Prospects” are a list of media contacts, potential voters, perhaps an external list that hasn’t directly opted in to your campaign yet, etc.

The one place where there is room for a little bit of explanation in these definitions, however, is around “Non-Supporters”. You can’t import people as Non-Supporters. So, how does NationBuilder convert people to this status? Lets look at a few instances:

Working with Webhooks

Submitted by Autumn on March 14, 2013 - 5:07pm

This post deals with NationBuilder and assumes you have some knowledge of HTTP POST requests and PHP.

Webhooks offer developers a simple way to record NationBuilder data outside of NationBuilder. You can set up webhooks by visiting the admin dashboard of your Nation, going to "Settings", and then selecting "Webhooks." You should see a page that gives you the following form fields: When to POST, URL to POST to, and below those, you'll see a list of the webhooks that have already been created (if there are any).

The first thing you'll want to do is test to see what kind of data NationBuilder is going to output. You can do this with a free third-party service called RequestBin. To create a new bin, just click on "Create a RequestBin." At the top (in the black bar), you should see a URL similar to this one: http://requestb.in/qfu96wqf. That's the URL you'll want to paste into the "URL to POST to" field back in your NationBuilder new webhook form. Once you've done that, click "Add webhook." Your new webhook should appear at the bottom of the "Current web hooks" list.

What I Learned from Attending An Event Apart

Submitted by Autumn on March 11, 2013 - 7:40pm

Last month, I was able to attend An Event Apart, a conference for web designers and developers. This year's theme was focused on designing for the mobile web which, really, should just be called "the web." We have to stop thinking in terms of a mobile web and desktop web and start thinking in terms of a unified web for all users.

For the past several years, web designers everywhere have been designing for only for the desktop. And, over time, we've convinced ourselves that all websites should be designed at no more (and in many cases, no less) than 960 pixels wide. But with the introduction of the smart phone, and now tablets, we can no longer design just for the desktop. We have to design for everybody!

Understanding Online Action Framework

Submitted by Bianca on December 13, 2012 - 3:33pm

Often, the goal of a small cause is to seek more attention and to leverage media moments for greater visibility and to grow its supporter base.There are a wealth of ways for a small cause to use online techniques to boost its visibility. However, all of these techniques depend on a framework that must  be in place first.

1. Theory of Change: Figure out how do we get from here to there? While this might be an overall strategy it also speaks to the specifics of any online technique. It is important to define why taking online action would yield desired results and to ask yourself “how will my action create change?”.

The Basics of Google AdWords

Submitted by Bianca on December 12, 2012 - 3:58pm

Google AdWords is an extremely powerful advertising tool when used efficiently; however it can be daunting when starting out. To help out new users, here are some of the basic vocabulary and tools for using Google AdWords.

First:
It is important to get oriented with the organization of your Google AdWords account. Here is a helpful and simple image of how it is broken down:

adword flow

*image borrowed from lynda.com
Second: Vocab Lesson
Campaigns - Campaigns are your plan to reach the people who are most likely to want your offerings. Campaigns use the following elements to make sure your ads are visible to the right people at the right time

Richir Outreach at RootsCamp 2012

Submitted by Bianca on December 6, 2012 - 5:24pm

This past weekend, two of Richir Outreach’s own had the privilege of attending the 7th annual RootsCamp “Unconference” in Washington, D.C. For those of you who are unfamiliar with RootsCamp, it is described as a place where organizers set the agenda, share lessons learned, and drive the conversation about best practices in organizing. Being so close to the election, all of the organizers in attendance were fresh off the campaign trail and because of this, the theme was “What’s Next?”.

It was an exciting place to be for those who are involved in the progressive movement. It was especially interesting to see both the issues that drove the recent election, but also will determine the future of the politics of the left. Instead of a tradition pre-determined schedule of events,the conference was organized by “The Wall” where organizers and sponsors alike could propose session topics; during each time slot there were 27 sessions going on at once! Needless to say there was an abundance of interesting sessions to attend.

Book Review: The Custom-Fit Workplace

Submitted by Bianca on November 29, 2012 - 1:12pm

Richir Outreach has had the pleasure of working with Joan Blades and Nanette Fondas on their project MomsRising, a grassroots organization working to achieve economic security for all families. These women have not limited themselves to just this project; Joan Blades founded the organization MoveOn with her husband, and Blades and Fondas co-authored the book The Custom-Fit Workplace that delves into the business benefits of flexibility in the workplace and custom-fit policies and practices. The Custom-Fit Workplace, being an initiative of MomsRising, clearly aligns with Richir Outreach’s progressive core values.

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