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Understanding NationBuilder Subnations

Submitted by Jerimee on September 4, 2012 - 11:30am

Subnations give clients the capacity to expand their parent organizations, empowering the smaller chapters of their organization by putting them under their umbrella. This is a premium add-on.

According to NationBuilder, subnations give users the power to:

  • Share custom designed themes exclusively with their subnations;
  • Auto-import contact info for staffers and supporters of their subnations;
  • Post a bulletin to the control panel of all connected subnations;
  • Search for staffers and supporters by which subnations they are active in;
  • Pay for subnations entirely, pay for a portion of each subnation, or let the subnations pay for themselves – NationBuilder handles all the billing;
  • Control login permissions- for example subnations cannot log into your nation unless given permissions and the same goes for parent nations;
  • Subnations can sign up directly on their own site with a new fully customizable page type of “Nation Signup”;
  • Search for staffers and supporters by which subnations they are active in;
  • Toggle importing user records of supporters of all subnations and add tags to these records upon import.

Connecting and Disconnecting Subnations

To enable a subnation, Go to:

> Your Nation’s Control Panel > Settings > Billings and addons

Once a subnation is enabled, the user can connect and disconnect subnations. Before connecting a subnation, a confirmation email is needed from an admin in both Nations (Parent and Sub) to connect one as a subnation to the other. NationBuilder Support must be contacted to disconnect a subnation.

Supporter Data

With subnations, you own all your data and it will not shared with anyone unless given permissions to do so. NationBuilder has set up each nation with an isolated database so your data is completely separate from everyone else. But you can automatically share your supporter and staff data with another nation if you would like by going into the "Nations" tab and then "Settings". And supporter data, donation data, and survey data can be exported into a spreadsheet for easy tracking.


There are of course always limitations to any online tool.

Once supporter data is imported into a parent nation, it's no longer updated. It simply exists in the parent nation so it's not possible to sync supporter data between parent nations and sub-nations.

Social media accounts cannot be connected to multiple subnations because this feature is linked to broadcasters. Broadcasters are not imported to the parent account or vice-versa. Political capital is also tricky with subnations. Parent nations cannot see the political capital of their subnations and there is no possibility for transferring political capital between nations.

More questions about NationBuilder subnations? Check out the NationBuilder community pages. Or feel free to contact us!