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Working with PHP and the NationBuilder API

Submitted by Nicole on August 5, 2014 - 1:43pm

Last year, NationBuilder released their API to the world, allowing applications to interact with Nations. You can find NationBuilder's API documentation here. This blog post will discuss how to create objects through the API.

The first step is understanding how the API and OAuth2 work. When working with OAuth2, the first request your client makes is to obtain an authorization token. Using that token, you can then make other requests through your application. It's important to note this two step process, as other APIs which use requests such as a RESTful or XML-RPC are generally one step processes. 

The first step is to simply include the PHP-OAuth2 library. 

How to add a custom email sign-up block using NGPVAN

Submitted by Blake on July 14, 2014 - 6:32pm

These instructions show you how to add an email sign-up block in your site side-bar that will appear on every page, allowing people to easily sign-up for your campaign mailing list without leaving the page they are on. Custom changes to the block's design can be made using the CSS injector under the configuration menu.

To add an email sign-up block to the sidebar:

  1. Create a new form in NGPVAN
  2. Be sure to make it as simple as possible in the beginning
    • Turn off "Fast Action Auto-fill"
    • Turn off confirmation emails
  3. When building page click "configure" and include only necessary elements eg. First name, Last name, Email
  4. Change the header: "Contact Information" to something that is more clear to the form like "Email Sign-up"
  5. Remove all text in the "body" section of the page

Now you must create a block in the sidebar of the page you wish to display the sign-up field on:

Hobby Lobby Wins Case in 5-4 Supreme Court Ruling

Submitted by Kady on July 1, 2014 - 10:58am

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations do not have to provide health insurance coverage for contraception if it goes against their religious beliefs.

Supporting this decision were Justices Anthony Kennedy, John G. Roberts, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas.
You can read the opinion yourself at the link below.


Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan dissented. All four agree that the government is justified in requiring commercial enterprises to cover birth control. Ginsburg and Sotomayor also would have ruled that for-profit corporations are not covered by RFRA.

Moral Monday Returns to NC [x-post from BlueNC]

Submitted by Blake on May 21, 2014 - 2:31pm

Moral Monday protests returned to the NC capital on the evening of May 20th, 2014. A variety of social justice organizations including the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and churches of all religions and denominations, were well represented in a crowd estimated by Capitol police to be around 1500.

Speakers began addressing the gathered crowd around 5 o'clock and represented a spectrum of political issues including racial and gender equality, income and wealth inequality, reforms to unemployment and public education, and environmental concerns. However, supporters of all these various organizations were brought together by the notion that the actions of the current Republican controlled legislature do not reflect the moral values that they claim to support.

NationBuilder Release Version 2 Themes!

Submitted by Nicole on May 20, 2014 - 2:38pm

Part of our mission at Richir Outreach is to help small campaigns and organizations work within their budgets to create the best website possible. NationBuilder has always served as a robust solution for a reasonable price.

NationBuilder recently released the first of their version two themes, Aware. The version two themes offer several advantages for new nations over the older, version one themes. Version two themes are responsive out of the box. This means your content will scale appropriately based on someone's screen size. A user on a phone will have a different experience than a user on the desktop. This improves mobile engagement as the user experience is much more satisfying.

Adding NationBuilder Events to a Google Calendar With a Link

Submitted by Nicole on March 7, 2014 - 10:53am

Adding a link to your event pages, which allow visitors to add the event to their Google calendar, is super easy!
Simply edit your pages_show_event template and add this code where you want the link to show up:

{% assign event_hour_start = page.event.local_start_at | date: "%H" %}

{% assign event_day_start = page.event.local_start_at | date: "%d" %}

{% assign event_hour_end = page.event.local_end_at | date: "%H" %}

{% assign event_day_end = page.event.local_end_at | date: "%d" %}

For more content like this, check out our NationBuilder Field Guide.


Submitted by Michael on January 7, 2014 - 12:19pm

If you have been searching for a new community engagement platform and are familiar with Drupal as a web platform, your search may be over. Even if you do not use Drupal, but have been looking AbleOrganizer may be just what you are looking for.

This platform will allow you to do all the engagement task you have been hoping for like donations, petitions, events, and volunteers all while keeping the back end database easy to use and keep track of your communications.

For people who are familiar with Drupal, it will be much easier for you to incorporate this tool since it is built on Drupal. For those of you who are new to Drupal or have never used it, you should take some time to create an account and play with AbleOrganizer. You will find that it is easy to pick up and there is plenty of documentation to help you understand.

This has the potential to be used by many types of groups and organizations that want to use Drupal to better engage with their membership or constituency. So while you are searching take a moment and visit - - and give them a test run.

Show Off Your Supporters On NationBuilder

Submitted by Michael on October 16, 2013 - 7:02pm

From time to time, we like to introduce new tools we can add to your NationBuilder sites. The newest tool is the supporter display. NationBuilder sites are all about growing your nation through community building and engagement.

The supporter display is another tool to help by giving you the ability to display your growing nation on your homepage. The icons in the display will change as supporters are added to your nation, allowing new visitors to see who already supports you. Who knows, they may know someone on the display giving them another reason to join your growing list!

Let us help you show off the great people who make up your nation. The supporter display is available for purchase from the Richir Outreach Store for $90.00.

NC Youth Protest Voting Decisions in NC

Submitted by Naz on September 3, 2013 - 2:12pm

NC student political leaders led a protest Tuesday against recent decisions by local boards of elections on the legality of student voting on college campuses. The event was held in front of the State Board of Elections (SBE) offices in downtown Raleigh.

The protest was kicked off by Irene Caldwell, a field organizer with NCPIRG who called on the SBE to "reverse actions by local board of elections." Several local election boards, including those in Pasquotank and Watauga counties, have come under heavy criticism for making it difficult for college students to cast their votes where they attend classes. In Pasquotank County, Elizabeth City State University student Montravias King was deemed ineligible to run for the Elizabeth City board, though the requirements for running in local elections in the county are the same for voting there. Additionally, the board of elections in Watauga County voted to close early voting and polling locations at Appalachian State University, drastically limiting ease of voting for ASU students. Both King's case and the Watauga County case were scheduled to be heard by the State Board of Elections on the same day as the protests.

How to embed a Salsa sign up form in your WordPress page

Submitted by Nicole on August 29, 2013 - 12:17pm

The first step of embedding a Salsa form in a Wordpress site is to create the form in Salsa. Once you have it set up the way you would like, you can use the source code of that page to give you most of the details you will need to put it on a Wordpress site. Once you have the page created, use your web browser to view the source of that page.

Your next step is to take the important pieces from the source code, and fill them in on your form. Below is the framework for a form which asks for (and requires) first name, last name, email, and zip code. You should be able to find the organization key and chapter key in the source code of your file. If you are using different fields than the example, you can pull those fields out of the source code and replace the field section of the code. Ensure that if you change the fields, you also change the value of the required hidden field to match your new fields. If you require zip, but do not include a field for it on your form it will never submit.