Is NationBuilder good for campaigns in 2023?
I’ve used NationBuilder for nearly a decade and built hundreds of political websites, on NationBuilder and other platforms.
It can be a fantastic tool for organizing your digital marketing efforts, raising money online, building supporter lists, and communicating with your supporters.
If you’re thinking of using NationBuilder for your political campaign, non-profit, or charity, here’s what you need to know.
NationBuilder is an all-in-one tool for political campaigns that can help with every aspect of your digital campaign.
The biggest advantage NationBuilder has over other tools is the all-in-one aspect.
NationBuilder serves as your constituent relationship management (CRM) tool — your database for tracking supporters, members, volunteers, and donors.
It also serves as your website — including hosting and your SSL certificate.
Their website tools include integrations to process donations and membership sales, surveys, petitions, events calendar and ticket sales, and more.
NationBuilder also includes an email marketing tool and an SMS tool, so you can manage all your email and text campaigns from one platform.
It has detailed financial reporting so you can easily comply with election laws and process tax receipts.
It also has robust support and documentation, accessible email and phone support, and for enterprise-level clients, a personal account manager who will help you with any problem, big or small.
They also have tools for printing walk sheets and call sheets for doorknocking and phone calling, if you intend to use their database for everything beyond the digital campaign.
Having everything integrated in one dashboard, connected directly to your CRM, is a huge asset. Anyone who has worked on campaigns knows how hard it is to reconcile data coming from multiple sources.
Because NationBuilder is an all-in-one-tool, it does a little bit of everything. But this means there are better options for almost every service they provide.
For example, you can find better website builders, better email marketing tools, and better SMS tools.
NationBuilder can also be quite expensive, because it’s an all-in-one tool. It’s not any more expensive than purchasing all of these tools individually — but small campaigns might be able to save money by only purchasing the services they need.
NationBuilder can be a fantastic tool for campaigns. I’ve used it to raise millions of dollars for campaigns across Canada. It has a lot of use cases and I continue to recommend it to campaigns.
In particular, I would highly recommend NationBuilder as an all-in-one tool for:
- Nomination Campaigns
- Leadership Campaigns
- Non-profits with a focus on fundraising
- Any campaign with a small digital team (<5 people)
We’ve also used NationBuilder on a much larger scale for provincial parties and candidate website programs. This has generally required extra expertise and work with developers who can connect NationBuilder with external databases. This can be complex but it’s a great option for many campaigns.
NationBuilder is my favourite all-in-one tool, but there are many other great tools that can help you get the most out of your digital marketing efforts.
The challenge is building a tech stack where everything works together — where your website, payment processor, your CRM, your email tool, and other tools all work together.
This can be extremely difficult and I would only recommend this if you are partnered with a team of digital marketing experts.
That being said, here are a few of my favourite alternatives to NationBuilder: