Lots of unions – big and small – use NationBuilder to run their organization's sites, as well as their issue-based and bargaining campaigns. Getting set up is easy, but taking your organizing to the next level is tougher.
Here are our top 10 tips for improving union organizing with NationBuilder:
1. Customize your contact types: NationBuilder’s defaults for managing member (and supporter) interactions can be updated to include things like Organizing leads, leadership development, Steward training, legislative inquiry, or press inquiry to keep better track of you contacts.
2. Use point people and followups to convert supporters who take action online into solid offline organizing leads. You can have your lead organizer receive notifications and prompts to follow up when new prospects express and interest in joining the union or take action on a relevant campaign.
3. Combine Turf Cutter & Data Entry View to keep track of offline contacts made in union organizing and political campaigns. If you’re sending organizers or members to canvass or do house visits, you can provide them with mapped lists and simply record the results of those visits.
4. Go Mobile First. Make sure that your website has been designed to be fully mobile-responsive so that it works across phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. Once you’re running a responsive campaign, rollout text updated to members and allow event RSVPs and petitions signatures by SMS (you can put your SMS number on workplace and organizing flyers too!)
5. Re-target your email campaigns. If you’re making a push to turn out members to a rally or meeting, you should always plan time for a last minute blast to folks who didn’t open the initial email (or who opened but didn’t RSVP).
6. Customize your Social/Political Capital allocations. You can customize the allocations to value the things that matter to your union, so if you want to value interactions with organizers over Facebook ‘likes’ or retweets, you can up the SC/PC awarded for those interactions.
7. Invest in custom leaderboards. Leaderboards are used to rank and create competition between supports on the public facing site, but are also valuable tools to measure engagement on the backend and to inform custom outreach strategies.
8. Personalize your user experience. No one wants to read a blog post by “Union Communications Department,” so use staff or leadership's real names on posts and bulk emails.
9. Use the Endorsements Page. NationBuilder’s Endorsement page-type offers an alternative to traditional petitions that will allow you collect workplace data on supporters that can be mined later when looking for organizing leads.
10. Use membership badges so that when members are logged into your union’s site, they see a union badge next to their name.
11. Bonus Tip: List growth & acquisition is driven largely by issue based petitions and micro-sites so don't be surprised to see these outperform your organizational site when it comes to growing your supporter/email lists.
Other resources you might want to check out:
- cStreet Campaigns for Unions
- Guest post: Historic childcare campaign won by combining digital and field organizing
- NationBuilder's Labour Union community page.