Makes leading a movement possible
It's a great experience overall. The one thing that I wanted to add is that when I did have to call their tech support line with a problem, they were able to resolve everything quickly and easily.
I used this in a political campaign that was separate from my day job. I love how this combines everything that I needed to run and win in one package. I not only gave me what I needed as the campaign's IT guy, it provided every single person involved with what they needed.
The biggest con (if you even want to call it one) is that NationBuilder is so finely-tuned towards political campaigns that it doesn't work well with things are unrelated to that. (Yes, I know that's not much of a con but that really is the only drawback that I could think of.)
Nationbuilder is a dream come true for our business
This was so easy to use. We hired one of their recommended deveopers, they built the website and truly it was flawless.
Customer Service is ALWAYS there to help you. Everything is easy to understand, of course there is a bit of a learning curve, the software is flawless.
Really it's hard to think of anything that doesn't work for us other than the pricing will be high for us as we grow.
Great concept, but execution needs work
*Powerful CRM for non-profits and political organizations
*Fantastic integration with social media.
*CRM is great at identifying prospective supporters among multiple mediums such as social network, email, and webpage
*Strong integrated communications tool that allows you to respond to engagements with your organization across multiple tools and automatically record your interactions within the individual user CRM profiles
*CRM has a good clean up tool that helps you merge fragmented prospect information into one complete profile if it was not done automatically already by this tool.
*Financial tool to track donation progress for your organization
*Overall tool feels restrictive and lacks some basic features
*UI is inefficient and not friendly to use and is intuitive only to people already in the development industry who may find this cumbersome. Menus in menus in menus.
*Support is mostly paid and seen as a key business driver for the organization other than development requests. This is a curious business decision considering the tools complexity and target market and likely leads to low retention rate among organizations who trial it. They are focused on tier 1 customers.
*Support for Events is very elementary. The tool is useful on small events only when tickets are involved, unless you want to use pen and paper check in's. There is no app support for check ins, no scannable tickets, and checking in requires a computer and many many clicks per person.
*Very restrictive HTML support that blocks external integrations and embedding on your web page. This seems to have been a business decision to encourage paid development in their business model.
*No native discussion/forum support is a key missed opportunity for engagement with the CRM. They have a work around with suggestion box but its sub standard and would make encouraging debate difficult as its not the core of its design.
*Email campaign support is very elementary and difficult to use and test. Support for external tools such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact is very limited. Mailchimp contact sync is availabe and thats all.
*Financial tool is missed opportunity due to lack of integration features with payment processors to import transactions and link them to people within CRM
*Membership tool is poorly designed and makes managing paid membership difficult as a fundraising option within this tool without manual input.
Not a great donor database
Nation Builder has been an easy way for us to manage our website, send out communications, and store donor information. We do not have an IT person, and with NB we really haven't needed one, as it's easy to fix any problems that come up.
I like having my website, email and donor info integrated into one place. It is an easy system to learn and the video tutorials are helpful, so it's easy to bring new members onto the team.
It isn't a superior product for any of its functions, particularly the donor database functionality. It is hard to get relevant info out of it to properly steward donors.
Too Early To Tell
I have been using NationBuilder for a charity that I volunteer for now for about 8 months. At first I hated it because it seemed like it was very constricting but then I grew to like it. It includes a lot of features for organizations or groups who need a tool that includes everything in one place. It includes an email tool, your website, a crm and even social media measurement data for records. The reporting features and ways to pull people by tags can get sticky but overall I think they offer the future of what people need with this solution.
Everything is in one solution at one low price. You can have all of your donors, volunteers and staff all in one database and have it manage your website and communications at the same time.
Knowing what to do with the data can be tricky and sticky. Also training your staff on how to use NB is hard - there's a big learning curve and many don't know that there are unlimited uses for the system.
Great idea, but not fleshed out enough.
NationBuilder has a lot going for it, but not enough to make me stay with them. I used their software for a short time recently and found the interface to be cumbersome and frustrating. The customer support is minimal - you get one rep for all needs (financial, tech, content, marketing, etc...). The introductory price point is really nice and makes me want to go with them, but with so many gaps in the software, I just couldn't do it. Up until recently (don't know if they've changed it), The email marketing section still required quite a bit of code! I can't see how that's friendly to anyone. Finding where you want to go is difficult with the navigation system they created. One of the huge pluses that I wish I could have stayed for, was the tagging system for all contacts. Pre-defined categories of labels can be applied to individuals or entire lists of people, and then used to create entirely new smart lists that can be emailed and communicated with. Sadly, it still is just not worth the headache of the rest of the software.
Great concept, some of the system is built out really well (tagging contacts, web templates, integration of all services into a single database)
Way too incomplete. System is in serious need of a user experience upgrade - badly. It was extremely frustrating to figure out and some of the services required code-knowledge.
A robust software capable of handing huge projects
NationBuilder is helping us cultivate a nationwide grassroots movement that we wouldn't be able to accomplish otherwise.
NationBuilder has the capability to perform many functions. I am constantly discovering new functions and way to use it. One of our favorite features is tags, which allow us to mark contacts and easily sort them together out of thousands.
Editing the website hosted through our NationBuilder site is a pain to edit. I wish the process was smoother.
A CMS meets CRM, Nationbuilder is very intuitive with many powerful features!
This is the best CMS / CRM for all types of political projects.
- The features (albeit tailored to political campaigns) are very comprehensive and well thought out.
- For non-technical admins, it's very easy to create pages, add new content, and add new prospects or supporters to the CRM.
- Some seemingly simple things (like changing font types or colors) must be done within the CSS file (i.e. it can require technical knowledge).
- Tutorial section is a bit cumbersome to navigate.
Seems like a good idea, but not a good execution
Seemed to have a lot going for it at first sight. NationBuilder did have a lot of interesting features, like widgets that can be easily added to pages and more.
Ui was cumbersome and frustrating. I expected more. Doesn't seem to be able to handle donations and other simple tasks you think it should work with.
NationBuilder is outstanding
We were looking for an all-inclusive solution for our CRM and CMS needs at an affordable price. We looked at literally 200 solutions and decided that none were perfect but NationBuilder provided the best solution. We have been very happy with the choice and have been a customer for over 4 years.
We were looking for a fully featured, integrated CRM and CMS system that was easy to get up and running at a price that a very small non-profit organization could afford. We found that NationBuider has with very powerful tools to help drive our success. In addition, the customer support is outstanding...from the videos to the very accessible support team, they go way above and beyond the norm to make sure you are well taken care of.
Like any software, there are constant updates to comply with new regulations and requirements. Although NationBuilder does a good job of explaining the changes, it still requires work to keep up.
Excellent CRM choice for multi-tiered political organizations.
The LPNC selected NationBuilder as our CRM of choice in mid-2013 and have been using it for two years now.
NationBuilder enables you to integrate your website, Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn account, and Meetup.com accounts'and e-mail and phone communications'for both incoming and outgoing communications'and, of course, record a history of these interactions. It also handles donation tracking, voter history, and relationships between your supporters'and can produce pertinent voter or contributor lists upon demand.
It is also possible to design a constellation of 'nations' and define what data to share between them. So, for example, the NC state Libertarian Party nation and the Wake County Libertarian Party nation share all contact information (e.g., phone and e-mail data) for individuals who reside in both databases, but not contact or donor history (except to identify who has contributed). Sharing is also possible with campaign nations (e.g. for particular candidates or issues).
Generally, functionality in NationBuilder for any particular activity is adequate or better. For example, you can send out an e-mail blast from NationBuilder to a list just as easily as in, say, MailChimp. MailChimp'being focused on e-mail management'affords you some useful analytics and other customization bells and whistles that the more utilitarian e-mail management NationBuilder lacks (e.g., MailChimp automatically provides you a breakdown of how often folks on your list have responded to your e-mail blasts, breaking the list down into five segments'those data are in NationBuilder but you would have to work at retrieving them). But on the other hand, the integration with the data NationBuilder provides enables you to perform tricks you cannot match with MailChimp (e.g., variables in the text of your e-mail message keyed to the last time someone voted or contributed or retweeted an LPNC tweet).
NationBuilder is an excellent CRM choice for multi-tiered political organizations that need to share data.
Super easy setup and great technical advice from their support team.
Better output and super targeted outreach.
I had my entire campaign and organizations tech on one platform rather than 4 different systems. NationBuilder's free trainings helped my organizers be succesful in using the system which helped me knock on more doors, make more phone calls and secure more donations.
The product hasnt been updated in a few years. Could use a face lift and some enhancements with the main functions.
Does its job
We've had nation builder for a while now, the pros of the software are that it's got a lot of interesting features in it that can be manipulated with a bit of learning. Pages can be set up with simple widgets and accessibility for any information already captured.
The software itself is nice to have but we've been having issues in terms of integration. Some of the stuff on nation builder is unique and for us, it has been a challenge converting that information into something useful while maintaining our database. We've had times when our pages would crash and other times where things just didn't seem to pan out.
NationBuilder: The Most Affordable & Complete Political Tools
I love NationBuilder. It is a comprehensive political tools. You do not have a website? Within clicks you have one with NationBuilder. I love the contact management features, the mapping tools, the street and household views, the mass emailing tools, the contact log features. In short, I love everything with NationBuilder. Oh, I forgot to mentioned their outstanding dedicated customer support.
My only regret with NationBuilder is that the tools is getting more and more expensive to use. Their is also no free account available for small campaigns or candidates with limited budgets.
Easy choice for campaigners & non-profits
Inflexible and poor data management do not make up for ease of use. And it's buggy, too.
I expected so much more, but am terribly disappointed in NationBuilder. I cannot recommend it. I've used both FileMaker and CiviCRM for customer relationship management and WordPress as a content management system, and they are all better than NationBuilder. I run a nonprofit with a few thousand donating members and a list of about 23,000.
Here are problems with it as a CRM. It cannot handle household donations. It cannot export selected fields from a data set. It cannot be operated with keyboard shortcuts, requiring time-consuming mouse clicks for many tedious functions that ought to be simple. It does not have a mobile interface for the CRM. (For that manner, nor does it for the CMS, although it does have good mobile interface for end users.)
Its orientation for political campaigns makes it cumbersome to use for a nonprofit. I don't care what 'election cycle' or FEC code a donation was made in and I don't want that data cluttering up valuable screen space.
I would like to search for all donors in a certain town, and if there are ten, see a screen that shows me all ten of them with just the pertinent data: name, contact info, and the most recent donations. NB can't do that. You can get a list of donations in a city (and the name attached) or you can get a list of donors (maybe 2-3 to a screen), but that's it.
As a content management system, it fares better, but it's no better than WordPress, which provides the ability to edit its pages on a mobile platform, something NationBuilder can't do.
I'm in month 6 of an 18-month contract, and I hope I'm not burning bridges with them too badly because I want to work with them to make it better, and if it is, I'll come back here and update my review, hopefully with great news.
The backbone of a good campaign
good for managing advocacy and political campaigns
easy to import large data sets and create relations between the people in contact list. Good customer service
billing is a little confusing, hard to build email and website pages. Need coding experience or hiring outside consultants if you want to build a good site and emails
This software allows our very small non-profit organization to host our website and send email communications to our members and supporters.
We use NationBuilder to host our website for a very small non-profit organization, for which I am the Communications Chair. Granted, I have limited experience designing websites, but I have worked with several other web hosting services that provide MUCH more intuitive tools for both website and email design. The software is clunky, difficult to learn how to use, and does not produce very graphically appealing emails.
Response from NationBuilder
Thank you for your honest feedback! I recently wrote a blog post with some tips for designing emails - https://nationbuilder.com/how_do_i_create_a_newsletter_style_email_without_using_code - and you can join me Wednesdays for NationBuilder Live at 10am Pacific time - https://nationbuilder.com/live where we will go over it step by step! Email us at [email protected] anytime if you have questions.
Remember your contacts
Overall I have found Nationbuilder valuable for keeping track of the conversations I have with volunteers. I talk to enough people on a daily basis that it is nearly impossible for me to remember who I talked to and what about. There used to be a follow up feature in NB that I was just beginning to get comfortable with before it seems to have dissapeared. Some work could be done to integrate it with other data systems, but even in that arena it is definitely competitive.
Good generic CRM
Cost effective ability to track membership
Its cost effective. It has all the basic features people want. It really does provide value for people wanting to keep track of others.
Its not user friendly and feels pretty raw when using it. I think they will make improvements but current data is a little confusing to get to and all lumped together in a strange way.
DON'T do the free trial!!
The website says the product is paid and advertises a free trial...wrong! When the free trial ends, they will AUTOMATICALLY bill your credit card !!! They say that's the annual plan, which is their "default" and since you didn't actively choose another plan, you're on that one. I never even wanted to go beyond the free trial!! I'm a poor student with no income and this was a huge hit. They refuse to refund the money. They won't even agree to just charge me for one month!! They're crooks. They're clearly trying to trick people.
Response from NationBuilder
Hi Matt! It looks like you were issued a refund after speaking to someone on our team! The free trial is 2 weeks during which you can adjust your plan or cancel before billing begins. If you ever have any questions you can reach out to us directly at [email protected] or 213-394-4623.
Our pricing is listed here - https://nationbuilder.com/pricing
Ok but not feature rich
It fills a niche need that little other software does. So it's become industry standard. Never the less it serves the functions that it's supposed to. No known issues.
NationBuilder leverages the features of several types of applications such as email marketing, CRM, etc. But it doesn't have all of the features that you might expect. Such as for email marketing it doesn't support automated nurture campaigns nor does it come with a click-and-drag builder or templates.