Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 24 seconds

nationbuilderThere are numerous factors that go into starting a nonprofit organization. First it's the idea, then the plans on how to implement the idea, the money needed to start the foundation, and the donors who continuously breath life in the organization. Once a foundation has been established, the organizers must create a website, a community, a fundraising campaign, and figure out how to keep track of the donors that come in. Nationbuilder hopes to be all of this and more.

Being the first Community Organizing System in the world, the company hopes to be "an accessible, affordable, complete software platform that helps leaders grow and organize." Through their software, they hope to invigorate startup businesses, political campaigns, and nonprofits and get them the needed software to create a thriving business.


In Use:
Nationbuilder focuses on four main factors; website, people, communications, and finances although the website is the main priority. Think WordPress but the ability to create email blasts, keep track of donors, and the donations made to the  nonprofit.

Nationbuilder charges the nonprofit by month and the pricing depends on how many people are on a foundation's database. Once a nonprofit is registered, they are taken by the hand and led through the process of creating a website. They are asked color schemes, templates, and other stylistic questions to create a website. It doesn't stop there, allowing the nonprofit to get information on those that use the website. When a volunteer or donor in a nonprofit's database interacts with the website, Nationbuilder sends a message to the organization alerting them on which of their volunteers are the most dedicated to the organization.

The pricing plan of Nationbuilder depends on how many people are in an organization's database. For startup organizations that only have a few hundred it costs less than $20 a month. For larger organizations it can be close to a grand per month.

Technology Employed:
There are no downloads that comes with Nationbuilder. It is 100% internet based. Therefore, Mac and PC users are free to use it.

Ease of Use:
It's easy to get an understanding of Nationbuilder by trolling through their website. It's even more imperative that a nonprofit takes advantage of their 14 day free trial. This way they can set up their own website and see exactly how it works. Upon signing up for the free trial, an organization is paired with a customer representative from Nationbuilder who will guide the foundation through the software. From the time the foundation signs up to Nationbuilder to the time it decides to end its membership, the foundation will always have a representative to ask questions that may arise.

Recap:
Nationbuilder is a software that makes organizing your nonprofit easier than ever. Upon gaining a membership with Nationbuilder, a foundation is able to see who is donating, send email blasts, set goals, fundraise and more. The goal of Nationbuilder is that it's a one stop shop for all a nonprofit's needs. They don't have to purchase a software for finance, a software for fundraising, and a software for web design, because everything is included in Nationbuilder for a relatively low price.

Advantages:

  • Customer service is excellent. I haven't really seen anything like it. Almost instantly after signing up for the 14 day free trial a representative contacted me by phone and email offering to walk me through the program.

  • The 14 day free trial is another great factor. You can see what you're buying before you commit. With many of these other softwares you have to buy first and hope it's what you want.

  • I think it's a great idea for a nonprofit that has just started out. They don't have a lot of money and need to pool their resources and Nationbuilder combines so many things in one software, that they don't have to initially spend a lot of money.

  • Disadvantages:

  • When a foundation gets too big, they probably want to opt out. It's great for smaller nonprofits, but can be limiting to bigger nonprofits. Although Nationbuilder says they they can grow with a nonprofit, it doesn't seem practical. As a nonprofit becomes larger, they have more needs and I'm not sure Nationbuilder can fit all those needs. They may want to go with a software that is specifically designed for fundraising and another one that is specifically designed to take care of finances.

  • Templates seem rather limited for web designs. The templates that they do have are great, I just wish that they had more to chose from.

  • The price is definitely right for a smaller foundation ($19), but can gets expensive for a large organization ($999 a month).

  • My Opinion:
    If I were a startup nonprofit organization I would love this software. It would essentially let me do everything I needed to at a low cost. I could organize my donors, send emails, import data, see my finances, and create an eye-catching website. But, as my organization was maturing and more money was being filtered in, I would probably opt to get an actual web designer or chose a software that was solely dedicated to fundraising. I think that when you're a software and you're trying to be excellent at everything, chances are you're probably only going to be pretty good at a few things and that doesn't help anybody. Last modified on Monday, 16 February 2015
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    Danielle Loughnane

    Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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