May 17, 2012 Out to grow grassroots movements

The Global Brigades page on

Platform offers free fundraising option & other services

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause organizations, social change advocates, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, educators, community organizations.

Guest post by Christina Hirsch

In the fall of 2010, a group of us launched, a free platform designed to help groups making a social impact. Our platform allows organizations to manage members, fund-raise effectively, recruit volunteers, grow organically and share your successes with their community and the world.

We’re made up of a group of passionate and proven leaders from the nonprofit sector, mostly volunteers, who want to share our knowledge to exponentially grow grassroots organizations using effective online strategies. We support nearly every type of service activity, including international trips, local community projects, run-walks and leadership conferences.

How we help the social good community

We know that money spent on fundraising means less money toward the ground projects that make a difference in the world.

The Empowered platform allows organizations to conduct all of their fundraising, volunteer coordination, donor reporting, event planning and chapter management on one platform. The secret to our approach is that the Empowered platform can be integrated into your organization’s own website, allowing you to maintain you own branding and design all at no cost.

We believe that fundraising should be free. Because we work exclusively with social change organizations, we know that money spent on fundraising means less money toward the ground projects that make a difference in the world. We’re proud to be completely free for social good organizations, with custom features available at a low pricing. Continue reading

May 8, 2012

Growing nonprofits and social movements with NationBuilder

The Million Hoodies movement is among the activist campaigns using NationBuilder to engage and organize supporters. (Photo by Joe Lustri)

Service helps you mobilize your supporters to take action

Target audience: Nonprofits, cause and advocacy organizations, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, educators, Web publishers.

Guest post by Adriel Hampton
Chief organizer, NationBuilder

My company NationBuilder has been in the news lately after raising a significant round of funding from a hot VC firm and for initial investments from several early Facebook employees.

The tech press headlines are fun, but it’s what happening behind the scenes that’s really important. Just over a year after launch, NationBuilder is working with hundreds of nonprofits, activists and social good organizations to help them grow their communities and move their supporters to action. Our community organizing system offers a solution to two damaging technology paradigms: the legacy in-house server setup with huge architecture costs and annual contracts that cost more than a full-time staff salary, and the stitched-together “free” solution that requires half a dozen log-ins and leaves organizational data fractured and nearly useless.

NationBuilder overcomes these technology challenges with a highly elastic infrastructure that relies on innovations in cloud computing and email delivery (if you really want to geek out, you can check out a full description of our stack here) and by pulling together the core elements of organizing on and offline – a flexible, customizable CMS; deep social media integration with Twitter, Facebook, Meetup and more; supporter and volunteer recruitment and tracking; online donations and donor management; bulk email; action tools; text messaging; and events.

For smaller organizations, NationBuilder offers a toolkit that used to be affordable only to the largest nonprofits – including full ownership and easy export of data such as supporter email addresses. For our larger customers, we’re able to replace old infrastructure and expensive contracts with transparent, affordable pricing and expert technical support. On larger projects, organizations typically work with NationBuilder expert consultants like Liberal Art. That’s how America Bikes built out is web platform, complete with 50-state action tools for promoting pro-cycling legislation and policies. Other large nonprofits using NationBuilder include Media Matters for America, The Black Institute, the Brave New Foundation and The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict.

Meeting the needs of modern advocacy campaigns

Our core technology shift to deep social integration and the cloud means rapid and affordable scaling for the kind of surging traffic typical of today’s advocacy campaigns. When the State Integrity Investigation, a project by PRI, Global Integrity and The Center for Public Integrity, launched its 50-state investigation of public corruption in early March, its traffic spiked 15,000 percent overnight. On the NationBuilder network, that surge caused not a blip in actual site performance nor in additional costs to the organization. Continue reading