Trump used Nationbuilder. Here are five alternatives:


It’s an open secret that Nationbuilder works with both progressives and conservatives.

They’ve supplied software to Alberta’s Wild Rose Party, the Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives in Manitoba, and the Republican State Leadership Committee in the United States. But a blog post last week by Nationbuilder’s CEO Jim Gilliam has raised concerns among progressive campaigners–particularly in Canada–about supporting a firm that is bragging about helping to elect Donald Trump.

A number of organizations have reached out to us in recent days asking about alternatives to Nationbuilder. The discussion about whether progressive organizations should switch away from Nationbuilder given their overt backing of the Trump campaign is ongoing. But for digital organizers who are investigating alternatives, we’ve compiled a handy list.

No two eCRMs or voter contact platforms are identical. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, and there’s definitely no one-size-fits-all. It’s also important to note these aren’t recommendations – just a few alternatives.

Here are five options:

  1. Bluestate Digital Tools (BSD).
    BSD Tools is the platform behind the fundraising success of Barack Obama, Canada’s NDP, and the Bernie Sanders campaign among others. BSD combines a CRM, bulk mailer, donor tracking, an robust API, event pages with distributed sends, and a myriad of other features. BSD does require some serious development chops – but templates are available, and it’s also a more powerful tool than Nationbuilder. It’s costlier – with pricing starting at $550 USD per month. But BSD is offering to match current Nationbuilder pricing until inauguration day – January 20th – for new clients who want to switch. It’s worth saying – I’m a fan of BSD tools!

  2. Engaging Networks (EN).
    Engaging Networks makes an innovative and easy-to-use eCRM – used by a number of well-known international NGOs including Greenpeace. EN combines a powerful CRM, mailer, event pages, donate pages, and a host of other features – and they’re constantly rolling out new tools and updates to the platform. They offer great multilingual support for bilingual orgs, and support for Canadian payment gateways like Vancouver’s IATS, and Moneris. And here’s a cool feature: EN’s mailer tracks the supporters who open emails most reliably, and delivers the first outbound emails to those users to increase your deliverability rate – and avoid the spam box.

  3. EveryAction from NGP*VAN.
    Everyaction is NGP*VAN’s answer to the need for a powerful advocacy and fundraising CRM. It combines the power of VAN – the voter contact platform developed for the Democratic National Committee – with advocacy and fundraising tools that membership and fundraising organizations expect. Be warned: VAN has an exclusivity agreement with the Liberal Party in Canada – so this tool might not be available to NDP candidates or campaigns.

  4. Marketto.
    This powerful commercial email marketing platform has been used by non-profits like the Dogwood Initiative to produce impressive fundraising and mobilization results. Built for the commercial sector, the platform is widely seen as one of the top online marketing tools available.

  5. ActionKit.
    Another powerful all-in-one solution, ActionKit has been used by advocacy organizations like SomeOfUs, MoveOn, and 350.org to back their groundbreaking campaigns.

Interested in talking about a CRM that might fit your needs? Give us a call and let’s talk.