Four ways NYCLASS used NationBuilder to win the 2013 city elections in New York

Four ways NYCLASS used NationBuilder to win the 2013 city elections in New York

How we built a beautiful and effective new NationBuilder website for non-profit advocacy organization NYCLASSNo one believed it was possible when a small, but dedicated group of “crazy cat ladies” tried to change the landscape of New York City politics. But that’s exactly what our client NYCLASS, New York’s leading animal rights advocacy organization, did this past year with our help.

New Yorkers for Clean, Livable, and Safe Streets is a progressive organization fighting to end the terrible abuse of carriage horses in NYC. We joined NYCLASS late in 2012 to help update their new media presence and begin their first online fundraising drives, and have been working with them ever since.

In 2013 NYCLASS built an impressive grassroots army in every borough that would help them achieve the three goals that political insiders thought were impossible:

1) Defeat Christine Quinn in the primary and elect a humane NYC Mayor.

2) Tip the balance of the City Council by electing pro-animal candidates to office.

3) Make animal rights a critical issue in the NYC Mayoral race.

NYCLASS succeeded in a huge way. Thanks to them (and many other groups who worked tirelessly in New York) Christine Quinn, who had a dismal record on animal rights, LOST in the primary to now Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. Nearly 40 pro-animal City Councilors were elected in November. And animal rights – from carriage horses to puppy mills – were front and center during the election. Heck, NYCLASS even hosted their own Mayoral debate – and every candidate but Christine Quinn came!

We could go on and on about the amazing things NYCLASS (and PowerThru – hey, this is our blog after all!) did during the election, but we wanted to zero in on one thing in particular: how NYCLASS utilized NationBuilder, which was a new CRM for the organization, to further their goals in 2013. Below are four examples of the work we did in conjunction with NYCLASS and the team over at NationBuilder to put animal rights issues on the map in New York City.

1) Launch one of the first responsive NationBuilder websites –

When NYCLASS began this campaign they were labeled as crazies – renegades who had no chance of victory. Even NYCLASS’ own supporters were unaware of just how bad Christine Quinn’s record on animal rights was. But with a slick informational NationBuilder responsive microsite in conjunction with the independent expenditure campaign, we shed a light on Quinn’s horrible record.

2) Used NationBuilder to manage over one million voterfile records.

NYCLASS wanted to make a big splash in this election, because their goal of ending carriage horse abuse in New York hung in the balance. So NationBuilder with its built-in voterfile tools made perfect sense. They can easily see who the registered voters in New York were, and the universe of likely primary voters (to vote against Quinn) and general election voters. With an off-year election in 2013, this information was critical to get — and NationBuilder had it readily available.

3) Upgraded their tools, including a brand-new website.

The summer was a busy one for NYCLASS. We helped them migrate to NationBuilder for their supporter management tools and voterfile tools, and also migrated them off their old and outdated website to a new one we built around NationBuilder – check it out:

4) Combined email list with voterfile to micro-target volunteers and event requests.

NYCLASS wanted to reach voters in New York. And they had a huge internal list of supporters. What did we do to bring the two together? We did a match with an external vendor to get full addresses where possible for their internal list. And then matched that to NationBuilder’s built-in voterfile, to determine which NYCLASS supporters were NYC voters, and who we needed to reach out to for this election to volunteer, and to vote.

It was time consuming, but well worth the effort to create a useful database for NYCLASS.

Since NYCLASS’ big electoral victories, Bill de Blasio has come out swinging. He declared yesterday “We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period. It’s over!” And people are spreading the good news – nearly 200K people have seen the Facebook meme we made for NYCLASS yesterday, and 52K+ accounts were reached on Twitter. I plan to write-up a post later on how we’ve worked with NYCLASS to build an impressive social media following, but in the meantime have a Happy New Year from all of us at PowerThru!

In 2014 if you’re interested in exploring NationBuilder for your organization, contact us now and we can help you out! We offer NationBuilder website design, development and consulting services for non-profits and political campaigns.