Candidates for State Legislatures Get New Campaign Management Option With New DLCC, NGP VAN Partnership
BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, May 1 2012
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and NGP VAN unveiled a new software package on Tuesday designed for Democrats running for seats in their state legislatures.
The primary attraction for the new package is cost: For as low as $80 a month, candidates get access to NGP VAN database management software and the Democratic National Committee's fundraising and field databases. NGP VAN's software also manages data entered on web sites by a candidate's supporters and integrates that information into its fundraising and field databases so that candidates can have a more holistic view of supporters' level of involvement in their campaigns.
The package includes a campaign web site, unlimited e-mail capabilities, the ability to take online contributions.
Candidates who want to go beyond the basics pay extra for NGP VAN's social organizing, call-from-home and social fundraising tools. The social tools enable supporters to log in to candidates' web sites with their social media accounts; NGP VAN's software then matches up supporters' friends lists with information in NGP VAN's databases. That then allows candidates' staff to make suggestions to candidates' supporters regarding possible actions they can take to rally their networks for support.
Campaigns might tell their Facebook-enabled supporters, for example, that "these 100 friends are really the people we want you to be talking to, because those are the persuadable voters," explains Stu Trevelyan, NGP VAN's CEO. "Then they might have another task that says: Another thing we’re doing, is, we’re recruiting volunteers, and these 30 people fit into the target universe of people who are likely to become volunteers, why don’t you go and ask them to become volunteers."
"And then the people who are doing that are logging their interactions with their friends and all that is feeding back into the VAN database."
Though candidates can and do set up their own web sites and fundraising infrastructure with tools such as ActBlue and Square, packages from NGP VAN and NationBuilder offer a level of automation, integration with social media and data management that aim to make a lot of the administration of campaigns easier and more seamless.
Separately, NationBuilder co-founder Joe Green will be giving a speech on Wednesday at the DLCC's offices entitled: "Why the Internet is (finally) about to revolutionize politics," where he'll be demoing his company's platform.