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Introducing Tools You Use: Jim Pugh on ActionKit

BY Personal Democracy Plus | Monday, July 2 2012

For Personal Democracy Plus subscribers, techPresident is asking some of the folks out there on the leading edge of digital politics and government to point out just one tool or service that has become a mainstay, a must-use or just incredibly helpful in their work. There's one rule: It can't be something the person has built or the person's company is selling. We're asking folks to pay some karma forward here and highlight an innovation coming from elsewhere that makes their work easier.

The first contributor is Jim Pugh. Pugh worked for Obama for America 2008 and now manages technology for the progressive group Rebuild the Dream. ActionKit is an online organizing toolkit he uses to manage 600,000 online members.

1. What's the tool/service?

ActionKit is an online organizing toolkit, allowing progressive organizations to build and manage an online membership list, send out email blasts, and use online tools for advocacy and fundraising.

2. What do you use it to do?

Rebuild the Dream uses ActionKit as our primary list management system for our 600,000 online members. All our regular online actions and fundraising and done through the system. Additionally, we've used the ActionKit API to extend the functionality beyond initial feature set, building on top of the system's event API, and creating an approval system to moderate user submissions for public display.

3. How is it changing your work or making your life as a digital professional that much easier?

ActionKit's stability is considerably higher than the email management systems I've worked with in the past, allowing us to have more confidence that the system won't go down in the middle of one of our campaigns. Because the platform was designed to give clients more access to system data and allow for easier development on the client end, it opens up a lot of opportunities for creating new tools and features (provided you have someone on staff with the technological capabilities to implement them). This lets us do a whole lot more with the system than would be possible with other, currently-available list management platform choices.