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NGP VAN Brings Obama Campaign Startup National Field Into The Fold

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, November 14 2013

NGP VAN significantly expanded its suite of offerings Thursday when it announced that it has acquired the political tech startup National Field, which was born out of President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

National Field is campaign and volunteer-management software that has integrated many of the ideas of Harvard University's lecturer and political organizer Marshall Ganz into the way it approaches team-based organizing. It was founded in 2008 by Aharon Wasserman, Edward Saatchi and Justin Lewis, who worked on the Obama campaign at the time. They will join NGP VAN has senior staff.

Hundreds of left-leaning organizations have used National Field since it spun off into a startup post 2008. The president's re-election campaign continued to consult with National Field last year, and employed some of its metrics-based approach in its own volunteer-management product Dashboard. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's campaign used National Field for his election bid. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a handful of corporations have also been clients.

But now smaller-scale campaigns will have access to the product as an a la carte option from NGP VAN. That means that they'll not only have access to the Democratic party's proprietary voter-data files through NGP VAN, but they'll also be able to approach their in-person persuasion campaigns more scientifically, in the way pioneered and refined over the past four years by the Obama team.

For a more in-depth examination of how National Field works (at least as it did in 2011,) read this in-depth profile of the company by techPresident alumna Nancy Scola.