How is Blue Utopia different from Blue State Digital / BSD Tools?

A subsidiary of Blue State Digital, BSD Tools (BSD hereafter) is another firm dedicated to Democratic and Progressive causes. They offer a very impressive set of online advocacy tools and are used by many of the very large advocacy organizations.

Donor-Management. BSD is an online advocacy platform. They do not offer a robust Donor-Management system for things like tracking donations and pledges, or giving you a full online and offline view of your supporter.  They are a platform for executing your online campaign.  The Blue Utopia manages both your online and offline activities.  With Blue Utopia, candidate call-time is viewed in the same system as an email click or a volunteer form.  A donor's check is part of the same system as her online donation.  Unlike BSD, which aims to be an online advocacy platform, Blue Utopia is a comprehensive supporter communication + fundraising + management system.     

Websites.  BSD does not include a website. Their tools can integrate to Expression Engine, a 3rd party CMS, which they will resell to you.  You then have to host yourself or pay them an additional fee that runs several hundred dollars a month.  Blue Utopia, by contrast, offers a very easy click-n-publish website system that gives you a great-looking, easily managed, responsive website. Your website is fully hosted and included in your core monthly fee.

Pricing.  The BSD platform is designed for and priced for very large organizations sending enormous volumes of email. Just getting set up on BSD costs several thousand dollars and monthly fees start at over $500 and go up quickly from there.  Blue Utopia's mission is to help campaigns and groups that don't have massive budgets and our pricing reflects that.  

Complexity. BSD technology is very sophisticated and very complex. Most non-professional digital staff will find their tools overwhelming and not very manageable. Blue Utopia's tools are designed specifically for campaign staff where the digital marketer isn't likely a career pro in that field.

Pros

  • Very strong online communication and organizing tools
  • Works for Democratic/Progressive causes only
  • Solid integration program, especially with other Dem partners

Cons

  • No social integration
  • Cost-prohibitive for small-to-medium sized organizations
  • Not a CRM system. Manages online activities only

Bottom Line.

If you're a very large organization with a sizable budget and advanced online advocacy needs, BSD is a wonderful choice.  There's a reason presidential campaigns use BSD primarily for their online campaigns.  However, if you're a small or medium size organization, without a considerable budget, and you're not sending a million emails a month, then Blue Utopia is a better choice in terms of budget, usability, and comprehensive tools.