How is Blue Utopia different from NGP-VAN?

There is decent amount of overlap with NGP-VAN and Blue Utopia.  We both are dedicated to Democratic and Progressive causes and both provide a full-stack of integrated tools for communication, advocacy, and donor-management.  An important distinction before we compare is where we don't overlap.  Blue Utopia does not offer voter data.  We provide a supporter-management system, which means our system is geared toward helping you; target, engage, activate, fundraise, and build relationships with your effective audience.  We do not offer the voter data as you will find from NGP-VAN.  So our comparison below is with the 'NGP' portion of NGP-VAN.  With that, here are a few key differences between Blue Utopia and NGP

Usability. Compliance and fundraising professionals have used NGP for years and can operate this system without issue. For campaign workers that haven’t used NGP for years or who don’t not have months to learn how to use it, NGP is a very difficult system to use. There is a reason ease-of-use is so important. A lot of the information that can help a candidate or organization build better relationships with donors come from activities, interactions, and local knowledge. This information flows through volunteers and campaign staff and when they can’t use the system, then that information gets lost.  That limits the potential impact of your supporter system.  Blue Utopia, in stark contrast to NGP, can be learned in minutes and used effectively by any staff member with almost any level of expertise. That allows everyone on the team to store valuable information that makes your system – because of the information in it – much more valuable over the longer term.

Pricing.  We have very different approaches to pricing and terms. NGP is considerably more expensive than Blue Utopia. A startup campaign with very few supporters can get up and running on Blue Utopia for well under $50/month. This gives our clients a chance to build their campaign and start to fundraise -- with a full stack of technology -- even when there is usually a shortage of budget. NGP, on the other had, will sign campaigns into long term contracts with considerably higher monthly costs. Campaigns that need to terminate before their contracts expires inevitably discover that NGP aggressively enforces these contracts.

Product Differences.  NGP offers compliance in most jurisdictions in the US. Blue Utopia has a compliance module for only a few limited jurisdictions. We just simply have not invested as heavily in compliance. If you're trying to file complex reports in most states, NGP remains one of your best options. Both companies offer an integrated email broadcast tool. However, NGP has had technical issues for years delivering email to recipients' inbox. By contrast, Blue Utopia guarantees inbox delivery for every client. We employ a state of the art email deliverability system and then we back that up with reputation-management processes that help your emails get delivered and read. Lastly, Blue Utopia offers a click-and-publish website system which makes it very easy to publish a great-looking website.

Pros

  • Works for Democratic/Progressive causes only
  • Integration to VAN
  • Compliance in most all areas

Cons

  • System is not considered very user-friendly
  • Far too cost-prohibitive for startup or smaller organizations
  • Long term contracts are required
  • Very little social integration

Bottom Line.

For ease of use, cost, flexible term, and performance of the core tools, Blue Utopia is a much better option. From email broadcast, to social integration, our tools are better in nearly every category -- and yet still more affordable and usable. If your need is very specific to compliance in an area that Blue Utopia doesn't address, then NGP is a viable option albeit at an escalated price.