Political campaigns and organizations often start out as very skeletal operations. But once the campaign heats up and gains traction, the amount of data and activities can quickly overwhelm a small team. Without a solid system for gathering and organizing all the data and tools that help make interacting with that growing audience quick and easy, a campaign can quickly find itself just trying to stay afloat from all the chaos and activity. This is where a CRM comes in.
Here, we focus only on Partisan Political CRM Systems. A broader discussion non-partisan, nonprofit, and non-political systems is here.
First and foremost, the system should store the information on all of your supporters from all points of contact. And it should store as much information as possible on them -- bio's, contact info, notes of past conversations, past donations, social profiles, relationships, voting districts, etc. A decent CRM gives you a single place to see everything you know about a supporter.
A similar situation exists for political campaigns with regard to campaign finance reporting. If you're CRM isn't capturing the correct donation data, from all the places you get donations, then you will have to also have a mostly redundant system just for filing compliance reports. This creates silo's of data, which, in addition to adding extra costs to your campaign, also creates inefficiencies in scattered data.
|Full Supporter Profiles|
|Online Fundraising Pages|
|Offline Fundraising Mgmt|
|Social Profile Integration|
|bu vs ngp||bu vs nb||bu vs bsd|
|Easy to Use|
|Excellent Customer Support|
|Affordable at all levels|
|Allows monthly terms|
|bu vs ngp||bu vs nb||bu vs bsd|
|100 records||BlueUtopia||NGP-VAN||NationBuilder||BSD Tools|
|Total Year 1 Cost||$300||$1800||$348||$16,300|
|1K records||BlueUtopia||NGP-VAN||NationBuilder||BSD Tools|
|Total Year 1 Cost||$600||$1800||$348||$16,300|
|2500 records||BlueUtopia||NGP-VAN||NationBuilder||BSD Tools|
|Total Year 1 Cost||$1200||$3,000||$2,628||$16,300|
|5K records||BlueUtopia||NGP-VAN||NationBuilder||BSD Tools|
|Total Year 1 Cost||$1,800||$6,000||$2,868||$16,300|
|10K records||BlueUtopia||NGP-VAN||NationBuilder||BSD Tools|
|Total Year 1 Cost||$2,400||$7,200||$3,588||$16,300|
|25K records||BlueUtopia||NGP-VAN||NationBuilder||BSD Tools|
|Total Year 1 Cost||$3,600||$8,400||$5,268||$16,300|
|50K records||BlueUtopia||NGP-VAN||NationBuilder||BSD Tools|
|Total Year 1 Cost||$5,100||$9,600||$8,388||$16,300|
|100K records||BlueUtopia||NGP-VAN||NationBuilder||BSD Tools|
|Total Year 1 Cost||$7,200||$12,000+||$12,000+||$21,100|
On the CRM side, the biggest differences are pricing and ease-of-use. BlueUtopia is affordable and easy-to-use. NGP is neither. On the voter data side, BlueUtopia does not offer voter file or field tools.
NationBuilder serves Republicans, has partnerships with Republican national organizations, and integrates their platform to the national Republic database. Blue Utopia serves Democrats and Progressives only. That's our mission and we will never stray from helping our audience. Additionally, NationBuilder does not go very deep into the donor-management functions such managing fundraising calltime, tracking offline pledges and contributions. If you need a common report like Lapsed Donors, which inherently requires a view of online and offline donations, you just don't get that with NationBuilder like you do with Blue Utopia. The same goes for traditional tools like FEC compliance. If you have NationBuilder and need FEC compliance, you'll need an entirely separate system, which is likely to cause you hundreds of more dollars per month. With Blue Utopia, it's just a simple add-on - easy, inexpensive, and fully integrated.
In 2010, Blue State Digital was acquired by WPP Digital, leaving behind BSD Tools. BSD is a great toolset but very cost-prohibitive for small and medium size organizations. Like so many others, their focus is online advocacy so if you need a donor-management system, you'll need an entirely different system in addition to BSD.
ActionKitís solution is entirely focused on online advocacy. They do not offer Ďback-officeí tools for activities like candidate fundraising or compliance. Starting at over 2K per month, ActionKit targets very large organizations with considerable budgets and a solid technical team to customize and manage the technology.
Salsa is very much like ActionKit. Their focus is online organizing tools like emails, petitions, etc. Their tools are very powerful but they can also be very difficult to use without a deep familiarity with them. Their platform is designed to be very extensible with apps that plug in but again, this approach targets a customer with deep customization needs and a considerable staff or budget to make the tools work. Blue Utopia is much more of a subscribe-and-go system, with nearly or no integration requirements or technical expertise.
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) only. It is only good for managing your website content. Blue Utopia's platform includes an integrated website but it is just one small piece of the system. WordPress is very popular and powerful website system. For organizations that need the power and flexibility of thousands, if not millions, of templates, plug-ins, and widgets, then we recommend WordPress. Our system even integrates to WordPress.
The BlueUtopia System has all the tools and integrations you need to organize, communicate with, and fundraising from your supporters and prospects.