Will Conway

If your goals dashboard looks like this, you're doing it wrong


Here at NationBuilder, we're facing a challenge we never thought we would: organizations have no idea what their goals are!

Read what they can do about it.

Politics is the Art of the Next Best - An Interview with Will Conway

I had a chance to chat with the amazing Ciara O'Riordan of Ecanvasser. Interview below:

Ciara: You often talk about speaking with people, instead of at them, how do you think we can better engage in building these genuine types of relationships?

Will: Speaking WITH people is simple - it just requires listening. As a presidential campaign or a senator or a big organization, it used to be really easy to make excuses for speaking AT people, because the technology simply didn't exist to listen to what millions of people were saying all at once. But the technology exists now - it's called NationBuilder. There are no more excuses. From social media to in-person conversations, websites to donations to events or email, we can listen to what people are saying and respond to them each like real humans. And we can do it at scale, across thousands, even millions of supporters, without any tedious merging of spreadsheets or data entry. It doesn't hurt that talking WITH people results in absurdly higher success metrics: experts using NationBuilder are sometimes seeing 4x fundraising returns on emails that personalize the content based on engagement data.

Read the full interview here!

American Airlines is suing GoGo, and it’s a huge opportunity (for American, that is — GoGo is pretty much screwed)


American can capitalize on their top-down lawsuit against GoGo with a whole new stream of potential AAdvantage members, brand ambassadors and social influencers. They can use the moment as an opportunity to take stock of their support and build true brand loyalty among individual customers. And relative to the cost of corporate litigation, they can do this at hilariously low cost.

They do it by organizing.

Read how.


You've got donations: AOL email users give more money to political campaigns

Will Conway, director of politics and advocacy at NationBuilder, a company that makes political campaign-management software, said that email was a still more personal way to attract donors than straightforward advertising. “I would argue that you can see a lot about the people you’re emailing, and what they care about, and it’s free,” Conway said. “The key is that people can take action in a moment of persuasion.” Read the full piece here.

Why the NGP VAN model hurts democracy

The Bernie Sanders data fiasco exposed a long-standing problem with NGP VAN’s model that sucks for democracy. Read about it here.

Political Campaigns Go Social, But Email Is Still King

"It's basically going from yelling at people, to listening to people," Will Conway, lead organizer of U.S. politics at NationBuilder, said of today's digital presidential campaigns. Read the full article.

The Urgency of Digital Organizing: Part 3, Organizing Organizations

The problem with everything I said in Parts One & Two of this series is that very few organizations have actually used organizing technology this effectively. Without a doubt, we’ve seen a number of uses with outstanding, almost unbelievable results... read more!

The Urgency of Digital Organizing: Part 2, Empowering Activists with Leadership

For those campaigns, PACs and parties that opt to use technology not just to better optimize persuasion efforts but to actually build meaningful relationships at scale, a whole slew of traditional campaign pitfalls cease to exist. Because these organizations are no longer siloing information about supporter/voter interactions in different technologies, and instead housing information in one central engagement tool, they are able to see a far more complete, cohesive picture of each potential supporter or voter.

Read more here!

The Urgency of Digital Organizing: Part 1, Building Real Relationships

In the years since the 2012 election cycle, a camp of forward-thinking digital strategists has emphasized the importance of digital and data in the world of political spending. Where campaign dollars used to be spent on direct mail and television ad buys, their thinking goes, modern political infrastructures should be spending money on YouTube pre-roll video ads, search engine optimization, promoted Tweets and Facebook posts.

Click here to read more!

The urgency of promoting organizing in the digital revolution

I was recently published in Mobilizing Ideas, a production of the Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame, prompted by Hahrie Han's incredible book, "How Organizations Develop Activists."

If I were the Political Director for a major campaign, Professor Han's book would be required reading for every new staffer in training. Below, find a brief snippet of my piece and a link to the full article. Click the title of her book above to purchase a copy.

Read more

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