A Letter from the President: News & Updates

August 4, 2021 | Amanda Coulombe

I wanted to personally share some exciting updates about what’s been happening at NGP VAN recently. For those of you who might not know me, I’ve been with the company since 2008, starting on our Client Services team, moving into and eventually leading our Product team for Organizing, and serving as the General Manager for Organizing since 2015. I’ll be sending more regular updates as we head into the 2022 midterms and have some exciting news and updates to share!

I wanted to make sure you saw this story about our parent company, EveryAction. They announced today a round of investments from Apax Partners that will help us continue our mission to provide the best unified solution to Democrats and progressive organizations across organizing, digital, fundraising, and compliance. 

Let me share a few recent examples of the work we’ve been doing so far in 2021 to make that happen:

•    We’ve partnered with Run For Something on tools for their candidates. A couple weeks ago, we were thrilled to announce our technology partnership with Run For Something. This partnership is focused on providing Run For Something’s candidates with the affordable tools they need to build a campaign and win—like creating a clean and powerful website, kickstarting a digital and email program, and building a fundraising program—all from day one. We’re thrilled to partner with an organization that is dedicated to recruiting and supporting young, diverse progressives to run for down-ballot races in order to build sustainable power for Democrats in all 50 states. This partnership is similar to those we’ve had for many years with EMILY’s List, the DLCC, DCCC, and DMO—expanding our dedication to making sure that no matter the size of the campaign, candidates have access to the tools they need to raise their hand and run.

•    We released Call Time Mobile to let you do Call Time from anywhere. Call Time is the best investment a candidate can make in their campaign, and it can also be one of the most time-consuming activities. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can simplify the process from start to finish with our Call Time Mobile App (available on the App and Google Play stores) and streamlined Call Time List management. We’re making continued investment in this area to make the Call Time process as seamless and efficient as possible, and recently released an update making it easier to manage and send Thank You responses from within our Call Time Mobile app for fundraising. You can sign up to find out more about Call Time Mobile here. In addition to Call Time, we were proud to receive a Reed Award earlier this year for Innovation in Fundraising and a Gold for Best Fundraising Technology at the Pollies for the Raiser Tool we released in 2020! 

•    We’ve expanded actions available on Mobilize to unlock the power of Grassroots Fundraising. You might’ve heard that at the end of last year we welcomed Mobilize to the NGP VAN family. Since 2017, Mobilize has provided a destination for more than 4 million volunteers to maximize their impact. To continue and expand the impact of that volunteer participation, we just released a deeper integration with Mobilize, unlocking Grassroots Fundraising functionality that lets you create fundraising asks in the Mobilize feed and combine donation asks with event sign-ups through a Donate-to-RSVP feature. Like events and other fundraising campaigns, these fundraising-enabled events are able to appear in your feed on Mobilize.Us, in your weekly automated newsletter, and in other spots where Mobilize automatically suggests events. We also just released a much-requested maps feature, making it easier than ever for volunteers to find your events. Read more about these exciting developments here!

•    We’re modernizing the way you can track the results of phone contact. We’ve also been hard at work releasing a number of updates and improvements to the way phone numbers and contact results are tracked in our platform. In 2020, faced with the challenges of shifting to fully distributed program as a result of the pandemic, we saw an unprecedented number of calls tracked across our platform. Using both OpenVPB and Virtual Phone Bank, users created 2.2 million Phone Banks, which hosted the staff and volunteers who made 755 million phone calls this cycle. Those numbers are more than double what we saw in 2018! We built VPB Connect, our click-to-dial, browser-based calling solution, to enable easier remote phone banking  to meet these challenges and power that activity (and also received a Bronze Pollie for Best Field Technology!). Based on what we learned from that unprecedented level of phone contact, we’ve released several changes to better link the phone number being attempted with the person being called to make attempt-tracking more accurate and easier to use. All of these updates are also available via our API (and if you haven’t seen them yet, check out our improved API docs!) 

•    We’ve made it simple for anyone to send even better emails. Last but certainly not least, we’ve been rolling out our new Drag-and-Drop email editor to all clients since earlier this year. Our new editor makes it easier than ever for users to build beautiful, impactful emails that will drive supporters to action—without needing any knowledge of HTML or CSS.

These updates are just a few examples of what we’ve been doing to make your work and the work of organizers, fundraisers, digital staff, and volunteers more streamlined and efficient heading into 2022. As always, we’re laser-focused on doing our part to make sure that you and your team have the tools that you need to get the job done, and done well. It’s been incredibly gratifying to build my career at NGP VAN in service of the candidates, staff, and volunteers who are working to move our country in the right direction.

Taking on this new role as we’ve turned the page on 2020 has been challenging and exciting, and I’m proud to work with incredible clients like you every day.

– Amanda
  President, NGP VAN