Leveraging Voter Data in CiviCRM
Political campaigns thrive on mobilizing supporters. From getting volunteers for door knocking and phone banking to getting out the vote. Identifying and interacting with potential supporters can be a big part of a successful campains.
One of the easiest ways for campaigns to get a target list is to acquire a voter database containing demographics and voting history. These list are available from a number of source including county election commissioners, the Secretary of State, and even some private companies. Depending on the campaign type, the list can range from a couple hundred voters in small county or city elections to multiple hundreds of thousands or millions in state elections.
Smaller lists can be managed by hand. Common tools such as Microsoft Excel will work with these lists. However they are vastly lacking in the features necessary to properly utilize the data. Additionally, they will not scale as list grow larger.
Enter CRMs (Client/Constituent/Customer Relations Manager). CRMs run on a full database. Depending on the specific CRM chosen, they can track anything from contact demographic data to bulk email/SMS, and even donations and contribution tracking.
CiviCRM is a community driven software built for nonprofits. It provides an excellent platform for organizing, tracking, and interacting a groups of people. It comes with a number of built into components: CiviMail for bulk mailing, CiviContribute for contributions, CiviEvent for event and participation management, and CiviMember for organization membership tracking just to name a few. It even has the ability to add and search custom data on all records. Altogether, this makes it an excellent platform for not only nonprofit organizations, but for political campaigns as well.
The ability to add custom data is particularly useful for utilizing CiviCRM for voter data. Not many, if any, CRMs offer the built in ability to store specific voter history data. With CiviCRM this isn't a problem. Searching through this custom data is an added bonus. Detailed lists of voter tendencies can be created by judiciously selecting search criteria.
Black Brick Software specializes in data management. We have implemented CiviCRM for a number of campaigns, including the successful campaigns of Sen. Laura Ebke and Sen. Dan Watermeier for the Nebraska State Legislature. Contact Us to begin your project.