If you are anything like us, your mouth starts salivating every year around the same time. That deep ingrained pavlovian response can mean only one thing: It's Girl Scout cookie season again. That time of the year when empowered young women kick ass, raise money, and well… fill all your high cholesterol needs with Thin Mints, Samoas, and the Girl Scout-branded Trefoil. They also raise around $10 million USD per year. As far as charities, the sales model of fundraising is not unique to the Girl Scouts.
Similarly if you are running a candidate, who wouldn’t want to sell related merchandise that can cover the costs to get the message out? Especially when your candidate can barely put together a sentence - it always helps to have bright hats with catchy slogans. (Not that I’m referring to any recent candidate in particular).
In fact in most cases, the sale itself is of relatively low importance for the money it brings in. Far more important can be the exposure it brings to your cause, the sense of ownership and pride it brings to participate, and the reason it gives volunteers to reach out into their communities to recruit new supports with an ‘ask’. As many non-profit organizations know an event, a marathon-based activity, or a sales drive often see more in donations they get from the exposure and excitement the drive brings than directly from the fundraiser itself. Indeed sales fundraising drives - whether it’s t-shirts or that must-have tote-bag can be a useful and even central part of organizing - digital or otherwise.
In fact, it's used widely by non-profits and political causes the world over. Which is why an E-commerce feature is currently one of the most requested additions for the NationBuilder platform. NationBuilder is one of the largest used digital platforms in the world at this point. So why can’t your cause use it to sell cookies?
Easier said than done of course. E-commerce is very much its own beast. It’s not simply a matter of selling one product (which you can actually do currently with some clever coding and highjacking the donation system like we did here). But what about if you have to let purchasers choose between items, choose sizes, add sales tax and shipping based on your location? Ay, the complexity! In fact, whole products exist out there just to take care of this job. Which might in part explain why NationBuilder has not added an E-commerce functionality.
The good news is, we have you covered. Fret no more!
Introducing the addition of the Shopify Connector Tool to the Tectonica.tools suit of tool solutions for NationBuilder.
There’s no need to recreate the wheel. You now can use the most popular E-commerce system out there in collaboration with NationBuilder and not miss all the important parts of a sales-based fundraising model. Shopify’s ease of use, simple customization, and low-cost entry make it the clear leader among E-commerce solutions. But, remember, the important thing is not the sales itself. The important thing is the opportunity to engage and involve people in your cause, campaign, or organization.
For this reason it’s vital that the online sales information that is captured is brought into your NationBuilder nation so you can incorporate these prospects and supporters in your larger engagement and organizing plans.
The tool lets you set up the two accounts separately and link back and forth between them easily. But there is an even cooler option than that if you want to get really pro...
With Shopify’s easy to use code, you can even insert a “buy” button right onto your site using their embed code, it’s as easy as inserting any embed and it works seamlessly with NationBuilder. Our Connector Tool will help you build community with your customers and supporters. You can easily send custom emails to this group of customers to engage them after the sales have been made and to keep them moving up the ladder of engagement.
To set up the Shopify Connector tool, first thing’s first, you need to have a Shopify account, (it won’t generate one for you). Once you connect your Shopify account to your nation, your customer’s contact data will be transferred to your nation and tagged with “Shopify”. These contacts will be imported as “Supporters” in the People database of your nation. Depending on the quantity of contacts you have in your account, this can take a bit of time (about 1,000 contacts every thirty seconds). You have the option of importing only contact details, or also orders which will be converted to “donations” in your nation. If there are duplicate emails, only the orders will be imported. Upon completion, you will receive an email letting you know the import is done. Thereafter once a day, the connector tool syncs new purchaser information from Shopify to NationBuilder.
This tool is part of our Premium Level Access package with a cost of only $25 per month which also gives you access to the Eventbrite connector and to all the Standard level tools (MailChimp, GMail Contacts, Constant Contact).
We are excited to bring this new connector tool to our NationBuilder community! This is just one more way Tectonica helps you build upon NationBuilder to engage and grow your support base. Start connecting now!