Ever wonder why Facebook took over the social media world so fast?

Traditionally, organizations approach the Internet with a piecemeal strategy: build a nice website; create ways for people to sign up and donate; add an email service to send messages. Often, the website is built with only secondary consideration given to the core asset, which is the organization’s database. This approach has limited success because the tools are not designed around the core asset. It’s kind of like putting the cart (website) before the horse (your data).

There's a better approach. It's what Facebook did.

To users, Facebook is a website. To Facebook, it's a database. Essentially, what Facebook created is a portal for USERS to update their CRM directly with loads of very personal (and marketable) information. Facebook is an excuse to get YOU to update their CRM on YOU!

This is the genius of Facebook, which is really a data engine disguised as a website. Every action in Facebook is designed to enhance Facebook’s core asset, which is its profile of its users. The web interface and the data engine are one in the same.

Our Data-Centric Approach

Grassroots Action takes this data-centric approach and builds all of our web and email tools around your data. Every web landing page we build is hard-wired to your database. Following the Facebook model, we track every possible action and connect it to your data. That way you are gathering far more information on your constituents than in the traditional model.

This allows you to apply cutting-edge “sales” CRM data tools to your constituency database. Here are a few of the CRM building tools every Grassroots Action client enjoys:

  • Personal account/login for users (with Facebook and Twitter login option)
  • Many engagement options: petitions, surveys, events, moneybombs, events, shopping carts
  • Social profile matching that "pulls in" Facebook and Twitter information into your database
  • Multiple types of constituent actions recorded in the database (FN)
  • Social sharing throughout web pages
  • Volunteer option integrated into platform
  • Single or Recurring donation option
  • Special benefits/access for monthly donors
  • A "points" system that lets your constituents track their activity on a host of actions
  • “Hotline” phone updates that register activity to the database when donors call
  • Text-to-join option

Are you still thinking about "building your website"? Stop right there. Whether you work with Grassroots Action or not, do yourself a favor and never build a "website" again. Always build a DATABASE use your website, email, donation pages, petitions and social media efforts to feed your CRM.

(FN) Here are some of the actions we can track to your constituent’s profile: sign a petition; comment on a post, petition; donate to your organization; buy a product; post to one of your Facebook pages; Like a post on your Facebook page; provide Feedback on a feedback form; follow another community member; follow a page; become a Monthly Partner; sign a statement of support; add a note to a profile; create an account on the site; leave a suggestion; answer a survey question; sign up for text messages; tweet a mention of your organization; follow your Twitter account


Steve Elliott


Steve Elliott is the co-founder of Grassfire, a 1.5 million member liberty-based citizen network. Steve likes to talk about politics, tech, faith and family.