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Politics And Tech: NationalField Streamlines The Campaign Game

06/30/2013

Before NationalField built social, Facebookesque platforms for enterprises, its founders provided the organizational framework for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. Now, with their new product – Seeds – Edward Saatchi, Aharon Wasserman and Justin Lewis are getting back to their roots.

Seeds takes NationalField’s social networking-type platform and applies it to both political campaigns and non-profits. With eight months of development and $1.5 million in raised capital behind it, the new product will launch Monday and 15 organizations in the U.S., the UK and Canada are already waiting to adopt it (no, they won’t disclose which).

“The core application is highly scalable, it’s a hierarchical social reporting experience,” said Saatchi, who met his co-founders while working on the campaign to elect Mr. Obama. “That means that you are using the core application to look at metrics for your staff – that might be sales metrics, that might be political metrics, that might be healthcare metrics, we work with Kaiser Permanente, for example – and it’s very focused on accountability and giving people feedback around the work that they’re doing.”

NationalField’s core product is used by about 150,000 paying customers in corporate, government and non-profit organizations. Seeds differs in that it sheds the complex hierarchy found in corporate enterprise, instead adopting a more simple, welcoming and focused style that allows campaigns and non-profits to engage their supporters.

The platform seeks to disrupt the tendency campaigns have of vectoring interested supporters to a single “Take Action” button and a subsequent form asking them to provide contact information and wait for a future call—a move that saps whatever passion brought them to the site in the first place. “Very often you’re losing a lot of that engagement from your supporters,” says Saatchi.

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