Tell me about the client
The Backbone Campaign uses art to shed light on injustice. In making public art — and teaching others how to make public art — they are systematically building alliances between grassroots groups and promoting the rights of frontline communities and the environment in the wake of corporate corruption and toxic industrial practices. AKA stickin’ it to The Man.
What was the problem?
By early 2015 The Backbone Campaign had reached a breaking point with their technology. They were using one service for email, another for their website, yet another for donations, and another for donor management. Talk about a headache. Not only that, but this small, agile team was spending a lot of time cross-checking information across different platforms that didn’t “talk” to one another and flushing extra cash down the drain by paying each service separately. A classic case of nonprofit admin overload.
What did we do?
Our first step was to check out their systems, a complete audit of their technology and admin budget plus a map of what data lived on what system. The second step was to dig deep into their current needs and future goals. We spent a few days doing some intense facilitated team sessions to dig into the “why” of their work. The third step was to look at potential solutions by doing several days of research. Then we made some hard choices (rock paper scissors) and went with Nationbuilder. Before we wrapped up, we got all of their data plugged into the new system and did a day of training to be sure they could maintain the system themselves.
Since that time, the Backbone Campaign team has set up their public facing website with Nationbuilder. They’re sending consistent emails and managing their volunteers with a more organized system. Recently, they’ve made strides in their Solutionary Rail project — building solidarity with labor and grassroots groups to push for a safe, sustainable, modern rail system that prioritizes the needs of our environment over oil & gas.