How to Fertilize the Grassroots?
April 13, 2008 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Can you point me to a good web platform for hosting a grassroots activism campaign, including supporter mailing lists and the ability to send customized emails to people in power?

A group I'm working with is about to launch a website announcing a grassroots campaign that will probably attract a lot of attention. We have worked with Drupal sites in the past and plan to use Drupal again. We are looking for a way to organize information on a large number of citizens who want to be kept informed about the campaign, and to allow them to simply send a customized email registering their feelings to people who have the power to change policy.

We are looking at the site, a free Drupal site which promises to do all these things.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience with CitizenSpeak as a campaign management site, or if there are other options we might not be aware of.
posted by Scram to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You might find TechSoup to be a helpful source of info on this.
posted by halcyon_daze at 6:48 PM on April 13, 2008

Something Drupal-based is probably a good choice. Drupal is a decent enough platform but, more importantly, there are tons of grassroots-type sites using it.

I'd stay away from Drupal 6.0 until it's a bit more stable, though.
posted by meta_eli at 7:43 PM on April 13, 2008

I've heard good things about Civic CRM though I don't have any experience with it myself. It works with Drupal and Joomla. As I recall, it was originally put together as a Drupal project by the folks supporting Howard Dean when he was running for President (Deanspace). It has since broadened its focus to be geared to the ideas you are talking about.
posted by afflatus at 9:40 PM on April 13, 2008

I've used Civic CRM (with Drupal 5) and I'll vouch for its awesomeness, if I understand your project right, it'll be perfect for some of the things you need. The vocabulary takes a bit of getting used to and the documentation is patchy in places, but if you plan the database right, it should do anything you could possibly want for collecting information on supporters.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:52 PM on April 13, 2008

Thanks for the feedback. We ended up finding a Drupal module called signit that did everything we wanted locally. Here's the link in case anyone is interested in seeing how it turned out. The site's aim is trying to stop a major fee increase at the LA Public Library.
posted by Scram at 6:02 PM on April 14, 2008

I second the advice about Drupal 6. It's nice, but the huge library of third-party extensions is still not fully migrated over from version 5. I'm guessing it'll be a couple of months before I'd feel comfortable launching a large site on it.
posted by verb at 3:26 AM on April 15, 2008

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