How to target people

Use filters to segment your people database, focus your outreach, and personalize your communications to key groups of supporters

Updated over a week ago

📌 Note: Multiple permission sets are available as add-ons. For more information on adding new features please see the add-ons page in your nation.

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Where to start

Targeting people allows you to define where your staff and volunteers should focus their attention to create meaningful interactions. By filtering the people in your database, you can create a precise game plan for accomplishing your goals.

In the People section of your control panel, you'll click on the filter button to begin defining the people you want to target. 

Any vs. all filters

In the first dropdown menu, you can choose between any or all of the following criteria. An "any" filter will show people who match criteria one or criteria two or criteria three. An "all" filter will show people who match criteria one and criteria two and criteria three. It is the smallest possible universe of people who match the criteria you chose. You can also create a filter that combines any and all criteria by adding a group row. 

The above diagram visualizes the difference between "all" and "any" filters. Using these Boolean operators allows you to target the people in your nation with precision.

A great way to start your filter is to craft a sentence about who you want to find and then build that sentence using the filter interface. Let's take a look at some examples to help explain this process. 

I want to target people whose point person is Jolynn and are on an overdue step. Here's the criteria I add:

Alternatively, if I want to target people whose point person is Jolynn, Katie, or Alex and are on an overdue step, I'll need to add a group row.

Add criteria

Now how did I add criteria from the above examples? First, I clicked on Add Criteria. A pop-up screen appears, shown below. 

You can search for a field by typing in the box at the top (indicated with an arrow) or you can click through the filter categories to find specific criteria. Many of these categories are available in all nations, but some are feature specific. More information about NationBuilder filter categories is available. 

Click Add group row to connect the criteria. When you add a group row, the criteria box will pop up underneath the filter criteria you're connecting it to.

Editing, saving, deleting and exporting a filter

When you're creating a filter, you can click the X at the end of the row to delete it without losing the entire filter. The options to filter, save filter, or export only appear after you completely define a row of criteria. 

When you click the Filter button, the people who match your criteria are displayed in the lower portion of the screen. Once you click the Filter button, you'll have the option to save the filter. Click Save Filter As to find the people who currently match your criteria at a later point in time.

You can also export the people found by clicking on the Actions menu and selecting Export. If you choose this option, you'll be taken to the + New export section of your people database, where you can choose whether you want to export people records, vote history, or household records (if exporting from household view). If you export people, you can customize the fields to be included in your export

Once you complete the settings for your export, you will be taken to the Past exports section. It may take a few moments for your export to be available while the filter runs and the system develops a CSV file.

To download the file, click on the name of the file. If you click on the filter criteria under Search, you'll be taken back to the current results of that filter. 

 You can also save the people currently found using the filter as a list. 

Clicking on the Actions menu and selecting "Add all to list" will add everyone who matches your filter to a list. Remember that lists are meant to be used at a particular point in time to reach out to people or to perform batch updates.

In the People section, you can access the saved filter dropdown menu by clicking on arrow button next to the filter button. A menu will display listing all saved filters. Click Edit next to your selected filter to edit or delete the filter.

By editing the Settings of a saved filter, you can automatically add a tag to people who match filter criteria. More about auto-tagging using saved filters.

📌 Note: Tags added via a saved filter are special: they will automatically be removed from profiles that no longer match the filter criteria. Tag data is placed in the queue to be updated every night at 9pm UTC.

Click the Delete filter button in the bottom right corner of the settings screen to delete the saved filter.

Filters limited by permissions

You have complete control over the permission sets in your nation. A control panel user who can only view assigned people will only be able to filter within those assigned people. Similarly, only people with access to your financial information can filter using the customer history and donor history categories. 

You may also limit filter views using the Assignment selector tool.

Use the People dropdown to view only profiles that are assigned to a specific control panel user. Click on the selector and choose a control panel user. Any profile that has the control panel user listed as their point person will display. If that control panel user is assigned to a path or a step on a profile, that profile will also display. You may also view profiles that are assigned to "Everyone" or just paths that are assigned to you.

Additional filter examples

I want to target people whom I can contact via email, text, Twitter, or Facebook.

Alternatively, I want to target people whom I can contact via email, text, Twitter, or Facebook and who are on an overdue step. This is an "or" filter. Here my filter includes the forms of contact as a group, then I added the step criteria.

Let's say from past experience I know that there's two groups of people who are perfect for my social media ambassadors program. So I want to find people who have retweeted me and live in Los Angeles or people who have political capital higher than 50 and are emailable. This is an example an "or" filter with "and" groupings. 

You can filter your people database by one-time donations and contribution behavior over time. In addition to looking at total and frequency of giving, target donors by average, largest, first, and most recent amount donated. You can even narrow the scope of your search to consider only pledges or donations from a specific date range or source (tracking code, page, or email blast). 

For example, encourage long-term donors to match last year’s giving.

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