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Events: creation to completion
Events: creation to completion

Among its many cool engagement-centric features, NationBuilder allows you to create events!

Updated over a week ago

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

Table of Contents

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Step 1: Create your event

Typically, you’ll want to create an event within a calendar because this allows all of your events to be housed in one easy to access location. Once a calendar page has been created, go to the Events & subpages tab and click + New event

Give the event a name, slug, status (unlisted, published, etc.), and click Create page

Basic event settings

1. Enter the Date and time for the event. Set the time zone for the location. The length can be entered in hours, minutes, or days. 

📌 Note: The time zone will not appear on the website, you can add a note regarding time zone to the Intro of the event and in the Autoresponse.

2. Enter the venue name

3. A contact person can be an invaluable helper on the day of the event. Enter the contact person’s name, email address, and phone number. You can choose to have this information hidden on the public event page by checking the box “Don’t publish contact email address/phone number.” Consider assigning RSVPs to the contact person under Event settings > Advanced.

4. There are a series of checkboxes on the side of the page that will affect the complexity of your event settings. These include:

  • Sell tickets: Sell tickets for this event. Edit ticket levels at Event settings > Tickets

  • Accept RSVPs: Allows people to RSVP for the event.

  • Allows guests +1: RSVPs can enter the number of guests they will bring to the event. The total group number will be deducted from the maximum capacity. 

  • Show who RSVPed: The profile photo and name of each RSVP will be shown in a stream on the public event page. 

  • Ask to sign up for shifts: Sometimes, your organization will have events that require volunteer help over a long period of time - for example, creating a community garden or phone bank supporters. To effectively manage volunteers for these types of events, you’ll want to allow people to sign up for shifts. You’ll create shifts under Event settings > Shifts.

  • Ask for volunteers: Ask RSVPs if they want to volunteer. All RSVPs will be directed to a volunteer signup page after RSVPing.

5. Click the Save settings button at the bottom of the page before continuing. If you make changes without saving, they will be lost.

📌 Note: If you need to close ticket sales on an event before the event has happened, but do not want to archive or remove the event from your calendar you can uncheck Sell Tickets and uncheck Accept RSVPs which will have the form disappear but the event will remain published.


Enter the venue’s address under Event settings > Location. Include the venue name, street, city, state, zip code, and country. An exact address will generate a Google map that is included in the event page and the overall calendar page, if your event is part of a calendar. 

Click Save location to save your settings.

📌 Note: There are a variety of other advanced settings you can enable for events like ticketing, adding hosts, etc. 

Recruiting volunteers

Volunteers can play a critical role in ensuring your event runs smoothly. Recruit volunteers for your event by using a volunteer signup page. Now, if you've asked people to volunteer, and they checked the box to do so, they will be directed to your default volunteer page. You can set what page this is under Website > Pages > Defaults. It is a good idea to add a role to your volunteer page specific to the event.

To set a role for your specific event, go to your Volunteer page > Volunteer Settings > Roles to define specific roles.

In answer to the question “Will you volunteer?” your potential volunteers will see checkboxes for each volunteer role. A person can sign up for more than one role using this form. It may make sense to begin every role description with “Yes, I will [insert action].” So, for example, "Yes, I would like to help with the rally."

Next, you define the tag or tags to add to a person’s profile when they sign up for the role. A good tag for the role above would be “rally-volunteer.” A person's tag can include multiple words. To add more than one tag to a person’s profile, separate them with a comma.

You will need to define the role and tags to add to the person signing up to save a particular role. Once you have defined both, click the Add volunteer role button.

Now, all RSVP's who signed up to volunteer will have the specific tag you created for this event, this will help you to quickly find your volunteers and communicate with them.

Step 2: Email RSVPs

You're definitely going to want to remind the people who have RSVP'd about the event and possibly send them further details the week/day before your event.

Start by creating a filter to find all of the people who have RSVP'd to the event. To do this, go to the People section.

1. Click on the Filter button.

2. Click Add Criteria, and search for Events, then "Has rsvpd (specific event)," and select your event.

3. Click Save Filter As.... Give the filter a name like "Rally RSVPs." This filter will be used to find recipients when sending your email blast. 

Next, you're going to want to create and schedule your email blast.

There are two places to create a new email:

  • Click on Communication to access your list of broadcasters. Click on the one you wish to use. Click the New Email Blast quick link beneath the name of the broadcaster.

  • Select the broadcaster you want to use to send the blast by going to Communication > [Select broadcaster]. Click on the Email tab and select New blast.

You'll be taken to the new blast page.

1. Enter a name (The slug will auto-populate based on the name, but you can change the slug if you like). Leave an optional short description or note in the “Description” text box.

2. If you are including links to your website in your blast, consider checking the provided checkbox. When checked, forms on your website will auto-populate with email information from the recipient’s profile. This could increase the number of people who complete the form, but could cause confusion if the email is forwarded to another recipient.

For example, you send an email blast with a link to your website's online petition. When Jane Doe opens your email and clicks on the link to sign the petition, the form will already have her email address field filled out. She only needs to type in her name and click "Sign petition" in order to take the action.  

3. If you’d like to copy content from a drafted or sent mailing, you can use the Clone dropdown.

4. Click Create and edit email blast. You will be directed to the “Theme” section of your blast.

Select a theme

Under Theme you may choose from a selection of publicly available themes. Select a theme by hovering over the thumbnail image and clicking Use theme. This will save your selected theme and direct you to the “Content” section of your email.

You may return to the Theme section at any time to select a different theme. When you create a new email blast, keep in mind that the most recently used theme for the specific broadcaster will automatically be selected.

Enter and preview content

To enter content and images for your email blast, click the Content tab of your blast.

1. The default sender of your blast is the name of your broadcaster. Change the sender by entering a new name in the “From” field. 

2. Enter a subject line for your email in the “Subject” field.

3. Enter content for the body of your email. You can upload image files by clicking + Add > Image.

When you click Save content, the preview will refresh and update with your changes.

📌 Note: that you can preview it in regular email format and mobile device format by clicking the corresponding buttons. 

Add recipients

Select recipients for your blast.

1. Select recipients using the filter you created above. So, select the Filter radio button.

2. Select the filter you saved from the "filtered by" dropdown menu.

3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and review. This will direct you to the Review and send section of your email blast.

Review and schedule your email 

Under the Review and Send tab you'll find a final preview of your email as well as the ability to send immediately or schedule the email to go out later.

To schedule your email, click the Schedule button.

A pop-up box will appear. Select a date and time. The delivery must be scheduled at least one hour in the future. Click Schedule to confirm.

If you need to adjust the time later, you can click on the grey time/date box to adjust the scheduled time. Enter a new date or time and click Schedule to save your changes.

Click Unschedule to cancel your blast. You will be asked via pop-up to confirm that you'd like to unschedule the email, click Yes. View all scheduled emails by going to [Broadcaster] > Email > Scheduled

Step 3: Manage volunteers

If you need volunteers for your event, you probably want to find them in your nation and communicate to them leading up to it. To make this easy, you can add all of your volunteers to a list

1. Go to the People section and click on the Filter button.

2. Click + Add criteria, select Tag, and search for the event volunteer tag you set up in Step 1. 

3. Click Filter

4. Once your list populates, click on the Actions menu and select Add all to list...

5. At the bottom of the list pop-up, click + Create list, and give your volunteer list a name relevant to your event, like "Rally Volunteers." You can view the full list at any time by going to Lists > Name of list.

You can use this list to send an email blast to volunteers exactly as we outlined above in Step 2 for RSVPs.

Step 4: Tracking RSVPs & attendees on event day

You can see the complete list of RSVPs at Event settings > RSVPs. You can quickly add a new RSVP, print a PDF of the total list, or download a CSV file of the RSVPs.

Every RSVP will display an individual’s name, number of guests, ticket information, recruiter (or host), point person, and when. 

Click the arrow button to add the RSVP to a list. Hover over the RSVP and click Edit to edit any element of an individual’s RSVP. Click the arrow to delete an RSVP.

Mark a RSVP as having attended the event at Event settings > Attendees. Update the attendee list during an event by checking the box next to the RSVP’s name and clicking the Update Attendees button.

Any tags, memberships, or followers you created under Event settings > Advanced for attendees will be activated when an individual is marked as having attended.

You can independently track those who RSVP’d and attended, and those who RSVP’d but were not present at the event.

Before you start marking attendance, you may want to uncheck the box next to "Automatically send person RSVPing an email" at Event settings > Autoresponse. In the rare case that someone is marked as having attended the event, but had not previously RSVP'd, they will receive an autoresponse email. Avoid this possibility by deactivating your autoresponse email. 

Note that you can also use goals to track RSVPs in your nation. Goals will track the total number of people who have RSVP'd to any event in your nation. Learn more about how to use goals.

Step 5: Email attendees and non-attendees

After your event, you may want to email attendees or even non-attendees. Start by following the steps outlined under Step 2. What will change is the content of your email, as well as the filter you use to find your recipients. 

Following this workflow will help you become as efficient as possible in hosting events, as well as making sure your supporters/volunteers stay in the loop!

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