Recently, CiviCRM user 9to5 decided they wanted to take advantage of some of the features that Action Network provides, including tools that make it easy for constituents in the USA to contact their elected representatives. With Action Network handling these letter and phone campaigns, and CiviCRM tracking contact information, constituent engagement history, donations, etc, 9to5 saw great potential for powerful organizing.
The problem was how to sync the two systems so constituent information wouldn't diverge. CiviCRM needs to remain the database of record — the place organizers go to see and update a constituent's information and activities. When someone participates in a letter-writing or phone-calling campaign via Action Network, opting in to future engagement, the relevant data should be stored in CiviCRM rather than stranded on the secondary platform. And on the flip side, when a person's postal address or email changes in CiviCRM, those changes should be transmitted to Action Network, so the person's info is up to date when they participate in future campaigns.
Lemniscus began building an integration to handle this data synchronization, and much of the basic architecture is now in place. In the meantime, we have heard from several other organizations who are interested in the project, and would like to gather more input as we continue developing this CiviCRM extension, so it can be as widely useful as possible.
Is your organization currently using CiviCRM, and interested in adding some of Action Network's features to your organizing toolkit? Let us know if you would like to help shape the project and move it forward. The best way to engage is via this thread on chat.civicrm.org. (If you don't have an account there, this is a great excuse to get one!)
Thanks in advance.