Ian Patrick Hines
Certified NationBuilder Expert & Architect

Free The Delegates
Channeling grassroots energy into meaningful online fundraising on a bargain budget

The Homepage

Screenshot: The Homepage

The campaign’s website consisted of a singular petition, designed to capture email information and drive next-step donations.

Progress Bar (Detail)

Screenshot: Progress Bar (Detail)

A self-updating progress bar tracked progress towards the petition goal.

Grassroots Impact

Screenshot: Grassroots Impact

While ultimately unsuccessful, the Free The Delegates organizers were able leverage online action to draw national attention to their issues.

About this project

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Republican National Convention, a group of convention delegates banded together to block and reverse Donald Trump's political ascent.

Their goal: calling on the party’s chairman to support and reaffirm the longstanding principle that delegates to the GOP Convention can vote their conscience in the name of preserving the legacy of the party and the nation. 

I partnered with Free The Delegates to lead their national digital strategy. I designed and launched a petition microsite — in just one day — using NationBuilder’s grassroots organizing platform, and lead an aggressive email and online fundraising effort.

Over approximately three weeks, Free The Delegates sent more than 60,000 individual emails to conscientious conservatives across America, earning a whopping 36% open rate and a 3.8% click rate (fantastic engagement). In the end, more than 900 grassroots donations supported the effort, with an average gift of just $35, despite spending exactly zero dollars on online advertising.

Services Rendered:

  • Digital Strategy & Online Fundraising
  • NationBuilder Website Design
  • NationBuilder Website Development