Thank you for your interest in NGP VAN! We're a software company that builds tools to power some of the largest campaigns and nonprofits in the world and are looking forward to working with you.
As a developer it’s your responsibility to understand the system architecture behind NGP VAN CRMs and communicate to your client how the integration you’ve built interacts with their systems. Please read these guidelines thoroughly as they will help you navigate this process.
The way our clients structure nonprofit and political data may be different than how you’ve worked with person level data before; if anything we tend to see developers get stuck on the ‘what’ more than the ‘how’ of these integrations. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions. The easiest way to get help is by emailing [email protected], and our team will respond.
What is NGP VAN?
NGP VAN is a family of tools dedicated to serving nonprofits and political campaigns. What we are most known for is our all-in-one CRM systems that enable organizations to have a full 360-degree view of their donors, supporters, advocates, volunteers, and more.
The CRM that most clients are using is called NGP VAN (or VAN), built on our VAN CRM product.
If a user is not sure what version they’re using the easiest way to find out is by looking at the URL they use to login. If the user is logging in via “app.domain.com” or “domain.com” and see a solid blue bar at the top of their screen, they are using VAN. If a user accesses their system via “www2.domain.com” and see a light grey color scheme they are using a legacy version of the platform called NGP 7. API documentation for NGP 7 can be found here.
VAN has two database modes, 0 and 1. Clients using VAN as a traditional CRM (not utilizing voter data) will always be using mode 1. For more information on the different modes please see “Navigating My Voters” below. You will append this mode to your API key when authenticating.
Navigating My Voters
My Voters is a product used most frequently by politically active clients. It comes prepopulated from a client’s data vendor with voter file information. New contacts cannot be added to My Voters unless they are also using our Voter Registration Tool. Organizations will use data from My Voters to do things like make phone calls, send direct mail, or knock doors. This may be referred to as VAN.
Parallel to My Voters is My Campaign (sometimes referred to as just EveryAction), which is not prepopulated with any data and is designed to act as a more traditional CRM system for hosting a client’s supporters, donors, members, prospects, and volunteers.
People for a Cleaner New Horizons (PCNH), an example nonprofit that focuses on environmental advocacy in New York, may have access to both My Voters and My Campaign. If Tom Nook attends a webinar that PCNH hosts he will be recorded as an event attendee in My Campaign. If Tom Nook is also a registered voter in New York and is in My Voters, PCNH will link those two records to have a full picture of Tom Nook’s advocacy with this organization.
An organization with access to both “sides” will be able to switch between the two by selecting tabs on their home screen. Clients should be aware if they have access to My Voters; if they are unsure, unable to see multiple tabs on their home screen, or say that they only have access to “NGP” then they likely do not have My Voters and you should assume their system is My Campaign-based (database mode 1). Clients will frequently only have access to an VAN database, which is also database mode 1.
Additional permissions may be required to access My Voters (database mode 0) via API. Developers wishing to access these features should reach out to [email protected].
Updated about 1 year ago