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Call time is about to change for the Democratic fundraisers and candidates using their party's most popular engagement platform.
NGP VAN unveiled the eighth edition of its namesake NGP software this week and paperless call time is one of its headline features. The update is meant to help streamline one of the most hated parts of campaigning — dialing for dollars — and could help stave off competition from potential rivals.
Another improvement, according to Lou Levine, NGP VAN's general manager of fundraising and compliance, is the ability to custom build call sheets.
"I've been dealing with custom call sheets for 18 years," Levine told C&E, noting that clients would previously have to contact the company for those requests. "This will make a lot of people happy.”
The fundraising software includes a host of other updates designed to enhance reporting and improve campaigns’ and groups' ability to access their own data. For instance, it allows a fundraiser to track a candidate’s performance.
"Is the morning more successful? When's my candidate more into it?,” Levine said. “You can tell that from a session report.”
When it comes to compliance, the new software will now help reconcile credit card settlements, which Levine called "a giant pain."
"We've been working on this for well over a year," he said.
Vendors who plug into NGP VAN's platform applauded the update. "I think it's the best new versions of their software, perhaps ever," said Steve Spinner, founder and CEO of RevUp.
It's been almost seven years since NGP and VAN announced their merger, but the company's offerings have maintained a different feel, according to Levine. The NGP update is another step towards harmonizing the interfaces of its different platforms.
"It's safe to say that this is the platform of the future for us," Levine said.
Now, NGP VAN has been retooling since the 2016 cycle wrapped. Earlier this year, the company announced a tweak to improve LGBTQ engagement. It started allowing users to assign non-binary gender pronouns to contact records in order to address their donors, supporters, or volunteers in the most accurate way, a move that some consultants applauded.