|Industry||Voter databases. IT Consulting, Software as a service, Web hosting service, Online fundraising, new media technology|
|Founder||Mark Sullivan, Nathaniel Pearlman|
(President & CEO)
Number of employees
NGP VAN, Inc. is an American privately owned voter database and web hosting service provider used by the Democratic Party, Democratic campaigns, and other non-profit organizations authorized by the Democratic Party. The platform or service is used by political and social campaigns for fundraising, campaign finance compliance, field organizing, and digital organizing. NGP VAN, Inc. was formerly known as Voter Activation Network, Inc. and changed its name to NGP VAN, Inc. in January 2011. The company was founded in 2001 and is based in Washington, District of Columbia, with an additional location in Somerville, Massachusetts.
In 2009, the company was the largest partisan provider of campaign compliance software, used by most Democratic members of Congress. The company's services have been utilized by clients such as the Obama 2008 presidential campaign, the Obama 2012 presidential campaign, the Hillary Rodham Clinton 2016 presidential campaign, the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign, the British Liberal Democrats, and the Liberal Party of Canada. Its current president and CEO, Stuart Trevelyan, was a veteran of the 1992 Clinton-Gore War Room, providing research, analysis, and whip counts to the Clinton Administration as a member of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. He is the 2000 recipient of the "Rising Star" award by Campaigns and Elections magazine for innovations in activism tools and helping clients in the public policy arena.
NGP VAN was created in November 2010 by the merger of its two predecessor companies, NGP Software, founded in 1997 by Nathaniel Pearlman, who later served as chief technology officer for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, in his attic in Washington, DC, and Voter Activation Network, founded in 2001 by Mark Sullivan, in his study in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In October 2014, NGP VAN launched their EveryAction fundraising management platform for non-profits.
There are occasional accusations that the Democratic Party has restricted access to Votebuilder to hold off a challenge to an incumbent office holder in a primary. For example, Rachel Ventura, running against an incumbent Democrat in IL-11, was told "I've heard from our Executive Director. Your request for Votebuilder for Illinois' 11th Congressional District through the Democratic Party of Illinois has been denied due to our regulations that we don't issue subscriptions to candidates challenging an incumbent."
In 2019, the company made several major acquisitions, including ActionKit, BSD Tools, and DonorTrends.
MiniVAN – A mobile canvassing application that allows for campaigns and organizations to contact voters or supporters, collect data, and sync the information back to their VAN or EveryAction database in real time. 71% of progressive voter contact attempts were made on MiniVAN instead of paper lists in 2018.
VoteBuilder – A web-based service used by the Democratic Party and associated campaigns to track interactions with potential voters. Votebuilder stores information like phone calls and other methods of contact with voters in the system. It is used as part of campaign voter persuasion and "get out the vote" operations. The software was created in 2006 to bridge a perceived gap in microtargeting abilities between the Republican and Democratic parties.
On Wednesday December 16, 2015, NGP VAN released a code update to their Votebuilder application which contained a bug that allowed two campaigns to see proprietary analytical scores. On the evening of Thursday, December 17 the DNC revoked the Sanders campaign's access to the national voter file, after the campaign accessed and saved data collected by the Clinton campaign. The Sanders campaign sued the DNC in District Court and concurrently fired Josh Uretsky, the staffer who managed 3 other members of the Sanders campaign who improperly accessed the data. On December 19, the DNC restored the Sanders campaign's access after the campaign agreed to cooperate with their investigation.
NGP – A web-based service for digital engagement, fundraising, and compliance reporting used by most federal Democratic campaigns. NGP is also sometimes used by state and local campaigns. In August 2017, the company released NGP 8, an updated version of the service.
Innovation Platform – A series of APIs and integrations that was rolled out in 2014. Several notable integrations include apps and services such as self-serve online advertising, broadcast and peer-to-peer text messaging tools, live calls, and do-it-yourself direct mail.
Mobilize – A web-based service for event management and volunteer recruitment that connects campaigns with supporters. Mobilize emerged from the 2016 election and grew to become a vital piece of Democratic and progressive tech infrastructure, before being acquired in 2021.
- "NGP VAN – Washington, DC". The Inc.5000.
- "NGP VAN Invests in Innovation With Acquisition of Mobilize". NGP VAN Blog. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
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- "VAN:Personal Democracy Forum". July 5, 2010.
- Trevelyan, Stu. "Make EveryAction Count". EveryAction.com. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Klein, Howie. "Progressive Primary Challengers Hold The Moral High Ground". Crooks and Liars.
- "EveryAction Makes Third Deal, Acquires Tools From Blue State Digital". The NonProfit Times. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
- "Apax Merges Software Firms for Non-Profits in $2 Billion Deal". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
- MiniVAN App Computes On The Campaign Trail – App Provides Names, Gender, Addresses Of Registered Voters by Graham Hakala for KQDS-TV; March 2, 2016
- Coulombe, Amanda. "Organize Everywhere: How Technology Powered Grassroots Engagement in 2018". Retrieved 2018-11-20.
- "Democrats Are Busting Their 2016 Mobile Canvassing Records". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
- Democrats Take Page From Their Rival’s Playbook. New York Times, 2008-10-31, https://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/01/us/politics/01target.html
- Amy Dacey. "Here's what happened with NGP VAN, the Sanders Campaign, and the Clinton Campaign". Medium.
- Taylor, Jessica (19 December 2015). "DNC Restores Sanders Campaign's Access to Voter Files After Data Breach: NPR". NPR. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- Wagner, John (19 December 2015). "Accord reached after Sanders sues the DNC over suspended access to critical voter list".
- Steal the Bern – A brief campaign software glitch led to what the DNC said was improper access of records by Bernie Sanders' campaign. by Kim LaCapria; Snopes April 30, 2016
- "NGP VAN Unveils New Iteration Of Software Ahead of Midterm Cycle". Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- VAN, NGP. "NGP 8". act.ngpvan.com. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- Democrats' Data Platform Opens Access to Smaller Campaigns- NGP VAN Now Connects to Many Tech Partners By Kate Kaye for AdAge; Published on July 13, 2016
- Voter Targeted Digital Ads Now at Fingertips of Thousands of Democratic Campaigns by DSPolitical; September 15, 2016
- SpeakEasy Political Announces Data Partnership with NGP VAN by Speakeasy Political; February 23, 2016