Build or buy campaign software?

2 mins read

Things go wrong when people drift from their area of expertise.

It’s the same with software. Businesses know how to grow their business with better technology. Uber can get you a driver in seconds. Fedex makes sure that millions of packages get to the proper destination on time.

Why do political campaigns believe they should develop their own apps? It’s enough to make a veteran progammer cry.

Lessons from Silicon Valley

Startups focus on their unique value proposition. They get products to market quickly by building on pre-existing software platforms. This saves both time and money. AWS and Azure continuously improve their software platform to make them better for developers. Everybody wins, innovation flourishes when everyone does what they know best.

Amazon AWS
Microsoft Azure

Democracy Labs

DemLabs is a non-profit that evaluates new approaches in campaigns. It tests innovative, affordable apps that are commercially available, scalable, proven and widely used. DemLabs connects these innovative new approaches from Silicon Valley with Democratic and progressive groups so they can do more with less money and risk.

DemLabs nether develops nor sells software, but instead freely offers unbiased reviews of apps for activism, politics and advocacy along with free online training.

Use this checklist to decide whether to build your own app or use an existing one.

Tested solutions

DemLabs has tested these apps in political, activism and advocacy campaigns. All the apps are affordable and those in red are free.


Stick to what you do well. Please, don’t reinvent the wheel.

Co-Founder, DemLabs

Please share this bulletin. DemLabs is a SF-based, progressive hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation with free and affordable apps. Donate here to support our work.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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