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Bring Your Own Data (“BYOD”)

If none of our pre-loaded data sources is a good fit for your campaign, we offer a “bring your own data” model where we will upload whatever data you provide us. That data will not be shared with other campaigns. It is up to you to make sure it is accurate and current and complete. We are happy to offer data processing and upload at the launch of your campaign, and every two months after that for a monthly surcharge of 25% of your subscription cost. Any data updates before two months have elapsed since your last update will be billed as a custom data project at a cost of 25% of a month’s subscription (with a minimum cost of $75).

Who Do You Want to Reach?

Think far and wide to Reach your goals! When thinking about which data set to chose, you want to capture the largest audience. If you’re an electoral campaign, this will probably be a voter file containing every registered voter in your district. If you’re a labor union, this might be a complete list of all your members or maybe a list of all the workers on a factory floor who you want to organize.

A note for electoral campaigns

The voters you load are your call, but we strongly recommend not limiting your data set based on targeting criteria like recent or frequent voters or party affiliation or really any sub-universe. One of the main purposes of Reach is to let you canvass every single voter you meet, no matter who they are or where you find them. This often includes voters who would otherwise be excluded from traditional targeted lists.

The best interactions with Reach are ones where your volunteers look up a person they’ve met and find them in the voter file. If a volunteer looks up someone they’ve met and cannot find them, you want them to know with confidence that the reason they aren’t in Reach is because they aren’t registered to vote. If you only load in a sub-set of voters to Reach, then you won’t know why you can’t find someone and won’t be able to capture data from that interaction in a way that relates it back to the voter file. You also won’t know what to tell the person you’re canvassing.

We designed Reach to help you break free of targeting assumptions and canvass everyone, and if you load data with targeting assumptions baked-in, you will miss out on a big part of the advantage that Reach provides.

What should be in the file?

Once you decide your audience, provide us with a CSV or TXT file of the those folks you would like to Reach. At the bare minimum, this file must include name information, location information (like street address, city, zip, and state), and at least one Unique ID (like a state voter ID, a VANID, or a member ID).

In order to optimize your Reach experience, include any other fields that might be useful in your canvassing interactions. This might include party affiliation, registration status, age, gender, last voted year, or anything else available. Include whatever you believe is the most useful information to Reach your goals, and we will load it up. This additional information will be displayed on the “Person Profile” screen that your users will see in Reach. Generally, we do not need things like scores or predictive calculated fields, as you won’t be using Reach for targeting or list-building.

These are the fields we’d recommend you include in the voter file you upload to Reach:

Note: If you are exporting data from VAN, the first step is to Create a List before exporting. Be sure to remove ALL suppressions from your list except for “Exclude Deceased”. Do not suppress data based on Registration Status, Good Voting Address, Good Mailing Address, etc.

External IDs

  • CRM ID (VANID, PDI ID, NationBuilder Signup ID, DWID, etc)
  • State ID
  • Any other UIDs (county, etc)


  • Name Prefix
  • First Name
  • Middle Name
  • Last Name
  • Name Suffix


Broken into as many separate fields as possible. If you’re exporting from VAN make sure to select “Voting Address (Separate Fields)” as opposed to “Voting Address (Single Field)“.

  • House Number
  • Fractional House Number
  • Pre Street Name Direction
  • Street Name
  • Street Type
  • Post Street Name Direction
  • Unit Type
  • Unit Number
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code

Contact Info

  • Phone Numbers
  • Email Addresses

Other Core Fields

  • Birth Date (with 4-digit years). If unavailable, Birth Year is sufficient, but not Age
  • Gender

Voter Info

  • Political Party
  • Registration Status
  • Registration Date
  • Last Voted Date
  • Voting History from past elections, including methods and party primaries when possible


  • County Name
  • Congressional District
  • State Senate District
  • State House District
  • County Council District
  • City Council District
  • Precinct
  • Ward
  • Any other districts

What about when new people register to vote?

We are happy to update your voter file any time you provide a new updated version. Subsequent updates and new versions of your data must include the same Unique ID that your original file included. For best and fastest results, the whole layout and should match from previous uploads. We will provide one update every two months over the course of your subscription included in the monthly data surcharge. More frequent updates can be done upon request and will be billed at a rate of 25% of a month’s subscription fee.

Will BYOD data work with Reach’s VAN Integration?

It depends. In order for the VAN integration to work, your Reach data must contain a unique ID on each voter that is also present in your VAN instance. It is generally possible to set up the VAN integration based on any Unique ID that exists in a given VAN Instance. So, if your Reach data is from the Board of Elections and contains State File ID and your VoteBuilder VAN instance also contains State File ID, everything should work. Since this is not the exact same data set, there may certainly be cases where a voter in BYOD data does not exist in VAN or vice-versa, but generally things should work ok.

On the other hand, if you provide data from a third party data vendor and it only includes proprietary unique IDs that do not appear in your VAN instance, the VAN integration will not be an option for you.

Where should you get the data?

We will take data from any source that can generate a CSV or tab-separated text file.

For electoral campaigns looking for voter data, we would first recommend using State Party data if possible. In many states, we have pre-existing agreements in place with state parties to allow their data to be accessible to approved campaigns directly in Reach. We can let you know if your state is a part of such an agreement and if not, we’d love to talk to folks at the state party to explain how it works and get things set up!

If that is not an option in your state, many of our campaigns get their data directly from their state or county’s Board of Elections or Secretary of State office. In some states, this data is posted online for easy download. In other states, it is available to campaigns for low or no cost upon request. In other states still, it may be prohibitively expensive or complicated to obtain directly from the state.

How to get your data to us

Use our secure upload link to send us your file:

Please provide data in as raw a form as possible. If you’re using public data, send us exactly the file that the state sent you. If you’re exporting from VAN, send us the exact text file you exported. Do not open your file in Excel and manipulate the data and re-save as this almost always causes problems with Excel messing with the data formatting.

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