Our “award-winning” members have spoken on the best companies working in the local government arena. The inaugural ELGL Choice Award recipients have been selected using two criteria: the number of nominations received by each company (75%) and an evaluation from the ELGL management team (25%).
Based on member feedback, the ELGL Choice Award will become a fluid list that is updated quarterly using the above criteria. Anyone (ELGL member or not) can submit a nomination via the form at the end of this post.
What Works Cities is a national initiative to help 100 mid-sized American cities enhance their use of data and evidence to improve services, inform local decision-making and engage residents.
Contact: Zach Markovits, email@example.com
Comment: Not your typical “local government” company, but What Works Cities, with the help of Bloomberg Philanthropy, has the potential to reinvent government. What Works Cities employs a “who’s who” roster of experts from The Behavioral Insights Team, The Government Performance Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School, The Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, and The Sunlight Foundation. Cities from Gresham, OR to Jackson, MS have benefited from the expertise.
What Works Cities is ranked in the top spot, because our membership of more than 1,200 from across the globe, believe that What Works Cities has the resources and platform to convert the elected officials and staff who harbor doubt about the ability of data and technology to transform a community.
We hope that What Works Cities and their partnering organizations continue to provide critical resources to a diverse group of local governments, especially those cities facing unprecedented economic challenges who need to see similar cities benefiting from What Works Cities’ resources.
For these reasons, ELGL believes What Works Cities is the most important “company” operating in the local government arena.
Supplemental Reading: Bloomberg’s ‘What Works Cities’ Initiative Targets 100 Mid-Sized Metros
2. SeeClickFix assists users in communicating with local governments about non-emergency issues.
Contact: Caroline Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
SeeClickFix helps me (as a citizen) communicate better with my local government. It allows voices from all neighborhoods to contribute to the betterment of our infrastructure in an easily accessible way, removing huge barriers between citizens and public servants in order to get work done and make cities better.
See Click Fix is an excellent tool connecting people and government. The transparency makes it very appealing. It is user friendly for citizens and stress free for companies. Not only good for customer relations management but also as a marketing tool.
The whole staff there is exceptional. My City is still in the testing phase but the support has been outstanding! We are so excited to launch next month!
More than problem reporting, tracking and resolution. SeeClickFix provides transparency and the information needed to document unmet infrastructure needs such as neighborhoods without streetlights and crosswalks that do not meet minimum engineering standards. In addition, a neighborhood that has suffered from a noxious sewer odor for 20 years is now getting attention due to SeeClickFix documentation.
Supplemental Reading: SeeClickFix Founder Ben Berkowitz Partners With Local Governments.
3. MetroQuest is a provider of digital engagement software, enabling the broadest, most meaningful public involvement and improving decision-making one plan at a time.
Contact: Dave Biggs, Chief Engagement Officer, email@example.com
MetroQuest’s work on a transportation planning study resulted in much higher level of public participation than we expected.
MetroQuest provides very interesting and information web-based solutions to engage the public on their vision for the future. As a transportation planner, we use and recommend MetroQuest to local and regional governments in developing long-term visions, seeking public input on policies, development patterns, financing choices and a number of other issues. Web-based platforms and visual engaging content is a must in this age and MetroQuest does that very well.
We received 1,423 comments and responses from citizens during the comment period, which took place from June 20 through July 22. Of those comments and responses, 1,393 of them were through the interactive survey. By comparison, 160 comments in total were submitted in 2013. That success was due to the use of MetroQuest.
I have used this company for large-scale comprehensive engagement process regarding regional planning. The firm is professional, responsive and effective. We had many more people engaged in our process than we had through any other process and the feedback received was much richer and applicable. MetroQuest offers a very scalable process that can work with everything from large-scale urban growth studies to site-specific developments.
Supplemental Reading: Which roads do you want fixed? NCDOT asks for input
4. Vendor Registry streamlines purchasing for cities, counties, school boards, utilities and suppliers to save time, build businesses and conserve taxpayer dollars.
Contact: Brian Strong, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vendor Registry has continually improved their product by adding baseline and premium options. Their staff welcomes feedback from the government agencies they serve. If an issue is found, they are quick to research and fix the issue. Their customer service is available to help not only us, their customer, but our vendors as well. That means a lot. With the software company I used to work with, we always said that you could find software to fit your needs, but it is the people behind the software that makes all the difference. So true.
Vendor Registry enables our County to more effectively manage our vendors and most importantly, validate that the vendor still exists on an annual basis. This will enable me, in time, to clean up my financial database and keep it up-to-date so that I can operation more efficiently. They listen to end-users and have implemented improvements suggested by users so that the service provided is best for the customer and not just what is easy for them to program. It is an honor to recommend Vendor Registry for this honor.
Vendor Registry helps literally hundreds of businesses throughout Tennessee and the surrounding states by letting them know what local governmental contracts are out for bid. It saves small businesses a great deal of time in that they don’t have to “scrape” multiple governmental websites to find out what procurements are “in play.” Vendor Registry provides this information, on a continual basis, by letting them know what opportunities are out there and it matches these opportunities to what the small businesses provide in terms of products and services. It’s a great time saver for small businesses who do not have the staff to search these websites and it actually costs them very little to join Vendor Registry.
Vendor Registry began just a few short years ago and have increased the clients they serve by probably a thousand or more in just a short period of time because they offer a service that is relatively unique, a “good buy,” and very helpful to small and mid-sized businesses who don’t have the manpower to hunt down the information that Vendor Registry provides them.
Supplemental Reading: Vendor Registry “growing like a weed”
5. National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) has worked with hundreds of local governments to provide them with full-service survey research and evaluation needed to move their communities forward.
Contact: Angelica Wedell, email@example.com
The National Research Center conducts citizen and employee surveys for dozens of local governments each year. Their staff team is intelligent, thoughtful, and extremely responsive. The reports they produce continuously improve, and they’ve built a network of outstanding communities from across the community that use their surveys. They have my vote for top vendor — although they don’t seem to fit the vendor category — they are more like an extension of our city manager’s office — just 1,000 miles away in Boulder, Colorado!
Their nationwide work is outstanding. They are smart and perfect bridging between solid details and the bit picture questions. Not resting on the citizen survey, I’ve also done older adult and business surveys with them. A national treasure. But, Dr. Tom is a little corny, be careful when he has a microphone.
They are the rock stars of citizen surveys! They are easy to work with and solution oriented. The City of Wheat Ridge has worked with them for years and they always stay ahead of the curve, setting the best practices in citizen surveys. They have been a great partner to work with at a regional and statewide level as well.
We have had an excellent connection and partnership with NRC for many years and look forward to many more. NRC has helped us successfully conduct several interactions of our citizen survey and they always go above and beyond our expectations. They are truly willing to learn about organizational needs and priorities and adjust their product and services to meet those needs. Their knack for customer service stands out, even after delivering a product and meeting their obligations for services. For such an important process as a citizen survey, an organization needs a vendor that they can rely on to take the extra initiative, and NRC has proven to be that vendor time and time again.
We (the Colorado Municipal League) have personally utilized their services for member surveys and have been very pleased with the results. Additionally, we know that several municipalities have also used them (per our recommendation) and have had great results as well.
Supplemental Reading: The Citizens Most Vocal in Local Government.
6. iDashboards provides software to easily transform data into interactive dashboards with intuitive charts and rich animation.
Contact: Ashley Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: Stop worrying about “reports that are stuck in the 1990’s”, iDashboard uses data visualization technology (dashboards with charts, maps and drilldowns) to modernize your reporting process. The company was named “Best Data Visualization Vendors Ranked by Ease of Deployment.”
Supplemental Reading: iDashboards: An Engaging Visual Experience with Data.
7. Soofa is a solar-powered seat with the capability to charge two smart phones and collect air quality or other environmental data.
Contact: Ed Krafcik, email@example.com
Comment: Cool name, cool product. Austin, Los Angeles and Cambridge were selected into the Soofa Early Adopter Program to lead the effort to make public spaces smart, social and sustainable with eco-friendly furniture for the digital age. Video: Soofa Bench in New Rochelle
Supplemental Reading: The Soofa Bench Provides Solar-Powered Energy For Your Phone.
8. Slack brings all your communication together in one place. It’s real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams.
Contact: Slack Contact Center
Comment: Slack is a lifesaver for internal communications for organizations such as NASA and the ELGL Leadership Team. That’s right, our leadership team reaped immediate benefits from transitioning from GroupMe to Slack. Slack holds the key to solving the internal communication woes ingrained in local government.
Supplemental Reading: Convince Me to Slack and Rewind: The 4-1-1 on Slack
9. Vision Internet specializes in website development with government, non-profit and education clients.
Contact: Ashley Fruechting, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: Vision’s clients include City of Raymore, MO, City of Glendale, CA, and City of Sedona, AZ. Vision staff is accessible and willing to share information as shown in Ashley’s monthly ELGL column – Digital Accessibility — Is Your Local Government Compliant. They won our wonky hearts with their cool before and after pages that highlight revamped city websites.
Supplemental Reading: 7 Websites Developed by Vision Internet Recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Local Gov Communications.
10. BoardSync specializes in automated agenda management, meeting minutes management, and the sharing of meeting content with board members, staff, and the public.
Contact Info: Doug Shumway, email@example.com and Thomas Kaiser, firstname.lastname@example.org
The staff are fantastic and are always quick to enhance our agenda software.
Best Customer Service you can ask for!
They have exceptional customer service, second to none!
Supplemental Reading: How Local Governments Can Use Big Data.
Numbers 11 – 20
11. CitySourced is an enterprise civic engagement software platform for cities, counties, government agencies, schools and utilities.
Contact: Andrew Kirk, email@example.com
CitySourced has created a highly used city app that allows our customers across Salt Lake City to interact with each quickly and efficiently. SLCMobile is the only app used for all city departments in Salt Lake City. It is usable from our web page. It is completely integrated into two different work order systems “Cityworks” and “Accela”.
Hands down THE best – support, response time, responsiveness to needs of customer and more!
Supplemental Reading: City now online with new citizen reporting tool: CitySourced.
12. NEOGOV is the market and technology leader in on-demand workforce management for the public sector.
Contact: NEOGOV Contact Page
Comment: We will bet our entire fund balance that you’ve used NEOGOV at some point while searching for a job. Over 1,500 public sector agencies and educational institutions use NEOGOV HR software. The wide range of clients present an opportunity for NEOGOV to serve as part of the solution in local government’s challenge in creating a more navigable application process.
Supplemental Reading: Extra points for an active blog – NeoGov Blog with articles such as Ban the Box’s Impact on Hiring and How to Maximize Your Application Thank You Page.
13. NextRequest provides modern, robust, and user friendly FOIA and public records processing software used by governments.
Contact: Tamara Manik-Perlman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: The City of West Sacramento, Port of Seattle, and City of Albuquerque, NM are a few of the larger local governments using NextRequest. NextRequest allows individuals to request, track and access the status of their Public Records Requests online. Learn about Tamara’s celebrity look-alike in the Podcast: The Intersection of Local Government and Technology
Supplemental Reading: NextRequest Puts The Public Information Request Process Online.
14. Municibid is a convenient and easy-to-use online auction website for government agencies, schools, authorities and utilities to sell their surplus and forfeitures directly to the public.
Contact: Greg Berry, email@example.com
Municibid is an online auction site for government entities to sell used vehicles and equipment. They provide an alternative to the traditional newspaper advertisement for public bidding. They have increased the exposure for all of the municipal vehicles and equipment that East Norriton Township has sold and have increased the revenue received in most cases by 30%-50%.
The process is quick and easy and the Township’s public bidding requirements. The pool of potential buyers is greatly increased and reaches an audience that the newspaper does not. And it doesn’t cost the municipality a penny to place an item up for auction.
Can’t say enough positive things about this company. They really deserve the recognition.
Supplemental Reading: Municibid: the eBay for government surplus.
15. OpenGov is a cloud-based financial transparency & performance intelligence solution.
Contact: Zac Bookman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: The OpenGov network is compromised of more than 1,000 governments across 46 states. OpenGov works with governments of all sizes from the State Treasurer of Ohio to the Borough of West Homestead, PA, population 2,000. In recent months, OpenGov acquired Ontodia to add open-sourced data to its civic intelligence platform.
Supplemental Reading: OpenGov start-up company makes government transparency its business.
16. Granicus helps users leveraging technology to run their daily government information tasks including webcasting public meetings, managing and delivering legislative information, collaborating with citizens, and more.
Contact: Granicus Contact Center
Comment: Granicus has more than 60,000 government users including staff in Philadelphia, PA, Austin, TX, and Ann Arbor, MI, who use Granicus for their day-to-day government information tasks including webcasting public meetings, managing and delivering legislative information, collaborating with citizens, and more. Fun Fact: Granicus Clients Make up Majority of 2015 Digital Cities Survey Winners
Supplemental Reading: Vista Equity buys another Denver tech firm, Granicus.
17. Accela designs and delivers productivity and engagement software to help government agencies be their best.
Contact: Mark McHugh, email@example.com
We have used their software suite for permits, licensing, complaint tracking, field inspections, code enforcement, public health management, as well as their tools for tracking public meetings, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, and streaming video of meetings.
They provide comprehensive products, support, and services that have helped us improve our services and transparency to the Town of Framingham, MA and its 70,000 citizens.
Supplemental Reading: Tech firm Accela lands $143 million to disrupt government.
18. Prichard Communication uses communications superpowers to make the world a better place.
Contact: Mac Prichard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: “Communications for a better world” – Prichard has our favorite tagline on the list; however, Prichard is more than a communications firm, they are a connector. Through the Portland Ten dinner series, timely articles on the latest communications trends, and the Mac’s List podcast, Prichard is a top resource for the public sector. Bonus points: Mac’s List has the latest job openings from non-profits and government.
The City of Gresham, OR is an example of a local government who has benefited from Prichard’s training on how to deliver a more effective council presentations.
Supplemental Reading: LY Podcast Episode 10: Mac Prichard from Prichard Communications.
19. UberFlip is a platform for marketers to create, manage, and optimize content experiences, so that content can be fully leveraged by all company stakeholders at every stage of the buyer journey.
We love our social media center at the City of Roanoke! It’s hard to argue as Roanoke is a social media leader in local government.
Supplemental Reading: Roanoke City unveils new social media center.
20. Esri is an international supplier of geographic information system software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications.
Contact: Esri Contact Center
“[ArcGIS for Local Government] allowed us to migrate away from older applications; it’s allowed us to deploy more applications in less time.” Ian Wint, GIS Manager, City of Fort Lauderdale
Supplemental Reading: GIS Technology Has a Limitless Future for Local Governments.
Numbers 21 to 30
21. Neighborland empowers civic leaders to collaborate with residents in an accessible, participatory, and enjoyable way.
Contact Info: Dan Parham, email@example.com
Neighborland has engaged over one million US residents in the redevelopment of their neighborhoods and making over $250m in social impact.
Supplemental Reading: Neighborland: A Social Network For Neighborhoods
22. GovHR USA provides comprehensive executive recruitment, human resources and management consulting services for public sector and not for profit clients.
Contact: Heidi Voorhees, hvoorhees@GovHRUSA.com
Comment: GovHR has led more than 150 recruitments for local government and not for profit entities across the country. GovTempsUSA, which is part of GovHR, has served more than 70 local governments in six states by providing interim and contract staffing solutions to communities in need of immediate and long term assistance.
Supplemental Reading: Podcast: The Executive Recruitment with Heidi Voorhees, GovHR.
23. The Novak Consulting Group (TNCG) provides innovative thinking that strengthens organizations by bringing solutions into focus.
Contact: Julia Novak, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: TNCG is made up of former local government professionals who love local government and are focused on improving organizations for those they serve and those that work in them. TNCG has three main services: organizational assessment and optimization, executive search, and strategic planning and facilitation
Supplemental Reading: On the Public Record with Julia Novak, The Novak Consulting Group
24. Strategic Government Resources (SGR) partners with local governments to recruit, assess, and develop innovative, collaborative, authentic leaders.
Contact: Ron Holifield, email@example.com
Comment: SGR has over 300 local government clients in 41 states. SGRjobs.com is the second largest local government job board in the nation, with over 1,200 jobs postings, and visited by more than 24,000 local government job seekers each month.
Supplemental Reading: Strategic Government Resources Conference Promo
25. Socrata helps government put data online, share insights, and make data-driven decisions.
Contact: Ryan Mannion, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: The cities of Seattle, San Francisco, and New Orleans are Socrata users. Socrata is committed to “meeting the needs of cities and townships of all sizes to empower residents and businesses with relevant, meaningful data.”
We are worried about Socrata’s recently announced focus on the “Government 500” which is a shift toward larger governments. Socrata’s decision to shift toward larger governments.
Supplemental Reading: Obama’s 2017 federal budget gets a visual makeover from Socrata.
26. GovDelivery provides secure, scalable technologies to increase public participation in government initiatives.
Comment: More than 1,800 government organizations use GovDelivery to connect with the citizens they serve and get results. GovDelivery is driven to increasing your digital engagement, growing your digital audience by cross-promoting content, building communities around your data, and creating modern training experiences.
Supplemental Reading: 100 Million People Use GovDelivery.
27. ProudCity manage your city website and online government services all in one place.
Contact: Luke Fretwell, email@example.com
Comment: ProudCity is part of the new wave in local government — companies committed to making it easier for cities to stand up and manage government digital services. In their words, “The city website is more than just a digital interface. It’s the public face of increasing confidence, trust and satisfaction in government, and we look forward to playing a key role in helping with this and scaling municipal innovation, one city at a time.”
Suppplemental Reading: What I Learned ‘Buying’ Our New City Digital Services
28. KnowledgeOwl is an online knowledge base software to share information with customers and employees.
Comment: One of the most reviewed products on Capterra and the #1 most reviewed knowledge management software. The Owlery, their blog, is updated regularly with relevant articles such as Just-In-Time Documentation: A Practical Guide to Agile Documentation and Best Practices for an Awesome Knowledge Base.
Supplemental Reading: What is a knowledge base? Don’t get caught out at dinner parties.
29. ArchiveSocial is a fully automated solution for complying with record keeping requirements.
Contact: Alix Bowman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: Vineland Police Department, Snohomish County, WA, and the City of San Marcos are clients. Whether your local government is a client, ArchiveSocial offers a wealth of free information on their website, including case studies from the clients mentioned in the last sentence.
Supplemental Reading: ArchiveSocial helps keep government social media on the record.
30. CivicPlus offers government website design and development services for cities, townships, and counties of any size with 24-hour customer support.
Contact: Justin Hammon, email@example.com
Comment: CivicPlus has partnered with more than 2,000 local governments. CivicPlus clients have won top awards from the Center for Digital Government Digital Counties Survey and National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO).
Supplemental Reading: New city website expected to launch Friday.
Numbers 31 to 40
31. Qscend Technologies is a Web-based software solutions and services for municipalities, including website content management and CRM (311) capabilities.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Qscend staff are incredibly passionate about what they do. Every interaction shows interest in what their customers need, want and would like. They know each person by name and are familiar with their particulars such as entity dynamics, personal preferences and needs. I can’t say enough about the care these people take in connecting with their customers and actually listening to them. They are among my favorite people to speak to and work with.
Supplemental Reading: New App Will Allow Beverly Residents to Report City Issues
32. Seneca Systems (Romulus CRM) powers communication, accountability, and better service for local governments.
Contact: Chris Maddox, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reader Comment: Putting aside their CEO’s #CityHallSelfie prowess, Romulus’ “no contract, no commitment philosophy” has proven popular with larger local governments – City of Chicago, IL, City of Boston, MA, and City of Houston, TX. Their intuitive constituent relationship management (CRM) lets local government easily manage citizen information.
Their 140-character pitch – Delightful CRM built just for local government. Manage constituent requests, collaborate with your team, get back to solving what matters.
Supplemental Reading: Romulus wants to make constituent relationship management more delightful
33. Waters and Company helps identify, recruit and promote key staff for complex organizations.
Contact: Jenelle Stapleton, email@example.com
Comment: The Waters Consulting Group is group of highly skilled and experienced individuals, who consider themselves a “think tank” of experts. Waters & Company has more than 30 years of experience helping identify, recruit and promote key staff for complex organizations.
Supplemental Reading: Waters & Co. joins forces with Springsted Incorporated’s existing recruitment practice
34. Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB) is a New lens to reshape the way all of a community’s resources are leveraged to achieve Results, and inviting citizens further into an authentic role of influence and participation.
Contact: Chris Fabian, firstname.lastname@example.org
CPBB offers its technical and advisory services to help any local government organization address its fiscal realities both in the short term (fiscal health) and long term (fiscal wellness) through a new, innovative and creative leading practice that is actively being implemented across the country.
Supplemental Reading: Innovations in Local Government: CPBB and #19: Co-Founder of the Center for Priority Based Budgeting
35. GovSense empowers jurisdictions with flexible, easy-to-use solutions that meet their needs in financials, budgeting, economic development, land use planning, project review, regulatory management, permitting & inspections, code enforcement, CRM & citizen requests, asset & work order management and more.
Contact: Katie Lantukh, email@example.com
Comment: The GovSense staff is well connected with numerous professional associations including the Technology Association of Georgia. This shows a willingness to give back regardless of whether there is an immediate business return. This guiding principle shines through in GovSense on TAG Radio. The company is committed to, and organized around, cloud-based solutions.
Supplemental Reading: The Pitch: GovSense wants to take the wait out of governmental permits
36. Bang the Table are community engagement specialists that offer two digital citizen engagement software solutions to government, public sector and private enterprise clients.
Contact: Mark Pivon, Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment: Founded in Australia, Bang the Table has recently created a US-based office in Boulder, CO. Their staff has over 100 years of experiences including lessons learned from engagement projects from across the globe.
Supplemental Reading: How governments are using big data to build better cities.
37. RFPIO provides RFP software that helps automate and improve the RFP response process.
Contact: Britt Skrabanek, email@example.com
Comment: Who loves the RFP process? Exactly. Beaverton-based RFPIO is changing the RFP game. Everyone complains about the process but little progress has been made in changing it. The company developed a cloud-based proposal management system that simplifies and automates the RFP process and makes it easier for teams to collaborate quickly to complete proposals on schedule. Learn more – <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiAi4juztrOAhVY_mMKHRhqAi4QFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Felgl.org%2F2016%2F07%2F26%2Fthe-start-of-a-new-era-in-rfp-management%2F&usg=AFQjCNG_h4jPyirF3eV