By default, Powerbase provides two different permissioned roles for your database:

  • Powerbase User
  • Powerbase Admin

These roles provide access to nearly the same things - the only difference is that admins have the ability to create, edit or delete users and a few other admin tasks.

However, all users have access to all the contact information in your database.

This approach is our recommended approach for more groups because it facilitates the widest possible sharing of data and responsibility for entering and maintaining the data.

Restricting access

Some groups still require more fine tuned permissions in their database.

There are two primary ways to restrict access to parts of PowerBase: Roles and ACLs (Access Control Lists).


Roles allow people to continue having access to everyone in the database, but restrict what information you can access about the people. For example, you can create a role that restricts access to contributions or cases.

This method coincides with our political vision of PowerBase: everyone in the database should be accessible to all staff so you can more effectively organize. By using roles to limit who has access to contribution data or case work data, you can preserve their privacy, while still allowing your organizers to invite them to events or enage them in a turn out phone bank.


ACLs is an alternative approach that allows you to designate some people as have restricted access to just a certain group of contacts. This approach is more complex, prone to errors and effectively "hides" chunks of your database from some of your staff. It is typically used in a chapter style organizing project.

For example, if you have a central office that should have access to all contacts, and state-based chapters that should only have access to contacts in their state, you can create ACLs that designated that some users should only have access to contacts coded with the state NE, whereas others have access to contacts with an address state of NY.

Admin Tasks