Case Study: Using Data to Build Relationships and Go Beyond List-Building

Case Study: Using Data to Build Relationships and Go Beyond List-Building

Alex Tracy
Alex Tracy

How we helped a nonprofit advocacy organization double their email engagement rate and increase engagement with supporters by over 40 percent.


50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now is a nonprofit advocacy organization that finds, connects and supports local education leaders to bring high-quality schools to their communities by providing them with the research, tools, and ideas needed to create learning environments that best meet every child’s needs.

The Challenge:

50CAN needed to identify and engage its most active supporters, but had no way of storing information from various outreach tools in one place. While their lists were growing, their tools weren’t integrated into one platform, so they had incomplete and disorganized information about supporters. Additionally, as a growing nonprofit advocacy organization, they needed a solution that was comprehensive enough to organize multiple state accounts, yet easy enough to use for the everyday, non-technical employee.

The Outcome:

Using the tools in Crowdskout, 50CAN was able to build lists across multiple tools and platforms and increase email open rates by 125 percent. They were also able to better identify and target their most engaged supporters and turn them out to the capitol, attend trainings and even apply for fellowships. With Crowdskout’s data visualizations, the organization was able to display progress on various state campaigns, hone in on strategy and keep teams on track.

Scattered and disorganized data left an incomplete picture

50CAN was formed to advocate for high-quality education for all kids, but as a nonprofit organization with over a dozen city and state campaigns, 50CAN struggled to keep data in one unified system. Data from email campaigns, texts, and other outreach methods were not stored in the same place, so data for each individual was incomplete, making it difficult to identify and further target the organization’s most engaged supporters.

Because of this incomplete picture, 50CAN’s engagement was disparate and isolated, and the organization rarely saw open rates higher than 20 or 30 percent.

When running campaigns in different states, 50CAN also needed a way to keep those campaigns organized and on track with goals. Their previous tool was too complicated for widespread adoption, which led to a drop-off in usage and an incomplete picture of how each state was performing in relation to the others.

50CAN needed a platform that would help them store data under one roof, and equip them with the right tools to evaluate outreach efforts and improve open rates.

Connecting third-party integrations to unify data about supporters

Crowdskout helps organizations unify data from third-party tools with what’s collected from online and offline interactions. By importing files into the platform and connecting their third-party integrations from all of their accounts, 50CAN was able to identify and analyze their audience and grow their supporter network.

Singer Crawford, Digital Tools Manager at 50CAN noted, “Crowdskout has helped 50CAN grow its base of supporters by providing a single warehouse to monitor their relationships with us.”   

The organization was now able to create audience segments based on engagement with the website, social media ads, contact-your-legislator petitions, text message outreach, email campaigns and more. Using this information, 50CAN could finally start to target its supporters in a meaningful way based on previous interactions.

Identifying and building relationships with the most engaged supporters

Now that the organization unified their data in a single platform, they could identify their most engaged supporters to reach out to for various city-wide campaigns. 50CAN created training programs to mobilize parents and students to become citizen advocates in their communities. To recruit participants for these programs, the organization deployed social media ads and text message outreach to direct potential participants to a survey to get an idea of interest levels.

All of this data was stored in Crowdskout, allowing the organization to identify its most engaged supporters and maintain relationships with them based on previous interactions. 50CAN used third-party tools like texting apps that seamlessly integrated with Crowdskout to double event attendance rates in some states, then used the platform to track people where they were to build community programs and continue fostering authentic relationships.

Crawford added, “Crowdskout is an advocacy-inspired and advocacy-driven CRM, meaning we’re able to use the audience builder and integrated third-party services to develop strategic engagement opportunities with supporters we didn’t even know existed. Being able to access political donation activity and easily store and manage voter file data has been a game-changer for our work as well!”

Keeping teams organized and motivated towards organizational goals

Through Crowdskout’s customizable dashboards, 50CAN has the ability to display progress on campaigns so statewide teams across the nation could use data to adjust and hone in on strategy. By merging their audience’s online and offline activity, the organization was able to build robust charts and goals to strengthen their networks of local advocates.  

As a nonprofit organization with active campaigns across the country it was important to be able limit user access based on geographic location. Crowdskout’s customizable user levels allowed 50CAN to keep all of its state-specific teams organized and seeing only the contacts and data visualizations relevant to their work. Meanwhile, on the national level, 50CAN decision-makers could see and benchmark data from all states and track the progress of each.

Leveraging comprehensive insights for increased engagement   

Through Crowdskout, 50CAN gained a comprehensive view of supporters from each state, segmented their mailing and outreach lists based on previous interactions and enabled a greater level of targeted messaging. As a result, the organization nearly doubled their email engagement rate and increased engagement with supporters by over 40 percent across their entire network. The ability to analyze performance and keep teams organized on Crowdskout allowed the organization to empower communities to launch their own local movements—ultimately allowing 50CAN to further their mission to improve learning environments for children across the nation.


Crowdskout uses large-scale services via Amazon Web Services to power real-time marketing and advocacy efforts for hundreds of clients. AWS autoscaling and redundancy capabilities provide Crowdskout and our customers with a reliable and dynamic system that can adapt to the demanding needs of the modern age, easily handling millions of new data points every hour.