Advocacy today is a much different landscape than it was just five years ago, and it is continually changing. In the past, rallying support for your cause was an uphill battle—searching for and subsequently activating supporters was costly, time-consuming, and difficult to scale.
Today, advocacy groups running grassroots campaigns can leverage technology and data to find audiences quickly, at low cost, and put them in contact with lawmakers. But finding the right audience and maximizing your efforts can be tricky.
We recently hosted a webinar – Turning Supporters into Activists: A Guide to Grassroots Campaigning – that explored the importance of grassroots advocacy, tips and tricks to rally an audience for a cause, and how our new product Advocate can help run effective grassroots campaigns.
Missed the webinar? No problem. Download the webinar here and read on for our highlights and takeaways.
Lawmakers expect to hear from their constituents
A major misconception about direct communication is that it does not matter to lawmakers, and will not influence decisions. This could not be further from the truth. The reality is that 95% of lawmakers say personalized messages are very important in understanding the views of their constituent. 92% of congressional staff say individualized emails from constituents have influence over undecided lawmakers, according to the Congressional Management Foundation.
With technology comes greater opportunity for a cutting-edge ability for more constituents to communicate directly with lawmakers on new mediums. Data and technology bridge the gap between supporters and lawmakers, allowing for more supporters to take action through direct communication. As an advocate, you can equip your audience with the tools necessary to quickly and easily send messages to lawmakers and influence decision making.
Supporters are more likely to give their information if they know it is going directly to lawmakers
Direct advocacy is not just beneficial to lawmakers, and constituents—but also to advocacy organizations. The ability to collect valuable data about supporters is important in developing a robust audience base. Communicating to your supporters that their messages will go directly to lawmakers makes them more likely to offer personal information.
Many people don’t have the tools or time necessary to take action on their own. Offering a simple way to magnify their voice gives your organization credibility and purpose while providing you with invaluable data for the future.
Activists and donors have developed an overlap
It wasn’t long ago that there were two separate groups supporting advocates: donors and “boots on the ground” activists. Now, with the increasing popularity of online donations, those two groups have begun to merge, creating an overlap of activist donors. This group is valuable not only because of their willingness to donate their time but for their likelihood to make a financial contribution in the future. Research has shown that two-thirds of volunteers donate to the organization for which they volunteer.
Nurturing the relationship between your organization and these activist donors is incredibly important. One of the keys is to become a trusted storehouse for information, making it easier to inspire activists to contact lawmakers, donate, and advocate for your cause.
Grassroots campaigns can be agile
The ability In today’s age of social media and 24-hour news cycles, real-time decision making is common practice; successful grassroots advocacy efforts use current events to their advantage to spin up movements and campaigns quickly. This often means shifting messaging depending on what your audience wants to see and developing flexibility in content creation.
Crowdskout allows you to use real-time data to segment your audience, and leverage your relationship to promote your cause when it matters. Unlike outdated methods of communicating, you have the opportunity to develop control over the information supporters receive, and how they choose to take action.
Bridge the gap between supporters and lawmakers with Advocate
According to Singer Crawford, the Digital Tools Manager at 50CAN, “providing simple, intuitive mechanisms for reaching officials […] gives [supporters] an easy way to amplify their voice or share their concern.” Advocate, Crowdskout’s latest product, empowers supporters by allowing them to contact their legislators directly. With Advocate, you can create custom landing pages, domains, and forms that collect data and allow lawmakers to hear directly from supporters through email, social media, or patch-thru calling.
Advocate tracks the behavior of your supporters in real-time, allowing you to get a 360-degree picture of who they are and what actions they take. This allows you to make decisions on whether your message is connecting, and consistently adjust your advocacy efforts accordingly. With this data in hand, you can better inform other efforts like canvassing, direct mail campaigns, or even donation drives.
Organizations like 50CAN are already using Crowdskout to power their outreach efforts, and with Advocate, it’s even easier.