If it's not already, digital advocacy should be a pivotal element of your nonprofit's engagement strategy. It gets your members, supporters, and donors involved in your nonprofit's policy efforts and can increase member retention, non-dues revenue, and donations. It's marketing with a mission that has measurable impact across many areas of your organization. Digital advocacy has clear cut ROI's that other methods of supporter engagement don't.
Okay, so what are some ways I can improve my digital advocacy efforts?
Advocacy does not have to be this complicated process. Your goal should be to simplify it as much as possible for your supporters. They shouldn't be intimidated by sending a message or calling their legislator on your behalf. That starts by implementing these four simple strategies that will improve supporter education, retention, and action.
1: Host Online Advocacy Events
Frequent online advocacy events are a great way to gather your advocates together, discuss policy positions, and even get them interfacing with legislators. It's a great idea to get an elected official who is an ally to your organization and mission to join in on your calls. By doing this, you are lowering this intimidation barrier that often comes with when interacting with elected officials.
2: Invest In Advocacy Software
It's a given nowadays that your nonprofit must be using some form of advocacy software. Advocacy software is the most critical component of your digital advocacy efforts. It's where you create the campaigns that engage your supporters and power your mission. Digital advocacy tools create a frictionless environment for your supporters to take action and get involved; it allows you to measure the efficacy of your efforts and prove to your supporters why they should donate, be members, and care about your organization.
3: Start Creating Content
High-quality content is something that is becoming increasingly more important for advocacy. As organizations and tools get more sophisticated, so will the content that drives awareness, education, and action around a campaign. Your organization should invest the time and resources into generating content that tells a story and resonates with the people who already support you, but those who may not be familiar with your organization. Once you create the content proliferating through emails, your website, social media, and traditional media is simple. For a 101 on content marketing for nonprofits, check out this blog from classy.org.
4: Start Nurturing Your Advocates
A robust grassroots program relies on a strong network of advocates. If your supporters only hear from you when you're running a campaign, they're less likely to get involved. Nurture your advocates through multiple channels of communication. Lead them down the path to be better advocates. This, in turn, will not only boost engagement rates for your campaigns but will lead to better advocate retention, more donations/revenue, and participation.
The entire point of digital advocacy is to simplfy it, codify it to make it easier not only for you but also for your supporters. Ensure you have the proper tools and strategies to run campaigns effectively so you can take that data and improve your organization's operations. Grassroots advocacy should be a core piece of your engagement approach, and applying and improving upon these four simple strategies will allow your digital advocacy and organization to flourish.