In the increasingly digital world where all nonprofits and associations operate, technology has dramatically changed the way that advocacy is conducted. Gone are the days when grassroots advocacy meant canvassing door-to-door or wielding megaphones to amplify one’s voice. Innovation in technology has not only enhanced organizations’ general effectiveness in achieving their policy goals, but also completely transformed the way that communication occurs between an organization and its contacts. To this end, groups on a mission to influence public policy need to integrate digital tools into their advocacy strategies. We’ve created a three-pronged approach to evaluating the reasons why it is vital to leverage new technology as a key to affecting social change (as you can tell, we LOVE the intersection between advocacy and technology!):
Grow membership lists and mobilize contacts, easily and without any extra legwork. Utilizing a software solution to organize and manage your contacts removes the hassle of organizing names and addresses on various spreadsheets. Do you know anyone who manually updates their membership lists on Excel or antiquated spreadsheets? This inconvenience can be easily avoided using the newest technology. Software platforms, like Muster, allow an organization to easily cultivate and maintain up-to-date records of all members in one area. Now, you are one step closer to engaging your contacts, and turning them into advocates.
Digital Action Alerts make advocacy easy on both ends: the organization and the supporter. Software simplifies the process to empower supporters in becoming advocates for an organization’s cause. Digital grassroots advocacy platforms allow organizations to easily engage their members through social media, networking sites, and emails. How many times have you run across a website’s “Take Action” center only to find a huge block of text intricately describing the steps you need to take to participate? Organizations that purely rely on non-responsive text are ineffective in calling their supporters to take an action on their behalf. They also lose the ability to track any actions taken by members who stumble upon the Action Alert. Let’s talk about that next.
Measure, measure, measure! While Action Alerts are the heart and soul of a campaign, analytics are absolutely key to quantifying and assessing the success of a campaign. Analytics are paramount to understanding civic engagement on a small scale, and provide an organization with a concrete ability to gauge their supporters’ level of activism. These measurements are also an effective tool to hold legislators’ accountable.