Mobilizing membership and supporters on advocacy issues is becoming increasingly important to public affairs and legislative teams all over the country. Often, online advocacy supplements an organization’s government relations strategy; however, the cost of the software is often a deciding factor in which advocacy software an organization selects. The decision to purchase any advocacy software almost always involves a discussion with board members and key stakeholders within the organization because advocacy software can be an investment.
Many different types of organizations mobilize their base for political advocacy purposes. For example, coalitions, trade associations, charitable organizations, lobbying firms, and association management firms all aim to influence public policy with broad citizen support. One of the leading questions our Muster team receives from association executive directors and government relations professionals is: “how much does advocacy software cost?” To answer this question, we’ve put together a blog post to explain the logic behind pricing for different advocacy software platforms.
“Can you give me a price range based on the size of my nonprofit, trade association, or lobbying firm? Is there a different price for mobilizing on a federal level?”
Because of the wide variety of nonprofit and for-profit organizations involved in advocacy, there is also a range of pricing options for advocacy software. This is a ballpark of basic pricing for advocacy software based on the current market place:
- Pricing for small organizations at a state or municipal level could be between: $400 to $1,000
- Pricing for medium sized organizations could be between: $1,000 to $5,000
- Pricing for large organizations could be between: $5,000 to $50,000
- Pricing for very large national organizations could be between: $20,000 to $100,000
- Pricing for federal level lobbying only could be between: $10,000 to $100,000
“How is advocacy software priced?”
- Pricing can be determined by the number of contacts that are uploaded into the advocacy software account. For example, there will be a price for each individual member or supporter that is uploaded as part of the organization’s advocacy network. (This is how Muster is priced).
- Pricing can be set by the number of “advocacy actions” that an organization takes. For example, the number of emails, phone calls, or letters that are placed through the softwares will have a charge.
- Digital advocacy solutions can be priced by a combination of contacts and actions taken. In other words, the software can be priced by a combination of Option 1 and Option 2 (for more information on implementing digital advocacy for your organization please read our “Advocacy Handbook).
- Finally, advocacy software can be priced based on whether or not the elected officials you are asking your membership or supporters to reach out to are at the federal, state, or municipal level.
“Why is advocacy software priced this way?”
Advocacy software companies pay a price for each email, letter, or phone call that is sent through their system. Pricing may also reflect government relations strategy. For example, sometimes you may encounter a charge or a higher price if your organization wants to have supporters reach out to elected officials where the supporter is not a constituent.
“What should I ask when purchasing advocacy software?”
Here are a couple of things that you should ask the sales representative you are working with before purchasing advocacy software:
- Ask for an outline of the different pricing options
- Ask how much it would be for a specific amount of contacts uploaded into the advocacy system
- Ask how much it would be for a certain number of emails, phone calls, or letters sent
- Find out if there is different pricing for different levels of federal, state, or municipal contacts
- Check to see if the organization discloses its prices on their website
- Find out if your supporters can reach out to elected officials even if they are not constituents of the official they are reaching out to
We hope this article has given you a better idea about what to expect when researching advocacy software for your organization. If you are interested, the Muster team would be happy to speak with you and provide you with an exact pricing quote today. You can click here to schedule a time to talk to a member of the Muster team or you can visit Muster’s pricing page to view our prices.