It’s no secret how pivotal social media, especially Facebook, is to a successful grassroots advocacy campaign and more often than not it's going to be how someone who isn't a member of your organization finds your advocacy campaign. And while tracking pixels, targeted audiences, ads, and boosted content are important — there are fundamental practices that get overlooked that can up engagement rates and the efficacy of your advocacy.
Most professional trade associations are equipped with association management software (AMS) to streamline their contact management operations. From collecting dues and membership records to event management, a good AMS is a useful tool membership-based organizations. Association management software can alleviate painpoints associated with organizing membership online, but an AMS doesn't provide member engagement opportunities to the same degree as an advocacy platform.
Membership engagement requires strategic planning and continuous nurturing- whether through events, email messaging, social media interaction or personal outreach. The often-overlooked area of membership engagement comes in the form of advocacy software. Implementing a strong advocacy program with a special focus on involving your membership will strengthen membership engagement by connecting members with your association. Below are 3 signs that show that your organization should invest in advocacy software:
As the early months of 2018 unfold, it’s evident that citizens are embracing their constitutionally-protected right to grassroots lobbying. Empowered citizens are giving rise to a tidal wave of political activism through marches, protests, social media movements and grassroots organizing. Just as citizen-to-citizen advocacy is undergoing dramatic transformation thanks to technology, political advocacy in the private sector is adapting to the current activist landscape as well. Companies are increasingly under pressure from consumers to engage in social policy dialogue. Here are 4 trends we expect to see shaping how companies engage in advocacy in 2018:
1. C-Suite Advocacy. Companies who embrace political engagement as a function of their social responsibility will need to approach advocacy from multiple angles. As this article in the Nonprofit Quarterly points out, CEOs are recently taking public stands on political issues - which is revolutionary. Historically, corporate political involvement has been conducted through traditional lobbying and in the halls of government. However, the changing role of advocacy - in both practice and importance - is invigorating C-suite participation in private sector activism.
Online advocacy tools are revolutionizing the way that associations and advocacy groups engage their supporters in the political process. Organizations are increasingly adopting online advocacy services to enable their supporters to voice their opinions through online campaigns. Sending an elected official an email, connecting with a legislator via Twitter or calling a decision-maker through an online campaign are all types of online advocacy. Regardless of the type of advocacy campaign, below are three tips you can use to amplify the grassroots reach of your initiatives:
By definition, a “campaign” involves a series of initiatives aimed at producing a specific result. With that in mind, a well-designed advocacy campaign should include multiple activities that work harmoniously towards achieve an objective. When trade associations and/or nonprofit organizations seek to influence public policy through advocacy campaigns, these groups are striving for grassroots support, media exposure, and ultimately a change in policy surrounding an issue or a specific piece of legislation. In other words, an advocacy campaign is no small feat, and requires time to plan and carry out in order to reach legislative goals.
Technology has transformed how advocacy campaigns are developed and implemented. Equipped with digital advocacy tools, nonprofit organizations and associations are able to extend their sphere of influence beyond the communities they serve, by reaching citizens all over the US through online programs. Advocacy software fills the void of government relations in the digital space, but how else can advocacy software be used? The unique features offered by advocacy service providers can be applied in many areas of association operations, take a look at several examples:
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.
Any organized effort to influence public perception of an issue, the policy-making process, or particular legislators is considered political advocacy. Nowadays, digital apps, social media, and the transition to mobile have together transformed the way that citizens connect with lawmakers, reinventing how constituents participate in the legislative process. Digital advocacy is the result of this innovation.
We’ve worked extensively with both association and nonprofit professionals, learning how these leaders engage their members and supporters in their organization's legislative and political advocacy initiatives.
As we continue to speak with professionals involved in government relations with nonprofit organizations, the more we understand how significant the method is that they use to execute their advocacy strategy. Here are four reasons why using an online advocacy service can improve your method to approaching advocacy and net greater legislative results:
The civic technology sector is an emerging marketplace in the United States. Technology advancements, new social media platforms, and the increased use of mobile platforms are key factors influencing how citizens and organizations communicate with their legislators and participate in politics. The government relations space has been transformed by the emergence of digital tools in recent years, both in the hands of constituents and elected officials themselves. In terms of public policy and nonprofit advocacy, online advocacy channels provide a meaningful way for associations, charitable organizations, and other advocacy groups to participate in the legislative process.