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.
Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations and 501(c)6 associations often struggle to mobilize and direct their base to take meaningful political action. While effective, hiring a lobbyist doesn't simply bypass this legislative hurdle, it circumnavigates it by excluding the membership or support base. However, the increased access to new technologies is changing the very landscape that government relations professionals have dominated for decades. Both lobbyists and organizations can utilize technology to enhance their government relations work.
Civic technology redirects political power back into the hands of constituents, allowing them to move the needle, digitally.
If your organization is looking to participating in political advocacy efforts, consider the importance of engaging and including your membership in legislative initiatives. Policymakers are elected to construct policy and represent their voters through their work, and they rely on outside expertise and opinions of constituents. For professional associations specifically, effectively communicating to lawmakers about the concerns of your membership is powerful. Legislators learn from communications and advocacy campaigns and only members know best about what is affecting their profession or industry personally.
Online government relations tools enable organizations to amplify the collective voice of members and supporters, influencing decision-makers and legislative outcomes. In turn, an active membership not only boosts the organization’s voice and visibility in the political scene, but the organization can become a key player in politics.
If your nonprofit or association is currently working with a lobbyist, consider supplementing lobbying efforts with a comprehensive member-driven outreach program with advocacy software.
Connecting your membership to their legislators is a powerful way to spread your message, and a meaningful way to influence policy. Advocacy technology not only improves the relations between organizations and lawmakers, but boosts the organization’s efficacy and ability to serve its mission. Advocacy software is an incredibly valuable asset for any organization’s legislative agenda and provides a holistic approach to influencing lawmakers- through the voices of the membership.