Advocacy for Everyone: 6 Ways to Help Your Supporters Take Action
While political advocacy is central to the mission of some nonprofits, many other organizations have begun to integrate advocacy opportunities into their volunteer activities in recent years. No matter how your organization is making change in the world, it is likely impacted by local and national legislation. Whether your organization considers advocacy a core part of your purpose or just one part of achieving your mission, activating your supporters should be easy and effective. Here are a few easy ways to give your supporters opportunities to advocate for you:
A petition is a grassroots rally on paper – there is power in numbers, and a petition is one of the quickest and easiest ways to demonstrate the collective will of your supporters. An effective digital petition form should be clear and concise in its messaging, mobile-optimized, and easily shareable on social media. And, with any type of advocacy form, including a secondary donation ask once the first form has been submitted is an extremely effective way of continuing to engage your supporters.
Contacting Elected Officials (and other decision-makers)
Another opportunity for your supporters to advocate for you is to contact their elected officials. From the federal level down to their municipal government, your supporters’ voices hold power as constituents of their legislators. You can harness this power by making it easy for them to contact the decision-makers who need to hear from them, through avenues such as email, phone calls, and social media.
Using an advocacy form to prompt emails to legislators makes the process easy for you and your supporters in several ways. First, their address data is matched against the national voter file to populate the correct contact targets – no need for them to look up names or contact information. You’ll be able to see when the form has been submitted, meaning easy reporting on your impact.
Calling legislators is one of the most effective ways of bringing their attention to an issue or cause, and flooding phone lines with thousands of concerned constituent calls is impossible to ignore. With Click-to-Call advocacy forms supporters simply press a button to be connected to one or multiple elected officials. All you need to do is provide the talking points (we’ve got a template for that!) so that they’ll feel confident in their message.
Social advocacy forms enable you to mobilize thousands of supporters to tweet at their elected officials, getting your issue trending, generating grassroots momentum, and keeping it on their legislators’ agendas. In addition to automatically populated federal, state, and local officials’ twitter handles, custom targeting features allow social media advocacy campaigns to be directed at brands, media personalities, and more.
Stories help us to better connect with one another as human beings, and when it comes to advocacy, storytelling can be a powerful tool. Story collection forms allow organizations to easily collect personal stories from supporters about how your issues impact their lives. Whether you’re looking for someone to highlight in your newsletter or to testify in front of their state government, collecting stories within your database makes it easy to find the right people at the right time.
Visual and auditory elements make a story stronger by engaging the senses. With EveryAction Stories and Story Collection, you are able to attach photos and documents, include YouTube links for video stories, and easily manage everything within your database.
Lobby Days (in-person or virtual!)
Organizing a lobby day is an effective opportunity to rally your supporters in front of elected officials or decisionmakers to directly make the case for your cause. Whether in-person or virtual, like with any other type of event, numbers make a difference. Proper event management tools are especially important for making your lobby day successful – from RSVP and check-in forms to easy zoom integration, keeping track of your supporters as they advocate for your cause has never been easier. Check out our virtual lobby day planning checklist for a handy starting point!
Ready to take the next step with these advocacy tools? Learn powerful strategies and workflows for creating effective campaigns in our recent webinar, “5 Digital Techniques to Move Your Supporters to Action.”