Advocacy can be defined as individuals taking action to publicly express their support for specific causes. These clear and defined actions help advance that particular mission or cause and promote its success.
Advocacy software is the tool used by individuals who take these clear and supportive actions. It acts as the missing link between a supporter and the cause, helping that supporter show their support.
But there are different types of advocacy software out there, each designed to fit different needs of nonprofits. This guide outlines these different types of software and walks through our favorite solutions for each. We'll touch on:
- Our favorite complete advocacy software solution
- Advocacy software tools for events
- CRM software for advocacy organizations
- Consultants who help nonprofits use advocacy software
- Other advocacy tools
As you can see, there are many different tools that organizations can employ to make the most of their advocacy strategy.
Because different nonprofits have different goals, it's important to develop an advocacy software ecosystem that will help meet those goals. Therefore, your organization's set of tools may look slightly different from your neighbor's, and that's ok!
Choosing the best software for your organization will help you develop the most effective strategy for your needs.
Ready to dive a little deeper? Let's get started.
Our Favorite Advocacy Software
1. Salsa Engage
Salsa Engage offers the tools your nonprofit needs to get in touch with the decision-makers of your community while building relationships with your nonprofit supporters.
This multi-functional advocacy solution has tools such as:
- Targeted Actions. Targeted action pages allow your supporters to send messages directly to decision-makers from local, state, and federal offices to custom representatives like CEOs or community leaders.
- Online Petitions. Show representatives the strength of your organization's collective voice with petitions. Plus, online petitions allow you to collect new supporter information and welcome them with an automated email series to encourage further engagement.
- Click-to-Call. Encourage your supporters to call their representatives from their mobile devices with click-to-call advocacy. They simply enter their personal phone number and the call automatically connects. Provide scripts and talking points to help guide them through the conversations.
- Tweet-a-Rep. Publicly call decision-makers to action with Tweet-a-Rep social sharing tools. This allows your supporters to Tweet a customized or pre-written message tagging their representative's Twitter handle.
- Legislator Lookup. Make sure your supporters are able to easily find their individual representatives at the federal, state, or local level. With a legislator lookup tool, they can simply enter their zip code and find the right person to contact about your mission.
- Action Alerts. Alert your supporters about the upcoming opportunities to support your organization's advocacy strategy. Use social media, email, and other digital resources to get the word out.
All of these tools are completely configurable. Your organization can make sure your brand is effectively represented with the right colors, logos, images, fonts, and more throughout each and every advocacy campaign.
In addition to all of the above advocacy software tools, Salsa Engage also offers digital marketing technology and fundraising pages that you can use to push your campaign further.
With a wide variety of tools, configurable forms, and outreach capabilities, it's no wonder Salsa Engage is the favorite advocacy software solution for nonprofits.
Advocacy Software Tools for Events
This solution primarily focuses on the gathering of supporters for galas, golf tournaments, and other high-end event opportunities. With myRollCall, your organization will have access to:
- Event registration and ticketing
- Event promotion tools for email, text, and social networks
- Donation collection tools
- Vendor payment platforms
Plus, myRollCall integrates with SalsaEngage. For your next advocacy event, you can gather your supporters together as a community to support your larger mission.
This advocacy software solution is designed to be used by organizations for all types of events, big, small, and everything in between. This solution offers features such as:
- Ticket management for single or recurring events
- A simple, navigable event calendar for supporters
- Package and merchandise upsells
- Promotional codes
- Payment plans
ShowClix is another one of Salsa's partners, making it easy to encourage event attendees to contact representatives and further market the event opportunities.
When you incorporate Eventbrite into your nonprofit's advocacy software ecosystem, you'll gain access to features such as:
- Mobile ticketing
- Free ticketing for free events
- Outreach to new supporters
- The mobile app
- A branded event page
Eventbrite is a popular, widely-accessible platform where your organization can post about your event and attract new supporters to your upcoming advocacy event.
CRM Software for Advocacy Organizations
5. Salsa CRM
When an individual helps you by participating in your advocacy campaign, that information should be saved straight away in your CRM. This helps you better track supporter engagement and build relationships with those supporters.
Salsa CRM offers features such as:
- Extensive donor profiles. With this CRM, you can save every engagement opportunity that each supporter takes advantage of. Save information about every petition signed, representative Tweeted, and donation made.
- Offline fundraising. From direct mail fundraising to major gift cultivation, Salsa CRM will help you reach out to your advocates for offline contribution opportunities.
- Reporting. Keep track your nonprofit's fundraising and advocacy efforts in the same place. This type of reporting can help your nonprofit get a well-rounded view of your supporters.
The best part? Salsa CRM is packaged with Salsa Engage! When you invest in this CRM solution, you'll have access to all of the best advocacy outreach tools from our favorite solution.
You can configure the solution to meet all of your nonprofit's needs. Start with the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack, then add the best apps and integrations to make sure all of your bases are covered. With a customized solution, Salesforce can help your nonprofit:
- Track advocacy campaigns from start to finish
- Build extensive profiles for each of your supporters
- Automate marketing initiatives for your campaigns
While it may seem daunting to build out your Salesforce solution (it is a lot of work!), you can simplify the process. Integrating with a comprehensive advocacy and fundraising solution will ensure your software ecosystem is complete and works together smoothly.
Consultants to Help with Advocacy Software
ThinkShout is a digital agency that works with organizations who aim to make the world a better place.
ThinkShout helps design interfaces that engage advocates in order to achieve the mission of your nonprofit. These consultants will help you work with your advocacy software and make the most of it. ThinkShout helps nonprofits to:
- Design attractive and navigable websites based on your nonprofit's needs
- Craft tech strategies that will engage your advocates and grow your campaign
- Ensure security standards are maintained throughout digital resources
ThinkShout will help your nonprofit work with top advocacy software solutions to create a strategy that most effectively engages your supporters.
Their team of lobbyists, lawyers, and communications specialists will help your nonprofit come up with a strategic communications plan to encourage politicians to enact policy changes related to your mission.
PRG can help your nonprofit:
- Make face-to-face contact with Congress
- Develop and articulate a focused message
- Train members of your team to effectively address the media
Having someone on your team who is experienced in working with political figures and the political system can be a valuable asset for nonprofits trying to make a political splash in favor of their mission.
9. Whole Whale
Consultants from Whole Whale take a holistic approach to digital strategy. They can help your nonprofit's advocacy campaign by:
- Measuring and reporting on your advocacy campaign's ROI
- Ensuring your campaign is visible with an effective SEO strategy
- Encouraging conversions with optimized landing pages and campaign resources
Whole Whale consultants are experts at interpreting data and working with nonprofits to adjust their strategies for the better by leveraging important metrics. They'll help you use your advocacy software to its fullest extent.
Other Advocacy Software Tools
Double the Donation is a software solution that helps nonprofits increase their donation amounts and maximize their funding through matching gifts. Funding is essential for the success of a nonprofit's advocacy campaign. After all, how else would you fund a click-to-call campaign?
Therefore, while not an advocacy software solution per se, Double the Donation is a great supplementary tool to help your nonprofit maximize its strategy. Here's how Double the Donation works:
- Your nonprofit adds the Double the Donation search tool to your donation form.
- Then, donors use the search tool to look up their employers and see if they're eligible for a matched gift.
- Eligible donors use links provided on the search tool to access request forms in order to receive a match.
Successful nonprofit strategies take into account every opportunity to connect with supporters. Use this holistic approach to drive both your advocacy strategy and your nonprofit's fundraising.
DonorSearch is an incredibly effective tool to reach out to new advocates for your nonprofit's cause. It's a prospect research tool that can help your organization learn more about the philanthropic history and wealth indicators of potential supporters.
With DonorSearch, you can learn more valuable information about potential advocates, then reach out to them individually. You can learn information such as:
- Past philanthropic activities for similar organizations
- Valuable connections with businesses, policy, or related organizations
- Past donations and contributions made to similar missions
DonorSearch uses prospect research to help your organization find supporters who will have high engagement value with your nonprofit's mission. Plus, their connections could come in handy during campaigns!
WealthEngine is another research tool that helps you learn more about the wealth indicators of each of your supporters. Wealth indicators can be incredibly helpful for your nonprofit's fundraising strategy.
Advocacy is a great way to maintain engagement with your contributors without asking them to dig deeper into their pockets again. Learn about wealth indicators such as:
- Real estate holdings
- Recent gifts and amounts
- Gift capacity range
Plus, you can collect information from WealthEngine about interests and passions, demographic data, investment data, and more. This can provide further context to help you build a relationship with these supporters with the help of your advocacy campaigns.
13. Facebook Ads
Posting information about your advocacy campaigns on Facebook is great. Your primary advocacy software should make it easy to do so. However, wouldn't it be great if you could both post about the campaigns and run ads on the same platform?
Facebook ads are the perfect opportunity to spread the word about your advocacy campaign even further. This advocacy software can help your nonprofit:
- Reach and acquire new supporters past your immediate social followers
- Spread your brand name further online
- Specify a target audience you want to reach with your message
Facebook ads are a great opportunity to help your nonprofit advocacy software go further. You can link new supporters back to targeted actions and expand your campaigns.
With a well-rounded strategy and the right advocacy software on your side, your nonprofit's campaign is bound to succeed. Start conducting your own research into the different tools available to decide what will work best for your organization's specific needs.
Keep your goals in mind, your strategies smart, and your mission at the forefront of your campaign as you continue to move forward.