Many nonprofit organizations use advocacy campaigns to effectively draw attention to their mission and cause real change. Whether you are targeting legislators at any level of government, or CEOs and other decision-makers, advocacy campaigns can be an effective engagement activity that helps get your supporters more involved with your cause.
However, there are some common issues that nonprofits tend to run into when it comes to effectively planning, launching, and maintaining their advocacy campaigns.
We’re going to walk through some of these advocacy pain-points, discuss the solution to these common issues, and cite nonprofit advocacy campaign examples that effectively illustrate these solutions.
Sound good? These nonprofit advocacy examples are organized by campaign activity. Use the navigation below to jump to the activity that best describes your nonprofit’s pain-point when it comes to advocacy or join us reading from the top:
Sometimes, the best way to learn and improve your nonprofit’s strategy is by examining effective example strategies. Let’s get started!
1. Nonprofit Advocacy Example for Click-to-Call Campaigns
What is click-to-call advocacy?
Click-to-call is an advocacy tool that connects supporters of your mission to their representative via phone call. With the click of a button, they can call legislators and read a designated script emphasizing the importance of your mission and calling that leader to action.
Here’s how it works:
- First, you design a click-to-call targeted action page with the budget cap amount, a fallback message, and a script or talking points for supporters to follow.
- Next, supporters enter their phone number on the landing page. Their phone will ring and they’re automatically connected to a representative.
- Finally, with your talking points or script to guide them through the call, your message will be heard by the leaders for your community.
A common issue that nonprofits run into when it comes to click-to-call advocacy campaigns is marketing. In order to make the biggest impact possible, your nonprofit must first get the word out about the campaign to your hardworking supporters.
The solution to this problem? Choose an advocacy software solution with effective marketing strategies built into the software.
For instance, Salsa Engage provides the opportunity to share your click-to-call targeted action with your supporters on social media or by email.
2. Nonprofit Advocacy Example for Social Advocacy
What is social advocacy?
Social advocacy requires organizations to employ social sharing and networking sites to advance your advocacy campaigns. Social media can be used to reach out to advocates and alert them of your activities and to reach out directly to your representatives about your mission.
There are three primary ways that your nonprofit can use social media for your advocacy campaigns:
- Post targeted action alerts. When you create a new targeted action page, such as an online petition or click-to-call advocacy campaign, post an alert about the new opportunity to get involved on social media to alert supporters.
- Tag representatives. With campaigns like Tweet-a-Rep, your organization can create targeted action pages to encourage supporters to reach out to representatives directly with their social media handles.
- Encourage supporters to share their involvement. Make sure your advocacy campaign “thank you” page provides an opportunity for your supporters to share their involvement with their network of friends and family.
The primary issue that nonprofits tend to face when it comes to social advocacy is targeting the correct audience with your content.
The solution to this issue? Segment your audience to better understand who you are addressing in your social advocacy campaign.
When your advocacy software integrates seamlessly with your CRM software, it’s easy to analyze your audience segments and decide what message will encourage the best response. For instance, you may target a younger audience for a Tweet-a-Rep campaign because you find your younger audiences in your CRM are more actively involved on Twitter.
3. Nonprofit Advocacy Example for Petitions
What is a petition?
A petition is a request for representatives or legislators to do something in support of your organization’s mission. Your nonprofit collects signatures from your supporters to strengthen the voice of the request.
There are a few specific advantages to asking your supporters to sign a petition for your organization's cause:
- Signing is fast. Signing a petition is a time-effective way that nonprofits can get involved in your organization. They can simply and quickly sign to show their support, then go back to their day-to-day lives.
- Your voice is unified and strengthened. The more voices you get behind your petition, the stronger your voice becomes. It provides more pressure on your representative when you show that the entire community cares deeply about your mission.
- It’s easy to engage your supporters. Many nonprofits ask their supporters for funding over and over again. Petitions provide some variation in the type of engagement opportunities you’re requesting from supporters. This can be more enticing than donating over and over again.
The problem facing nonprofits when it comes to petitions is that they think only about going door-to-door with a pen and paper to collect signatures from neighbors.
The solution? Nonprofits should conduct research to see how to bring petitions to the next level by moving online.
When you move your petition online, you no longer need to go door-to-door or stand in a commonly visited part of town in order to collect signatures. Instead, you can distribute the petition far and wide past your central geologically close community.
Plus, when this online petition is connected to your donor database, you can easily capture supporters’ emails and general information and save it to the CRM without the need for manual input.
4. Nonprofit Advocacy Example for Advocacy Events
What are advocacy events?
Advocacy events are a gathering of your organization’s core mission representatives to raise awareness for your cause. They may reach out to surrounding community members or to legislators and other leaders to call them to action.
The key advantages of your organization hosting an advocacy event for your cause include:
- Supporter acquisition. When your core group of supporters gets together in support of a common cause, you can encourage them to spread the word of the event to their family, friends, and other connections. This is a perfect opportunity to grow your support base.
- Legislative pressure. Of course, one of the reasons for gathering everyone together is to apply pressure on the community leaders for change. The more people you have gathered for discussion, the bigger impact you make on the leaders.
- Fundraising. While advocacy events are not focused on fundraising, it is a happy side-effect of gathering everyone together. You can raise money from the event registrations, an auction, or other enjoyable activities that you host.
One major issue nonprofit advocates tend to have when it comes to advocacy events is coordination. It can be difficult to keep all of the details straight, from guest lists to activities to venue setup.
The solution? Choose advocacy software with event management functionality already built in.
Too many organizations overlook this idea when purchasing their software toolkit. Then, they need to purchase an additional, disconnected solution to organize their event and manually transfer information between solutions.
With a solution like Salsa Engage, it’s easy to create registration pages, sell tickets, and manage guest lists in the same solution as your petitions, click-to-call, and Tweet-a-Rep solutions. This means you can plan advocacy activities and register guests at with the same solution.
5. Nonprofit Advocacy Example for Campaign Reporting
What is campaign reporting?
Campaign reporting is used to better understand the successes of your advocacy campaign as well as the opportunities for future improvement. It’s important to collect metrics before, throughout, and after your campaign to get a big picture of your success.
Just a few important metrics you should work to collect throughout your campaign include:
- Petition signers. Keep track of the new supporters who are added to your CRM after signing your petition. Make sure to send them a “welcome” email and tell them about the other opportunities offered by your organization.
- Event registrations. Make sure you have the necessary venue capacity to hold all of your registrants as well as all of the food, drink, and everything you need to satisfy each attendee at the event itself.
- Calling budget. When you set up a click-to-call advocacy campaign, you’ll need a budgeted amount that you’re willing to spend on these calls. Set that amount in the campaign as you set up your targeted action page.
- Supporter geographic location. Keep track of the location of your supporters to make sure they’re reaching out to their specific representatives. You may include a legislator lookup tool to help them more accurately reach out to the right people.
It can be difficult for nonprofits to know exactly which metrics will be most helpful for them to track for their individual campaign and for future campaigns.
Solution? Conduct research, find the metrics you care most about, create a report template, and customize your advocacy dashboard to reflect that important data.
Your advocacy dashboard is where you track information in the midst of the campaign. Your nonprofit will run reports to compare one campaign to the next or to get a more comprehensive view of your data.
Advocacy campaigns may seem tricky. Strategies behind them, however, when properly applied, can create a stronger support base. Plus, it can lead to major advancements toward your nonprofit’s mission.
The key to establishing a top-notch campaign is analyzing the nonprofit advocacy examples all around you. Look at the strategies other organizations are doing well or the strategies they could improve upon. After you’ve developed your own strategy, take that same mindset and apply it to your nonprofit. Where can you improve?
Advocacy is all about making the biggest splash possible in the pool of your mission. Get ready to jump in!