April 30, 2013

Tools for e-advocacy: Resources for cause campaigns

eAdvocacy

Target audience: Advocacy and cause organizations, nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, political organizations, educators, journalists, general public.

Guest post by Kyle Henri Andre
Idealware

Advocacy organizations often encourage their grassroots supporters to influence politicians and corporations using different methods, from promoting a cause or opposing legislation to challenging ad campaigns or policies. A large display of public opinion can have a powerful message, and advocacy groups often help to focus and channel this support to make the most impact.

This has been traditionally done with mail. The sheer bulk of hundreds or thousands of letters was a strong visual stand-in for the people behind the cause. Today the tactic hasn’t changed, but the message is more likely to be delivered by email, telephone or social media, and the physical presence of the message replaced by the easy, constant barrage of communications.

Let’s look at a few of the tools available to help advocacy groups direct grassroots communications to a target. Continue reading

May 2, 2012

An engaging, uplifting nonprofit promo video

Code for America from Inkerman Road on Vimeo.

Code for America: 5 tips on upping your video game

Lauren MajorCode for America, a nonprofit that uses technology to transform local governments, boasts a creative, compelling promotional video that not only clearly describes its message but also engages its viewers to get involved. In just five simple steps, any nonprofit can follow its example.

Be human and personal

1Be sure to make a personal connection early in the video. Many organizations and causes have a cohort of motivated, smiling people behind it. Bring these people to the forefront and show how upbeat and promising working for the cause is! Code for America illustrates its work environment by interviewing employees about what part of the job and cause they like. People are human and social creatures and are more inclined to stick with a video if they can relate to the on-screen subjects.

Use captivating visuals

2Watching a talking head is no fun for anyone. But listening to someone speak while looking at colorful flowers or a fun work environment is far more interesting. The supplemental footage in a video that does not capture a talking head is called b-roll. For example, Code for America’s video displays a shot of the office while founder Jennifer Pahlka speaks over it. Continue reading

April 16, 2012

PopVox: How to advocate your cause in Congress

PopVox: Get through to Congress from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Online service offers easy way to contact members of Congress on behalf of a cause

Target audience: Nonprofits, foundations, NGOs, social enterprises, cause organizations, businesses, Web publishers, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaOne of our matras here at Socialbrite is that online actions only matter if they make a difference in the real world. So we spend a lot of time working with online advocacy organizations to assess the impact they make with their legislative or fundraising campaigns.

One of the most effective tools to come along in recent years is PopVox, an online service that individuals and advocacy organizations can use to contact members of Congress on behalf of a cause.

With Congress returning from spring break today — with votes planned on the Buffett rule, gun bills and cybersecurity — it’s a good time to focus on what works, and doesn’t work, on Capitol Hill.

Marci Harris, founder and CEO of PopVox, founded the nonpartisan service based on her knowledge of how Congressional staffers interact with the public. As a former Congressional staffer, Marci said, “I was really frusteated with the way that information was coming into Congress.” She began keeping a long list of the ways that public input into legislation could be improved — and finally decided to do something about it herself.

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo Continue reading

October 19, 2009

Highlights from new report on online campaigns

Amy Sample WardAs I announced recently, Advocacy Online and Fairsay have jointly produced a benchmark report to examine key e-campaigning performance measures. The benchmark data is derived from the activity of over 2 million supporters from 50 campaigning organizations in the UK, Canada, and several other countries. In addition to the benchmark data, the project also includes an e-campaigning survey that has been carried by Jess Day, an independent e-campaigning consultant. (I also referenced the report in my latest presentation slides about social media use by individuals in nonprofit organizations.)

The report, titled “2009 eCampaigning Review Insights & Benchmarks,” was released this past week at an event in London (and via webcast). I want to share some of the highlights from the launch presentations of Duane Raymond and Jess Day, but if you want to skip ahead to the download, you can scroll to the bottom.

Report highlights

65% of actions reviewed in the report asked people to add their own message (whether this was a petition, or post, etc.). This is great because letting your supporters personalize or otherwise get more involved in your actions will only help build a commitment to the outcome of your campaign or action as well as encourage your supporters to ask their friends or colleagues to participate as well.

Only 43% of actions linked to background information. People may worry that if someone clicks on an action button, say, on your home page, and then you provide them links to more information about the topic of the action, that they will click away and never actually complete the action. Nope. People may want more background information but that’s because they are interested! Most all of the actions reviewed in the report that even those that did link to background information, those pages didn’t link back to the action. That’s why people aren’t completing the action. Remember to link to actions from everywhere on your site that is related to the action! Continue reading

June 3, 2009

Mobile social marketing: How to do it right

Katrin VerclasMobile advocacy efforts are just beginning around the world.  What are we learning from these emergent campaigns what works and what does not in using mobile phones to advance a cause or an issue?

Of course, we think that advocacy organizations should start to pay serious attention to using mobiles in their work. There is increasing evidence that mobile social marketing works in increasing brand awareness and moving people to actions. It is also becming an increasingly effective way to engage users and constituents. Here are a few pointers from what we have learned to date.

1. What’s happening in the mobile (social) marketing market that advocacy organizations should pay attention to?

  • Over 84 percent of Americans have cell phones, according to the CTIA, an industry group. Data shows that the majority of users carry their mobiles around for up to 18 hours/day. In fact the mobile, keys, and wallets are the three things most adults will not leave the house without.
  • Sms/texting is growing by leaps and bounds. More than 48 billion text messages were sent in the month of December 2007, an average 1.6 billion messages per day. The rate of text messaging represented a 157 percent increase over December 2006 texting. (according to M:Metrics data)
  • Mobile marketers are salivating, with polls, contests, coupons, and even mobi-sodes, short sms serial stories hitting the commercial market. Pepsi, Ford, Toyota, Burger King all have mobile campaigns, and more and more marketers are allocating hard dollars to “mobile marketing” budgets.
  • Visa announced its mobile payment platform, allowing cardholders to use their mobile phones to make purchases or conduct other transactions by tapping them against readers. Think ‘just in time’ fundraising.
  • Continue reading