July 18, 2012

Blending nonprofit advocacy with for-profit tactics

Advocate Interactive helps turn ‘likes’ into real-world action

Guest post by Stacy Rebeck
Social Media Strategist, Advocate Interactive

While nonprofit motives fuel advocacy campaigns, it’s for-profit know-how that wins them — especially in the social media ecosystem. Harvesting social’s ripe potential for advocacy and engagement is Advocate Interactive, a social enterprise that helps organizations leverage the power of social media to turn tweets and “likes” into an organized voice for collective action, winning elections, passing bills and pressing for grassroots socio-political change.

Launched two years ago, Advocate is still a relative new player to the nonprofit tech scene. As it turns out, Advocate can already chalk up some major wins. The organization counts Habitat for Humanity, American Lung Association, the University of Minnesota and Yale among the growing list of nonprofits using our flagship product, Capitol Momentum, a powerful Facebook application.

“Capmom,” as the team dubs it, is a fully customizable app that’s built into a nonprofit’s Facebook page or website. Integrated with Facebook’s API, its six core features help nonprofits and their supporters make online advocacy relevant, social and fun. Some highlights:

• Creation of custom action alerts. Organizations can customize calls to action for volunteers, donations, votes, advocacy letters to targeted officials, or more. Unlimited calls to action can be run throughout the year (the app’s annual licensing), and unlimited calls to action can concurrently run.

•  Targeting officials. Supporters can contact officials at the state, federal and local level. They supply their zip code and the app identifies their reps. Very little personal info is required, so drop-off is extremely low. Supporters send a pre-drafted message, with the option for them to add their own details. Supporters can also contact other recipients, such as CEOs and newspaper editors.

•  Tools to make actions go viral. The Capmom app promotes easy, organic sharing with supporters’ friends. Actions taken through the app show up in friends’ newsfeeds, garnering valuable earned media impressions. From the app itself, supporters can share the action on their own page, retweet it or directly invite their friends. Other social channels such as LinkedIn can also be integrated for further cross-pollination. Continue reading

March 9, 2011

How to connect online advocacy with fundraising

Knot

John HaydonIf your nonprofit conducts advocacy campaigns, maybe you’ve had a difficult time understanding how those efforts might align with your fundraising efforts. It might be even more difficult if these two efforts are located in different branches of your organizational tree.

But like Karate and Judo, both advocacy and fundraising are simply different ways your constituents fight for your cause.

Advocates are seven times more likely to donate

A new report, Connecting Online Advocacy and Fundraising by Mark Davis of Blackbaud (with help from M+R Strategic Services and Amnesty International USA) outlines how advocacy and fundraising work together.

Included is research by M&R Strategies and Care2 that shows activists are seven times more likely to donate, compared with supporters who did not participate in an advocacy campaign. This confirms what we all already know in our hearts.

A few other takeaways from the report:

Advocacy appeals blow away fundraising appeals

These two graphs from the report says everything you need to know:

How to align online advocacy with fundraising

Mark also offers the following steps to create an advocacy-led fundraising campaign:

  1. Identify a timely issue
  2. Set a goal that uses the issue to move your mission forward
  3. Develop a campaign around the issue that uses emails, social media and your website
  4. Develop a calendar to schedule multiple messages to your constituents over several months
  5. Plan actions that move from easy to hard
  6. Show movement and success
  7. Continue reading