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 23, 2012

10 top tools for cause campaigns


A visualization from Bigthink.com.

Target audience: Cause organizations, NGOs, nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, political reformers, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaOver the past three years, as regular readers know, Socialbrite has put together dozens of guides and compilations of resources and tools for social change advocates. See the bottom of this article for a few, and our Sharing Center is all about social tools for social change.

Download one-page flyer

To celebrate Internet at Liberty, a conference on protecting protecting freedom of expression on the Internet that Google is organizing in Washington, D.C., this week — and where Socialbrite is running the social media workshops — we’re launching a new section today:

The Social Advocacy Toolkit features new and updated informational guides, tool roundups and resources for global activists, social good advocates, political reformers, NGOs and anyone looking to use online tools for social change. It includes tactics for effective campaigns, guides to the best monitoring and metrics tools (many of them free), lists of enabling platforms and organizations and other resources to help galvanize your campaign.

Below is a new guide that we’ve put together to help social change activists with their advocacy efforts, which we’re adding to the toolkit. Check out the Social Advocacy Toolkit for much more.

10 tools for activists & social change advocates

Asana: A leap ahead for productive teamwork

1Asana is a work-collaboration software suite that came out of beta in April 2012. “We built this company to change the world,” said founder Dustin Moskovitz, one of the co-founders of Facebook. Asana offers a simple, word processor-like interface to give people working together on a task a central place to discuss the project, share files and keep track of to-dos in real time. It’s free for teams of fewer than 30 users.

Alternatives: Yammer, Microsoft Sharepoint (for larger enterprises) and see our Collaboration roundup

PopVox: Advocate your cause in Congress

2You might remember our recent article on PopVox, an online service that individuals and grassroots organizations can use to lobby members of Congress on behalf of a cause. CEO Marci Harris founded the nonpartisan service based on her knowledge of how Congressional staffers interact with the public. For a cause to be effective, it has to be made concrete on behalf of or against a specific bill. PopVox helps you do that.

Geo-bombing with Google Earth

3I was blown away when I saw Tunisian activists from the collective blog Nawaat.org (The Core) link video testimonies of Tunisian political prisoners and human rights defenders to the Tunisian presidential palace’s location on Google Earth. Now, as you fly over the Tunisian presidential palace using a Google Earth KML file, you will see it covered with videos about human rights abuses that strongman Ben Ali tried to prevent Tunisian citizens from watching by blocking YouTube and DailyMotion. Visit earth.google.com/outreach for more examples. We’d like to see more organizations to take up “geo-bombing.” 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