Ahh, the end-of-year advocacy email. It’s the perfect time to write a long message to volunteers covering everything you worked on this year. Maybe make it a chart and include bill numbers and lots of political jargon. Don’t leave out any state legislation either, regardless of where the volunteer lives. And remember to add that huge image of the advocacy team in their holiday sweaters at the top so volunteers have to scroll way down to see your fabulous chart.
Enough sarcasm? (Oh please tell me that you knew it was sarcasm.)
Yes, I do support organizations sending a wrap-up email to their volunteers. But, there are certain rules to doing it well:
🏅 Segment your list and create variants of the wrap-up email
All of your volunteers don’t want to hear about all of your issues. There is an easy way to know which issues your volunteers care about. They took action on them. If they ignored your six emails about raising the donut tax in Springfield, then they’re telling you they are not interested. And if they live in Idaho, they probably aren’t too interested in that South Carolina bill that only passed in the Assembly.
🏅 Talk wins AND losses
Everyone likes to celebrate wins. And you should. But, as someone who spent years being responsible for building lists and activating volunteers, I love losses. When managed properly, losses are highly effective motivators for driving future engagement.
🏅 Make an ask
Don’t just provide your update and close with “Happy Holidays.” Ask your list to do something – share on social media, commit to a January activity or make an advocacy-centric resolution.
Celebrate all you accomplished this year and rejoice in the policy opportunities the new year will bring. Just be sure to do so in a way that is highly relevant and compelling to your volunteers. After all, some of us actually like donuts.