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Why you need a strong digital program EVEN when you have a great OFFline advocacy volunteER PROGRam

PART 2 OF A 2-PART SERIES: Why you need a strong digital engagement program even when you have a great offline advocacy volunteer program.

Yes, it’s true. Having volunteers send messages to their members of Congress or state lawmakers isn’t as impactful as it once was. And, as I noted in the first part of this series, a multi-tiered offline volunteer program is oftentimes the key differentiator between good and great advocacy organizations.

However, the importance of a strong digital activation component to your legislative campaign has only grown in recent years, although perhaps in different ways than you might expect. A modernized digital engagement program provides a solid foundation for your advocacy work by helping your organization:

📱 Identify and recruit new advocates for your offline volunteer program

📱 Keep your offline volunteers engaged throughout the entire year

📱 Provide air cover for volunteer and staff lawmaker meetings, showing that your issues have widespread community support

📱 Maintain constituent pressure until your next lawmaker meeting

📱 Build public recognition (i.e. brand awareness) for your advocacy initiatives

These outcomes might not be apparent if you’re still measuring your digital program by only clickthrough rates or the number of actions taken. Digital-related metrics should be fully integrated into your campaign, breaking down the silos between online and offline, grassroots and lobbying, etc.

Additional data points to consider include how many volunteers have moved into a new level of your offline volunteer structure, the number of cosponsors on priority legislation and your success in shifting targeted lawmakers from opposed to neutral or supporter to champion.

Making a significant advocacy impact is no longer a choice between digital activation and an offline volunteer program. The most impactful organizations are combining these two elements to pass more legislation, defeat bad bills and accelerate mission success.

When you’re ready to make a bigger impact, send me a note and let’s schedule some time to talk about how to enhance your advocacy program and more effectively integrate its many components.


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