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Whether your nonprofit organization advocates for policy change on the national, state, or local level, directing your supporters to call their legislators is one of the most effective moves you can make. Here’s how to set up a campaign and start connecting your biggest advocates to important decision-makers.
1. Decide who you want to call
You might already have a good idea of who you want to target with these calls, but if you’re still trying to narrow down your options, answering a few questions can be helpful in clarifying and prioritizing your targets. Ask yourself:
- Who are the decision-makers closest to the issue right now?
- Do we have any existing connections with these decision-makers that we can leverage?
- If it is up for a vote, which legislators need an extra push to be persuaded?
Whoever your target audience is, ensure that they have a vested interest in your cause and the power to influence it. This largely depends on whether you’re advocating on a local, state, or national stage.
If you're advocating at the national level, your campaigns should focus on grabbing the attention of your state representatives. For campaigns targeting a city-wide issue, it makes more sense to instead get in touch with influential members of your community, such as city council members, the local police chief, and prominent business owners.
2. Choose who should make the calls
Once you’ve chosen your targets, it’s time to build your supporter caller base. For national- and state-level work, you’ll want to focus on voters within your target contact’s district.
This is where having call campaign management tools, like Bonterra Supporter Engagement's Advocacy solution, is a game-changer. You can use it to segment supporters who have interacted with cause-related content, participated in previous advocacy campaigns, or shown high levels of engagement with your organization. By contacting these groups, you’re more likely to win their participation as callers.
3. Write the script
Your supporters should always be thoroughly prepared before they make a call so they can properly represent your organization and cause. Take the guesswork out of calling by creating a script for your participants. Include this basic information:
- Who they are calling
- Important context about the cause, such as how many people are impacted
- Exact wording for the call to action
Before they start calling, brief your participants about how the calling process will work and how to use your advocacy software to track results.
4. Set up a click-to-call system
In the past, advocacy call campaigns have been operated manually by putting all instructions and contact information for the call targets into an email to your supporters. But, with Bonterra’s click-to-call feature, you can streamline the process for you and your callers.
Click-to-call allows callers to simply enter their own phone number into your system and receive an automated call that will connect them directly to their target. If they call multiple targets, they’ll be automatically connected with the next listed phone number after their first call. Plus, you’ll be able to instantly and accurately track how many calls have been placed.
The power of effective advocacy call preparation
Now that you know how to prepare your callers and automate the process, it’s time to get calling!
After your campaign ends, remember to collect data about the calling experience from your participants with a survey. This allows you to gauge what you can improve and maintain for future campaigns to get results. After all, a call campaign provides a great opportunity to deepen relationships with your participants and encourage them to continue advocating for you in the future.