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Creating advocacy calls from supporters to elected officials

May 20, 2022
A supporter calling a government official about an cause he's advocating for.

Whether your organization advocates for policy change on the national, state, or local level, placing advocacy calls to legislators is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal—and with support from the right technology, it can also be one of the most convenient. Here’s how to mobilize your supporters to connect with the decision-makers who need to hear from them.

1. Decide who you want to call 

You might already have a good idea of who you want to target with your advocacy calls, but if you’re still trying to narrow down your options, asking a few questions can be helpful in clarifying and prioritizing your targets. Start by asking:

  • Which stakeholders have the most influence or vested interest in the cause?
  • Who are the decision-makers closest to the issue right now? 
  • Are there organizations we can collaborate with to push our advocacy efforts forward?
  • Are there any current events happening that can contribute to our advocacy efforts?

If your bill is in committee, start with the committee members and leadership. If it’s up for a vote, identify which legislators need an extra push to be persuaded. It’s also important to remember that elected officials aren’t the only decision-makers who may need to hear from your supporters—other targets could include appointees, like your local city manager or police chief, or entities like brands or businesses.

As you’re identifying your targets, your technology should help your supporters connect with the right decision-makers—after all, flooding an elected official’s line with calls from non-constituents isn’t usually efficient or effective. Simple advocacy forms that enable supporters to enter their home address and get connected with a complete list of their elected officials, or automatically connect them with a non-elected decision-maker, will help a higher number of supporters to successfully make their voices heard.

For instance, consider the following examples of streamlined advocacy forms:

A mock advocacy form with heading text that reads, "Gondor calls for aid, Rohan must answer.”

Advocacy forms should include a clear call to action—no matter your goal. This form clearly highlights what the cause is and how the supporter can get involved.

A mock advocacy form is shown, appealing to a reader to aid the fictional nation of Gondor.

Of course, you won’t be advocating for a fantasy battle like these forms are, but the examples demonstrate how easy it is to spread the word about your cause.

2. Choose who should make the advocacy calls

Once you’ve chosen your targets, it’s time to build your advocate network. For state-level work, you’ll want to focus on voters within a target district. If you work on multiple issues and have segmented your supporters by their interests, it will be easy to identify your most likely action-takers, but you have several other options as well. Also, creating a list of supporters who have interacted with similar content to yours, taken action before, or simply shown high levels of engagement are all good places to start.

3. Write the script for your callers

Your supporters are much more likely to make a call if they feel adequately prepared—they’ll want to know who they are calling, what they should say, important background information, and logistical instructions about how the calling process will work. As you write your script, don’t forget to include:

  • language identifying the caller as a constituent
  • the specific legislation supporters are calling about (the name, the number, or both)
  • which action(s) you would like the legislator to take
  • the impact the legislation would have

Use simple, direct, and impactful language that will motivate your callers as much as it will inspire your targets to act. 

4. Leverage click-to-call technology

It’s possible to manage the process of generating supporter calls manually by putting all of your instructions, along with contact information for the call targets, into an email to your supporters and asking them to report back to you if they make a call. However, this isn’t ideal for a number of reasons. Extra barriers like dialing switchboards can make it less likely that supporters will make the call, and your organization will then rely on word-of-mouth and counting emails for reporting purposes. 

But, with click-to-call technology, all a supporter needs to do is enter their own phone number in a link sent to them via email and they will receive an automated call to connect them directly to their target. If they’ll be calling multiple targets, they’ll be automatically connected with the next phone number after their first call. And best of all, you’ll be able to instantly and accurately track how many calls have been placed without creating more work for busy staff. 

Rounding out your click-to-call advocacy campaign

With a little help from the right technology, executing the rest of your advocacy campaign is easy! Schedule your click-to-call email and let your supporters passionately advocate for your cause

If you’re building a full-fledged advocacy program, take note of those who have made calls already. Whether you put them into an email series offering them more opportunities to volunteer and engage or prompt them to take the next step and make a donation, one phone call can serve as the beginning of a dedicated supporter relationship.

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