- Digital communications & marketing
- Fundraising ideas
- Guided Fundraising
Virtual lobby days are accessible to more people than in-person events, allowing your nonprofit organization to build the numbers you need to meet your advocacy goals. There are plenty of reasons supporters may want to get involved in your virtual lobby day, so make sure they’re aware of the opportunity and implement strategies to make the event engaging for your attendees.
Your technology can help you secure a solid virtual turnout by supporting a multi-channel marketing campaign to promote your event. This is an effective strategy for delivering your message to your audience no matter which communication channels they prefer.
Let’s dive into four easy ways to recruit support before, during, and after your event to maximize your virtual lobby day’s impact.
Email is a versatile tool that you can leverage for your marketing purposes. Before your event, use an email series to give supporters a refresher on the policy issues you’re working on and how they’re impacting your community. Provide all the details they need to advocate on behalf of your nonprofit.
Additionally, you can use email to send out your RSVP form to get an idea of how many people will attend your event. After your lobby day is over, you might also send out thank-you messages to all those who attended and showed their support for your nonprofit’s cause.
Furthermore, use email to engage supporters who can’t attend your lobby day. Encourage them to contact their legislators and other decision-makers on their own schedule. You can even implement click-to-email tools to make this process easier.
2. Mobile messaging
To reach supporters instantly with last-minute reminders and other important information, mobile messaging, also known as texting or SMS, is especially useful. Mobile messaging is a growing channel for nonprofit communications—M+R’s 2023 Benchmarks found that nonprofits sent an average of 21 text messages per subscriber per year, which was a 28% increase in volume from 2021.
After you’ve recruited supporters to attend your virtual lobby day, use mobile messaging to remind them of your upcoming event. Keep everyone in the loop by sending information about your virtual lobby day as it is occurring. This is very useful for virtual events in particular, as these quick texts can keep your event top of mind and encourage attendance.
Mobile messaging is also useful after the event has ended, as you can send a quick thank-you text to participants while you craft your full follow-up report.
3. Social media
Because social media platforms have the ability to swiftly spread communication across networks of supporters, they can help generate grassroots momentum for your cause. Your supporters are one of your biggest marketing assets. Leverage social media and word-of-mouth to share your virtual event with audiences outside of your list.
If your CRM tracks social media, use it to identify the platforms that your supporters are most active on. Recruit support for your virtual lobby day on these platforms to ensure that your supporters see your messaging. Encourage them to share your invitation with their networks, allowing you to recruit more attendees and build deeper relationships with existing supporters.
Petitions are a popular way for nonprofits to generate attention and are a relatively low-effort way for new supporters to get involved. Providing a low-commitment entry point to your issues can help pique people’s interest and give you a great starting point for moving them up the ladder of engagement.
For many people, signing a petition is their first foray into advocacy, but the energy doesn’t need to stop there. Circulate a petition focusing on the issues you’ll be addressing at your lobby day, and follow up with signers asking them to take further steps to help your nonprofit. These can include sharing the petition with their friends, joining your email list, and attending your virtual event to discuss the issues with their legislators.
Maximizing recruitment for your virtual lobby day
Virtual lobby days provide new supporters with a lower-barrier way to get involved and learn about your nonprofit’s purpose. While such an event requires planning and care to ensure your success, with the right technology and strategies, your nonprofit organization can maximize your participant outreach and make a deeper impact together.