How to Build a Successful Advocacy Campaign: A Guide

How to Build a Successful Advocacy Campaign: A Guide 

More and more nonprofits are tapping into the power of advocacy—and for good reason. A strong advocacy campaign can help organizations grow their audience, bring issues to the public’s attention, and raise more donations for their cause. 


Traditionally, advocacy campaigns have taken place by going door-to-door to collect signatures or rallying crowds in person. However, innovations in technology have made running a robust campaign easier than ever before. With powerful Salesforce advocacy software, you can develop an inspiring digital advocacy campaign and tap people from all over the world to back your cause. 


In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to push forward important issues and enact change in your community. Specifically, we’ll cover: 


  • The Power of Digital Advocacy
  • Elements of a Successful Digital Advocacy Campaign
  • Features to Look for in Advocacy Software


Whether your nonprofit is hoping to change a local policy or increase awareness around an issue that affects us all, a strong digital advocacy campaign can help you deepen your impact and push your mission forward. Let’s begin. 

The Power of Digital Advocacy

Alongside running fundraising events and campaigns, many nonprofits lead digital advocacy campaigns to take their mission to new heights. Advocacy campaigns can be conducted for several reasons, such as:


  • Placing pressure on public officials to change policies
  • Helping the public become more aware of a pressing issue central to the nonprofit’s cause
  • Reaching new audiences to grow a nonprofit’s donor base


When planned correctly, advocacy campaigns can help nonprofits mobilize support at a large scale, allowing them to achieve their unique goals and make the world a better place. Plus, this momentum can continue even after the digital advocacy campaign is over. After your campaign’s conclusion, your organization will have access to an expanded support network that’s eager to further their contributions to your mission. 

Elements of a Successful Digital Advocacy Campaign

A digital advocacy campaign has many moving parts, so it’s important that you have several staff members and volunteers ready to support your organization’s campaign. While every organization will run its digital advocacy campaign differently depending on its unique objectives, these fundamental elements can help your campaign stay on track: 


  • Well-designed petition. A petition clearly outlines the purpose of your advocacy campaign and how the signatures will be used to bring change. By gathering hundreds to thousands of signatures from supporters, you’ll be able to signal to public officials, politicians, or other changemakers that your cause is legitimate and backed by an army of passionate followers. 

  • Strong communication strategy. To get the word out about your digital advocacy campaign and collect signatures, you’ll need to reach supporters where they already are. Double the Donation recommends using a multi-channel marketing strategy to connect with several different audiences that may be interested in championing your cause. For instance, you might leverage digital channels like social media, email, and your website by building out engaging landing pages or blog articles related to your advocacy efforts. As you share content to your various platforms, pay attention to metrics like email clickthrough rate, social media likes and reposts, and time spent on your advocacy campaign landing page. This way, you can adjust your content strategies as needed to promote success. 

  • Advocacy activities. Along with gathering signatures, your advocacy campaign might involve rallying supporters at an in-person demonstration or directing them to email their representative. Make your calls-to-action in your communications clear and urgent so supporters will act on your requests as soon as they see them. For example, you might include a call-to-action button on your advocacy campaign landing page that says “Email Your Representative to Save Our Oceans Now!” Ensure your buttons include a hyperlink to the relevant resource so supporters can complete this next step with ease. 

  • Robust advocacy platform. To effectively manage your campaign data, communications, and activities, you’ll need an enterprise-grade platform with advocacy experience. Advocacy software can help you collect online signatures, track participation across your support base, target supporters with donation appeals, and more. 


Jackson River recommends leveraging an all-in-one fundraising and advocacy solution that integrates with your CRM, like Salesforce, so you can create an informed campaign strategy backed by data-driven insights. Let’s take a closer look at how the right software can take your organization’s advocacy campaign to the next level. 

Features to Look For in Advocacy Software

To hit the ground running with your advocacy campaign, invest in software that offers the following key features:  


  • Custom petitions. Your nonprofit should be able to develop high-quality, digital petitions that rally supporters around your cause and demonstrate to officials that enough people are passionate about the given issue. 
  • CRM integrations. A solution with powerful CRM integrations will ensure that data can readily flow between your different platforms so you always have an accurate picture of how your advocacy efforts are performing. For example, a platform that integrates with Salesforce can help you track supporter engagement and behavioral trends as well as micro-target supporters based on past donating, volunteer, or advocacy behavior. Salesforce can also show the number of constituents who participated in your advocacy activities and sent a message to a public official. This way, you can take action to reengage supporters in your campaign if you’re experiencing low participation rates. 
  • Social sharing. With social integrations, including Twitter, supporters can easily share your petition and digital advocacy campaign across multiple social media channels and help expand your audience by introducing your organization to their own personal networks. 
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising. Once supporters feel passionate about the issue at hand, they’ll likely feel inclined to step up their involvement. Invite supporters to create their own fundraising pages to raise money for your advocacy campaign and bring more attention to your petition or other advocacy activities. Provide instructions on how supporters can create these personalized pages using your software. 
  • Custom targeting. Comprehensive advocacy software makes it simple to reach the right decision-makers for your given campaign by letting you access the most up-to-date government data. 
  • Digital deliverability. When supporters create digital advocacy messages, your nonprofit should be able to successfully deliver them to decision-makers with the help of your platform. 
  • Real-time campaign insights. View real-time reports provided by your advocacy software to gauge the success of your digital advocacy campaigns and make adjustments as needed to your strategies.


You’ll also want a solution that comes with built-in fundraising tools—like a fundraising website builder and a self-service donor portal—to make the giving process more convenient for donors and easier for your nonprofit to manage. 


Whether your organization is hoping to raise awareness around an issue or convince your local representative to create a new policy, you’ll need the right advocacy software on hand. Armed with a platform that has comprehensive advocacy and fundraising features, your nonprofit can lead multiple effective digital advocacy campaigns that will deepen your impact and make your goals a reality. 

The post How to Build a Successful Advocacy Campaign: A Guide appeared first on Nonprofit Hub.

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