We’re angry and offended but also energized. We’re soul searching, but also protesting.
Sure, the Covid-19 pandemic is making work harder and planning even more difficult. But it’s time for all our nonprofits to step-up their advocacy efforts. I’m not talking about lobbying (note: a 501(c)(3) can but with limits). I’m definitely not talking about electioneering for a politician or party (prohibited for a 501(c)(3)).
I’m talking about issue advocacy that focuses on educating, organizing, and mobilizing. Issue advocacy can harness the anger and the energy so that it can be sustained and real systemic changes can be made.
Are you thinking about the “how-to” and “how-to-fund” at your nonprofit?
The how-to is easier than you might think. Today, even small nonprofits can mount effective advocacy campaigns. This is made possible by the powerful, affordable digital tools, like peer-to-peer texting, online social networking, online meeting, and webinars. Take note: these are tools not only to push out your message but also to support meaningful two-way conversations.
The how-to-fund advocacy also can be answered quickly. Advocacy is a powerful friend-raising strategy that can quickly move into successful fundraising. Consider these facts and benefits:
- Advocates are 7 times more likely to donate to your organization than non-advocates
- Fundraising initiatives with advocacy appeals can triple the number of donations you receive
- Advocacy offers new and timely opportunities for communication and engagement in social media, emails, webinars and events
- Engaging on the issues, in addition to program successes, offers visibility and credibility for your organization and leaders
- Advocacy emails have a 625 percent higher click rate when compared to fundraising emails, and a 277 percent higher action rate
“There is a growing awareness and recognition among public charities that policy work—including lobbying—is entirely consistent with their charitable and educational missions.” writes nonprofit attorney Nayatara Mehta. “Not only is it consistent with mission……it is absolutely a best practice.”
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