Civic Engagement and Advocacy Blog

Why Grassroots Advocacy?     Advocacy = Donations

Posted by Brent Willis on 2/3/16 7:14 AM

Is your organization looking for more revenue?  Which one isn't, right?  

The simple answer is, if you create more value, the organization will realize more donations.  Sounds straight forward, doesn't it. Well, it can be...


How to Evaluate an Advocacy Platform – Part Two

Posted by Brent Willis on 9/22/15 1:01 PM

Specific technology for your business model is a love/hate thing.

You love it when it’s all installed and working correctly, but could certainly dislike the process of getting to that point. It often means more demos, more research, hours of contemplating and analyzing, often with multiple team members whose schedules don't match up with yours, etc., etc… It can be frustrating and, if you're the point person making the decision, there can be a lot at stake, too. Even though the process can be all of these things, spending time asking the right questions and reaching the best conclusion for your organization is worth the time expended.

If you conduct advocacy and need your members to get involved in order to affect public policy, how can you effectively evaluate a technical solution?

Here are some broad points many will already understand:

  • It starts with the end in mind. What's the organizational goal for this particular piece of software? What are we trying to accomplish? What are our essential requirements versus nice-to-haves?
  • Does this need to be integrated with our primary organizational software or can the advocacy platform stand alone?
  • Who are the industry players in this area? Research their sites for features and benefits.
  • Set up demos and analyze the features and functions, and map what each vendor offers to your requirements.

Evaluating Advocacy Software, an Admittedly Biased View – Part One

Posted by Brent Willis on 9/4/15 11:26 AM

Technology... LOVE it or HATE it...

It is what it is—critically important.

So, the question is, "How do I evaluate the many options on the market and not make a critical mistake?" Well, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that mistakes aren't usually revealed until after the license agreement is signed. The good news is that we're going to try and help you with some questions to ask prior to that agreement being signed, so everyone's on the same page. But, how to decide among different software platforms, especially if you don't have a technology-minded staff? We're going to try and help.

Before we get to the questions you should be asking, we need to examine the structure of your organization and how you make purchasing decisions. This often determines how you're buying in the first place.


Advocacy Software Update: SSO Integration with BillTrack50

Posted by Brent Willis on 3/18/15 3:02 PM

Save Time with Legislative Tracking Software

Hours can make the difference in a grassroots advocacy campaign. Knowing when you need to activate a grassroots advocacy campaign requires constant monitoring.


New Grassroots Advocacy Software Features

Posted by Brent Willis on 3/12/15 2:30 PM

Votility was founded with the vision of making it easier for organizations to educate, engage, and mobilize their members and constituents about specific issues and pending legislation.

Whether it is on the local, state, or federal level, we want our voices to be heard more than every 2, 4 or 6 years when we vote. 


[Press Release] Abila Marketplace and Votility Announce Partnership to Offer Integrated Advocacy Platform

Posted by Brooke Soucie on 2/23/15 10:30 AM

Votility Launches on the Abila Marketplace

Brentwood, Tenn.  February 23, 2015 – Today Votility announced it has launched it’s grassroots advocacy platform on the Abila Marketplace, which is designed to provide nonprofits and associations with quick and easy access to tools and services to enhance their existing Abila products. Votility's easy and seamless API, with Single Sign On (SSO), integration with Abila gives organizations the ability to tie marketing, advocacy and fundraising together, creating a better donor and advocacy experience that leads to increased member engagement.


Which Advocacy Software Should You Choose?

Posted by Brent Willis on 12/19/14 7:00 AM

Recently I talked with the Executive Director of IPCPR, Matt Dogali and asked him why he decided to switch from a previous advocacy platform.  Matt had used CapWiz for a number of years and this is what he told me:


[Press Release] Higher Logic and Votility Partner to Expand Member Engagement Tools

Posted by Brent Willis on 12/12/14 2:30 PM

Today we are officially announcing a partnership with Higher Logic, an industry-leading, cloud-based community platform, with over 25 million engaged members in more than 200,000 communities.


Best Practices for Advocacy Campaign Execution

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 11/21/14 1:33 PM

A plan is only as good as the execution and that execution begins and ends with marketing. If your members, advocates and donors don’t understand your strategy and goals and how their involvement helps all stakeholders and the overall mission, they are less likely to participate in your advocacy campaigns.

That can be a challenge when you also need to make sure your organization can also adjust on the fly.  Legislation can move and change at a moment’s notice - especially at the state level where sessions can be short and legislative processes might be unique and subtle.


How Your Nonprofit Can Do More With Less

Posted by Jeff Ryan on 9/9/14 2:00 PM

It has been said that, “We can always live on less when we have more to live for,” (S. Stephen McKenney). Nowhere is this sentiment tested more than in nonprofit work. While there is no doubt that our passion can fuel an impressive amount of progress, the “living on less” part can turn from a practical reality into a stifling momentum killer.

Yes, nonprofits need to do more with less. And arguably, they need to be smarter with their decision making than for-profit organizations, simply because they often don’t have the resources to pay for their mistakes.