advocacy-software

A Complete Guide to Buying Advocacy Software

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As a nonprofit, advocacy is most likely at the core of what you do and what you believe in. Advocacy means spreading awareness of your mission, so that more people are cognizant of the issue and are therefore more likely to contribute.

While you have a genuine passion for advocacy outreach, there are ways to automate and facilitate parts of the process so you can save some labor. After all, part of your nonprofit digital transformation is reducing human workload to increase impact. You just have to find the right software.

In this article, we will cover:

Let’s go!

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advocacy-software-what-is

What Is Advocacy Software?

Advocacy software is a type of software that is used to boost visibility which, similar to digital projects for nonprofits like social media campaigns, email marketing, and phone banks, helps users to create awareness around a particular subject. This awareness can then be used to your advantage for online fundraising campaigns, event planning, and more.

Advocacy software can be used for a variety of purposes, such as:

  • Social support campaigns

  • Surveys and polls (e.g., who should I vote for, what are the issues)

  • Fundraising efforts for nonprofits (e.g., crowdfunding)

  • Contact information collection

Advocacy software is offered by many companies, so it can be tricky to find the right one for you. Let’s dive into the criteria your chosen advocacy software needs to meet.

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Features To Look For In Advocacy Software

When you are looking for software to help boost your advocacy efforts, it is important to make sure that the software has the features you need. Here are some of the most important features to look for:

All-In-One Functionality

Before investing the money, you will want to ensure your advocacy software is built on a single platform and can handle multiple aspects of your organization's online engagement efforts, including:

  • Creating and managing campaigns

  • Tracking success metrics

  • Creating lists and contact databases

  • Managing tasks and projects related to specific campaigns or issues at hand

  • Managing news updates/blog posts related to specific campaigns.

This can save a lot of time spent switching between platforms, because there is only one program being used rather than five or six different programs being used at once.

advocacy-software-features-to-look-forEva is ready to dive into all the different advocacy softwares!

This makes it easier for employees who need access to their company’s social media accounts without having any training beforehand.

It is also important to make sure your advocacy software can integrate with your existing management software such as:

Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation is the process of dividing your community into different groups, based on their demographics and interests. For example, you might divide your audience into three groups: young adults, parents of young children, and people who care about climate change.

This is important for advocacy software because it allows you to personalize your communications according to the different demographics within your support network. For example, if you are an advocate for climate legislation and you want to reach out to young adults in order to increase support among them, audience segmentation will help you do just that.

A good advocacy software will show you how many young adults are part of your community and what their interests are (e.g., they are more likely than other groups to be concerned about climate change).

Branding

When you are advocating for a cause, it is important to make sure that your audience not only hears your message loud and clear, but that they know who the message is from. This is why it is so critical to invest in advocacy software that will help you achieve strong, consistent branding, which ideally communicates your company’s identity, exposing people to your values and what your organization represents. It is kind of like giving off an impression when you meet someone new - they may not necessarily remember details about you, but they will remember that intuitive feeling you gave them! And while the colors, fonts, and logo that you use will help people understand who you are to some degree - as sensorial impressions often do - nothing will reveal what you are doing, and why your audience should care like consistent exposure to renditions of your purpose and mission.

With strong branding, your communications will have a greater impact and make your organization more easily recognizable. This is essential in advocacy; if people do not know what you stand for or how they can get involved, it makes it that much more difficult to join you in bringing forth your cause.

Reliability

There are plenty of reasons why reliability is important in advocacy software.

Perhaps most chiefly, if your advocacy software is not reliable, it will not be able to do its job effectively. For example, if the software fails to perform when you are pushing out a campaign or managing content, it is not worth investing in; it will only serve as a drain on your resources, time, and energy, rather than helping you achieve your goals faster and more efficiently than before. It will also be a major source of headaches. Reading authentic, unbiased reviews is perhaps one of the best ways to ensure that the company you choose is able to consistently perform, and not to mention deal with any bumps in the road that come up along the way.

Pro Tip: A good advocacy software has few bugs, and the ones they do have should be sorted out quickly. Make sure the company behind your software has been around for a while, or at least long enough to observe that they have properly dealt with and have experience dealing with any problems related to their product line, like bugs or the updates they have pushed forth. Reviews, once again, will help you deduce whether or not they have been successful in this respect.

Data Entry Elimination

Data entry elimination is an important feature to look for when choosing your advocacy software. This feature allows you to skip the tedious process of entering data into a new form, and instead have it automatically pulled from your existing database. Consider an online shopping site that you frequent often. You likely have all of your personal details saved, which saves you time and allows you to get more done!

As an advocate, you have a lot on your plate. You have to assemble the facts, organize them into a compelling argument, and then put together the documents that will convince those with the power to listen to you, and sometimes even take action!

It is important that you do not waste any time doing things that are not directly impactful or relevant to your cause, especially if they can be done automatically.

advocacy-software-using-the-agile-method

Using The Agile Method With Advocacy Software

Nonprofit advocacy tools are a great way to implement the agile product management method for your nonprofit.

The agile method is a form of design thinking for nonprofits. It focuses on shortening timeframes by compromising on outdated, less important aspects of the project management process. The four key elements that make up the core of the agile methodology are:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

  • Working product over comprehensive documentation

  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

  • Responding to change over following a plan

In a nonprofit, using the agile method means listening to stakeholders and taking immediate action to change up your processes when it comes to enacting change for your cause, fundraising, marketing, and virtually every other aspect of running a nonprofit.

advocacy-software-agile-methodTristan is very intrigued by the agile method!

Advocacy software helps do just that by giving you real-time data about how your database of supporters are responding to your message. 

Pro Tip: The agile method may have been designed for software development; however, it can be (and is) applied to any type of project. So whether you are implementing advocacy software, implementing marketing tactics, or focusing on other innovative efforts, consider utilizing the agile methodology for your next project.

advocacy-software-best-softwares

8 Best Advocacy Software in 2022

Now that you know what advocacy software is and its uses, it is time to find the best one for your organization. These are our picks:

  • Springly (that’s us!)

  • Zoho Advocacy

  • CiviCore

  • Salesforce Campaign

  • Advocacy Cloud

  • AdvocacyPro (Advocacy Suite)

  • Muster

  • The Action Network

  • EveryAction

Let’s take a closer look at each of these tools so that you can pick the right one for your team.

Springly

Springly is a powerful budget friendly all-in-one advocacy software. Users can manage member information, fundraise, communicate with advocates, and even develop their own nonprofit site. 

Springly’s cloud-based databases keep your information safe while allowing you and your organization’s staff easy accessibility. Springly is focused solely on nonprofits and is designed to manage your entire nonprofit community. Although the platform is extremely user friendly, If you need help 24-7 support is available.

Pricing: Starts at $0/ month

Zoho Advocacy

Zoho Advocacy is a comprehensive advocacy software that helps you to manage all your advocacy needs. It is a cloud-based software, which means that it can be accessed from anywhere. The best part about this tool is that it also allows you to collaborate with others and share data with them easily.

With Zoho Advocacy, you can manage your advocacy campaigns by creating action items and tracking their completion progress by the team members who have been assigned those tasks. In addition to this, the software also lets you store all your contacts in its database and quickly access their details whenever needed.

Pricing: Starts at $0/ month

CiviCore

CiviCore is a nonprofit advocacy software that helps organizations build and maintain their email lists, send targeted email campaigns, and track email open rates. CiviCore is also designed to help nonprofits raise more money through peer-to-peer fundraising with CiviVolunteer.

CiviCore allows you to send targeted campaigns based on data collected by CiviVolunteer or external sources like Facebook or LinkedIn. It integrates with other tools like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor so you can easily import contact information from other platforms into CiviCore’s database without having it duplicated across multiple platforms.

Pricing: By request

Salesforce Campaign

Salesforce Campaign is yet another solution for advocacy organizations and associations. It allows you to manage your advocacy objectives, goals, and workflows with ease. With Salesforce Campaign, you can measure the ROI of your advocacy campaigns through sales pipeline analytics.

advocacy-software-best-softwaresEmily is loving all these great software options!

With Salesforce Campaign, you can track the progress of all your campaigns in one place using the built-in dashboard that provides real-time reporting on team performance across multiple channels like email, social media, and phone calls.

Salesforce Campaign also has a visual map feature that allows customers to visualize their campaigns as part of their overall strategy by connecting them together with other initiatives related to fundraising or membership recruitment efforts.

Pricing: Starts at $25/ month

Grassroots Unwired

Grassroots Unwired is a cloud-based grassroots advocacy software ideal for fundraising and organizing. The platform organizes campaigns into action groups, which are groups of people that share common interests or goals.

Grassroots Unwired comes with a lot of great benefits like email marketing integration, social media integrations, and forms for your donation page.

Note that Grassroots Unwired does not have any off-internet digital capabilities like text messaging or phone banking (though it does have face-to-face canvassing support). This means that organizations looking to mobilize their supporters outside the internet sphere will need another tool to help them do so effectively.

The main advantage of Grassroots Unwired is its user interface: It is simple enough for even beginners to use, but powerful enough to get the job done right.

Pricing: Must contact sales team for pricing. 

AdvocacyPro (Advocacy Suite)

AdvocacyPro is a suite of tools that allows you to manage your advocacy campaigns. It includes email, social media, and mobile tools to help you build and manage your advocacy program.

The Advocacy Suite includes:

  • Email Builder: Create emails from a template with customizable fields for the most important information in fundraising and advocacy, such as donor names, donation amounts, and more. You can also use it to create newsletters or mass emails for your members or volunteers.

  • Social Media Toolkit: Monitor social media channels like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram in real-time with this toolkit. It comes with a dashboard where you can track hashtags used by competitors while monitoring mentions of yours during events such as elections or fundraisers. You can schedule posts based on these metrics using their content calendar feature as well so that there is no need for constant monitoring!

Pricing: Starts at $0/ month

Muster

Muster is an advocacy events and fundraising platform that helps you connect with your supporters, get them involved, and raise funds. Muster is an open-source tool that can be used by nonprofit organizations, political campaigns, organizations that petition legislators, trade and professional associations, and advocacy groups alike.

Muster members have the ability to click through the software’s prompts to customize messages as well as to share action alerts to keep communities informed around activities as they happen. Additionally, customizable thank you pages allow users to show supporters how grateful they are for the support.

Pricing: By request

The Action Network

The Action Network is a social media and email marketing platform for advocacy organizations. It is an all-in-one tool that makes it easy to build and engage your network of supporters, with features like:

  • Social media tools: Users can create posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube to spread the word about their campaigns.

  • Email automation: Create email series so you can reach out to people at different stages in the process (e.g., adding a new supporter or asking for donations).

  • Text messaging: Send bulk text messages from within The Action Network dashboard (no 3rd party apps required).

Pricing: Starts at $0/ month

EveryAction

EveryAction, which will soon become Bonterra, is a campaign management platform that helps organizations and political candidates run effective digital advocacy campaigns. This software is great for organizing, managing, and executing advocacy campaigns. It is easy to use and has a great support team.

Pricing: By request

advocacy-software-final-thoughts

Final Thoughts

Advocacy is a critical part of pretty much any nonprofit, but unfortunately it can get a bit tedious. That is why having effective nonprofit advocacy software is so important. Advocacy software helps you manage campaigns, emails, social media posts, and newsletters to increase awareness of your cause.

The best online advocacy software is a reliable all-in-one tool that can segment your audience, eliminate manual data entry, and show your organization’s branding effectively.

We hope that this guide has helped you understand what advocacy software can do for your organization and the best practices to follow when evaluating different options. We are confident that with the right tools in place, you will achieve success in your efforts to engage and mobilize your supporters.

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FAQ

đź’ˇWhat is advocacy software?

Advocacy software automates the monitoring of advocacy campaigns on social media, through email marketing, and with other digital and physical strategies. It automates data entry so you can spend more time doing what you do best: advocating! Find out more. 

🔑 What features should I look for when buying advocacy software?

A good advocacy software needs to be reliable, and it needs to have all of the tools you need in one place. It should also allow you to segment your audience to make your message more effective for each group of people. All advocacy software should remove the need for manual data entry, and should empower you to brand your content with your organization’s logo and color scheme. Find out more. 

đź“ť What is the best advocacy software available?

The top eight advocacy softwares we have pinpointed are Zoho, Salesforce Campaign, Muster, AdvocacyPro, AdvocacyCloud, The Action Network, CiviCore, and EveryAction. Find out more.  

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