Digital organizing has become a hot topic in recent years. In fact, some of the best digital organizing campaigns materialized during 2020, when in-person organizing was no longer a viable option for electoral campaigns and advocacy groups.
Any organization strategizing how to mobilize its volunteers and supporters can benefit from digital organizing, especially those that face geographical challenges to gathering in person. For organizations just starting out in digital organizing, follow these tips to create the best digital organizing campaigns:
Volunteers are crucial to an organization’s success. Organizations can ensure that they’re building the best digital organizing campaign possible by establishing a strong sense of community between volunteers and the organization. One way to strengthen a volunteer network is Impactive’s Video Story Collection feature, which allows volunteers to share a personal video about why they support the campaign or organization. Hearing from top volunteers about their support for the organization can inspire other supporters and increase their motivation for volunteering.
When using digital organizing software to manage volunteers, organizations should make sure volunteers are comfortable using the tool. Technology can be a barrier for some individuals, and hosting frequent training sessions for volunteers can help to decrease any confusion. Volunteer training is also another chance for organizations to build relationships with volunteers.
One of the easiest ways to create the best digital organizing campaigns is to allow volunteers to act on their own time. Prompting volunteers to take simple actions, like sending one text message to three friends to encourage them to register to vote, can allow volunteers to create their own schedule for taking action. This approach, called micro-volunteering, can be easily used alongside traditional volunteering sessions like text banking and phone banking for maximum impact!
There’s no question about it: relational organizing works. It’s one of the most effective ways for volunteers to multiply their impact. In addition to starting in-person conversations with neighbors and community members to jumpstart collective action, volunteers can easily reach out to friends and family via text message, social media DM, or email. When potential supporters are contacted by the people they know, they’re more likely to sign a petition, join an organizing event, or even donate. Plus, relational organizing is meaningful for volunteers, too. For volunteers, connecting with friends and family about a cause they care about can encourage deeper connections.
Increasing the number of active supporters is an important goal, but the quality of conversations should also be a priority for organizers and volunteers. It takes time to connect meaningfully with contacts, especially those who have never heard from the organization before, but doing so ultimately leads to more impactful results. Fortunately, tools like peer-to-peer texting allow volunteers to have multiple in-depth conversations with contacts at once, allowing them to combine quality with quantity.
At its best, organizing is empowering and joyful. The best digital organizing campaigns will harness this spirit by creating fun ways for volunteers to engage with the organization. Have a volunteer base that loves sharing memes? Host a competition for the best meme that encourages volunteers, and feature the first-place pick on social media platforms. Or, throw a pizza party for volunteers who send the most texts during a text bank!
Creating the best digital organizing campaigns takes time, but there’s no doubt that it’s worth it — digital organizing tools, especially political campaigning technology, are becoming more widely used and playing an increasingly essential role in activism. The sooner organizations create a robust digital organizing program, the better!