Relational organizing is the best way to conduct authentic and effective outreach. In fact, outreach from a friend or family member makes a contact 6.5x more likely to sign a petition and 8x more likely to opt in to an organizing event than outreach from peer-to-peer texting. It’s no wonder that progressive campaigns and organizations love this tactic!
In our latest webinar, “Organizing People We Know Best: Best Practices for Friends and Family Messaging,” we dove into proven best practices for relational organizing. Melinda Amato and Nick Martin, Impactive’s Senior Client Strategies Advisors, shared tips for encouraging volunteers to organize their friends and family effectively.
Here are the best ways for organizations to expand their reach organically:
- Use relational organizing to increase event turnout. At the beginning of an event, take fifteen minutes to encourage volunteers to text those in their personal network to attend the next event. This will be more effective in increasing support than reaching out to people they don’t know via peer-to-peer texting or phone banking.
- Remind volunteers that one call can turn into multiple conversations. In an instance of successful relational organizing, Melinda gained six votes for a local election with just one phone call. One conversation with a friend turned into multiple conversations when that friend invited her family members and neighbors to vote for Melinda.
- Offer encouragement by emphasizing why volunteers are the best messengers. Volunteers are the best messengers for prompting friends and family to take action for a cause since they know which conversation topics are most likely to appeal to and persuade those around them. Even if friends and family are already aware of the cause, one-on-one conversations through relational organizing can convert passive supporters into active participants.
- Address any potential concerns and stay transparent. Many people are concerned about data and security, with good reason. Organizations should be transparent about how data is shared and protected within a relational organizing app like Impactive and encourage volunteers to do what they're the most comfortable with. For example, volunteers can fill out reports on Impactive even if they choose not to conduct outreach through the platform.
- Inspire volunteers with fun ways of reaching out. Community Change Action, which partners with Impactive, encourages volunteers to organize relationally by hosting an “outreach bingo,” which encourages volunteers to reach out to different contacts like a cousin or former teacher. Additionally, organizing teams can encourage volunteers to share success stories with their fellow volunteers.
Organizing teams should remind volunteers that they each have a story that will resonate with someone they talk to, and volunteers who own this story can connect more easily with their contacts. Ultimately, this will create a stronger community of volunteers as well.
The most important part of relational organizing is that volunteers start the conversations that eventually lead to change. Friends and family may not take action overnight, but volunteers who put in the effort to mobilize their network contribute to a larger system of change. Relational organizing is an ongoing effort, and the sooner organizations begin to invest in their relational networks, the more effective their outreach will be.
Watch the full webinar here to hear more on the best ways to organize relationally.
To learn more about using Impactive to increase your team’s reach, schedule a demo here.