Metrics that Matter: Measuring Quality Grassroots Engagement

By Amy Showalter

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, when concurring with the majority opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio tried to define what constitutes obscenity: “. . . . I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description, and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it . . . “

I often think of that statement when defining quality grassroots engagement, as almost every advocacy professional knows it when they see it. It’s a high bar, because the cacophony of voter sentiment is abundant and intense. And virtually every grassroots professional I have advised or observed admits that quality is what matters most for their grassroots development, and they want more involvement from quality advocates.

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Money: How to run with the big dogs when there is no budget for big lobby

By Andy Krakowski

“We could spend tens of thousands of dollars going into key districts, or we could focus on a few key contacts in that district that we already know have connections with legislators and will give us a better impact.”

- Director of Grassroots at a national trade association

If you think the key to winning a legislative campaign is to outspend your opposition, you are likely in for a rude awakening. In 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, over $3.15 billion dollars was spent on lobbying in DC alone and your organization would have needed to spend about $11.5 million just to crack the top 20 lobbying groups.

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ROI: What should you be earning on your investment in advocacy?

By Chip Felkel

The short answer: Political Capital.

With three decades of public affairs work with a wide range of clients and projects, I’ve seen what organizations must have to get a solid ROI out of their respective advocacy programs. It’s much more than the money they have and spend. The truth is, a lot of well-funded organizations have under performing advocacy efforts because they spend far too much on activities that produce very little long-term value. These “programs” provide cover in reporting to the board or management but some seem more focused on making sure the staff is busy (or can claim to be) instead of executing on things that will be externally effective…

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Thanks to Game-Changing Technology, Key Contact Advocacy Is No Longer a “Pie-in-the-Sky” Idea

By Sarah G. Dennis

Imagine starting every day knowing exactly how many key contact advocates your organization has for every member of the federal, state and county government and federal and state legislative committees that concern you.

Now let your mind wander over how you could maximize your resources, focus your time and target your efforts on building personal relationships with your strongest key contacts or execute targeted calls-to-action on a moment’s notice.

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Top 5 Excuses For Not Having a Key Contact Program

Here is a simple fact: The most effective way to deliver your message to a lawmaker is through a constituent who has a relationship with the lawmaker. If you disagree, then stop reading now. And still, while a lot of government affairs professionals know this they continue to risk their organization’s success, and frankly, their own professional reputation, by relying primarily on social media posts and mass emails to mobilizing their advocates and influence legislators. Is that smart? Is that safe?

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