• September 29, 2022
  • Capitol Canary

4 Steps to Build a Successful Grassroots Campaign

A grassroots campaign is a collective effort driven by the people in a given district, region, or community as the basis for a political movement. Grassroots campaigns and organizations implement collective action from the local level to effect change at the local, regional, national, or international levels.

Why Does Grassroots Advocacy Matter?

Grassroots efforts are composed of dedicated individuals working together to improve their communities. The most well-organized grassroots advocacy movements are an investment of time and effort. Nonprofits can utilize grassroots activism to further their cause, in addition to being dedicated to social good. For example, a clean air bill might be the subject of an advocacy campaign led by a nonprofit that supports environmental protection or partnered with a local grassroots group with the same goal.

Steps to a Successful Grassroots Campaign

An effective grassroots campaign strategy is crucial to the success of both individual grassroots campaigns and grassroots organizations’ long-term stability and impact. Because many grassroots organizations only succeed through sustained, long-term action spanning months or even years, few grassroots groups launch just one campaign without any follow-up.

Grassroots organizations typically have little resources, so making the right strategic investments is critical for producing outcomes that justify their initial costs.

While there are many ways to measure the success of grassroots advocacy, most advocates would likely agree that success is impossible unless the right tactics are used. Here are four grassroots advocacy tactics you can utilize to help raise awareness and get the word out about your campaign:

1. Create a Campaign Mission Statement

Consider all of your organization’s stakeholders when creating your narrative or mission statement in order to entice volunteers to join your grassroots campaign. Your mission statement should inspire and persuade people to support you.

Crafting a compelling mission statement can take a lot of drafts to perfect. You’ll also need to come up with various versions of your mission to suit each medium or channel you want to use. For instance, the message your volunteers distribute while canvassing will most likely be brief and to the point, whereas the one you publish on your website will probably include more detail about your initiative.

When your advocacy efforts are one branch of your larger organization, consider how your campaign-specific objectives relate to your organization’s overall mission. Your campaign objectives will probably be more pointed, targeting a specific piece of legislation or a few important pieces of information to spread.

As an example: an animal shelter can participate in an advocacy campaign to educate the public about the importance of no-kill shelters while maintaining its founding mission of protecting animals and finding them good homes.2.  Leverage Online Networks

2.  Leverage Online Networks

Online advocacy is a significant part of most grassroots advocacy efforts today. Whether large or small, grassroots organizations can benefit from attracting people online to join and make a difference.

Your organization and individual supporters can engage in digital advocacy in slightly different ways. At the organizational level, online communication will primarily be used for education and recruitment. The goal of your social media and other digital communications will be to keep your current base in the loop while also persuading newcomers to join. At the individual level, digital advocacy can really take off in the form of peer-to-peer engagement.

It is crucial to monitor the online advocacy efforts of your supporters. For example, grassroots advocacy organizations often urge their constituents to contact their elected officials. However, you must have a method in place to determine whether supporters who were called to action actually sent messages on your behalf.

3. Connect With Your Community

An in-person or online canvassing campaign can help grassroots advocacy groups become entrenched in their community by generating interest, spreading knowledge, and gathering donations.

When volunteers canvass their own communities, they are more likely to attract the attention of friends, family, and acquaintances, earning leads for future donors and volunteers. By canvassing strategically, your organization can form personal, one-on-one connections with members of your community.

Consider purchasing canvassing software before letting your volunteers wield clipboards and pens. While traditional paper forms might finish the job, this technique requires painstaking data entry, as you will have to enter each collected name and contact information into your system one by one.

Using canvassing software, you can skip the step of manually entering supporter data, as it will automatically update your database with each piece of information collected. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about deciphering illegible handwriting or smudged signatures.

4. Seek Donations

You can use peer-to-peer campaigns to enlist new supporters, gain donations, and boost awareness about your cause. Before you start a peer-to-peer campaign, make sure you have the right organizational tools. These initiatives rely on a large number of volunteers working independently on behalf of a grassroots organization, so if they are not adequately prepared in advance, they may become overwhelming quickly.

Grassroots Campaign FAQs

Before you can begin your grassroots advocacy campaign, you must first gain a thorough understanding of what grassroots advocacy is and why it is significant. Whether you are an experienced advocacy professional or are undertaking advocacy for the first time, you should regularly review the fundamental concepts.

What Is the Grassroots Approach?

Grassroots advocacy is a political or social movement created and led by concerned individuals. Grassroots activists are individuals with a personal stake in the cause they support, rather than paid representatives speaking on behalf of a business or organization. While grassroots movements may accept sponsorships and partnerships with local businesses and organizations, their members are rarely compensated or paid.

Are Grassroots Campaigns Nonprofit?

Grassroots groups usually make the decision to incorporate as nonprofits in order to gain access to more funding sources and to take advantage of the associated tax benefits. However, this is not a requirement.

How Can I Help Grassroots Organizations?

Grassroots campaigns are composed of concerned people who connect with one another. Before starting their own advocacy efforts, organizations should research current activism in their local community to see if there are any existing organizations already working on the issues they care about.

When you’re beginning a grassroots movement, you must research current political and social issues and track legislation concerning key subjects relevant to your campaign. Then, you can use these timelines to structure your campaign, planning when to gather, motivate, and train supporters.

How Can Grassroots Advocacy Be Delivered?

An effective grassroots advocacy effort requires dedicated organization and planning. Whether you want to educate the public or convince elected officials on upcoming legislation, you’ll need the right resources and strategies to back your effort. Today, most grassroots efforts rely on technology. These resources typically include advocacy software, extensive social networks, and community support.

Streamline Your Grassroots Campaigns

The main challenge of running a grassroots advocacy campaign is staying on top of a wide range of supporters with distinct demands and concerns, as well as monitoring a range of rapidly evolving trends. Despite the wide variety of components in a grassroots advocacy campaign, spending time on research and gaining low-cost resources can help reduce the number of administrative and technological burdens.

Using the right advocacy software, grassroots groups can improve their campaigns and implement effective strategies. Think about whether your group’s current technology stack is suitable and whether you can improve and enhance your advocacy efforts to create a truly modern grassroots movement. Capitol Canary offers the leading grassroots advocacy software, allowing you to engage more advocates, leverage actionable insights, and give your advocacy campaign an edge.