Hello and welcome to Advocacy in the Cloud: Engaging People to Bring about Change. If this isn’t the session you thought it was, now is your chance to free up a seat for someone else.
My name is Steve Andersen and I lead the technology team at the Salesforce.com Foundation. We think a lot about how technology can be applied to accelerate the visions we’re all working toward. I’m really excited you’ve come to this session on advocacy and engagement and I think it’s going to be fun and informative.I want to quickly introduce my two collaborators here: Matthew Dunn from the DC Project and Sara Arkle from Idaho Conservation League. Matt and Sara are doing amazing work and they will be telling you much more about themselves and their organizations in just a bit.
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We’re going to get to those goals by first me giving a short into on what engagement is. Then I have the pleasure of handing off to our two speakers for their stories about how engagement changed their organizations. Then time for questions and we will present an invitation to you for something that could live on beyond this one hour session.Some quick question to get a sense of who is in the room:By a show of hands, who works at an advocacy group?Who has heard the term “engagement” or heard of engagement ladders or engagement pyramids?And lastlyWho is happy with their progress toward their vision?
Advocacy is about change. Pushing a certain direction of change: toward better health care, toward flexible immigration policy, toward broader human rights.For the past 15 years or so the advocacy world has been going through big changes because of the impact of technology. And now with tools like Salesforce, people working in Advocacy are able to have incredible reach.
Because the cloud is about scale. Advocacy in the cloud is about change at scale.Today we’re going to talk about one Advocacy strategy called engagement. There are many ways to do advocacy, engagement is just one way—a really good way, because engagement taps into something very human--engagement is about connection.
People strive for human connection. They want to work with others, to share beliefs and experiences. We are social animals and have been for millions of years. A big part of Dreamforce is the human connection that happens. Sure we’re learning about APIs and features and vendors. But we keep coming back for the connection, the shared experience. Isn’t that why you’re here?Advocacy through engagement, brings about change through real, thoughtful connection. In more detail,
I think this is what Marc Benioff means when he says he wants companies to be “social enterprises.” A social enterprise is an organization with engagement at it’s core. It’s an organization that understands connection is powerful, and must be two way. To connect, two must meet in the middle.Social change organizations can be leaders here—we have the advantage of a compelling shared vision because of who we are. But it’s hard, ongoing work. Engagement is a process. Putting those relationships to work only can come after you’ve invested in building them, and only where what you’re working toward is a shared visionYou have to be great at building those relationships, and then you have to be strategic in applying them.
Sometimes you need millions in the street. Sometimes that’s what scale means—turning on a mass response.
Sometimes you need one trusted person in a quiet conversation with a decision maker. Scale here means managing hundreds of deeply invested supporters.And that’s where organizations who excel at engagement stand out. They know how to get the right people to act in the right way at the right time. It’s an art that requires a deep understanding of the problem you’re trying to affect, and what tactics will have the right impact.
It’s an art that has been around for longer than any of us have been around. What’s different now is scale—cloud-enabled scale. We can now do sophisticated engagement with vast numbers of people.But to do it, we need new tools, strategies and ways of working. Social network integrations, systems to manage relationships with thousands of people, tools for meeting people where they are, new ways of thinking about interactions with supporters. Heck, Even the definition of what a supporter is needs to be revisited.Matt and Sara will be showing you some of these these tools. First, they’re going to talk about how their organizations chose to go all-in with engagement, and what it’s meant to them. And I’m really excited because they’re both great, their organizations are great, and they’re really different. DC Project is a very young org and was founded after the Obama campaign in with engagement/tech at it’s heart. ICL has a 30 year history successfully fighting for conservation in one of our most environmentally-unfriendly states, and is currently in the middle of making the shift to engagement.I’m hoping this juxtaposition will give you a deeper insight into how an organization can take on engagement as a strategy. So look for those commonalities and differences.First Matthew Dunn from DC Project…
The DC Project is an an organization whose existence is based on the idea that engagement is the most the most effective method through which to create social impact. “Building on the power of peer to peer social mobilization, we seek to build new, lasting green economies in metropolitan regions that restore the environment, generate and capture wealth, and create new economic opportunities in disadvantaged communities as a means to address the interrelated challenges of poverty and ecological degradation.”
The DC Project’s inception came about after the 2008 Presidential Election when the founders of the organization want to see “Green Jobs” become a reality. So they began focusing on Energy Efficiency as a sector that had great promise for low barrier to entry work with significant environmental benefits. But the reality they encountered when endeavoring to create “Green Jobs” was that there existed an excess amount of trained workers for energy efficiency work and an lack of demand for these employees.
So what we focused on was mobilizing Stagnate Consumer Demand in the Energy Efficiency Sector.Specifically we sought to move homeowners to invest approximately 5kSo we began the process of building a model that utilized the electoral tactics learned in 2008 and applied them to move these homeowners to invest and create a job opportunity and reduce carbon emissions. Amongst other benefits of increased home comfort and reduced utility bills.
So how does this play out in reality….I would like to introduce a individual from our organization that has been incredibly helpful for our work. His name is Jon Lemond and he is what we would call a Super Volunteer at The DC Project.After building a relationship with Jon Lemon we would begin to engage him by requesting his assistance at activities among others – Canvass, Phonebank, and House Meetings.At these events we would request Jon engage the homeowners and move them towards investing 5k in energy efficiency for their home which results in a jobs being created and reduced carbon emissions.An finally we would re-engage those homeowners who just invested 5k to make their home energy efficient as volunteers.I would like to now pause about on the DC Project’s story and introduce Sara’s organization whose engagement model provides a very strong counterpoint to The DC Project’s very specific Engagement focused organization. Not only does Sara’s organization provide a very strong counterpoint to our very specific model of engagement, Sara’s organization presents a story of a established organization making the move to a strategy of complete engagement. So here is Sara Arkle of the Idaho Conservation League.
Do the workBuild a conservation majority – values based messaging, polling to back up shared nature of valuesContinue to be relevant
Tracking membership as only level of engagement – different levels of members, but not integrated vertically with program work or organizing.Technical tools not capable of tracking “supporters” (define)Communications stuck in 1980 – 4 newsletters a year, one annual report, mostly mailings, email action alerts.
Need guys like Carl and Jim (hauling trash out of the Snake River Canyon) but we can’t rely solely on themBuild a new generation of conservation leaders – who are they?Changing our business model mid-flight without crashing the planeAcquire new technical tools and use them
In every crisis there is an opportunity – wei jiSure our membership is over 65 and we live in an incredibly conservative state - there is an audience in Idaho that cares about community and wants to engageHow do we quantify this true supporter base Be a hub for conservation – build brand as the leading voice for conservation in IdahoIntegrate 3 data systems and include 4 more data sourcesTraining!!
Massive and cultural communications shiftWith the database to actually integrate engagement of supporters – online actions, email signups, volunteer managment
Ok, so we’ve been talking about organizations and systems. DC project has a very specific engagement flow, and is leveraging volunteers to get that mission work done. ICL is developing a new expertise in reaching out to a new generation of change makers in Idaho—ones they’ve never engaged with before.Both organizations see engagement, and the tactics to make it happen at scale as core to their futures. It’s embedded into their work, which has taken an explicit decision by organizational leadership, either in start up mode or in mid-life transition.Now we’re going to see some of the tech tools DC Project and ICL are using to get their engagement work done.First, again, is Matthew with the DC Project…
How is utilizing Engagement as our primary tactic shaping our Organization?-Different from Sara’s organization because our organization was founded with Deep Engagement as its primary mythology, we have not had challenges or changes at the organizational level, but instead we have found that selecting the ‘backbone’ of our engagement efforts has really shaped the issues we face as a young growing organization.-Specifically, prior to adopting Salesforce as our primary data system we were essentially Data System Agnostic. We would simply use the data system that best fit each need in the organization. But, now that we have moved to Salesforce we have had to answer questions we previously wouldn’t have and are confronting new questions we never would have had the opportunity to address.
Data Centric OrganizationSome of the questions we have been addressing are:How will new tactics we employ work with our Salesforce system?How do we train various levels of staff organizational specific functionalities?How do we increase internal capacity to manage continuing enhancement and development?How do we push out our Apps to the wider Salesforce community?Essentially, utilizing Salesforce has force our organization to answer many questions we never would have before because our organization was spread across so many platforms, and it has presented us with new questions regarding the selling of our Applications that wouldn’t have been conceivable previously.So with that I will review a few of the more exciting pieces of functionality we have built over the last year and are planning to build in the coming months.
Canvass Tool- Enables us to execute canvasses.
Block Blasts!- We are very excited at the prospect of being able to target our email messaging down to whatever size ‘turf’ we define.
Advocacy in the Cloud:Engaging People to Bring About Change Nonprofits & Education Track Sara Arkle, Idaho Conservation League Matthew Dunn, DC Project Steven Andersen,Salesforce.com Foundation
Steve AndersenSalesforce.com Foundation VP of Technology and Innovation Twitter: gokubi
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Matthew DunnDC Project Social Innovation Associate Twitter: @weatherizedc
t Mission and Vision “Building on the power of peer to peer social mobilization, we create new economic opportunities in disadvantaged communities as a means to address the interrelated challenges of poverty and ecological degradation.”
MORE QUESTIONS FOR THE SPEAKERS? Talk to them at the Ask the Expert booth in the Social Change Community Lounge Available for 15 – 30 minutes Meet for a what’s next conversation tomorrow at 11am Join the Engagement Chatter group in the Dreamforce app Sponsored by:
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