Peer-to-Peer Grassroots Engagement: Grow Your Movement Exponentially

ByGrassroots Unwired

Peer-to-Peer Grassroots Engagement: Grow Your Movement Exponentially

The more people that support your cause, the more successful your campaign will be.

The reasons are clear:

  • Popular support makes it more likely that you will bring about the change you are looking for. I.e. Elected officials will sit up and take notice.
  • More avenues for growth: Each supporter comes with their own circle of friends and family—AKA, more potential supporters. There are few things more convincing than the opinion of someone you know well.

Peer-to-peer marketing is a cost-effective way to spread the word about your cause, and grassroots campaigns are uniquely suited towards it.

Let’s expand on how you can enable your supporters to recruit new followers for your campaign:

Equip your supporters with materials

Make it as easy as possible for your supporters to communicate what your campaign is about to their circle. 

Many advocacy campaigns and nonprofit organizations do this in the form of a toolkit. Your peer-to-peer engagement toolkit needs to have everything your supporters need to talk to prospects (and convince them to join your campaign), such as:

  1. Print and online materials that can be shared.
  2. Engagement guidelines to keep supporters on track.
  3. Event calendar to show supporters where your campaign is heading.
  4. Social media toolkit + tips to engage prospects on social media.
  5. Materials for new supporter acknowledgment.
  6. Answers to frequently asked questions.

1. Print and online materials

Where do your supporters direct prospects to if they want more information? There are a few ways you can make this easy for them:

  • Create a landing page on your website that your supporters can link out to in their social media posts or text messages.
  • Include print materials like flyers, posters, and handouts in your toolkit. 

A central place where prospects can learn more about your organization and your goals will mean less load on your supporters. The easier it is for your supporters to spread the word, the more likely it is that they will. That should be a common theme throughout your toolkit.

2. Engagement guidelines

If your supporters are going to be the ambassadors for your cause, then you will need guidelines to keep them on track when they promote your organization.

Share your guidelines with your supporters. This may be:

  • A google doc or a page on your website.
  • Printed material that you hand out.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself when creating your engagement guidelines:

  • What are the objectives of my campaign?
  • What kind of voice do I want the campaign to have?
  • What is my branding? (Logo, color codes)
  • What action do I want prospects to take?
  • How often should supporters engage prospects?
  • Through what channels should engagement occur?

3. Social media toolkit + Tips

The average social media user is connected to 600+ friends, family, and colleagues.

Chances are that a lot of the interactions that your peer-to-peer advocates are going to have will be through social media. Here are a few ways supporters can maximize their social media presence:

Links – The online materials (like landing pages) that we mentioned earlier will come in handy here. Ask your supporters to add these links to their social media posts and replies.

Tags and Hashtags – Hashtags allow social media posts to plug into trending topics—which can lead to more reach for your campaigns. 

Post templates – While it may be more powerful for supporters to write out their own social media posts, in reality, many of them may not have the time to do so. Providing ready-made templates can make it much easier for your supporters to get started.

Encourage follows – Ask supporters to follow your social handles, so that they know when new initiatives are going live.

4. Event Calendar

Chances are you have the major touchpoints in your campaign mapped out. While there is some benefit in keeping those touchpoints a part of your organization’s internal dialogue (What if plans change?) there is much more to be gained from putting it out there.

Letting your supporters know where your campaign is heading a few months, or even a few years from now can make it easier for them to promote you to their circles.

You can do this by creating and sharing a calendar of your campaign initiatives (ones that will be well served by attention) week on week or month on month. If plans do change, all you need to do is communicate.

5. Materials for new supporter acknowledgment

The initial time period after a prospect becomes a supporter is the best time to strengthen their relationship with your cause. Just like the recruitment phase, the period after is a great time to get your existing supporters involved.

Help your peer-to-peer advocates communicate with the new people they bring on board. Give them resources for follow-up communication, such as:

  • Sample Donation Request letters or Emails
  • Sample Thank You letters or Emails
  • Calling scripts to thank new supporters
  • Impact reports through social media and email

6. Answers to frequently asked questions

Questions often come from two sources:

Your supporters – If you have detailed guidelines for your peer-to-peer engagement you can avoid most of these questions:

Ex. 

  • “Where do I direct interested prospects?”
  • “When does the campaign start? When does it end?”

Their prospects – Often regarding how they can make an impact for your cause.

Ex. If they are making a contribution – 

  • “Where are my funds being used”
  • “How else can I contribute? Can I volunteer?”

A comprehensive peer-to-peer advocacy toolkit should cover most scenarios your supporters will encounter when they are spreading the word about your campaign to their friends and family.

It is entirely possible that you won’t get it right the first time. You may miss some important touchpoints that supporters can have with prospects. The examples given in this article, for instance only cover the most prominent use cases that organizations have.

That is why it’s important to have open channels of communication, where supporters can reach out to you with questions or feedback. This could be an online survey, or a back and forth conversation between staff members and active supporters (through text or call). Once you collect feedback, you can use it to make your toolkit more comprehensive for the next campaign.

Author: Mukundan Sivaraj

Mukundan is a writer at CallHub, an outreach platform that connects nonprofits with their supporters through voice and text messages. Mukundan’s focus on nonprofit technology and communication helps him show organizations big and small how technology can help elevate their cause.

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