Community Outreach & Advocacy

Grassroots Unwired (GRU) is a best in class mobile platform that enables progressive political and non-profit organizations to gain supporters and donors through face to face contact. GRU’s software enables organizations to deliver reliable and consistent results within a focused set of standard business concepts. A key feature we brought to our community and advocacy clients in 2018 is on the fly language translation.

Face-to-Face Fundraising (“F2F”)

focus_canvasserFace-to-face Fundraising and political canvassing are attempts to achieve awareness around a particular issue and/or candidate and to share their messages in a personal and direct manner. Some organizations have used F2F fundraising to raise millions of dollars while others have used it to for small donor giving or member retainment.

A largely successful F2F fundraising project that Grassroots Unwired has facilitated was for The Fund for the Public Interest:
The Fund for the Public Interest employs thousands of canvassers each year for two reasons: fundraising (upgrading current sustainers or building new relationships) and gauging public opinion on the social action issues important to their network of organizations.

The Fund for the Public Interest hired Grassroots Unwired to convert their fundraising from paper to tablet because the tablet offers a high amount of data security and the high level of customization allows them to tailor their messages to each particular group of people.

The Fund for the Public Interest has significant success in its fundraising for the following reasons:

  1. The digital platform enables credit cards to be run on the spot (less possibility of declined cards).
  2. Data shows that people feel more secure having their cards swiped as opposed to writing their credit card information down on paper.
  3. Canvassers are more comfortable with the newer technology and thus more effective.
  4. Grassroots Unwired gives clients the ability to accept recurring donations with the PCI compliance inherent in the technology.

Instead of the “one and done” nature of most F2F fundraising, GRU’s clients have the ability to turn one time donors into monthly and annual donors on the spot, vastly increasing their memberships and funding.

Door-to-Door (“D2D”)

You’re sitting at home when someone with a clipboard knocks on the door and asks to speak with you or another member of your family. This is the traditional way of canvassing that GRU has taken to the next level. We have gotten rid of the clipboard. Now, when a canvasser arrives at a home, they will use the marketing information uploaded onto the tablet to start a productive, tailored conversation while recording answers, encouraging donations (with the ability to swipe a credit card on the spot), and confirming a person’s information. Thanks to the integration between Grassroots Unwired and Twilio, email addresses and cell phone numbers will be verified as they are entered into the database, ensuring the most updated and accurate constituent information. 

Street Fundraising

We have all experienced people on street corners in major metropolitan areas trying to catch our attention, asking us to listen to their pitches as we walk by. Historically, it was clipboard-wielding college kids who were working hard to get names added to a donor or advocacy list. Then, at the end of the day, they would bring their clipboards to their headquarters where they would enter the new information into a database on computers, which typically took hours. Often, there were inaccuracies because of typing mistakes or illegible handwriting. But now, with GRU’s innovative technology, college kids are armed with tablets, which effectively eliminate the barriers to building a solid donor or advocacy list. People can enter their information onto the tablets, their email addresses will be instantly verified, and their information will be sent to a safe and comprehensive database.

Our Advocacy Work

Advocacy has become a mainstay in our Democracy. And it can take many different forms, such as protesting at a rally, sending a letter to or calling your representative, signing a petition or even posting a political perspective on social media. Yet, regardless of the various forms of advocacy available in the technological age, the best way to galvanize support for a cause remains talking to people directly. Based on our clients’ experiences, GRU has learned that having a conversation with someone is the most effective means of building a relationship and getting someone to take action.

Mobile technology has made it possible to bring what has typically been viewed as web-based activity into a mobile environment to garner real-time results. Using the Grassroots Unwired platform, canvassers will have with them an unlimited number of petitions or surveys and the results will appear instantly on the reporting Dashboard.

A canvasser can enroll someone on the spot and then, a second later, that person can send an email to a legislator about a specific policy initiative that matters to him. Or a canvasser can collect donations for her cause. And thanks to the integration between Grassroots Unwired and Mobile Commons, cell phone numbers collected in the field can be fed into the SMS marketing strategy system in real time. The mobile platform enables our clients to go where people spend most of their time as opposed to blanketing the abyss of social media with the hope of getting support. Finally, GRU’s mobile platform is tailored to specific people in specific places, combining old-fashioned conversation with powerful technology to create an intimate, yet powerful experience. A perfect example of this are the yearly Homeless Census projects collaborate on with non-profits across the country.