During the month of April, we will be talking about the power of advocacy and how it can take your fundraising programs to the next level. We have all heard that peer-to-peer engagement is the most effective tool at our disposal, but many of us struggle to implement advocate programs. So, the GiveCampus team wants to share some actionable information to help you build and grow your advocacy network. Perhaps you already have a robust class agent program and dedicated volunteers—but if finding a league of rockstar Advocates seems like an impossible task, we have good news! There is likely already a gold mine of great candidates in your community.
Here are our suggestions for recruiting advocates:
- People who are already engaging. Identify the people who are regularly liking and sharing your social media posts, and the loyal alumni and parents who show up to every event. If your institution uses a pro-grade social media management tool, tap into its list of your most-active followers. Even the folks who are regularly opening your emails are potential advocate candidates– they’re already demonstrating that they want to feel connected to your institution.
- Well-known community faces. Is there a faculty member that everyone on campus knows and loves? What about a veteran dining hall or grounds employee who has become a beloved fixture of the community over the years? Could you enlist someone to don your mascot’s costume and star in a short video? Would your Chancellor offer a Match? Faculty, staff, coaches, student leaders & athletes, and institutional leadership make for great Advocates, and donors will delight in seeing a familiar face on your campaign page!
- Mine existing organized groups. Student organizations, athletics teams, alumni groups, boards, and parent-teacher associations already have a higher level of buy-in to your institution and are accustomed to mobilizing to support it.
- Ask your Advocates to be Advocates for Advocates. Say that ten times fast! Encourage existing Advocates to nominate potential Advocates from their social circles. Becoming an Advocate is a great first step into the world of official volunteering– we like to think of campaign Advocacy as ‘gateway volunteering.’
The way you ask your community members to become Advocates should be as thoughtful as the strategy in which you identified them as great candidates. Make them feel like VIPs and be sure to steward your volunteers properly. Show your advocates how they are making a difference and the role they play in helping you achieve your philanthropic goals.
Want to learn how GiveCampus can help you empower your advocates? Click the link below to schedule a conversation with our team to learn more.