Now that you’ve recruited and trained your Advocates, it’s their turn to get to work! When it comes to calling Advocates to action, we’ve found it’s all about maintaining an intentional push-to-praise ratio. We are also going to talk about how to steward your advocates during and after your successful campaign!
- Make it bite-sized. Break down what you need Advocates to do into specific, time-based tasks. Throwing too much at your Advocates at once can feel overwhelming. Instead, kickoff your Advocate timeline by sharing what’s to come, and asking Advocates to take the first, quick step, such as creating a match gift.
- Praise your Advocates frequently. Your Advocates are doing valuable, crucial work for your campaign– don’t wait until it’s over to thank them! Plus, your team’s gratitude can fuel further Advocacy. Just like you’d thank a donor with an email or phone call shortly after making their gift, thank your Advocates right after they do something great that goes above and beyond. Put a spotlight on your Advocates, too! Highlight one rockstar to the whole group to steward that one Advocate and encourage others. Also consider celebrating them on your website or on social media. A little recognition can go a long way.
- Advocacy is more fun with friends. Bring Advocates together in person when you can: we love on-campus link-share-a-thons and exclusive Advocate happy hours. But there are plenty of digital ways to unite long-distance Advocate groups, too. Leverage Facebook groups or email chains to keep folks in the loop and share Advocate-only campaign details. In the lead-up to or during your campaign, consider organizing an ‘Advocate Spirit Week’ and on each day, assign a specific Advocate related task with a fun prompt, like sharing the campaign link in a social media post with the Advocate’s yearbook photo. Boost the ‘club’ feeling by offering Advocates-only social sharing graphics and Facebook profile picture frames.
- Build relationships. When it comes to thanking and stewarding your Advocates, relationship building is the name of the game. Advocacy presents an exciting opportunity to deepen an already great connection to your institution, and your stewardship strategy plays a huge role in making this happen. The stronger the relationship you have with your Advocates, the bigger their buy-in to your school and fundraising efforts will be– and the likelihood that you’ll retain those Advocates skyrockets!
- Incentivize their hard work. Becoming an Advocate offers plenty of feel-good warm-and-fuzzy moments, but incentivizing Advocates can be a powerful way to let them know how much you appreciate their hard work. At the end of your campaign, send thank-you cards or emails to Advocates, just like you would for donors. Consider hosting an Advocates-only social event or sending small gifts to show your gratitude.
- Hype the results! Give your hardest-working Advocates the recognition they deserve! A great way to say ‘thank-you’ is to let everyone else know who your top performers are. We’re big fans of inter-Advocate competitions (with prizes!), crowning an ‘Advocate of the Day/Week/Month’, and creating your own ‘Advocate Leaderboards’.
- Ask for Advocates’ feedback. This is an important step that should not be forgotten. Ask you Advocates what they really enjoyed and some areas for improvement. By doing this, you are showing your Advocates that you care about their experience and that you value their feedback. Not only will you be able to improve your advocacy program, but this will allow you to retain your advocates and may even help you discover some volunteer leaders.
Now you know how to recruit, train, mobilize, and steward your rockstar advocates! Next up in the series is showing the power of advocacy using the GiveCampus platform. Stay tuned for some results that will blow your mind! If you want a sneak peak of what’s to come, click here to schedule an intro call with our team, who can tell you how our platform drives results.