How progressive campaigns are won in the 21st Century

This is an interesting site innovating social strategy for non-profit campaign organisations. Download their latest free report from netchange.co.

Summary

Social change is hard, and harder still if our institutions haven’t adapted to the cultural changes of our networked society and the complexity of the world’s wicked problems.

The Networked Change Report maps out the strategies and practices that made 47 of today’s most successful advocacy campaigns work while so many others failed to create lasting change.

These campaigns achieved success, we found, because of their ability to open up to the new cultural forces which favor open-ness and grassroots power, but also because they framed and strategically directed this power towards concrete policy outcomes. In short, these “directed network campaigns” married old power with new.

With a special focus on directed-network campaigns, the report isolates the strategic and operational approaches that were common to all high performing examples in our case studies.

Simply put, our intention is to accelerate innovations that work. Understanding and implementing these principles and approaches will allow organizers to apply a model that is consistently achieving high impact and force amplification in today’s challenging advocacy landscape.

“The conventional rules of organizing and the practice of building institutions to create change is being replaced by the demand to innovate and spark new connections and a mandate to build platforms that allow for participation and self determination. This report examines and connects the dots between emergent strategies and provides concrete mechanisms to adapt and improve social change efforts.” 

Marisa Franco, Director of the Not1More Deportation Campaign 

The report is available for free download.

 

Your website is an investment, not an expense

Did you know that nearly 75% of nonprofits with a website designed their site in-house, used a website solution that was free, donated by a volunteer or a public agency of some sort?

Think about what this means. Three quarters of all websites in the charity sector are done on the cheap. It’s all about doing more with less. We’ve heard this expression in the not-for-profit world many times — we have to “do more with less.” It’s like the mantra of our entire sector right?

But I’m here to tell you that your nonprofit website is not an expense; it’s an investment. And when you make an investment, your focus should not be on what you’re spending as much as it should be on your ROI, or return on investment. In the commercial world, ROI is what every decision is really based on.

If I spend $100, what am I going to get back? That’s the question ROI is concerned about. Am I’m going to get $200 back? $300? Or even $101?

There’s a huge difference in mentality and approach to decision making when you’re focused on ROI as opposed to cost. I know nonprofit organisations that have spent literally £50,000 or more on their websites— and had a huge return on investment because their donations increased, their fundraising capacity grew and some of their significant expenses decreased.

I know other nonprofits that have spent £500 or less and ended up throwing their money away. In the end, all they had was basically an online brochure with next to no functionality or ways to engage with constituents.

With your website, it’s not about how much money you spend; it’s about the ROI on your expenditure. Keep in mind that your website sits right at the centre of your marketing universe. Every marketing move you make leads back to your website, and the same is true for people connected to your organisation, from constituents to board members to volunteers.

Your website is the one place where you cannot afford to do more with less.

This article was originally published on Firespring.org.