Is Your Org Ready To Put An Engaged Base To Work -- Pew Survey Findings Show High Voter Expectations Of Involvement In Obama AdministrationThere’s so much emphasis on the challenge of building your organization’s base. After all, without a base, there’s no progress.

But once you open the door, you have to be ready to welcome and more fully involve your base. You need to walk the talk — if you invite folks to give or sign a petition, to staff a table or to participate in a program, then continue to be responsive, enabling them to be (increasingly) involved in the way they want to be. Far too many organizations aren’t poised to do so and play mad catch up, risking a vital resource.

Nothing proves the need to walk this talk more strongly than the recent release of survey results on post-election voter engagement (thanks to the Pew Internet and American Life Project). Researcher Aaron Rich reports that most of Obama’s campaign troops plan to remain engaged with the incoming Obama Administration and mobilize others in support of his agenda. That’s no surprise to me, but is the administration ready?

Rich also reports out that:

  • 62% of Obama voters expect to be involved in moving the administration’s agenda forward by asking others to support its policies. That’s voters, not campaigners.
  • 46% of Obama voters and 33% of McCain voters expect to hear directly from their candidate or party leaders over the next year, and many of them have a particular medium (phone vs. email vs. text vs. social networking) in mind.

Things are clearly different now, with Obama’s base (and McCain’s too, to a lesser extent) unwilling to shrink into the background. For example, my ornery friend Mark Sirkin complained to me today that he “…had to yell at [the Obama transition team] for calling me on the phone. I said hey, I’m a Web donor  [so get me online]. Don’t make me give you a fake phone number.

Dig into these findings yourself to understand fully how your base’s expectations have changed. They are going to expect to be more actively involved in forwarding your issues themselves. You have to be ready to give them whatever guidance, tools info or motivation they need to do so most effectively. Are YOU ready?

Click the Comments link below to tell me how your organization is helping your base move your issues or causes forward, or not.

P. S. Don’t miss out on the in-depth articles, case studies and guides on key nonprofit communications topics featured in the Getting Attention e-alert. Subscribe today.

Nancy Schwartz in Campaign Marketing Models & Tips, Nonprofit Communications, Trends, Viral Marketing, Volunteers | 1 comment
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Change.Gov is Up -- Obama Shares Vision, Plans & Hopes, Wants to Hear Yours

Less than 48 hours after winning the election, the Barack Obama transition team has launched Change.Gov.

Like many sites, it’s a work in progress. For example, I see “content to come” as the only element on the America’s Service Plan page (at 11/6, 7pm eastern).

Frankly, it’s good to see that authenticity. After all, I’m sure there’s not an organization out there that’s  launched a 100% complete, 100% error free site, especially in two days. The way that Obama’s team shows their humanity is engaging. They’re not afraid of being real, like you and me, and that makes us feel closer to them. Win!

I’m also pleased to see continuity in message and values (yes, a President can have a brand), with citizens asked to share our visions, stories and perspectives on key issues. I’ve just submitted my vision and will let you know how it’s followed up. I know it will be.

The Obama team really shines in putting Web 2.0 to work. When I provided my email and zip code (not sure what for), I was thanked for “helping us remake Washington.” And there’s a blog too, complementing the user-generated content (visions, etc.). It’ll be interesting to see who blogs, if comments are accepted, etc. Just another way to read the new administration.

But what’s most exciting is my gut feeling that they’ll move beyond the sharing of visions and stories (which I’m sure will be shared back) and join these folks up with the 3.1 million campaign volunteers of as some kind of mind-blowing citizen advisory board. That’s real community, and I can’t wait to see it take shape.

P.S. Learn how you can craft a compelling story for your org in 8 words or less. Download the free Nonprofit Tagline Report for must-dos, don’t dos, case studies and 1,000+ nonprofit tagline examples!

Nancy Schwartz in Campaign Marketing Models & Tips, Nonprofit Communications, Social Media, Unique Approaches, Web 2.0 | 4 comments
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