Published by Working Wikily on 01 Jun 2011 at 06:48 am
If you work at an advocacy organization, or support them, have you encountered new challenges in attracting members, keeping them engaged, and attracting their donations? Many people we’ve spoken to have had that experience, and as a result we’ve recently completed a national study of member-based advocacy organizations called “DISRUPTION: Evolving Models of Engagement and Support.”
Our supporters were the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, all of whom are concerned about these question for their own work and would like to share what they’ve found with the field. What we’ve found should interest anyone whose work involves advocacy and public engagement today.
Here are a few words from two of the funders:
“The report is great. You’re making concrete what everyone is feeling. It’s a much more comprehensive picture of the field than any of us have had previously. A lot of the messages are going to be challenging, painting a picture that’s quite uncomfortable for folks.” –Mayur Patel, Vice President of Strategy and Assessment, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
“It’s part of the whole shift towards leadership with a network mindset—empowering everyone and not being so in control.” –Stephanie McAuliffe, Director of Human Resources at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation
The traditional form for these type of findings would be a whitepaper. Instead, we are sharing them as slides (original and annotated) that not only conveys what we’ve found but also serves as a tool for sharing and discussing the conclusions with others. We do this not only to stay in the spirit of the participatory engagement styles that are now emerging, but also because the findings represent only the present moment in a story that is far from concluding. Nothing is settled about how even the most relevant and impactful advocacy organizations engage constituencies or attracts resources. We want the organizations themselves and their funders to be a part of its telling.
These slides pull summarize the most broadly relevant and provocative findings of the study. Please feel free to use it to frame a discussion with colleagues, your board, your constituents and/or your members. We will also be posting the major findings individually in a series of blog posts over the coming weeks. If you have reflections you would like to share with us and other readers here, please comment below. If you have a deep interest in the question and would like to dig in further to what we’ve found, we are more than happy to share the full-length findings, research instruments, and raw survey data findings upon request. Email noah_flower (at) monitor (dot) com for more information.
You can browse the annotated edition of the slides below:
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