In 2015, Human Rights First launched Veterans for American Ideals (VFAI), a nonpartisan group of veterans who believe “America is strongest when its policies and actions match its ideals.” Over the past two years, VFAI has been instrumental in saving the Special Immigrant Visa Program, countering Islamophobia, and protecting refugees.
With each new battle, VFAI seeks to activate and expand their network of grassroots advocates. For the past few years, VFAI managed their grassroots campaigns with Excel spreadsheets and a marketing CRM software. While this approach provided VFAI a way to communicate with supporters, they wanted a better system for activating their supporters.
Scott Cooper, Director of National Security Outreach at Human Rights First, explains, “We needed a way to elevate the voice of veterans and our supporters across the country.”
VFAI’s integration with Quorum Grassroots brought three powerful solutions to managing their advocacy campaigns. First, Quorum enabled VFAI to better organize their database of supporter information.
“Before Quorum, we were limited to just a few fields of information,” explains Kate Horner, “But with Quorum’s custom fields, we can now organize information like which supporters are the most engaged, who our community partners are, and even which supporters have a military spouse.”
The core of any effective grassroots campaign strategy is a well organized database. Quorum’s grassroots advocacy software is designed so that any organization can structure their data in a way that works best for them. Next, with their database of information uploaded into Quorum, VFAI used their supporters’ addresses to map them to their corresponding congressional districts.
“Now I can easily look up any of our VFAI leaders and see who their elected official is as well as any additional notes we have about the supporter,” Cooper said.
The ability to visualize their grassroots network has helped VFAI gauge where they have support and where they should be focusing outreach to grow support.
Finally, VFAI has deployed Quorum’s easy-to-use action centers to provide a place for supporters to make their voices heard. In the wake of the Trump Administration’s travel ban, VFAI launched their first action center campaign “Protect Our Iraqi Allies.” The organization has also embedded the action center on the homepage of their website to motivate more visitors to take action.
With powerful grassroots advocacy software now at their disposal, VFAI is already seeing exciting new levels of advocate engagement.
“What’s really encouraging is that since launching our action center, most actions taken have been from our new supporters,” explains Horner. “Before Quorum, this was not normally the case.”
Additionally, for an organization like Human Rights First that manages multiple advocacy campaigns, having access to their own set of tools has empowered programs like VFAI to operate their outreach almost entirely on their own — without having to rely on resources from other departments.
“It’s really given us the ability to own our advocacy work and send messages without having to bother the digital communications team.”
In a matter of months, VFAI has already used Quorum to launch two grassroots campaigns encouraging their supporters to do everything from write the White House, send letters to the Attorney General, and email their representatives in Congress.