10 Tech tools for organizing & fundraising for social impact movements
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are essential for spreading your organization’s message, but they often fail when it comes to helping us to connect with like-minded individuals, formulate collective action plans, or activate constituents towards a common purpose.
If you find conventional social media falling short of your needs, check out these tools that address problems common to organizing and sharing social movements.
Loomio is sort of like Slack, but specifically tailored to social organizing. The software provides a space in which participants can:
- Raise a concern (such as, say, an unsafe intersection in a neighborhood)
- Propose solutions
- Vote on a plan of action
By creating working groups within the software, you can ensure that people who commonly face collective problems have the ability to interact seamlessly.
A major perk of Loomio is that it’s both free (at least at the introductory tier) and open-source. Maintained and developed by a nonprofit organization, the software promises not only to remain available free of charge, but also to remain true to its mission of helping to foster social change.
ActionKit is a subscription-based digital toolset and software tool that large organizations like MoveOn and the Natural Resources Defense Council use to run campaigns. It integrates with third-party donation processors and CRMs, and offers robust data reporting.
The features ActionKit offers are: email, secure fundraising, advocacy and list growth, events tools, data and analytics, international organizing, and relationship development. They were acquired in 2019 by EveryAction, which offers SaaS solutions and a CRM for nonprofits and progressive campaigns.
Blackbaud’s online fundraising and automation tool is a cloud solution for finding donors, nurturing them, and building relationships. It’s an ongoing service where your organization works with their consultants to design campaigns and strategies around marketing, engagement, and fundraising.
Features are email campaign tools, digital marketing like webpages and microsites, and online fundraising tools.
Online fundraising software provider Salsa Labs is another fundraising and donor nurturing option. Their platform offers online donation tools and automated gift acknowledgments, online events capabilities, peer-to-peer fundraising, and metrics to plot impact. You can scale up to use Salsa Engage and Salsa CRM.
Sensing a trend here? Engaging Networks is yet another online fundraising and campaign tool. They boast among their clients Amnesty International and the Nature Conservancy. (If you’ve wandered around NYC at any point, you’ve been hit up by some exuberant youth with an iPad seeking donations using the Nature Conservancy’s digital tools.)
Their features include custom landing pages, peer-to-peer fundraising, events, membership, advocacy tools, e-commerce, email, and fundraising via donations. Their pages render in 14+ languages as well, so Engaging Networks is a great option for international organizations or those hoping to reach a broad audience.
ThruText is a texting tool for advocacy and nonprofit groups, wherein personalized text messages are sent to supporters, participants, and members. They tout their service as a great solution to social media posts getting buried, direct mail being tossed, and emails being ignored—and we agree.
ThruText has been used by various high-visibility political campaigns—Bernie Sanders, AOC, Elizabeth Warren—and the ACLU. You don’t get better acknowledgement than that.
Another mobile messaging service, Mobile Commons allows you to send texts, pictures, GIFs, video, and gamified offers, and your organization has the ability to collect data from surveys, polls, and QR codes. It integrates with various CRMs, and encourages donations via reminders and live event texts.
Free for nonprofits, this video marketing tool allows you to create and edit videos for various social media platforms. You can easily resize for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and other sites; add text and subtitles; and apply filters for visual power. They even offer a green screen feature so you can change your background for “talking head” style videos. See a full list of online video editing features here.
Though signing online petitions has become so common as to earn the derisive nickname of “slacktivism,” there are nevertheless instances in which digital action has proven fruitful, and many of these instances originated from Change.org.
Change.org allows users to create an action item—such as Demand UPS provide Air Conditioning to all drivers—then invite people, through social media or email, to lend their names to a petition in favor of that action item.
It’s not uncommon for Change.org petitions to exceed 500K signatures. Because Change.org integrates so well with social media, it’s a great tool for helping your political objectives reach critical mass.
Though people often use Meetup to find new friends, you can also use the platform for the purposes of political organizing.
Want to get in touch with people who care deeply about the environment? Try creating a local People’s Climate Movement Meetup group. The platform will provide a means for you to connect with people who care about similar issues, and to organize regular meetings in which you can plan, share ideas, and take action.