It may seem too late for a new year’s resolution in 2020 — if you were going to read two books a month or work out three times a week, you’ve missed your chance. But you can still resolve to deliver the most impactful 2020 Annual Advocacy Report possible for your organization. Whether you’re using FiscalNote or VoterVoice, the reports available within our products provide plenty of data to drive insights that can help demonstrate your advocacy’s impact.
The following best practices can help guide your work as you draw connections between the tactics, strategies, and results over the past year.
Align Your Metrics
Incorporating data into your organization’s annual advocacy report starts well before you write word one of the report itself. It begins with establishing alignment around which metrics matter between stakeholders within the organization, and board members or other key external stakeholders. There has never been more data available at the click of a mouse … but which data will best illustrate the value of what you’re doing?
With a common understanding of the key metrics for your organization, it’s simpler to move forward with creating a framework that can be easily communicated as part of your annual report.
It’s also simpler to track those metrics over time using an easily-configured dashboard. VoterVoice provides an out-of-the-box dashboard that can help you track a number of key metrics, including geographic results, activity by advocates, and advocate acquisition. You can even keep track of the top advocates based on campaign actions, such as e-mails, calls, or tweets to elected officials.
Show Your Work
High-level metrics are important to illustrate the broad impact of your work. The next layer is just as important, as it illustrates the efforts that support your results. These more detailed metrics are powerful additions to your annual advocacy report, but they can also be valuable throughout the year, as they allow your team to “show their work” by detailing the many individual actions that together add up to results.
FiscalNote’s Action Database aggregates all activity logged by you or your team, including emails, meetings with policymakers, phone calls with important stakeholders, fly-ins with your advocates, and more. With FiscalNote, you’ll be able to more effectively track these engagements so you can look back at the end of a week, month, or year and see where your organization has been spending the most time, which issues have been prioritized, and what stakeholders have been engaged. This activity shows the heart of your work, the day-to-day steps you take toward achieving your goals.
You can pull a report on your actions at any time from FiscalNote’s tools, available in several formats. The report provides a more granular picture of overall efforts, which allows you to illuminate some of the underlying efforts that have led to results. In an annual advocacy report, it can be just as important to underscore the hands-on work of the organization as it is to spotlight the broader achievements.
Illustrate Your Impact
Even the most powerful data proof points can get lost if the report itself isn’t clearly written and creatively designed. While our products can deliver the data you need today, we’re working on ways to make our reporting capabilities even more useful when it comes to creating professional-looking deliverables straight out of the box.
Coming soon is the ability to create even more detailed reports through FiscalNote’s Report Builder. With this enhanced tool, users will be able to more effectively export the work they’re doing in FiscalNote and neatly package it in a professional-looking report in minutes. Report Builder will be modular in nature, so users can customize reports on issues, policy, and stakeholders depending on their need. Need to pull a quick report on recent engagements with a specific legislator and their staff, what bills are being prioritized, and what action your team has since taken? Report Builder can do this. You’ll be able to demonstrate the ROI of your advocacy efforts, create benchmarks month by month or year by year, and save time.
We’re also happy to offer a free template for your annual advocacy report. With this template, you will find the blueprint you need to succinctly communicate and present your advocacy year in review to internal and external stakeholders — from layout and graphic ideas to icons you can use to build an elegant and effective report.
Ready to see for yourself?
Learn how FiscalNote's Advocacy Solutions can help you promote action to affect bills and regulations, as well as assess your impact and drive results.