Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work, and deliver that work safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.
While the association just turned 70 years old in 2020, that doesn’t mean it’s stuck in its ways. ABC has been a leader and an innovator, launching its dedicated advocacy action mobile app in 2013 fueled by FiscalNote’s flagship advocacy suite VoterVoice.
“It’s like a handheld version of our ABC Action Center but it's tailored to our specific issues and the individual,” says Patrick McCarty, grassroots manager at Associated Builders and Contractors. “It's how we help build engagement, our mobile ABC Action app.”
Information Meets (Mobile) Action
The ABC Action mobile app is a complete suite for everything members need to know about the association’s advocacy efforts and how they can get involved.
“The app is an advanced advocacy tool that enables ABC members to become a vital part of the association’s grassroots advocacy efforts and allows you to make your voice heard,” says Ben Brubeck, vice president of regulatory, labor, and state affairs at ABC. “Through the ABC Action app, users can take action in grassroots campaigns and push for pro-merit shop legislation in Congress and state capitols, check out state-specific policy information in the Merit Shop Scorecard, and access a custom Twitter feed tracking issues important to our membership and the construction industry.”
When users download the ABC Action app, they create a profile where they enter their personal information, including their home or business address. This information is automatically matched in VoterVoice to return a personalized experience for the users that connects them with their elected officials and also shows them any active federal or state campaigns they can participate in.
The app also pulls all elected officials’ headshot and contact information (including the option to call them, visit their websites, and social media accounts), maps of office locations, as well as information on how they voted on ABC’s key issues based on VoterVoice’s scorecards.
“We use the VoterVoice API and its grassroots functionality for our members to get in touch with their federal and state elected officials with just a few clicks,” says McCarty. “The ABC Action app, in addition to VoterVoice email alerts, is how we primarily drive participation for advocacy efforts, from a national perspective down to the chapters.”
McCarty says about a third of ABC’s advocates use the app to take action on federal campaigns; leveraging push notifications, his team can get these advocates’ attention instantly and on the go. Through VoterVoice, ABC can take that attention and turn it into action in a matter of seconds.
“They can open up the app by clicking on the push notification on their lock screen and it will take them directly to the action in question, and match them [through VoterVoice] with their appropriate legislators so they could, within a matter of one or two clicks, send a message that we had pre-populated for them, or they could customize it and shoot that right off Capitol Hill,” he says.
An example of this is ABC’s ongoing campaign to push back against the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The Free Enterprise Alliance is ABC’s issue advocacy arm and through digital ads, text messages, and mail funded by FEA, as well as pushing the campaign on the ABC Action app, ABC has seen more than twice the amount of normal engagement and a wave of new advocates (56 percent of those taking action are new to ABC’s list). Active since fall 2020, this campaign has reached 484 lawmakers in total: 105 senators, 378 House members, and President Biden.
Building a Future-Proof Digital Advocacy Strategy with VoterVoice
Going forward, ABC plans to continue building on the success of its mobile action app and not only get more members to use it but also expand on functionalities based on the wealth of data VoterVoice provides.
“Our grassroots efforts wouldn't be where they are today without the help of VoterVoice,” McCarty says.
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