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  • Writer's pictureChad McEvoy

5 tips to re-engage inactive supporters

The COVID-19 pandemic has put many advocacy organizations in a difficult situation. Organizers and policy experts now find their issues with lower priority for both lawmakers and advocates, losing hard-won momentum at both local, state, and federal level. As we enter the 3rd year of unprecedented uncertainty, many also understand that their usually engaged community of advocates are now exhausted, and it’s getting more difficult and more expensive to recruit new supporters to their causes through the standard channels.

In order to stay on track to meet your annual advocacy goal, it’s essential that you have a clear strategy to re-engage inactive supporters. Unlike new supporters, inactive supporters have been a part of your organization within the past two or three years but haven’t taken for a while. They are, or were, aware of your organization and understood the importance of your work enough to answer calls-to-action. You are just no longer on top of their mind, but with the right strategy, it might be possible to re-engage them at a lower cost than recruiting new supporters.

1. Understand your organization’s inactive supporters

First, make sure you have a clear picture of

  • Who your inactive supporters are and how many are there

  • Where do they live

  • What their last engagement with your organization was

  • What issues they were passionate about

These are some of the essential data points needed to begin developing an omnichannel retargeting strategy. The more information you have on these individuals, the more likely your outreach will grab their attention, resulting in a new engagement.

These data points are likely scattered across your advocacy, CRM, and outreach tools. Crowdskout’s people-centric data platform allows you to import data from multiple sources in order to create more comprehensive profiles for your target audience, and create custom dashboards and reports to get the rest of your team aligned. If you’re missing some crucial information, our Civic Explorer tool allows you to upload and match your list with our syndicated database of 240 millions plus voters in the US in order to gain a deeper understanding of your target audience for better planning.

2. Re-introduce yourself with a lower-value activity

Inactive supporters are valuable to your organization because of their awareness and past engagement, but chances are, they are being inundated with calls-to-action from other causes as well. Take a step back and re-introduce yourself instead of asking them to take more actions right away, which can result in a higher-than-usual unsubscribe rate.

Make sure they understand the impacts their previous advocacy actions have had, and the progress you were able to make on the same or similar issues. Give them a low-stake activity to engage with, like signing a petition, or sharing the progress report to social media channels. Inactive supporters need to be reminded of your organization’s work and a petition or a social share is a great way to re-ignite their passion and commitment.

3. Re-target inactive supporters on a different channel

If you have data on which channel(s) these individuals have engaged with your organization (do they subscribe to your email or do they follow you on Twitter…), that’s great. If you happen to have data on where they are spending their time, even better. Screen time has seen a significant jump across all demographics during the pandemic, so it’s effective to set up targeted ads on 2 or 3 social networks the majority of your inactive supporters are spending their time on.

These data points can be difficult to collect and organize, but we can help! Our syndicated dataset includes information on where individuals are likely spending their time and getting their information on, which you can use to plan your advertising campaigns effectively. And it doesn’t hurt to experiment with new channels like LinkedIn, Instagram or TikTok, where there is still lots of room for advocacy organizations to build a following.

4. Find new ambassadors to speak on your behalf

Many causes, big or small, use the same “face” to communicate with supporters, often the Executive Director or a senior executive. While this establishes trust and consistency with your community, this doesn’t bring much value to your already inactive supporters, as they have been out of touch with your organization and likely don’t have a strong connection with your executives. This is where new faces can be valuable.

Your most engaged supporters and volunteers are not just essential to your day-to-day work, they are likely the best ambassadors to advocate on your behalf to inactive supporters. With peer-to-peer texting and phone-banking, your volunteers can make the case for why they are still involved with the organization, and give inactive supporters a chance to get to know a new person (another life pleasure impacted by the pandemic) and hear about the organization’s work and fundraising needs. Crowdskout allows you to create and manage text-banking and phone-banking with just a few clicks, and our integrated toolkit makes sure that you can track the results of your volunteer-led outreach in real-time.

5. Capture their attention with a fun prize

When reaching out to inactive supporters, you’re appealing to their altruistic side by reminding them of the past connection to your work. In this unprecedented time, it’s a winning strategy to appeal to their fun side as well. A raffle, whether big or small, taps into people’s love of chances, especially if it’s a prize that appeals to a wide range of individuals. Just make sure your inactive supporters know about this opportunity by mentioning it on multiple channels, with attention-grabbing visuals and clear communication on the goal and purpose of the campaign. Bonus point if the action is timely and easy to take!


Crowdskout combines a people-centric data platform with mobilization and engagement tools, to help you better understand and connect with your audience. Learn more about our toolkit and powerful data services at

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