Learn how Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), Australia’s largest youth-run organisation, is using SupporterBase to safely and securely manage their data and communications with supporters.
SupporterBase is a powerful organising tool developed by our team of digital experts. Over the past decade, our team has worked closely with brilliant and dedicated campaign staff and even the well-staffed organisations recognised it takes extra support to achieve long lasting change. This is why, around the world, leading campaigners turned to distributed organising - building sustainable grassroots networks and amplifying their impact by empowering volunteers to take on leadership roles at the local level. Our team developed the custom digital tools these organisations use to empower their volunteers, and we decided we wanted to make this powerful organising approach more accessible to progressives everywhere.
AYCC is Australia’s largest youth-run organisation, which was formed to build a movement of young people leading solutions to the climate crisis. Together they empower and educate others, and run strategic campaigns that win and shift the climate narrative.
Young people have the most to lose from global warming and AYCC believes that climate change is their best opportunity to create a world that works for everyone, not just a few. They have a vision to power lives with the wind and sun, and ensure access to clean energy and job opportunities for all.
At its core, AYCC is all about empowering its grassroots supporter base and building local power. It was AYCC’s prerogative from the outset to allow volunteers to take responsibility and power into their own hands. However, they struggled to find a streamlined and secure way for their volunteers to communicate with their fellow supporters.
Volunteers had limited access to their existing CRM, which acted as both AYCC’s supporter database and mass communication tool. With an absence of SMS and calling features, emails were the main form of communication used and these always needed to be reviewed by an AYCC staff member for drafting and approval. There were also no refined supporter access controls in place, which meant that volunteers using the CRM were privy to the full breadth of confidential supporter data and information. This of course restricted the number of users that were given permission to access the CRM, therefore limiting the broader activities and reach of supporters.
The AYCC team committed to finding an easier way to communicate with their supporter base and grow their movement while still ensuring the relevant data and privacy guidelines were met - a requirement which was incredibly important to the team.
SupporterBase in action
Tech & Data Manager for AYCC, David Kohn, has noticed a positive shift in AYCC’s organising operations since adopting SupporterBase, and credits its simple and intuitive interface and workflows for allowing volunteers to confidently build power.
Volunteers and volunteer leaders have found SupporterBase easy to understand and use, with the platform’s simple and clean interface increasing productivity as volunteers can now manage their own local group’s relationships without needing to access centralised tech platforms. For example, volunteer groups can very easily schedule events, call supporters to attend those events, send out reminder emails before the event, send out a reminder SMS on the day of the event, and then even follow up with RSVPs who did not attend the event.
According to Kohn, AYCC volunteers are now able to execute tasks both independently and with some AYCC staff support. These tasks would have previously had to be handled solely by AYCC staff for tech and data security reasons.
Beyond the functionality of the SupporterBase platform, AYCC has also found the bug and feature tracker forum provided by the SupporterBase team to be a handy and communicative way to display development priorities to the community as well as a way for users to suggest their own feature requests. This collaborative virtual space is open to all SupporterBase users.
Kohn says he would strongly recommend SupporterBase to any organisation that builds grassroots power in distributed or federated ways.
“SupporterBase allows people and volunteers to access the data and communications that they actually need to access, and no more. It allows data access and communications to be distributed as widely as possible, while also providing tech platform and data management peace of mind in regards to centralised list management and communications.
“AYCC is all about empowering our grassroots and building local power. It was an easy decision to buy into a platform like SupporterBase that allows our volunteers to take responsibility and power into their own hands.”
Key learnings and advice
Kohn attributes the success of SupporterBase’s rollout across AYCC to the extensive onboarding process undertaken by AYCC’s staff and volunteers. AYCC staff were initially trained in SupporterBase and volunteer training was subsequently rolled out by AYCC’s “Volunteer Teach Team”, who coordinated initial training sessions with local groups, as well as follow-up sessions to address any difficulties that volunteers were experiencing.
“After a solid rollout, SupporterBase was easily adopted into AYCC staff’s workflows,” said Kohn.