Deciding on new tech infrastructure for your movement can be hard. We hope our self-directed demo helps make it easier for you to decide whether SupporterBase is right for you. We are also available for live walk-throughs and Q&A sessions at any time (email@example.com).
But sometimes you want to hear from a fellow campaigner, not just the developers of the product. We get it. No offense taken ;)
That’s why we decided to post a short written interview with Jane Stabb, Organising Program Manager at Environment Victoria, an independent Australian charity. Environment Victoria was an early adopter of SupporterBase, and is campaigning to solve the climate crisis and build a thriving, sustainable society that protects and values nature.
Q: Jane, can you tell us briefly about Environment Victoria? How many supporters do you have? How many member groups do you work with? What role do these local volunteer-led groups play in the context of Environment Victoria’s mission?
A: We have 100,000 supporters, 40 member groups and 6 volunteer-led local groups running EV campaigns in their communities. Our volunteer groups are the backbone of our campaigns - they put pressure on their local MPs and big polluting companies to take action to protect our environment and cut the pollution that causes climate change - these groups are the power behind everything we do.
Q: Before using SupporterBase, what systems did you use to communicate with and support your volunteer leaders and their local groups?
A: Before SupporterBase, we relied on our central staff team to lead the communications between our volunteer group leaders and their community of volunteers. We wrote the emails, we sent the texts, and we gave out the phone lists to make the phone calls - both for local events but also for our voter contact and corporate-facing tactics. With SupporterBase, our volunteer groups can control their own communication - recruit for their own events, manage and lead their own tactics and essentially, run their own campaigns. Control doesn’t have to be held at our central office by staffers - groups can build power locally and control their own communications.
Q: What challenges did you face with the previous system?
A: Staff organisers constantly created bottlenecks, needing to write recruitment and confirmation texts and emails, managing communication for our volunteer groups. This limited the number of groups we were able to support, and it limited the amount of autonomy our groups could have, therefore, the amount of power they could build and hold locally.
Q: So what was it about SupporterBase that appealed to you? What objectives were you hoping it could help you achieve?
A: I loved the sweet spot SupporterBase works at - allowing privacy and security over personal data that we have to respect and treat with care (being a charity with DGR status and acting within the Privacy Act), but allowing communication to be decentralised, and controlled entirely by volunteer leaders. This allowed me to give the volunteer groups and staff organisers the support, freedom and autonomy they needed to run smart campaigns, and to sell the system to our board, fundraising team and CEO!
Q: We know it’s early days, but how are you finding SupporterBase so far, and what was your experience with the setup process for Environment Victoria?
A: The Setup process has been great - the SB team have been very responsive and easy to get hold of, they’ve held our hands when we needed it, and have been great in responding to development suggestions too. It’s taken a lot longer than we’d hoped to get our teams and systems ready, but internal system change always takes a while - even longer when you’re excited about what’s coming!
Q: What do you expect to be the most useful feature of SupporterBase for Environment Victoria?
A: The most useful feature will be our volunteer groups being able to call through, text and email their local volunteer teams without staff support, but with our staff team being able to retain responsibility of our database centrally through NationBuilder. It’s going to be amazing!! And it will hopefully mean we are able to support a bunch more groups to build more power to make more change across the state!
Massive thanks to Jane for sharing her thoughts and her time! We’re looking forward to seeing what Environment Victoria’s dedicated volunteer network can achieve with SupporterBase, and are thrilled to help out where we can.
Of course each organization is slightly different, so if you have any further questions or would like to discuss your specific needs, get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org.