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Digital/Database Technologies & Social Media Integration

 

  • Databases and CRM (constituent relationship management): Ideally, CRMs serve as a bridge between digital strategies and field strategies, allowing you to grow your membership and directly engage supporters. The key is to figure out what level of involvement your members desire and to provide them with a range of appropriate opportunities. We say: “Give them what they want--no more and no less.” We will help you identify your goals for member engagement, growth, and communication. From there we will help you select the right software, customize it to your needs, and and train your staff. See our Review of CRMs. 

  • Social Media Tools & Integration: You don’t need to be on every platform—but your choices should reflect the evolving preferences of your targets. A good communications planning process will help you sort this out. We focus on using social media for effective policy action—vanity metrics (likes, for example) are no measure of success on this front! What plug ins can clients use to connect digital action to policy action? How can you maximize your CRM’s integration with digital platforms? Where's the free stuff? That’s our forté.

"What can we say--we love to geek out on databases! Time to embrace this and for the benefit of Utah's nonprofit community." 

[ Digital Technology & Integration  /  Communications  / Policy Analysis / Collaborative Grants / Consumer Engagement /  Strategic Planning]

 

 Our Services 

Communications & Media Relations

 

  • Communications Planning: Too many nonprofits "wing it" on communications--they let the reporter or a crisis control the story. A solid communications plan puts you in the driver’s seat, allowing you to craft the right message at the right time, for the right audience. Our templates are well tested and easy to customize to your needs. 

  • Media Relations: In our over-saturated media environment with 24-hour news cycles, you need to work hard to get the coverage you deserve. Given the rapid turnover or growing use of freelancers in the media sector, media contact lists must be updated constantly. We can do this for clients. You have very tight opportunities to make lasting impressions. We can help you get coverage to advance your goals as you build your relationships with reporters and editors.

  • Presentation Skills & Tools: We can help train staff or board members to create and deliver effective presentations (Prezi, Powerpoint tricks, or elevator speeches). Every spokesperson for your organization is ready to represent your cause effectively at every opportunity: at a conference, a dinner meeting, a webinar, or a one-minute elevator ride.

  • Storybanking Training & Tools: For some issues, stories can be more compelling than facts! We help you find and craft stories to convey your message and disseminate them to the right audiences, especially funders and policymakers, in compelling formats.

  • Messaging Tools: Policy Catalyst keeps tabs on the best tools for developing your message and message discipline. 

Policy Analysis, Research, Capacity Building for Policy Work

 

Whether your organization is new to policy advocacy or has been doing it for years, we can add muscle and efficiency to your approach. The stakes are higher now than ever before: With the current administration, states and local communities will play an increasing role in policy making and budget decisions. Build and deepen your relationship with elected officials and department administrators and discover the right balance between “grasstops” (influential people with strong connections to policymakers) and grassroots advocacy. We’ll work with you at every stage of this process to make sure that your organization develops a trusted and respected policy voice.

  • Administrative advocacy: Congrats, your bill just became law—now what? How that law gets implemented at a state agency level can make or break the intent of that law. State agencies can be moved to hold regular hearings. You can use these hearings to give constituents or partners a voice on issues handled by the agency.

  • Policy analysis and best practices research: Policy Catalyst can provide policy writing or walk you through that process. Where can you find the data to support your policy agenda? What is the best way to present that data? That’s us! 

  • Emerging policy and grantmaking paradigms: Learn about “social innovation” models in the foundation world (ex: Pay for Success) to compete in these spaces.

  • Storybanking Training and Tools. For some policy or budget issues, stories can be more compelling than facts! We help you find and craft stories to convey your message and disseminate them to the right audiences.

  • Survey and Focus Groups: Take advantage of Policy Catalyst >20 years experience in designing and implementing surveys and analyzing and reporting on the results.

  • Grassroots and direct lobbying training and tracking tools. Track it you must! 

Collaborative Grants, Grants Management & Stewardship

 

There’s no getting around it – grants keep the doors open. But successful grant writing and grant management takes time and energy, and this can pull valuable staff away from your core activities. We streamline every aspect of grant seeking, writing, and management. 

 

  • Research on Grant Opportunities: identify untapped grant opportunities, including new collaborations with other nonprofits. 

  • Collaborative Grants: Collaborative proposals are fast becoming the future of nonprofit grant funding, but they require a high level of strategic planning and coordination, and Policy Catalyst can take care of these complexities. 

  • Grant management, budgeting, and reporting. Too many nonprofits come to the end of a grant cycle only to find they have overspent or overspent by more than the allowable percent on a given category. We have tools to prevent this from happening in the first place and to make grant reporting easy and even enjoyable. Accounting systems like Quickbooks are great, but most fall short on managing spending against grant budgets. 

  • Emerging funding paradigms: Learn about “social innovation” models in the foundation world (ex: Pay for Success) to compete with confidence in these spaces.

Consumer & Stakeholder Engagement

 

Your online and social media presence is critical, but don't for a minute think that's enough to get people activated around policy priorities. "Liking" and sharing is great, but vanity metrics don't add up to effective action. Depending on the issue at hand, you need to map relationships in space and time with voters. Nonprofits need a field strategy coupled with a digital strategy. Policy Catalyst has proven tools to manage both for strong results. 

  • Coalition Strategies: Policy advocacy works most effectively when different groups work together to leverage their unique strengths around a common goal. Policy Catalyst can help clients identify partners, including “strange bedfellows,” to build effective coalitions. In these times of new grassroots groups forming all over Utah, every nonprofit should think strategically about how to tap into the new grassroots movement. Policy Catalyst is volunteering with several of these groups to help them make strategic connections with policy-oriented nonprofits. We do not charge for any efforts to connect policy groups with new grassroots groups. 

  • Ladder of Engagement strategy and 'Drip' Campaigns: With a good CRM (constituent relationship management) platform, you can move your base (members, clients, etc.) up the "ladder of engagement" from liking you on Facebook; signing up for your email list; tabling at an event; serving on a committee, to making a donation or sharing a story. The point is to systematically map out these options and provide incentives for deeper engagement. 

Strategic Planning

 

Most nonprofits launch their work with a compelling mission, but it takes considerable work to turn this mission into a strategic plan that is responsive and flexible to changing conditions and to your evolving membership.  How do you develop a strategic plan which exemplifies your principles but which has enough flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances? 

  • Assessment: We help you to articulate or update your priorities, using the strategies for consumer engagement described earlier. 

  • A Theory of Change should guide your strategies, tactics, and technologies.

  • Discovering and growing your base.  What makes them tick or take action? With the right strategies, peer-to-peer campaigns, and technologies, your constituents can climb the Ladder of Engagement.

  • Building coalitions with other groups to maximize effectiveness, tap into new grassroots groups, and harness the power of intersecting advocacy campaigns. The recent presidential election has given rise to new grassroots groups all across Utah. Policy Catalyst is dedicated to helping clients benefit systematically from this new energy--that's the "catalyst" part!

  • Communications Planning: Every nonprofit group needs one—and it needs to guide everyday digital and communications tactics and not just collect dust on the shelf. We help you put that plan into practice with proven tools and tactics (ex: a content calendar, style guide, media list, analytics, and more).

  • Evaluation: We help you use data, analytics, and survey input to fine tune strategies and tactics. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

We offer a range of services including digital and communications tools, grant writing, strategic planning, and policy analysis. For highly specialized needs (ex. graphic design) we are building Catalyst Collective, experts or recent graduates prepared to give you what you need at a reasonable price. Why? So they can make a difference in our community.