Partnering for success: building the GunFreeKids email list

Partnering for success: building the GunFreeKids email list

Founded in 2007, GunFreeKids.org is an Internet-based 501(c)4 issue advocacy organization, working on state and national legislation on sound gun violence prevention policies. The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus is one of their main projects. They use Salsa for their CRM.

In 2011 just weeks before the anniversary of the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, NRA-backed legislators in multiple states introduced legislation to FORCE colleges and universities to allow guns on campus. So the students and staff of GunFreeKids called PowerThru to help them crank up their online organizing in a few key states, and build a national call-in day on the anniversary to tell Governors and legislatures everywhere to say NO to guns on campus.

Using the tools in Salsa and on-the-ground organizing, together we built a series of lobby days and call-in days that stopped bills in Texas and Georgia from making it out of committee. And when the Arizona legislature ignored our campaign, and passed a bill forcing colleges to let guns on campus, we focused on the Governor – who vetoed the bill just a few days after our national day of action. Over just a few weeks, we doubled the number of active members on GunFreeKids’ email list, expanded their Facebook presence, and built new and lasting partnerships with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and other partners at the state and federal level.

We built on this work in 2012, when we helped them stop more bad state-specific legislation while pumping up their online fundraising and dramatically beefing up their social media — doubling their Facebook fans and Twitter following.

Now in 2013 after Newtown we’ve helped them seize the moment for change. They’ve tripled the size of their email list through strategic online actions and partnerships — and taken charge of the fight for gun free campuses in specific states.

First we began by seeking out a larger multi-issue partner looking to dip their toe in the gun violence issue nationally: USAction. The groups set up a joint action using Salsa, and the injection of new activists into GunFreeKids’ list powered their work throughout the spring. Even though the national gun legislation was stopped in the Senate (for now), our work wasn’t done.

By targeted partnerships with MoveOn in the spring and summer via their new SignOn vehicle, GunFreeKids continued their growth spurt AND stopped bad legislation in Montana and Georgia.

Finally, we also built a new WordPress and Salsa-integrated responsive website for the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus to spread their message and help them more easily collect new signups from supporters. We also moved and rebuilt their Armed Campuses website onto their multi-site WordPress installation, to make it easier to maintain.

“We had several amazing legislative victories in 2013, including stopping bills to force loaded, concealed handguns on campus in Georgia and Montana. Kudos to our consultants, PowerThru Consulting. PowerThru helped us grow our email list and drive action on the ground to defeat bad bills around the country, including these two. They are a valued partner, and I highly recommend their services for your organization.” – Andy Pelosi, Executive Director

Read our guides to growing your email list through online advocacy for non-profits and campaigns and using social media to build your email list for more tips we used for GunFreeKids too.

Want to talk about how we can help you grow your base while accomplishing your campaign or organization’s goals? Contact PowerThru today! Need a beautiful new responsive website for your non-profit? We can help with that too!

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