Phone2Action is committed to providing advocacy professionals with industry-leading research. That's why the State of Advocacy report was born: to provide insight drawn from the millions of actions taken annually on the Phone2Action platform.
While the report is traditionally a year-over-year analysis, meaning this year's report would compare 2018 and 2019 data, the extraordinary events of 2020 warranted additional work. The Phone2Action team spent three months analyzing data from January to June to understand the tectonic changes in advocacy that took place this year. What we found was dramatic.
Companies endured unprecedented challenges in 2020. The pandemic. The protests. The election. Government relations and public affairs pros faced consequential decisions at every turn.
There was a time when companies might have sat silent. Even 10 years ago, the common wisdom dictated that vocal advocacy could be bad for business, leading many companies to steer clear of social issues. That’s no longer the case.
It was a turbulent year for the nonprofit sector. The extreme currents caused by a global pandemic, massive racial protests and a divisive election impacted everything from programming and membership to fundraising. There was no playbook for this.
Yet amid the chaos, advocacy shined. Scores of nonprofits embraced change, adapted quickly and recast their strategy to make a huge impact.
2020 was a terrifying time in many industries. The pandemic put cities in lockdown, quarantining customers and shoving revenue. Some laid off staff. Others endured temporary closures. For many, the prospect of permanent failure became a realistic outcome.
Amid the chaos, associations shined. Organizations embraced change, adapted quickly and recast their strategy to make a huge impact for the members they serve.
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