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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Association Management System (AMS) tools have become the backbone of digital advocacy in the last decade. These software-as-a-service (SAAS) solutions can be purchased or homegrown, but their goal is the same: to sort and edit contact information of members, advocates, and other stakeholders in a database. They categorize and manage the status of those stakeholders based on your organization’s need, whether they are creating, renewing, upgrading and downgrading memberships. Additionally, they can offer Content Management System (CMS) features to communicate with members via email, phone, social media, or traditional mailing methods.

Engage blends traditional CRM, AMS, and CMS tools into a single solution optimized by CQ Roll Call for advocacy organizations. Our solution is tailored for advocacy professionals managing a stakeholder network in the grassroots arena, government affairs, traditional lobbying, membership engagement, and membership management roles. Companies who use an existing CRM or AMS solution can integrate Engage with those tools through an advanced API, so that you get the benefit of combining advanced data management features of enterprise systems with expert advocacy capabilities created specifically to address advocates’ needs. So what custom features in Engage give users an advocacy edge?

CRM: Start with key elected official, candidate, and personal contacts in the same place from day one

CQ Roll Call’s dedicated team of researchers has built a compendium of biographic, psychographic, and legislative data surrounding federal, state, and local elected officials and candidates over the past 70 years. Engage comes pre-loaded with hundreds of pages describing each and every official, from location of their Washington and district offices, to their social media handles, to their birthdates. We also allow our clients to mass upload contacts from previous systems or databases, including the members of their organizations and contacts on the Hill. Users can add custom fields to each record, such as years of membership with the organization, and even batch-process changes in these records so that when big changes occur, there’s no need to spend hours or days individually editing records. Additionally, data updates to the CRM are made automatically as new and additional information about elected officials and candidates is added.

AMS: Track bill sponsorship, voting activity, and engagement activity in a single place

Engage administrators can also use these pages with our Bills, Votes, and Scorecard tools to track bills that officials have sponsored and their voting record on their profile page, for quick reference. Additionally, they can view how many engagements and actions were taken for or against that official, either within the past year or a customized date range. This means Engage users can track not only the legislative activity of officials and candidates on their CRM bio page, but also the Engage campaign activity of any stakeholder in the CRM on their bio page. Engage even breaks that campaign activity down by activity type, such as Write a Letter or Sign a Petition, and date, as well as identifies how many advocates in your organization advocate within that official’s constituency.

CMS: Publish endorsements, commentary, scorecards, and biographical information to advocates

Federal, state, and local legislative tracking and analysis are included in Engage, so that members and advocates can use Engage to stay informed on what’s happening with lawmakers and bills. Engage also has capabilities that allow its administrators to customize the experience for its members and advocates visiting their Engage website. Advocates can search by zip code for the candidates and officials who impact them, from the president all the way down to the mayor of their city. Those results allow advocates to read full-page biographies of those elected officials and candidates, view their picture, and understand their voting record. However, Engage administrators can also customize these results to include their organization’s opinions of these legislators by publishing official endorsements, commentary, and bill sponsorship record for the advocate to view. The scorecard feature allows advocates to quickly view by percentage how that legislator aligns to the organization’s position on an issue or bill, and even view a summary text of that bill to learn more about the issue. Additionally, commentary and endorsements allow the Engage administrator to publish additional facts or opinions of an official to create more compelling content that inspires advocates to take action.

 Long story long, data is power

Engage is not as complex as Salesforce, as association-focused as an AMS, or as detailed as customizable marketing automation software, but it’s an expert resource for managing the flow of advocacy data in a professional organization. Engage administrators are organized, informed experts at creating and managing successful digital advocacy campaigns because Engage gives them the key data and tools they need to get results. Engage is also flexible enough to integrate with sophisticated enterprise systems so that as organizations grow and purchase bigger platform tools, Engage will grow with you from 5 advocates to 50,000.