If we want to be most effective in helping people take action every day, we need to use the best available tools. Using an app, for example, it's possible to automatically develop a detailed behavioral model of a user, understand what kinds of actions they do and don’t like to take, and send them actions they’re more likely to take, with the result of helping them build a stronger habit of activism.
Trump’s election has spurred a number of technology leaders to develop new apps that help people to take action. And you can easily take advantage of these apps!
I’ve compiled a list of apps and technology tools that you (yes, you!) can take advantage of. If you create calls-to-action and send them out via a mailing list or via social media, *definitely* consider how you can also use apps and tech tools to grow your audience, see which calls to action are working and which ones aren’t, and help build people’s activism “muscle.”
Consider these tools if you want to regularly publish calls to action under your own brand, to your own audience: (but using more advanced tech)
Amplify is a free non-profit mobile app for grassroots groups to collaborate on calls to action. It gets group members in the habit of taking their group’s recommended actions and cheering each other on. Amplify empowers team leaders to know how many members are following through on the group's action items, and to send urgent alerts to their members. Amplify is currently in use by Indivisible chapters around the country and receiving strong positive feedback. If you want to try it out, you can download the app via getamplify.org or the Apple/Google stores, and join Indivisible San Francisco with code 101-202-303.
Notes: Free. Anyone can create call-to-action campaigns. Includes many different types of calls to action (call, donate, volunteer, attend events, etc).
GoodMove GoodMove is a new web app that empowers organizations to publish awesome calls to action on the web and over email. We’re looking for potential users to help us kick the tires and tell us if it’s useful, what you like/don’t like, features you’d like to see, etc. You can try it out at https://alpha.goodmove.today, or find @stevejohnson on Slack (or firstname.lastname@example.org on email) to get set up with your own organization! We’re also looking for technical contributors. Our stack is Python 3, Django, ES6, and React.js.
Notes: Free. Anyone can create call-to-action campaigns. Sends subscribers an email with the CTA, posts the CTA online, and tracks how many people take action.
helloGOV is a platform that enables social media influencers to create call-to-Congress campaigns, easily share these campaigns across social channels and track the results. Action Alliance members who are encouraging their communities to call Congress can use helloGOV both to make it simple for users to call, and to track effectiveness and share results. Sign up for the beta at hellogov.org
Notes: Free. Anyone can create call-to-action campaigns. Focuses only on calling Congress.
Udara helps supercharge collective action by: 1) Encouraging people to take action that is self-directed, and enduring. 2) Providing users with simple micro tasks they can do online or offline; where they contribute their time or money to reach very specific collective goals. 3) Creating a rewarding experience compelling users to continually re-engage in causes they care about. Built on a cutting-edge blockchain architecture that supports radically decentralized action, Udara empowers citizens to be agents of change in their communities, or anywhere in the world, bound together by shared interests and values.
Notes: Free. Very nice app with lots of advanced features (campaign tracking, user behavior modeling, etc.). They are currently looking for larger Action Alliance members to work with on distributing CTAs but are also developing tech for smaller groups to use in the future.
I'm the co-founder of Voices (https://tryvoices.com/), a free mobile app who's mission is to increase civic engagement. Voices allows groups like the ACLU to send calls-to-action directly to people's phones. When people open the call to action, they're instantly shown their elected officials and methods for contacting them. It makes calling Congress way more effective when people call together in a coordinated fashion. Some of our biggest partners include the League of Women Voters and National Organization For Women; we have helped place thousands of phone calls to Congress. We are offering our service for free!
Notes: Free. Focuses on calling representatives (local, state, federal).
Notes: You’ve probably seen the WeBot chat bot on Facebook, which helps you find protests near you.
civ.works is a social networking platform centered around connecting those of us most interested in shaping America’s future. It’s a place for people across the political spectrum to move beyond petitions to take real steps toward change. We are initially working to provide personalized opportunities (meaningful, beyond petitions) for civic action related to protecting/defending our most vulnerable to policy/enforcement by this Administration. We also have designed a strategy layer which will provide the mechanism for action work plans (a set of complex, sequenced actions supporting a major policy outcome such as universal healthcare).
Notes: Anyone can create a group and distribute actions to group members or to civ.works users more broadly, based on their zip code and the issues they care about. However, users are charged to sign up for the platform. Subscriptions are $3.99 per month but are free to the academic community and certain non-profits.
Consider these tools if you want to be an occasional contributor of CTAs to other groups’ apps:
The most powerful thing you can do to influence public policy is to call your elected representatives and make sure they know where you stand. Agitatr brings together connectivity to your personal legislators, calls-to-action, scripts and social sharing in a single, easy-to-use app to encourage progressive activism. Got two minutes while you're waiting for the bus? Tap the Agitatr icon on your phone and call your legislators - it's all right there, including suggested scripts if you want them. The app is free to download and always will be. Agitatr: Make Your Voice Heard. Go to www.facebook.com/agitatr or www.agitatr.org for more information or a free download.
Notes: Free. Focuses only on calling Congress. The Agitatr team can also white-label their app and distribute it under your brand for a very minimal cost.
Alder is an iOS app for daily political action. It helps people cut through the noise with specific actionable steps to resist the Trump administration. It was launched a few weeks ago and is steadily growing through word of mouth. I'm interested in collaborating with groups or organizations. If are involved with an organization, I’d love to talk to you more about how I can help activate people on issues that are important to your organization. Website: http://getalder.com
Capitol Call is a personal activism app for everyday citizens aimed at taking the guesswork out of contacting Congress and other elected officials. It’s GPS-powered search and action-focused UI put its users 1 click away from finding and calling their representatives. And for those looking for more guidance on what to say and who to call on specific issues – an Action Center helps them get there with call scripts and contact lists. For advocacy groups, Capitol Call helps them organize and amplify their message, allowing them to contribute their own targeted action campaigns and share them with their membership – via the app, social, and web. Future updates will support campaign analytics as well as website widgets and Facebook tab apps for greater exposure.
iMarch is challenging social media users to become daily “apptivists.” iMarch (beta) is a free app that allows moments of group activism with the press of a button. Each day, users will have the opportunity to participate in two digital “marches,” ranging from tweets to Congress to calls to the White House. This digital march on Washington is a peaceful protest that shows our voices are louder when we shout together. The iOS app the available in the App Store under “iMarchToday,” Android coming soon.
Notes: Free. Includes many different types of calls to action (tweets, calls, donations, etc).
We have developed a mobile application that accomplishes a few things. Users can: 1. Complete easy action items right from the app. 2. Find protests, demonstrations, and events near their current location. 3. Discuss topics in an open forum within the app. 4. Easily find and then call/email their elected officials right from the app. We are looking for many partners who are creating CTAs; learn more here: https://standupapp.org/calltoaction
Notes: Free. Includes many different types of calls to action (petitions, calls, self-education, etc).
If you want to make your website more sophisticated with embedded tools:
CivikOwl solves a problem that many of us have encountered: we read an article about an issue that's important to us but are unsure what actions to take to drive meaningful change. Here's an example of how we can help:
Take any news item that your website wants to send out and add the Give A Damn button to it at civikowl.com. (Just like creating a short-link with bit.ly). Now when any reader views this new link and clicks on Give A Damn they'll see two options:
(1) enable me to call or email my elected representatives at the Federal and State level who work on issues in the article. (Reps automatically detected based on reader's location and issues in article)
(2) enable me to connect with, or donate to, a list of highly rated charities that work on issues in the article. (Charities automatically selected based on issues in article and on charity's rating).
Resistbot is an app that functions via tex message. You basically text "resist" to 50409 and are prompted by a bot on the other end who will being by requesting your zip code. The rest of the process is self-explanatory and is effective as it sends direct faxes to your representatives about concerns you might have regarding legislation or any other current events.