Recruiting Advocates … Where It Counts

Jun 13, 2017

Posted by Joe LaMountain

Advocate recruitment is a great way to promote an organization’s mission and advance its goals. But few nonprofits that advocate for health care access and options dedicate significant resources to building their universe of supporters. Many patient advocacy organizations claiming to represent millions of people have signed up fewer than 1 in 20 of those who are affected by the health issue to actively support their cause.

Fortunately, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) isn’t one to ignore the need to recruit advocates. During the 2016 election season, ACS CAN launched the nationwide Cancer Votes campaign on Facebook to expand its robust advocacy network.

Working with Reingold, ACS CAN launched an innovative digital advertising campaign that added 39,349 new advocates to its rolls. More important, we identified and enlisted these advocates from key states and legislative districts and among specific demographic groups that were targeted by ACS CAN to strengthen and diversify its supporter network.

Less of the same …

About 80% to 90% of all health care decisions are influenced by women. So it’s no surprise that the ACS CAN network is largely composed of women. Adding more men, Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and young people was a priority for the Cancer Votes campaign.

Using our sophisticated digital targeting capabilities, Reingold directed its ads to reach these populations in select states and legislative districts. As a result, advocates added during the campaign provided the ACS CAN network with much greater ethnic and gender diversity.

… While Adding Focus …

Beyond diversity, the real measure of an effective advocate network is its ability to influence policymakers. Reingold helped ACS CAN focus its efforts in battleground states and the congressional districts of members who affect cancer research policy.

Reingold developed four separate campaigns and over three months ran nearly 1,000 different ads. The results were worth the effort. Every advocate we recruited lives in a high-priority state or congressional district and stands ready to make an immediate impact on ACS CAN’s work.

… and Maximizing Results 

Throughout the campaign, Reingold continually tested targeting techniques, ad placements, images, and text of advertising collateral. By tracking the results, we determined which ads achieved the highest number of clicks to the campaign webpage and petition sign-ups. This enabled us to quickly stop ads that weren’t generating results, and reallocate our budget to the best performers, thereby maximizing our return on investment.

The result: 39,000 committed advocates of diverse backgrounds, where ACS CAN needs them, are on call to amplify its messages and mobilize their own social networks.

Learn more about our capabilities.

Have questions? We’ve got answers. See how Reingold can help you. Contact Joe LaMountain at