Background

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is working to develop an online advocacy and activism portal for JCPA and JCPA member agencies.   Over the past century, the Jewish community has developed an extensive community relations and public policy advocacy infrastructure.  JCPA, the coordinating body for multi-issue Jewish organizations, counts 14 national agencies and 125 local agencies as members.  The JCPA network is one of the nation’s largest and most developed organizations of its type.  Our challenge now is to mirror our robust bricks and mortar institutions in the virtual world.  A new JCPA network-wide internet portal would provide JCPA and JCPA’s member organizations with the necessary tools to engage new members and sustain ongoing activism.  JCPA intends to take the lead to help our member organizations more effectively and efficiently share information and pool resources.  To achieve our goal, JCPA is developing a new program called ENGAGE.

Launching ENGAGE

JCPA is launching ENGAGE in a limited form.  This first version of ENGAGE, ENGAGE 1.0, would include basic online tools such as email blasts, one-click advocacy tools, online petitions, event registration, web-based fundraising, and website content management.  ENGAGE 1.0 would also include an online supporter database that would automatically record all online user actions.  Sophisticated reporting and analytics tools would allow JCPA and JCPA member agencies to set ambitious but attainable goals and benchmarks and measure our successes. 

ENGAGE will be launched by JCPA and five “pilot” communities.  The first version of ENGAGE software will be the Salsa platform offered by the non-profit organization, Democracy in Action.  The online services are fully customizable.  Each member agency will implement its own version of ENGAGE.  The front-end will be unique to each organization, but the back-end database would connect to the rest of the JCPA network. 

As best practices are developed and many JCPA members become more fluent in ENGAGE, more JCPA member agencies will be invited to use the ENGAGE platform. 

ENGAGE 1.0 tools

Supporter Management

Import/Export Tool:  Uploads can be used to either append information to a member record, or overwrite it.  The system error-check uploads and flags bad records for manager correction. Organizations can download lists of member data in file formats compatible with external data management systems such as Excel.

Real-Time Updates:  Supporters can be updated in real-time, just as you would on an excel document.

Automatic de-duplication:  The Salsa database will automatically combine incoming duplicates with their existing supporter records, making it easy to keep your supporter list clean.

Query Manager:  An advanced list segmentation tool that allows dynamic queries of the supporter list based on virtually any field in your database.  For instance, you'll use the query manager to select supporters who have taken more than 5 actions, who RSVPed to your latest event invitation or who haven't opened an email in months.  All queries are saved and can be used for future email blasts or exports.

Create and Manage groups:  Segment your list by creating custom groups that you'll use to target email blasts, record event attendees, manage newsletter signups and more.

Unlimited Custom Fields:  The campaign manager will have access to over 100 customizable fields for each supporter, which can be dynamically configured, imported, and exported.  These fields can be used to gather more information about your supporters specific to your organization's needs.  For instance, you could create fields on supporter interest in specific topics like land pollution or anti-war demonstrations.

Interactive Web tools

Sign-up pages and forms:  Signup pages help get visitors to your website hooked in to your organization.  You can get some preliminary info or create specialized sign up pages that automatically assign supporters to a specific group.

Surveys and questionnaires:  Gather supporter information through surveys and questionnaires which can be included in email blasts, advocacy campaigns or content pages.

Tell-a friend pages:  Tell-a-friend pages are a great way to create viral buzz for your campaigns or organization's activities.  This will allow your supporters to email their friends and family with a blurb about what they've been up to on your website, whether it's taking action or donating.

Content pages:  You can create standard content pages that incorporate your own website template.  These pages are useful for posting job ads, press releases, updates about your organization, etc.

Postcards:  Create fun or compelling e-postcards that your supporters can email to their friends.

Advocacy and Action Campaigns

Action creation & management:  You can create and launch actions using tools that require no technical skills.  The system has an easy-to-use format that allows campaign managers to control and update the content of action pages and get detailed reports on actions taken.

Graphics integration:  Templates uploaded from your website allow you to create action pages that have the look and feel of your existing site.

Letter customization:  Organizations can choose to allow users to create their own subject lines and edit the alert message for increased effectiveness.

Custom recipients and targeting:  Organizations can select any legislative targets at the state and federal level to receive alerts, including individual senators and representatives. The system also allows you to add custom targets, such as a foreign official.

District matching:  Activists are automatically matched by state and federal legislative district to targeted officials.  New activists simply enter their address and zip code in order to be matched with their elected officials.

Petition option:  You can create an action in petition format, so that as supporters sign the petition you are able to export it, print it, and deliver it to the intended recipient.

Customizable thank-you pages:  You can specify which content appears on the "thank-you" page to optimize your message.

Volunteer Management

Volunteers can be added directly into the database en masse through imports, or one-by-one.  Roles, such as Manager, General Volunteer, Mentor and Captain, can be specified for each volunteer.  Sign up pages can be made specifically for volunteers to gather interested supporters from your website.

Email Blasts

List segmentation and member targeting:  Organizations can segment lists by a variety of fields including, name, state, and congressional district. Custom fields can easily be created for your organization's specific needs that you can use to target blasts to specific segments of your list.

Groups:  Organize your supporters into unlimited different groups for different email alerts. Manage your groups with a simple folder interface, and add supporters to multiple groups with simple one-click actions.

Personalized messaging:  Organizations can customize messages for recipients with the dynamic insertion of various types of supporter data such as name and donation amount. Email subject lines can contain personalized greeting using member information; messages can contain custom content based on the values of fields in the database.

HTML emails:  Organizations can create and launch HTML newsletters and alerts using multipart MIME messages; it will display HTML to those who can view HTML, and text to those who can only see text. The system also has a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface for the easy creation of HTML emails.

Click-through tracking:  All URLs in a message are available for click-through tracking.

Message Open Rates:  For HTML messages, we can track and report on who did and did not open the email messages.

Scheduling:  Managers can prepare messages in advance and specify the time they want a specific campaign to be launched.

Events

The event tool allows two useful ways to connect to your supporters; local, one-time events and distributed events.
For local events, your organization can create an events page with a maximum attendees count, custom sign-up fields and, if desired, event fees.  You'll also be able to create auto-responses to automatically remind those who RSVP.

For distributed events, your supporters meet up locally by hosting their own events in their home towns.  These supporters can enter event details, including how many people they wish to attend and many other options.  Potential attendees can then search for events in their state or near their Zip code, and sign up.  The host is able to look at who's coming and email them directly.  There are also features to track event attendance, donations at the event, associated information for the event such as talking points, and more.

Fundraising

Donation pages use your web template so that the pages match your website

Create custom email triggers so that donors get thank-you emails sent automatically and so that you are notified when people donate

Create multiple donation pages for different fundraising campaigns and “tag” each page to track how each campaign is faring

Query donation data for future targeting efforts

As with supporter information, donation information can be downloaded at any time

You can set donation pages to allow recurring donations

To use JAVA fundraising options, individual organizations will need to provide their own merchant gateway and merchant account.

Reports and Analytics

In just a few clicks, you can build reports on everything from supporters to donations to web pages, and then either display your results to the screen, or export them to a file for further, off-line investigation.

The Report Builder comes with the existing reports that are pre-built into your account--they cover a lot of ground, and may meet most of your immediate needs. You are also able to build your own custom reports based on your organization's exact needs.

ENGAGE 1.0 Cost and Support

JCPA will be primarily responsible for the implementation of ENGAGE.  Basic service questions will be directed to JCPA.  JCPA will also organize online trainings for ENGAGE users.  Some training sessions will be basic sessions offered through Democracy in Action.  In other specific circumstances, JCPA will hire consultants to develop custom trainings for ENGAGE users.  JCPA will also be in continual contact with our technology vendors to ensure quality.  JCPA will also facilitate discussions between JCPA member agencies using ENGAGE and our technology vendors. 
Below is the cost table for JCPA local member organizations.

Small CRC    $50/month
Medium CRC    $100/month
Large CRC    $150/month

JCPA will work directly with national member organizations to develop appropriate pricing.

ENGAGE into the Future

JCPA sees ENGAGE as a long-term program.  Our ultimate goal is to have 100% participation of all JCPA community member agencies in the ENGAGE initiative.  We understand that not all JCPA member agencies will able to join immediately.  We hope a phased roll-out plan would give communities the flexibility to join ENGAGE when they feel it is appropriate. 

As more JCPA member agencies implement ENGAGE, JCPA will focus on improvements to the ENGAGE platform.  JCPA will work with member agencies using the ENGAGE system to identify new important features that should be added to ENGAGE.  JCPA intends to continually refine ENGAGE so the online portal is as user-friendly, intuitive, effective, and efficient as possible.  The ENGAGE platform will grow organically, filling identified needs, and furthering our community’s overall implementation of web-based engagement tools.