In the closing weeks of the 110th Congress in late 2006, lawmakers were readying for a vote on legislation that would weaken protection of key fish populations in U.S. waters. The Marine Fish Conservation Network (MFCN), a coalition of over 190 organizations dedicated to ocean conservation, wanted to educate members of Congress and ask them to reject proposals that might do irreparable harm to several fish species. MFCN decided to mount a swift, targeted campaign mobilizing many thousands of citizens to contact their representatives and urge them to cast a vote to protect fish. At the same time, MFCN hoped that the campaign also would serve a second purpose, namely, to identify people who might become loyal donors in support of MFCN’s vital work.
To help achieve this ambitious plan, MFCN turned to Care2, mostly because MFCN already had succeeded in recruiting 4,000 of its most loyal online activists through a customized campaign targeting Care2’s millions of civically-active members. This time around, MFCN and members of the Care2 campaign team crafted a campaign that would target only Care2 members living in four states, because congressional representatives from these states held key posts on the committees with jurisdiction over the marine conservation bill, known as the Magnuson Stevens Act.
With input from MFCN officers, Care2 launched the geo-targeted campaign using personalized emails urging Care2 members to click through and sign a petition, as well as to send individualized messages to their congressional representatives. Members who took this action were further prompted to sign up for MFCN’s mailing list, and Care2 delivered the signups (with full first and last name, email address, zip code and in most cases, full postal address) at regular intervals to MFCN.
In only six weeks, Care2 generated and delivered 44,000 citizen letters to the target members of Congress who had influence over the legislation. In the end, Congress ultimately passed the Magnuson Stevens Act in a form that met MFCN’s goals. In addition, Care2 delivered 11,000 new email subscribers to MFCN, using the legislative action as one of several filters to sign up only those Care2 members demonstrated a strong interest in ocean conservation. In this way, MFCN achieved its legislative goals while also greatly expanding its base of grassroots supporters. MFCN is now able to ask these 11,000 new supporters for donations, further advocacy assistance, volunteer help or to spread the word about new MFCN initiatives.
"Care2 helped us block rollbacks of critical ocean conservation
provisions in the law and recruit thousands of engaged dedicated
- Tony DeFalco, Director of Regional Operations Marine Fish Conservation Network