For the 2012 Election, Conservation Alabama worked tirelessly to encourage voters to support Amendment One, a 20 year extension of Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust. Forever Wild has helped preserve 227,000 acres of land that provide the state with economic, recreational, and water quality benefits. In order to ensure that the benefits of Forever Wild were understood throughout the state; Conservation Alabama took several measures to educate voters.
First, Conservation Alabama asked subscribers of their monthly newsletter if they would be willing to host a speaking engagement about Forever Wild. Through this supporter contact, they were able to find people to host many of the 75 speaking events all over the state and reach a broad range of voters. Subscribers were also invited to these and other events – such as the educational telephone town hall meeting, which reached nearly 40,000 voters.
Hosting events and Get Out the Vote efforts made it necessary for Conservation Alabama to also increase their fundraising efforts. They made several fundraising appeals to help achieve their goal. With the help of their Databank online donation form, they saw a large increase in online donations from supporters. As a result of their fundraising effort, Conservation Alabama was able to devote $150,000 to the Forever Wild campaign. This was contributed to the $1 million campaign budget led by The Nature Conservancy and the Alabamians for Forever Wild PAC
Another important tool they used in their Databank was the Advocacy Module. Conservation Alabama was able to send out action alerts to their supporters to get out the vote for Forever Wild. Executive Director, Adam Snyder saw this as the most important way to use the Databank to reach voters.
Throughout the campaign, Conservation Alabama reached nearly 750,000 voters.
“This is by far the largest and most comprehensive campaign we have been a part of in our 13-year history,” said Snyder on the organization’s website. He also noted when interviewed by thedatabank, “These are all tools we use regularly to mobilize our supporters, but the Forever Wild effort allowed us to use these tools as part of a larger campaign.”
On Election Day, 75% of voters voted “Yes” to continue 20 more years of funding to the Forever Wild Land Trust. This victory was especially meaningful because Forever Wild had the largest margin of victory of any conservation referendum in the country. Additionally, more people in Alabama voted on Forever Wild than any other statewide candidate or issue.
Moving forward from this victory, Conservation Alabama is looking for more ways to grow. Throughout the campaign, their number of Facebook “Likes” increased five-fold, creating an additional forum for Conservation Alabama to reach and engage supporters. Snyder sees this as another way to use their Databank.
“As our social media reach has increased dramatically, we are interested in better integrating our Databank tools with our social media platforms to keep our supporters engaged in legislative matters and other campaigns.”
To learn more about Conservation Alabama, visit www.conservationalabama.org or call (205) 533-6178
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