If you’re like me, this classic song by The Who just popped into your head and, thanks to a Pavlovian response, you suddenly want to binge-watch CSI reruns. Professionally, it’s an age-old question; one that PAC and Grassroots Managers constantly ask themselves. However, the answer they come up with may be based off a set of outdated assumptions.
Aristotle is the leading provider of voter data through our National Voter File. We provide this data to be used by corporate, labor union and association government relations offices, as well as political campaigns and PACs. Our voter data is connected with our Consumer Data File, and can provide our clients information about high propensity voters, partisan trends, generational gaps, and other information that have practical applications for your operations.
Here are some personal examples of how I used Aristotle’s data match to assist the members of the last association I worked for:
• Partisan identification for check delivery. Many association PACs will have a PAC member deliver contributions to the candidate’s office in the district. During my stint at one association, we worked with the chairman of the Small Business Committee on multiple pieces of legislation that would help remove some particularly harmful regulation in federal projects. While our grassroots database was able to tell me there were five PAC members and another 110 association members in the district, it could not tell me why no one wanted to deliver the contribution from the PAC. Following the voter data match, I discovered that there was a partisan mismatch between the association membership and the party of the committee chair in that particular district. Based on the new information in the file, I was able to identify a likely member who also was a likely voter for the committee chair to contact. As I had access to the correct data, I was able to identify a new grassroots key contact AND identify a new PAC donor who appreciated that the organization was supporting “his guy”.
• Refreshing your PAC’s network. Following a wave election, our association’s grassroots network needed to be refreshed with new voices. Like many organizations, we solicited for volunteers to step forward and received a nominal response. Using the Aristotle’s voter file match we were able to identify individuals who were already engaged by looking at high propensity voters. Aristotle also added to our voter file in other ways by using marketing data, digital behaviors, and a series of specific targeting flags set up by our data experts to capture individuals and target them for unique engagement efforts. All of these classifications can be used to detect new members of your audience that will be more receptive to grassroots outreach.
• Identifying new individuals that will help expand the diversity of our grassroots footprint. Many associations push to make their industry more inclusive and to provide more opportunities for voices that are often marginalized. It is often difficult to amplify the unique voices that help broadcast the grassroots message or pinpoint issues that are impacting underrepresented segments in the association membership. By identifying various demographic points and comparing to the members’ level of engagement, you can identify members who might be more than eager to contribute to the association’s advocacy efforts and raise underrepresented issues with the current board.
With a voter file match to your data, you will be able to make more informed decisions about your engagement strategies.
So ask yourself: do you want to keep singing “Who are you?” Or do you really want to know?
Just ask us and we’ll be glad to tell you.
Director, Grassroots Consulting