If your nonprofit does grassroots advocacy, it’s time to prime the pump. State legislatures across the country will be starting their 2012 sessions in a few short weeks. Will your activists be ready?

Hopefully you have already warmed up your advocates, by celebrating 2011’s successes and announcing priorities for 2012. If not – it’s not too late to do that.

Now, share some specifics about what to expect in the coming months:

  • Your policy priorities on the local, state, and federal level
  • What bills you will be watching closely
  • How people can get involved
  • How often activists should expect to hear from you

Keep it brief and avoid jargon. The point here is to get folks excited about participating in your work, not to educate them about all the details. (Go ahead and link to further reading on the fine points of fracking, or whatever your issue is, for the wonks.) Video is one compelling way to convey what you’re doing and why it matters.

This type of message tends to get a higher than average open rate, so make it count, by including a few ways to respond. Invite supporters to: participate in action alerts you will be sending, share news and alerts via email and social media, attend a Day at the Capital event, volunteer, and donate.

What other calls to action have you found work for engaging supporters?