Six Questions Answered About Click-to-call Advocacy

You might be asking ‘What’s click-to-call?’ Good question. Read on to learn how you can easily add this tool to your campaigns and boost effectiveness.

We all love solid metrics that show the impact of our advocacy efforts. It’s satisfying and necessary to be able to tell stakeholders 30,000 people took action on an issue. But… are all those names really having the impact you need to move your issues forward?

That’s a BIG question.

We hear time and again from both clients and political sources, that the best way to move an issue forward is for representatives to hear directly from their constituents. On a personal level. A hand-written letter or phone call goes a long way to swaying opinions.

That’s why we added click-to-call advocacy to our toolset in early 2019. You might be asking ‘What’s click-to-call?’ Good question. If you already know a little about it, read on as you may learn something new. If you’ve never heard of click-to-call, give this a read to learn how you can easily add this tool to your campaigns and boost effectiveness.

Q: What is click-to-call?

Click-to-call is a different form action where rather than submitting personal information and a letter to someone specific online as an advocacy response, the supporter enters their phone number and location information and is connected to the target (often their local Representative) by phone automatically. It’s a very simple and personal way for supporters to connect with Representatives on issues and a very persuasive means of influencing those targets. 

What’s more moving than a mother calling directly to make a plea for a Bill on children’s health by sharing her personal story about how an issue has affected her family and how the Bill could help her child?

The action is another page type in Engaging Networks and just as easy to set up and deploy with our free templates and drag and drop pagebuilder as any other page. 

Q: When is the right time to use click-to-call?

I don’t have hard data on this but based on past experience I’d say time bound issues with specific outcomes work well for click-to-call. For example, “Hello Representative XX, I’d like to speak to you about the XX Bill going to vote this week on XX issue and share my opinion as one of your constituents.” You have urgency and specificity in your favor motivating your supporters and giving clarity to your desired outcome.

That said, you can certainly use it any time. Representatives always need to hear from their constituents about issues that are important to them. Whether the issue is as clear as a toxic water in a small town or about more complex concerns such as  climate change. 

Click-to-call is an essential tool for any campaign. Consider setting it up alongside other ways to take action. This gives your supporters a chance to interact in a way they feel comfortable. You can set it up in an automation or series:

  • Email 1 – Call your Representative (using click-to-call)
  • Email 2 to anyone who didn’t call – Reminder to call your Representative before it’s too late
  • Email 3 to anyone who still hasn’t called – Sign our petition before the vote takes place
  • Email 4 – Thanks everyone, here’s what happened

Q: How do I know my supporters will stay on message and not say the wrong thing?

Short answer, you don’t. BUT, when their call is connected you can display talking points (written by you) right on the screen. This helps guide their conversation and keep them on message. While you can’t tell them what to say, you can give them some tips to make it easier and hope it all goes well. 

Q: How can I measure the success of my click-to-call campaign?

We get this question a lot and it’s a good one. Especially if you’re used to seeing progress meters with loads of respondents. The metrics will be more qualitative in nature but can reveal a tremendous amount of information. After the call is complete supporters can tell you how things went right on the screen to help you gauge success. Did they connect? If so, how did it go? If you want very specific details you can create a survey in Engaging Networks to ask additional questions.

Q: How do I spin up a click-to-call campaign in Engaging Networks and how long does it take?

Building a click-to-call page in Engaging Networks is similar to building a regular advocacy action. You manage some settings, choose your targets, check your template and go. I set up a page in under 15 minutes while writing this blog just to see how quickly it could be done. You’ll need your template squared away, your talking points, messaging and thank you email to plug in copy but it was incredibly easy to build.

Q: What are some benefits of using click-to-call?

  • Phone numbers – Everyone wants phone numbers right now. You’re not just engaging your most active supporters, you’re also getting their phone number! Consider adding a mobile opt-in to your page so you can text them for later actions.
  • Identifying and engaging your super advocates – Even if you had specified a segment who was taking action before, now you know who is really engaged in advocating for your cause.
  • Hitting your targets through multiple channels – While your target may still get a list of 30,000 signatures asking for a Bill to pass, they’ll also get a slew of phone calls from concerned constituents voicing their opinion. What better way to influence them than to show support for your cause from multiple angles?

As a past campaigner, I just want to throw out a couple reminders of good best practices when you’re running your campaign.

  1. Don’t forget to ask for money – One of the highest converting donation forms for any charity is the post-action donation form. If someone is moved enough to take action, they are much more likely to donate in that moment. Imagine how very motivated these individuals are! Don’t forget to set a post-action donation page and make an ask.
  2. Engage these VERY active advocates differently – These supporters didn’t just sign a petition, they stepped up to speak to a stranger – a politician most likely – about your cause. Not only do they deserve a specialized communication stream but you want to communicate with them differently. I’ve called these individuals ‘super advocates’ in the past and have found they step up to the table again and again when called. Set up a special email automation for them, or send them a very special thank you. Even better, a phone call of your own (if you have time!).
  3. Don’t forget to get social – Click-to-call is great via email but imagine how you can grow your email AND phone list if you promote one of these actions on social or via paid advertising? It’s certainly worth a test if nothing else.

Last word. If you’re not using click-to-call now, it’s easy to add in Engaging Networks and you should consider it for your next campaign. If you’re a client and have any questions about this cool tool reach out to Account Services or visit our Supportal. If you’re interested in learning more about Engaging Networks, give us a shout at

Chloe Green is a copywriter and digital campaigner with almost a decade of experience in the charity and political sectors. She’s delivered campaigns, copy and consultancy for a raft of good eggs including Anthony Nolan, the National Union of Students, St Mungo’s, and Hillary for America. She was Social Media Manager at the Labour Party between 2016–2019 and now she’s Head of Creative with the lovely team at Forward Action. She leads on fundraising emails, UX copy, and all creative facilitation. She’s an expert in email list growth, digital strategy, organic and paid-for social media, and digital mobilisation.

Rachel founded the specialist charity web agency, Rechord, in 1999. Between 1999 and 2012 they created hundreds of different web applications for organisations in the UK and internationally.
In 2013 she became the 'Donor Whisperer' and focused on helping small to medium-sized non-profits to reach new donors and activists and from there increase their income. She uses a unique process that combines the benefits of consultancy with capacity building.
Her clients include Traidcraft Exchange, the Overseas Development Institute, Jubilee Debt Coalition, the Leprosy Mission of England and Wales, Tax Justice UK, The Canary, Humanity and Inclusion, the Anti-Tribalism Movement, BRACE, New Family Social, Arseh Sevom - and that's just the last year.
She also feels weird writing about herself in the third person.

Ellen is Campaigns Manager overseeing national and local campaigning at the MS Society. She has worked at the MS Society for 2 and a half years, with roles at Scope and Guide Dogs prior to this.

Hannah is Senior Campaigns Officer at the MS Society, working on their local campaigning programme, Local Action for MS and also on social care and carers. She’s worked at the MS Society for a year and a half, and was previously at the MND Association and National Voices.

Executive Director of C6 Digital, London based agency

Emily has worked at Guide Dogs for the Blind Association since 2019, working on a range of campaign areas to empower people with vision impairments to live the life they choose. Prior to this, Emily working in parliament and severed as a borough councillor.

Brani Milosevic ia a digital consultant and coach at
She helps individuals, teams and organisations to learn how to seize the opportunities offered by digital and navigate its challenges.
Brani set up the Digital Leadership Forum, is an NCVO trainer, a CharityComms mentor and a qualified executive coach.

Rhiannan Sullivan is the Vice President of strategy and partnerships of social action network, Over the past 10+ years, she has worked with hundreds of UK and EU charities helping them grow and develop their digital fundraising programmes. Prior to working for Care2, Rhiannan worked at then political campaigning agency Blue State Digital, a global leading digital strategy agency who has helped many organisations build and engage online communities, clients included political and advocacy campaigns, non-­‐profit organisations, cultural institutions and global consumer brands.

Calum manages social, email and some digital campaigns at CPRE, and is CPRE’s expert Engaging Networks user, working on development and helping other teams make the most of the platform. Happiest working on campaigns for change or rambling around in the countryside.

Brandon Fuller is Engaging Networks alumni and owner of Raise the Roots, a digital agency that has supported over two dozen organizations on Engaging Networks - helping them to maximize their digital engagement using this powerful platform. He previously managed global online advocacy campaigns for the Pew Charitable Trusts and has worked in the nonprofit community for nearly two decades.

I joined the Woodland Trust in 2018 and now lead on policy and engagement campaigns working to improve protection, restoration and high quality creation of woods and trees. Prior to campaigning for trees, I worked in Peterborough, tackling fuel poverty in the community. I care deeply about the climate and nature crises and the many, intersectional impacts and solutions. Endlessly inspired and energised by the dedication and passion of our supporters and the public who take action time and time again.

Hannah Mudge is Digital Innovation Manager at The Leprosy Mission England and Wales and has had the privilege of seeing the 147-year-old international development charity evolve over the last decade, from sending out its first online fundraising appeal to achieving record levels of income despite the challenges faced since the start of the pandemic. She is based in Peterborough and enjoys running, cooking and reading in her limited spare time when not parenting two lively boys. During 2020 she added ‘homeschooling’ to her skillset although what Ofsted rating she would achieve is probably best left to the imagination.

I am a campaigner in the Woods Under Threat team at the Woodland Trust. My role is to help protect ancient woods and trees from damaging developments across the UK. Ancient woods and trees are irreplaceable, so we work hard to stop any further loss of these precious habitats and ensure they are protected for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Matt Strong is the Campaigns and Engagement Officer for the Ramblers.

He has recently run campaigns on increasing the number of new green walking routes in some of our biggest cities, including London and Manchester. He has also been leading on the Ramblers’ campaigns work around the Environment Bill. Matt has a background in politics after spending a decade as an elected councillor on Manchester City Council and having previously worked for two Members of Parliament and a political party.

Claire Warner is a former charity Fundraising Director & Senior Leader, turned Culture & Wellbeing consultant.

It was in trying to throw herself back into her beloved Fundraising Director role after 12 months' treatment for aggressive breast cancer, that Claire realised the focus & memory loss and heart condition side effects she'd been left with after her treatment, plus the life-changing experience of the illness itself, meant (guttingly!) a 300% commitment, 50+hours a week Fundraising Director role was no longer an option.

On looking into what others do in this situation, Claire discovered the field of workplace wellbeing, the research work of Prof Cary Cooper, the Gallup Organisation and Simon Sinek, and hasn't looked back since.

In 2018, Claire created her own piece of research into the wellbeing of fundraisers and when it concluded in 2019, over 700 fundraisers had taken part. The results of the research were used to further inform and refine the work Claire does with organisations and individuals in the charity sector.

In 2020 Claire won the Best Digital Leader Award at the Social CEO Awards and in 2021 curated the first Charity Wellbeing Summit.

Today, Claire works on organisational culture and wellbeing projects with charities and offers coaching and mentoring programmes to sector professionals.

Becky has spent the last decade building people power and people-powered movements to hold the most powerful to account for a fairer, more just, and cleaner future.
She helped build 38 Degrees UK into a movement of over 1 million citizens and led many of the biggest campaigns. As part of OPEN’s senior team, she helped build and sustain a network across 19 different countries, by supporting, coaching, and building fast-growing digitally facilitated organisations.

She's currently Senior Strategist at The Sunrise Project leading the Global Banks Program and building grassroots activism on finance around the world. She’s on the board of Skiftet, Sweden’s biggest online campaign community and Left Foot Forward in the UK.

Andrew Taylor-Dawson is Development Manager at Liberty, where he leads on member and support engagement. He has been in fundraising for around 13 years. In this time he has worked in the human rights, homelessness and social justice sectors as well as having been a freelance consultant.

He has held board positions with Global Justice Now and the adoption support organisation We Are family.

Rebecca is a Digital Project Manager, who recently led the redesign and redevelopment of The Children's Society's website.

Rebecca worked closely with senior stakeholders, subject matter experts, and digital agencies to create a new platform that demonstrates the organisation's refreshed vision, mission and brand. There has already been astounding results in the 6-months since launch.

I have worked as a web developer for about 20 years and for Which? since 2015, primarily on their WordPress sites. This has involved integration with a variety of different APIs, most recently the Engaging Networks API, along with the creation of APIs to allow sites to talk to one another.

Glyn Thomas is a digital strategist and web developer. He built his first website in 1997 and has been working in digital communications since 2002.

For the past 12 years, Glyn has almost exclusively worked with charities and non-profit organisations. Almost all the projects he works on are focused around campaigning, fundraising or supporter recruitment, and often a mixture of all three.

Now based in Berlin, Glyn works with organisations in the UK, Europe and North America.

Rhian is the Strategic Programme Manager for Physical Activity at Versus Arthritis. Alongside Sport England under the Richmond Group ‘Movement for All’ programme, Rhian is co-developing a long-term, sustainable programme to support those living with Musculoskeletal conditions to increase their physical activity levels and improve their quality of life. Rhian has over 15 years’ experience of supporting people with long term health conditions to become more active. She is passionate about prevention, working in partnership and using an effective knowledge base to create impactful change at scale.

Having gotten his start organizing with anti-war veterans and working as Sala Labs, Sales Engineer, and Partner Manager, Bryan now brings his expertise to non-profit and mission-driven clients as 4Site Studios Director of Digital Strategy. Specializing in challenging and complex projects, Bryan works with each client to craft holistic approaches tailored to goals, budget, and outcomes.

Mary Margaret Callahan is the Chief Mission Officer for Pet Partners, where she is responsible for leading mission delivery including the therapy animal program and grassroots advocacy program. She joined Pet Partners in 2013 and has worked to establish the organization as both an influencer and a resource within the animal-assisted intervention (AAI) and human-animal bond (HAB) community. In 2018 she was named one of PetAge Magazine’s Women of Influence. Mary Margaret lives on a small farm outside Seattle with her husband, daughter and menagerie of animals including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, chickens, goats and miniature donkeys.

Joe Derry Hall is a freelancer working on creative digital and communications. His interests include tech innovation, upending power and reimagining different futures. Joe has been the winner of a Mozilla Creative Media Award and the joint winner of a BAFTA digital award. He was previously in-house in campaigning and communications roles at Amnesty International, the Climate Coalition, the Ecocide campaign, Save the Children, Scope and others. He is one of the initiators of Right Way Up, an experiment to create a radical, practical new vision for the social change sector.

Anna Chowcat is the Digital Manager at Refuge and oversees the charity’s digital function and output. Since joining Refuge, Anna has been instrumental in introducing a number of digital engagement programmes including digital campaigns, bespoke email supporter journeys and user friendly donate/campaign pages. Before joining Refuge, she has worked in digital engagement and campaign roles at The Labour Party and Leonard Cheshire Disability.