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What is CiviEngage?

CiviEngage is a Drupal module that is downloaded with CiviCRM when you install it on a Drupal site. When enabled, it enhances CiviCRM's core functions for non-profits focused on community organising and civic engagement work. If your site is built with Joomla! or WordPress, you cannot use CiviEngage.

CiviEngage was built to aid community organising, base-building and civic engagement specifically within the USA context. It provides tools for managing walk lists for door-to-door campaigns and call lists for phone banks, and tracking how constituents interact with your organisation and move through various activities with increasing involvement over time.

CiviEngage provides:

  • a package of custom fields, reports and features to track the history of engagement, involvement, and activities of constituents over time. This package integrates with Campaigns and Surveys to provide walk lists and phone bank lists.
  • a model of how to conceptualise and best organise information about individual constituents, organisations and methods of tracking their history of interaction.

CiviEngage enhances CiviCampaign, which you can read more about in the Campaign section.

Scenario: Direct action

Townsville Organisation For Tenants (TOFT) focuses on affordable housing issues. To impact the decisions of the state legislators on an upcoming rent cap bill, TOFT made a decision to mobilise several hundred people for a direct action at the state capitol, but had only two weeks to do it. The organisers knew that the best way to contact their particular constituency was by phone and they wanted to know who would participate in the direct action so they could track each individual's involvement with the organisation over time.

First, TOFT organisers identified who they wanted to mobilise for direct action based on specific criteria and information they keep about their constituency, such as geographic location, issue interests, volunteer interests, leadership level, etc.

A programme leader then created a Direct Action event in CiviCRM, using CiviEvent, and added groups of individuals to the event.

Organisers called the list of possible participants from a phone bank list report (they could also have done this using a participant listing) and entered the results of each call, such as whether the person would attend, they reached a wrong number, or had to leave a message.

An organiser contacted each participant several times to ensure that they would attend the direct action, and recorded the responses each time. Most organisers reached out to possible participants up to three times to ensure their commitment to attending.

After the Direct Action event, TOFT staff were able to analyse how many people said they would attend, how many actually attended, and how effective their method of outreach was.

Scenario: Canvassing

An organisation wanted to engage constituents based on what they learned from individual responses during a door-knock canvass related to the fair treatment of workers at the local car manufacturing factory. To find out more about how their constituencies feel about the treatment of workers and to see if they would like to help, organisers decided to do a door-knock canvass in several neighborhoods where they knew there was a high concentration of factory workers.

Staff first defined the target audience based on specific districts in a city and neighborhood where they knew that there was a high concentration of factory workers.

To track all their strategies and the people who have interacted with the organisation with relation to this particular campaign, the staff created a campaign in CiviCampaign. They then created a survey in Surveys to record the questions asked during the door-knock canvass.

Staff created an event in CiviEvent to capture who would be attending the direct action event at the capitol, identified the community leaders who could help bring more constituents to the event, and added them as volunteers for the event. So that these volunteers could collect responses from people they contacted, staff created a walk list report and distributed it to them.

Each volunteer canvasser visited the locations on the walk list and gathered the responses on their report. At the end of each day, other volunteers gathered the completed walk list reports, and entered the responses directly into CiviCRM.

After the canvass campaign, the programme leaders analysed all the responses to the canvass survey and used this information to determine their next strategy to engage their constituency in the issue.

Because the organisation was able track information at every step of this canvassing work, they achieved a clearer sense of what their factory worker constituents needs and wants. TOFT was then more prepared to develop targeted communications that spoke directly to the needs of this constituency.

Finally, the careful tracking and collecting of data will be used to inform next steps in their overall strategy to gain fair treatment for workers in the community. Collecting data in this way over time will give TOFT a better sense of whether they're able to move their constituents effectively and achieve impact with their approach.