Creating an Endorsement Waterfall

How to build momentum towards securing more challenging endorsements.

Table of Contents

Strategies for Building Momentum

Other Asks of Support

Potential Offers of Reciprocity

Strategies for Building Momentum

  1. Build relationships & trust: It’s more challenging to get an endorsement from someone who doesn’t have an established relationship with us or an understanding of our organization’s goals. For these people, in-person meetings give us an opportunity to connect more deeply and help them understand our objectives. Depending on the level of value they can provide, it may be worth it to spend time building a relationship on a purely social level before making any asks.

  2. Start with smaller asks: For organizations or individuals that are a tougher sell, it may not be the best strategy to come right out with an endorsement ask. Starting small by asking for their support in a small promotional effort or something similar helps us to test the waters and, depending on the reception, could potentially open the door for larger asks down the line.

  3. Make offers of reciprocity: For groups that we really want on board but we’re not confident in their support, it may be useful to offer them something in return. Some ideas for what we can offer are listed below.

  4. Leverage existing endorsers: Secure easier endorsements up front, and use those to your advantage in showing all the support we’ve already received when making your pitch. Sharing endorsements that have come from similar types of groups can be particularly persuasive.

  5. Empower endorsers to secure other endorsements: Create a waterfall effect by empowering endorsers to ask other groups that they have a relationship with for their endorsement. Having this ask come from them instead of our org can be more persuasive in securing their support.

Other Asks of Support

For endorsers who eagerly support us, there are many other ways that they can help.

Campaign Marketing

  • Mentioning us in their newsletter

  • Sending an email to their subscribers on our behalf

  • Putting up signs in their business

  • Backlinking us on their website

Event Partnership

  • Co-hosting an event with us

  • Giving out PAF marketing materials at their events

  • Offering coupons, discounts, free food or goods, raffle prizes, etc.

  • Allowing us to speak at one of their events

  • Speaking to our community at a PAF event

Shared Media

  • Partnering with us on a social media post

  • Co-writing an op-ed with us

  • Sharing our messaging with their base

  • Inviting us to participate in their hosted media (podcast, blog, etc.)

  • Making an introduction to other individuals or groups who might support us

Potential Offers of Reciprocity

What can we offer to further the likelihood for endorsement or campaign support?

  • Trade endorsements with elected officials or other organizations

  • Promote them to our email list

  • Compensate them for a post if they have a large following

  • Promote any volunteer needs they have to our volunteer network

  • Host a fundraising event at their establishment to bring in business

  • Offer advice or strategic insights on a specific topic we have more expertise in

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