The Engagement Pyramid

The most effective social change organizations understand how to wield their portfolio of engagement tactics in Zen-like fashion; knowing just what kind of touch is called for to influence the outcomes of a particular decision. They also know how to meet people where they are at, and craft their calls to action appropriately so as to match the specific level of interest and commitment from each person they ask. These organizations also tend to have good processes for stewarding people toward ever higher levels of engagement in their mission.

We use a framework for mapping these different levels of engagement that we call an “Engagement Pyramid.” This framework builds on ideas from the fields of community organizing, relationship marketing and fundraising. Fundraisers will see elements of the ‘donor pyramid’ in what we describe here…

The vertical dimension of our Engagement Pyramid represents the intensity of engagement, with low level, lightweight engagement at the bottom and high intensity, deep engagement at the top. Its horizontal dimension represents the number of people involved. Combine the two and you get a pyramid with lots of mildly engaged people at the base and a small number of deeply engaged people at the top.