POPVOX is an online advocacy and civic engagement platform that meshes real-time legislative data with users’ personal stories and sentiment. POPVOX curates and delivers public input to Congress in a format tailored to actionable policy decisions.
Personal stories and opinions matter to Congress, but the millions of phone calls and emails they receive just aren't manageable. POPVOX does the work of verifying, sorting, and counting opinions and then delivering them in a structured format that Congress can use immediately. It’s the only website of its kind—and it’s nonpartisan.
The POPVOX platform empowers individuals to easily weigh in on the bills pending before Congress. For organizations and trade associations, POPVOX provides a single place to publicly display measurable grassroots outcomes. POPVOX gives members of Congress and their staff real-time analytics of public sentiment. With two clicks, they can see exactly how their constituents feel about any bill, at any time—and what other Congressional offices are hearing. The media loves POPVOX because, for the first time, there is an independent metric of what people are actually telling Congress, instead of what the press releases from organizations are saying about the people.
“Call your Member of Congress.” “Write your Senator.” Inboxes are full of calls to action generated by the $20 billion advocacy industry that exists to influence the decisions of legislators. With nearly half a billion messages bombarding Congress each year and untold tweets, petitions, and Facebook messages—the sheer volume makes it far less likely that messages are getting through... until POPVOX.
The keys to POPVOX are structure and transparency.
POPVOX is made up of tools for citizens, Congress, and advocates.
The first product, POPVOX Pro, provides a collection of grassroots advocacy tools for organizations of any size to mount a significant legislative campaign harnessing the power of targeted grassroots action.
Advocacy organizations, trade associations, and corporations pay a monthly fee for POPVOX Pro widgets, enabling their networks to write Congress through embedded POPVOX tools, and displaying dynamic legislative content. For organizations, our Pro tools bring a level of sophistication to their grassroots campaigns, and allow them to monitor how their campaign is progressing in real time.
POPVOXNation will allow individuals to manage and maintain online civic profiles, build their civic reputation, engage friends and have meaningful impact in the legislative process.
User profiles, tailored updates, “following” capabilities, and invitation systems will give users strategic tools to conduct their own powerful grassroots advocacy. Two out of three POPVOX users say they “want to be more strategic about getting friends/networks to take action on a bill." This natural extension of POPVOX will put the power of social organizing within the reach of individuals.
As a part of the civic profile development, POPVOX will also make available an open-authorization API to enable organizations, government agencies, and companies to allow user sign-in with POPVOX.
POPVOX was founded to empower people, amplify their voice in Congress, and change the world.
The company's methods for delivering messages to Congress are the best in the market—but POPVOX is much more than a software company. POPVOX is building the world’s “Civic Network” -- infrastructure for advocacy and civil society.
The POPVOX team understands that in the civic space, user trust is the most important business asset, and has created a pioneering "what we know about you" privacy report.
POPVOX is already playing a key role in changing the way citizens communicate with government—and each other—on important issues all over the world.
POPVOX founders include former Congressional staffer, Marci Harris, who worked with the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rachna Choudhry, a long-time former federal lobbyist and online media strategist for issue organizations. As CEO and Chief Marketing Officer, respectively, they are building POPVOX to solve the problems they experienced first-hand within an overloaded advocacy system.
The technology team at POPVOX includes Mackenzie Morgan, an open source and cybersecurity expert, and Annalee Flower Horne, a former Congressional webmaster, who maintain POPVOX interoperability with Congressional systems and ensure the platform is always up and running. POPVOX design is led by the award-winning Sodium Halogen team in Jackson, TN, where COO, Ben Harris is also based.
Advisors include Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, the first advisor and angel investor in POPVOX. As an innovator, connector, and advocate for applying technology to the world’s greatest challenges, Tim saw in POPVOX an opportunity to empower people and make government work better. Other advisors include: Paul Martino, Managing Director of BullPen Capital brings the perspective of a social networking pioneer—as the founder of Tribe.net and early investor in Zynga. Maria Thomas, former CEO of Etsy.com and head of NPR Digital, brings unique insights into marketplace models and media partnerships. Janice Fraser, founder and former CEO of the groundbreaking User Experience firm, Adaptive Path, and current CEO of LUXr, the international Lean User Experience training curriculum; Jeremy Lizt, founder and VP of Engineering for RapLeaf; and Larry Gold, an election law expert who has argued numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
POPVOX launched in public beta in January 2011. The site now features every bill in Congress, with profiles of 1,800+ advocacy groups, trade associations, and civic organizations.
Approximately 20% (350,000) of total visitors to POPVOX create an account and sent a message to Congress. On average, visitors spend 4:32 minutes on the site, visiting 7.5 pages per visit. POPVOX has delivered over three million constituent opinions to Congress.
As the first independent, transparent metric for advocacy, POPVOX provides the public with a new accountability tool and helps Members of Congress better represent their constituents.
In July, House Democrats announced that their Intranet system, used by Congressional staffers, now pulls data directly from POPVOX APIs.
The potential users of POPVOX Nation are the millions of people across the globe who want to participate in their government. The market for POPVOX advocacy tools includes anyone with a website, Facebook page or blog who wants to lead an effective legislative advocacy campaign. The Pro version is suitable for organizations, trade associations, and companies that conduct grassroots campaigns, including: