Saturday, February 25, 2012

Grassroots (@ISRA) vs Astroturf (@CSGV) :A Tale of Two Organizations

Last year, we saw how this lowly third tier blog has as much, if not more, impact through their online writings as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Ownership. Well Gun Free Zone noted that the CSGV is attempting a 'recruiting drive', so to speak, on their FB page. But will this help them be more effective? Let's take a look. We'll compare them to an organization that has a similar number of 'likes/followers' and started about the same time, the Illinois State Rifle Association.

The ISRA was originally founded in 1903 and registered as a non-profit in 1972, the CSGV started as the 'National Coalition to Ban Handguns' in 1974.

As of 2/25 (8 am), the ISRA had 4,971 'likes' on their FB page. The CSGV has 4, 148.

The ISRA has 1097 followers on Twitter. The CSGV has 1444.

Now for the differences.

The ISRA has a membership of over 10,000 people. The CSGV claims to be a 'coalition' of '48 national organizations' that few have even heard of. They used to claim '0ver 100,000 individual supporters nationwide' but that number is obviously as fabricated as the NGAC's '14 million'.

The ISRA, outside of the Executive Director , state lobbyists and the secretaries in the main office, is entirely a volunteer organization. From the President all the way down to the people handing out packets at IGOLD, it is run by individuals in their spare time. The CSGV relies primarily on paid, 'professional' anti-gun advocates to run/organize their activities.

From 2009 reports, the ISRA had a revenue of $1,195,322. The CSGV/EFSGV combined had a revenue of $579,666, 35% of which was spent on salaries alone. This is increasingly coming from the Joyce Foundation, a trend the VPC also followed.

Now let's look at activity by their 'supporters' using FB as a standard since, as shown above, the number of 'likes' are similar. Of the average number of 'Likes', 'Comments', and 'Shares' from the 10 most recent posts on both pages:

Likes: ISRA 38.1 CSGV 6.1
Comments: ISRA 12 CSGV 3.2
Shares: ISRA 21 CSGV 1

By these numbers is shows that the ISRA's volunteer staff is much more effective than the paid staff at the CSGV at getting their message out and/or the difference in actually having members in lieu of being a shell advocacy group shows in the amount of activity from its supporters.

So even if Ladd manages to get 5K 'likes' on their page, it is unlikely to increase their effectiveness outside of giving him a hollow sound bite.

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Dannytheman said...

I love it when you get all analytical on them! But they missed math the day they were teaching math class, as proven by there previous numbers.

PT said...

how many of CSGV's twitter followers are people like me doing opposition research?

Robert Fowler said...

I have CSGV on facebook. There is no place for me to post a comment. Maybe they know I'm from the opposition and have me blocked. If all of the pro-gun people deleted them how many "likes" would they have?