2021 Roadmap: February through May
Table of Contents
As a companion to the visual representation of our 2021 Roadmap here, this document provides further detail on what you can expect for the first four months of the 2021 cycle. It is intended as a tool to help team and affiliate leaders get their teams and organizing plans off the ground. Please note that the following timeframes are provided as a guide only—every campaign is different.
Information on this roadmap is generally broken in several categories. Calendar refers to important dates or milestones. Planning refers to strategic mapping and work to prepare for the cycle. Growth refers to team strengthening and expansion. Fundraising refers to fundraising for candidates. Voter Contact refers to our programs, i.e., phonebanking, postcarding, and textbanking. SDAN refers to Sister District Action Network. Communications refers to the various methods you use to communicate with your volunteers.
If you have any questions or want help with any of the below, please reach out to your Organizing Department staffer, unless a different staff member is noted.
- CALENDAR – Feb 6/7 Sister District Summit. Our first-ever virtual Summit will bring together existing and prospective volunteer leaders of teams and affiliates to celebrate and learn from the last year, and prepare for the year to come. For recordings and related materials from the Summit, see www.sisterdistrict.com/summit. If you’re looking for documentation of Rachel Madan’s exceptional fundraising ask, head to the Resource Library’s Making The Ask folder.
- CALENDAR – Volunteer Leader Calls. Held on the third Thursday of the month at 5pm PT / 8pm ET, these are great opportunities for connecting with staff and other leaders, and they’re helpful for recruiting: you can invite active and near-active volunteers to join. Sign up for these calls here.
- GROWTH – Team Leadership, New Affiliates, New Teams.
- Establish/solidify roles and structures. Please see Organizing Your Sister District Leadership Team and look through the Resource Library for how-to guides and Case Studies!
- Build coalitions to build power. Turn your relationships with other grassroots groups into partnerships that boost support for our candidates by bringing them on as Affiliates. Please see How-to Guide: Partnerships. Send the Become A Sister District Affiliate page to your contact at the prospect group and encourage them to fill out the form as directed on the page. See: Team Case Study: Building a Progressive Coalition in Puget Sound.
- Help grow new teams. Use your personal connections to scout potential Leaders in new areas for new teams, and share with your Organizing Dept staffer.
- COMMUNICATIONS – Email, Social Media, Team Pages. Use all means of mass communication to educate, invite, celebrate team successes, and spotlight & appreciate your volunteers. See How-to Guide: Email Editor, How-to Guide: Social Media.
- VOTER CONTACT & FUNDRAISING – Practice using your team’s Mobilize account. Try setting up your team meetings as private recurring events or creating dummy private events to test. See: How-to: Mobilize.
- VOTER CONTACT – Phonebanking, Postcarding, Texting. We’re not ready to contact voters for candidates just yet, but this is a perfect time to reflect on your 2020 program. Did you stand up a recurring phonebank last year and want to do it again this year? Perhaps you don’t have the capacity to run a phonebank–well, you can adopt a recurring phonebank like Sister District EUG. Do you want to offer postcarding? Texting opportunities will likely continue to be limited (campaigns with small universes of voters tend to have sufficient capacity) but how can you pivot volunteers who want to text voters to take on a Text Reminder role or help you send texts for volunteer recruitment through your Action Network account?
- PLANNING – Create a Master Calendar. Get together with your leadership team and set goals around raising money, making calls, and writing postcards. How many and how much of each? How many events do you need to plan to get there, how many hosts will you need?
- GROWTH – Have a Treasurer and Fundraising Committee Leaders in Place. Please see Organizing Your Sister District Leadership Team, our Fundraising Guide, and How-to: Treasurer.
- COMMUNICATIONS – New Email System! Action Network.
Action Network is our new integrated email + mass volunteer recruitment texting + volunteer database platform. It replaces MailChimp, Knack, and Hustle. Team leaders will get an email in early March about the timeline and steps for rollout. Look through the Communications section of the Resource Library for how-to guides and Case Studies!
- FUNDRAISING – State Bridges
The State Bridges program creates a way for teams and affiliates to fundraise for our select partner organizations doing this work in our 2022 target states. The strategy is clear: with greater resources, our partner organizations on the ground can do more, which helps our 2022 candidates tremendously. Host or Co-Host one of the 11 events put on by SDAN! Details here.
- FUNDRAISING – 2022 State Funds
Early money is so critical for candidates that we’re working in 2021 to fundraise for our eventual candidates in 2022 target states. We intend to hand over money right when we endorse to help them hit the ground running; hire talented staff, pay for advertising to get their message out, and so much more. Our work to build our state funds this year will pay off tremendously for our candidates competing in 2022. Consider doing fundraising events and digital projects to raise for state funds!
- CALENDAR – First Wave of Sister Race Endorsements. We will announce our first wave of VA House of Delegates candidates in early April!
- FUNDRAISING – Plan a Kickoff Fundraiser for Late Early May. Let’s go big on early money. We want to frontload our fundraising efforts in the spring to jumpstart our candidates’ campaigns. Use this planning process as an opportunity to bring in new leaders and create coalitions. You’ll be able to start fundraising for your candidates/districts as soon as we announce in early April.
- FUNDRAISING – Recruit Hosts for Smaller Fundraising Events (Friendraisers). Many teams had great success with smaller fundraising events in 2019. One of our leaders in Portland, OR invited friends over for ice cream and their text-to-donate efforts raised $2,800! Please see How-to Guide: Friendraiser Events.
- GROWTH – Recruitment Drive Through Your SDP Volunteer List
Hop on the phone! Nothing beats a personal invitation to increase attendance for your Kickoff Fundraiser, and conversation is the best way to find out how a volunteer can plug into the team—you may just find your next superstar leader. Work with your Organizing Department staff to create a script and process. Please see: How-to Guide: Volunteer Recruitment by Phone
- VOTER CONTACT – Prepare for Phonebanking
Work with your Organizing Department staffer to prepare to launch or adopt a weekly phonebanking program. It takes some time for candidates’ campaigns to have phonebanking ready for us, but we want to be ready to start calling right when we’re live!
- FUNDRAISING – Hold Your Kickoff Fundraiser in Early May. Let’s work together to maximize your early money fundraising haul and make the most of this event for building your team. For example: how can you “make the ask” in a way that makes the most of the moment? How can you best recruit hosts and team leaders at these events? Work with your Field Manager on candidate appearance requests and logistics of appearances.
- VOTER CONTACT – Phonebanking Early Dials!
Spring is such a lovely time of the year to talk with voters. They’re not annoyed with us yet 😉 and it’s so helpful to campaigns that we collect information, introduce the candidate, and clean up the campaign’s voter data as early in the election cycle as possible! Think about it: if we find a voter who has moved out of state in May instead of in September, that is 4 months of the campaign saving money not sending mailers to that voter and saving time not calling and texting that voter. The campaign has a better understanding of their “universe” of target voters after each of our phonebanks, so let’s front-load our efforts. Get those Early Dials!
- FUNDRAISING – Start to Build for May and June Fundraisers. Maximize collaboration and expand your reach with fundraisers for Sister District candidates co-hosted by coalition partners.
- GROWTH – Strengthen your Coalition; Keep Recruiting Leaders and Affiliates. Continue recruiting affiliates into your network as well—now that you have real candidates/districts assigned to you, and action items coming down the pike, this is an ideal time to spark greater engagement. Please see: How-to Guide: Partnerships