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Local Team Communications

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District Captain Policies: Local Team Communications

UPDATED: 10/14/19

1. COMMUNICATIONS REGARDING LOCAL TEAM (NON-HQ) ACTIVITIES, PARTNERSHIPS, AND CANDIDATES

Sister District is focused on channeling volunteer energy to support particular state legislative races that are selected by Sister District HQ. We also strive to empower individual teams to get involved in campaigns and activities of their own choosing that are not curated by SDP HQ. In order to maintain clarity for the organization and for volunteers between which activities come from HQ and which are organized locally, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines when communicating with your teams. Please also refer to our Unofficial Sister Race Policy for guidance.

  • Always use your team-specific logo in the header of your emails to your local team. If you need help formatting your team logo, please fill out this form.
  • When discussing an event or campaign that is not an official SDP event, partnership or campaign, please make it clear, either in the body of the text or with a referenced footnote, by stating:

“[name of campaign] is a race selected by [local team] and is not officially supported by Sister District HQ.”

or

“[event] is organized by [local team] and is not officially supported by Sister District HQ.”

  • Sign your communications with your team-specific titles. For example, “Your South Bay SDP District Captains” or “Your SD Puget Sound Leadership Team” rather than “The SDP Team.”
  • As a practical matter, it may be helpful to separate your email into two sections: “Official SDP Activities” and “[Team name] Activities.” See Page 3 for an example email template.

2. HOW TO USE THE SISTER DISTRICT EMAIL LIST

Sister District Project owns the email lists used by our local teams. The organization grants local District Captains the right to use the email list for particular purposes and under certain conditions. Authorized individuals may use the list for the following purposes:

  • To communicate information from SDP HQ to local volunteers
  • To communicate information about official SDP events and campaigns that your local team is organizing to local volunteers
  • To communicate information about other events and campaigns that your local team is supporting to local volunteers

The list may not be used to:

  • Advertise or promote a non-SDP product or company (but note that local partnerships and unofficial races are okay, in accordance with Section 1.B. above)
  • Advertise or promote events or activities that do not relate to SDPs focus of states, elections, and civic engagement
  • Circulate petitions, emails or job postings from other organizations
  • Give or comment on general news updates that do not relate to elections or civic engagement
  • Malign SDP or otherwise discourage members from participating in SDP

Please note that every email must contain information about Sister District activities; it is not permitted to use the list for messages solely related to non-SDP activities. Sister District HQ is and will remain an administrator to each local team Mailchimp account.

3. WHEN TO SEND AN EMAIL

People get a lot of email these days. In order to make sure that they open your email, we strongly recommend that you do not send more than one email per week. This will require you to plan in advance and make sure that you say everything you want to say for the week in the email, but your volunteers will appreciate your thoughtfulness and be more likely to read your emails. Also remember that every time you send an email, people will unsubscribe from your list. Sending no more than one email per week (or less) will ensure that you are getting more new people signed up than you are losing.

4. HQ EMAIL COLLECTION

Sister District continues to thrive only because of the amazing work that our volunteers do to spread the word and welcome friends and family to the organization. We rely on this outreach to grow our membership so we can continue having a powerful political impact. Often, the first time a person engages with Sister District is by attending and event or making a donation, and we want to make sure we keep communicating with these folks to give them every opportunity to continue participating.

EVENT ATTENDEES
Any person who signs up for an event or attends an event should be added to the Sister District email list. Please ensure that your event RSVP form and event sign-in forms both collect the names, emails, and zip codes of participants. See the event sign-in form template for sample language.

After each event, leaders should enter the names, emails, and zip codes of all new sign-ups at www.sisterdistrict.com/volunteer

DONORS
Any person who donates through a Sister District ActBlue link will be added to the Sister District email list, which is stated on our ActBlue page. HQ will periodically upload these emails to our database, and they will be added to our master email list as well as the local team list that corresponds with their zip code.

EXCEPTIONS
On a case-by-case basis, we may make exceptions to these rules. If you have questions or believe that there are specific circumstances that justify an exception, please contact .

5. LIST SIZE

When more than 2,000 people subscribe to your list, please notify HQ so we can take appropriate action to upgrade your account with Mailchimp.

6. SEPARATION

A team that separates from Sister District must relinquish its Mailchimp account and email list, which are owned by Sister District and will remain with the organization. If the team continues to engage politically or civically independently of Sister District, it may not use or reference the Sister District logo or organization in any way, and it may not avail itself of any Sister District resources.

7. POLICY VIOLATIONS

If anyone is found to be in violation of this policy, SDP HQ may take any action it deems appropriate, including but not limited to a warning, revocation of access to email, or exclusion from participation in Sister District.

SAMPLE EMAIL

Dear San Francisco Sister District members,

We are so excited to have you on board! Please read on to hear updates from Sister District HQ as well as what our local team is doing.

SISTER DISTRICT HQ UPDATES

Sister District Race

We are thrilled to announce that our team has been matched with [candidate] as our official Sister Race! Right now, you can click this link to make a donation of any amount (remember, small dollars matter in state legislative races!). Please stay tuned for more volunteer opportunities that will be coming in the next couple months, including phonebanking, textbanking, and of course, writing postcards.

Voter Registration

Our team wrote 2,500 postcards for the Sister District voter registration drive. Sister District is working with the Voter Participation Center to test the effect of postcards on getting folks to register to vote. We will keep you posted with the results of this groundbreaking experiment.

SISTER DISTRICT SAN FRANCISCO ACTIVITIES

[Candidate] for Congress

We have been busy working on some additional volunteers activities just for our team that are not organized by HQ. We have decided to support [candidate] in her campaign for [election]. This is not an official Sister District race, but it is one that we know is important and our local team wants to support. We are having a phonebanking event on [date], please fill out this form if you want to attend.

ACLU Fundraiser

The ACLU is putting on a fundraiser in San Francisco on [date], and we encourage you to attend! This will raise money for a great cause and we will have a table to help sign up more SDP volunteers. You can RSVP here.

Thanks, and more to come soon!

Your San Francisco SDP District Captains