How to Guide: Welcome Wagon
It’s important for a member from your team to reach out to new sign-ups right as they come in. Let’s activate these new volunteers while they’re hot!
How People Arrive on Your Action Network List
After our move to Action Network as our volunteer database management platform March 17, 2021, individuals will arrive automatically on your team’s list by one of two routes. Either they a) sign up or opt-in specifically to volunteer, or b) sign up for an event on your team’s Mobilize page. For a flowchart and full description of the process, please see our Action Network Guide.
The Welcome Wagon (WW) is one person (for most teams) who does the following:
- Receives new volunteer sign-up automatic notification emails. HQ has set up your Action Network account to automatically deliver an email to your team’s Welcome Wagon leaders. That email is set to arrive once weekly on Wednesdays starting March 17, 2021. Welcome Wagon leaders are encouraged to view and welcome new signs-ups more frequently if they’d like, with instructions in our Action Network Guide for how to do so, how to change which emails are receiving those alerts, and how to adjust the interval of those automatic email alerts. Again, only those who have specifically signed up or opted-in to be volunteers OR who have signed up for your Mobilize events will be added to your list.The Automatic Email Alert for new volunteers Welcome Wagon leaders will receive will look like this:The Welcome Wagon leader receiving this email will then follow these steps:
- Click through using the link provided in the body of the email
- View the “report” listing the new volunteers (aka new “activists”)
- To send an email, click the individual activist’s email address and this will open your own email application. You can also right click on the email address and paste that into an email in the application of your choice
- Connects personally right away with new volunteers
- Email is decent (see example below) but nothing beats a good old fashioned phone call (and/or a text!)
- Welcome them! Find out what they want to do, make a friend!
- Speak from the heart about why you’re doing this; help them share their story
- Share specific options for how they can jump in, like “attend our phonebank this Sunday” or “host a text-to-donate dessert party with your friends on our Weekend of Action last weekend of September” – – find their particular fit.
- Share the candidate pages and the state overview page. Help them get them acquainted with your team’s mission and why winning is important
- See: 2021 Recruitment Messaging Memo
- Use tags in Action Network to reflect what you learn. Let’s say you call a new volunteer and they tell you they want to phonebank. You would then send them the Mobilize link so they can sign up for the phonebank your team is running or adopting. You can also tag them with the default Phone Bank tag in Action Network (though note that if they do sign up for the phonebank on Mobilize, if the event type is set to Phone Bank as it should be, that tag will be applied automatically in their Action Network activist record. Magic!) For more on using tags, please see our Action Network Guide
- Decide on next steps with that new volunteer. Could be sharing the Mobilize RSVP link for your phonebank, or could be connecting with other leaders on your team to help that person host a friendraiser. Set a reminder in your calendar to check-in again within 3-7 days for follow-up support, make sure things are going well for the new person integrating and taking action.
Who will be your team’s Welcome Wagon? Have them talk with your Organizing Department staff contact to talk about these steps, design a process, and create tools.
EXAMPLE PERSONAL WELCOME EMAIL
Welcome to Sister District New Jersey. The organizers of this team — Kelly, Nick, Paul, Chris and myself — are gearing up to start helping our VA candidates protect that state’s Blue Trifecta. We’ll continue to be all-virtual, and will be running weekly phonebanks, fundraising and postcarding programs, sending a newsletter to volunteers, promoting our events on social media, and generally working to grow our ranks.
Our goal is to create a connected community of people sharing in fighting the good fight to advance progressive policy and power in the states and to do our best to help elect our assigned candidates. So glad to have you join this group!
Would you be interested in attending our next (virtual) meeting March 20 6-6:45pm ET? <include RSVP link> Or perhaps I can give you a ring and we can talk about ways to get involved that will fit in your schedule and interests.