Virtual Organizing HUB

Resources for keeping volunteers engaged during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

4-6 Weeks Before Event

1. Choose a date and time for the event.

2. If you want to request that your candidate be a special guest, use the Candidate Appearance Request Form to let us know. If you want to request a co-founder, reach out to your organizing staffer or support@sisterdistrict.com.

Pro Tip!
We recommend that the candidate or special guest begin speaking about 10 minutes after the official start time of the event, and that they speak for 7-10 minutes with 5-7 minutes for Q&A, for a total of about 15 minutes. Keep this in mind when making your candidate appearance request!

3. Once any special guests are confirmed and the date and time are finalized, prepare the marketing materials for your event.

You will need:

  • Title of the event
  • Description of the event (2-3 sentences)
  • Date and time
  • ActBlue link (with refcode, if using)
  • Images of special guests (check out the Social Media Pack on each candidate’s Sister District page)

4. Set up a Zoom meeting. We recommend requiring registration, then using the registration form as your single RSVP form. Learn how to do this here.

4-6 Weeks Before Event

1. Choose a date and time for the event.

2. If you want to request that your candidate be a special guest, use the Candidate Appearance Request Form to let us know. If you want to request a co-founder, reach out to your organizing staffer or support@sisterdistrict.com.

Pro Tip!
We recommend that the candidate or special guest begin speaking about 10 minutes after the official start time of the event, and that they speak for 7-10 minutes with 5-7 minutes for Q&A, for a total of about 15 minutes. Keep this in mind when making your candidate appearance request!

3. Once any special guests are confirmed and the date and time are finalized, prepare the marketing materials for your event. You will need:

  • Title of the event
  • Description of the event (2-3 sentences)
  • Date and time
  • ActBlue link (with refcode, if using)
  • Images of special guests (check out the Social Media Pack on each candidate’s Sister District page)

4. Set up a Zoom meeting. We recommend requiring registration, then using the registration form as your single RSVP form. Learn how to do this here.

ATTN: If you’re already part of a local group and would like to join our community as an affiliate, we’d love to hear from you! Affiliates are independent groups that take on some Sister District action items; they have full access to our staff support and network.

5. Send a save-the-date by email, and share on social.
6. Don’t forget that individual outreach is key—don’t just rely on email blasts! Make a recruitment plan with your Organizing Department staffer.

Case Study: Read about how Madison deployed a multi-prong recruitment strategy for their kickoff with our Executive Director and their candidate that raised over $2,000. In addition to emails, Instagram, and Facebook, leaders also sent heartfelt individual messages to personal networks, and leaders called every single person on their list.

ATTN: If you’re already part of a local group and would like to join our community as an affiliate, we’d love to hear from you! Affiliates are independent groups that take on some Sister District action items; they have full access to our staff support and network.

5. Send a save-the-date by email, and share on social.
6. Don’t forget that individual outreach is key—don’t just rely on email blasts! Make a recruitment plan with your Organizing Department staffer.

3 Weeks Out

7. Create a working doc to prepare a draft agenda/run-of-show for the event. All organizers of the event will work in this doc. Here’s an Event Working Doc & Agenda Template. Your Organizing Department staffer would be happy to help you create yours.

8. Convene a planning meeting with everyone involved in planning the event, including those with speaking roles and Zoom Bouncers. Finalize the agenda and clarify speaking roles.

Pro Tip!
Check out our Zoom Guidance, especially Section IV on Security and Zoombombing. Remember that HQ will not reimburse you for your Zoom account or set up Zoom meetings for you until at least one person on your team has submitted the Zoom Bouncer Certification. The Zoom Bouncer Cheat Sheet is helpful to have on hand the day-of.

9. Zoom Bouncers should also convene separately to:

  • Ensure that account and meeting settings are correct
  • Clarify who will have Host and Co-Host permissions
  • Run through Zoombombing scenarios

10. Continue promoting your event through personal 1:1 outreach and social media.

1 Week Out

11. Send another invitation email and continue with social media and personal recruitment.

Case Study: Learn how Coastal LA raised an average of $100 per person from a trivia night with the help of our Virtual Trivia Kit! One lesson learned: make sure to give yourself plenty of time to check on registrations and prepare breakout rooms, ideally two days before the event!

PRO TIP!

Check out our Zoom Guidance, especially Section IV on Security and Zoombombing. Remember that HQ will not reimburse you for your Zoom account or set up Zoom meetings for you until at least one person on your team has submitted the Zoom Bouncer Certification. The Zoom Bouncer Cheat Sheet is helpful to have on hand the day-of.

3 Weeks Out

7. Create a working doc to prepare a draft agenda/run-of-show for the event. All organizers of the event will work in this doc. Here’s an Event Working Doc & Agenda Template. Your Organizing Department staffer would be happy to help you create yours.

8. Convene a planning meeting with everyone involved in planning the event, including those with speaking roles and Zoom Bouncers. Finalize the agenda and clarify speaking roles.

9. Zoom Bouncers should also convene separately to:

  • Ensure that account and meeting settings are correct
  • Clarify who will have Host and Co-Host permissions
  • Run through Zoombombing scenarios

10. Continue promoting your event through personal 1:1 outreach and social media.

1 Week Out

11. Send another invitation email and continue with social media and personal recruitment.

Case Study
Learn how Coastal LA raised an average of $100 per person from a trivia night with the help of our Virtual Trivia Kit! One lesson learned: make sure to give yourself plenty of time to check on registrations and prepare breakout rooms, ideally two days before the event!

1 Day Out

12. Send a reminder email the day before the event. (Sample email below.)

1 Day Out

12. Send a reminder email the day before the event. (Sample email below.)

Day Of the Event

13. Send reminder texts the morning of the event. (Sample text below.) Recall that calls and texts are 50% to 177% more effective than just sending email reminders. To download a list of your registrants from Zoom, follow the instructions here.

14. Hosts and Co-Hosts must join the call at least 15 minutes early so that Hosts can designate Co-Hosts. If there will be screen sharing, ensure that Host is comfortable with that.

15. When the official event begins, make sure to welcome people as they join, and thank them for joining.

16. It’s showtime! We recommend starting about 2 minutes after the official start time so that folks have time to settle in. And if you’re planning to record the event, make sure that it is recording.

17. Don’t forget the ask! Share the ActBlue link directly and repeatedly with attendees in the Zoom chat box.

18. And don’t forget to take a screenshot, or selfie with your screen—make sure you’re using Gallery View so you can see everyone. Then share it with us so we can amplify your work!

Pro Tips!
During the ask, we recommend holding up a sign to the camera or sharing your computer screen with the goal amount you’re looking to raise for the fundraiser. This helps make the ask more concrete, and gives folks something new to look at!

Get together with your Organizing Manager to plan your language and approach — we recommend:

  • Working from a script to perfect a direct, concise ask
  • Setting advantageous goals and breaking down in pieces (see: Fundraising Menu)
  • Making the ask after candidate remarks but before Q&A
  • Providing TTD keywords & number slides via screensharing
  • Activate chat during donation time (i.e. “I just donated!” “Check the fundraising total again, I just gave!” “I just used my stimulus check!”)

Day Of the Event

13. Send reminder texts the morning of the event. (Sample text below.) Recall that calls and texts are 50% to 177% more effective than just sending email reminders. To download a list of your registrants from Zoom, follow the instructions here.

14. Hosts and Co-Hosts must join the call at least 15 minutes early so that Hosts can designate Co-Hosts. If there will be screen sharing, ensure that Host is comfortable with that.

15. When the official event begins, make sure to welcome people as they join, and thank them for joining.

16. It’s showtime! We recommend starting about 2 minutes after the official start time so that folks have time to settle in. And if you’re planning to record the event, make sure that it is recording.

17. Don’t forget the ask! Share the ActBlue link directly and repeatedly with attendees in the Zoom chat box.

18. And don’t forget to take a screenshot, or selfie with your screen—make sure you’re using Gallery View so you can see everyone. Then share it with us so we can amplify your work!

PRO TIPS!

1. During the ask, we recommend holding up a sign to the camera or sharing your computer screen with the goal amount you’re looking to raise for the fundraiser. This helps make the ask more concrete, and gives folks something new to look at!

2. Get together with your Organizing Manager to plan your language and approach — we recommend:

  • Working from a script to perfect a direct, concise ask
  • Setting advantageous goals and breaking down in pieces (see: Fundraising Menu)
  • Making the ask after candidate remarks but before Q&A
  • Providing TTD keywords & number slides via screensharing
  • Activate chat during donation time (i.e. “I just donated!” “Check the fundraising total again, I just gave!” “I just used my stimulus check!”)

1-3 Days Later

19. After the event, your Treasurer should visit your team/affiliate’s unique Fundraising Portal to access donation data to get the final numbers. Include the final total raised in a recap to all attendees to thank them for participating. Invite them to the next event on the calendar, and ask them to bring a friend!

1-3 Days Later

19. After the event, your Treasurer should visit your team/affiliate’s unique Fundraising Portal to access donation data to get the final numbers. Include the final total raised in a recap to all attendees to thank them for participating. Invite them to the next event on the calendar, and ask them to bring a friend!

Case Study: CA Peninsula in the Bay Area held a fundraiser where they had a local (CA) state senator interview the candidate. They used vibrant language in their invites, planned meticulously, and raised $5,900 for their candidate, boosted by a $5,000 match to Sister District!

Case Study

CA Peninsula (located in the San Francisco Bay Area) held a successful virtual fundraiser at the end of March. Check out their invitation, and check back soon for a full report-out.

Sample Reminders

Sample Reminder Email

Before the virtual fundraising party:

  1. If you haven’t used Zoom before, please download the Zoom Client for Meetings to your computer before the call. You may want to join a test meeting to test your video and audio set up. You can use Zoom as a phone app or by dialing in on your phone, but you will want to be on your computer for this event.
  2. Make sure you’ve donated via our ActBlue link [LINK]. We have a goal of $_____ and we need your help to get there!

On the day of the party:

  1. Find a comfortable spot in your home where you’ll be able to make phone calls and won’t be disturbed. If you’re using a laptop, find a place where you can put it down on a desk or table.
  2. At [START TIME], join the video call on your computer by using the Zoom link provided in your registration confirmation. We’ll let people settle in for a few minutes, and will start the speaking program at __:__.

Sample Reminder Text

Hey there it’s Neal from Sister District. So glad you’re joining the Kickoff Party today at 5pm. Zoom instructions were provided when you registered for the call. See you soon!