Virtual Organizing HUB

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

2-4 Weeks Out

1. Choose a date and time for the event.

2. Submit the Phonebank Party Notice Form so your Field Manager will be on hand during your phonebank.

Pro Tip!
Set a regular, standing phonebank day/time! “We’re phonebanking every Sunday. Start dialing at 11am; show up at 10:45am if you need training.” The big advantage of virtual phonebanks is it’s so easy for phonebankers to (a) sign up for a series and (b) show up.

3. 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. Prepare your invitation for distribution by email and social.

5. Don’t forget that individual outreach is key—don’t just rely on email blasts! Make a recruitment plan with your Organizing Department staffer.

2-4 Weeks Out

1. Choose a date and time for the event.

2. Submit the Phonebank Party Notice Form so your Field Manager will be on hand during your phonebank.

Pro Tip!
Set a regular, standing phonebank day/time! “We’re phonebanking every Sunday. Start dialing at 11am; show up at 10:45am if you need training.” The big advantage of virtual phonebanks is it’s so easy for phonebankers to (a) sign up for a series and (b) show up.

3. 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. Prepare your invitation for distribution by email and social.

5. Don’t forget that individual outreach is key—don’t just rely on email blasts! Make a recruitment plan with your Organizing Department staffer.

2-3 Weeks Out

6. Solidify roles. A virtual phonebank of <10 people can be successfully run by one phonebank leader who trains, troubleshoots, encourages and supports attendees. But we recommend always having a second person on the call who can help.

7. Prepare to run your phonebank:

Pro Tip!
Join other teams’ phonebanks to see how they do it! To find an upcoming phonebank, you can (a) ask your Field Manager or Organizing Manager (see Sister District Directory), (b) ask on Slack, or (c) ask in the Volunteer Leaders Facebook group.

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

1 Week Out

9. Finalize any prep work for navigating Zoom, phonebank training, troubleshooting and run-of-show planning.

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

1 Day Out

11. Email your RSVPs. The goals are:

  • Remind them of the call and how to join.
  • Share candidate dossier (located on the candidate’s page) and encourage phonebankers to review in advance and print out for easy access while dialing.
  • Ask people to log in and create their Action ID in advance. There are instructions in the Phonebank Training Guide.
  • Export a list of registrants through Zoom. Learn how to do this here.

Day Of

12. Morning: Send reminder texts. (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.

13. At least 10 minutes before your phonebank, log in to the system. If there are any issues, alert your Field Manager. Pivot to make calls for a different candidate if needed. Copy the URL for your candidate’s phonebank system so you have it ready to share with leaders. For example: https://sisterdistrict.com/phonebanking/frances-jackson/

2-3 Weeks Out

6. Solidify roles. A virtual phonebank of <10 people can be successfully run by one phonebank leader who trains, troubleshoots, encourages and supports attendees. But we recommend always having a second person on the call who can help.

7. Prepare to run your phonebank:

Pro Tip!
Join other teams’ phonebanks to see how they do it! To find an upcoming phonebank, you can (a) ask your Field Manager or Organizing Manager (see Sister District Directory), (b) ask on Slack, or (c) ask in the Volunteer Leaders Facebook group.

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

1 Week Out

9. Finalize any prep work for navigating Zoom, phonebank training, troubleshooting and run-of-show planning.

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

1 Day Out

11. Email your RSVPs. The goals are:

  • Remind them of the call and how to join.
  • Share candidate dossier (located on the candidate’s page) and encourage phonebankers to review in advance and print out for easy access while dialing.
  • Ask people to log in and create their Action ID in advance. There are instructions in the Phonebank Training Guide.
  • Export a list of registrants through Zoom. Learn how to do this here.

Day Of

12. Morning: Send reminder texts. (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.

13. At least 10 minutes before your phonebank, log in to the system. If there are any issues, alert your Field Manager. Pivot to make calls for a different candidate if needed. Copy the URL for your candidate’s phonebank system so you have it ready to share with leaders. For example: https://sisterdistrict.com/phonebanking/frances-jackson/

Phonebank Event

14. Kick the call off with a training, and explain the flow. Please see the Phonebank Training Guide for how to run a quick, effective training.

15. Remind everyone to keep a tally of their calls, then put everyone on mute and start calling!

Pro Tip!
To get people up and running, post simple log-in steps in the chat. For example:

  1. Go to https://sisterdistrict.com/phonebanking/frances-jackson/
  2. Click Start Phonebanking
  3. Enter (Sister District Password)
  4. Log in with or create Action ID
  5. Let me know if you have trouble with any of these steps

Phonebank Event

14. Kick the call off with a training, and explain the flow. Please see the Phonebank Training Guide for how to run a quick, effective training.

15. Remind everyone to keep a tally of their calls, then put everyone on mute and start calling!

Pro Tip!
To get people up and running, post simple log-in steps in the chat. For example:

  1. Go to https://sisterdistrict.com/phonebanking/frances-jackson/
  2. Click Start Phonebanking
  3. Enter (Sister District Password)
  4. Log in with or create Action ID
  5. Let me know if you have trouble with any of these steps

Case Studies

Check out how NYC saved time as compared to an in-person event because all the training was done at once at the beginning of the call. Read about how Chicago actually saw better dial efficiency because of fewer distractions and simultaneous conversations.

16. You might want to let people know that whoever is not on a call with a voter at the half-hour or hour mark should unmute to share stories, etc.

17. If folks have questions, they should be encouraged to drop them in the chat. The hosts should monitor and answer questions that way so that everyone can benefit. If the question requires a conversation or screensharing, use a breakout room to have a 1:1 conversation. (Only the Host can assign control breakout rooms.)

Case Studies

Check out how NYC saved time as compared to an in-person event because all the training was done at once at the beginning of the call. Read about how Chicago actually saw better dial efficiency because of fewer distractions and simultaneous conversations.

16. You might want to let people know that whoever is not on a call with a voter at the half-hour or hour mark should unmute to share stories, etc.

17. If folks have questions, they should be encouraged to drop them in the chat. The hosts should monitor and answer questions that way so that everyone can benefit. If the question requires a conversation or screensharing, use a breakout room to have a 1:1 conversation. (Only the Host can assign control breakout rooms.)

Case Study

Learn how MA-RI got more phonebankers via Zoom than they usually do in real-life, and used breakout rooms to provide 1:1 technical support to new volunteers.

Case Study

Learn how MA-RI got more phonebankers via Zoom than they usually do in real-life, and used breakout rooms to provide 1:1 technical support to new volunteers.

18. Regroup at the end of the event and ask everyone to post their dial totals in the chat. We suggest recording your good work in the Phonebanking tab of your Team Spreadsheet. (If you need help, talk to your Organizing Department staffer!).

19. Report and celebrate dial totals! If you use the Phonebanking tab of the Team Spreadsheet, you can also report dial efficiency.

20. 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!

18. Regroup at the end of the event and ask everyone to post their dial totals in the chat. We suggest recording your good work in the Phonebanking tab of your Team Spreadsheet. (If you need help, talk to your Organizing Department staffer!).

19. Report and celebrate dial totals! If you use the Phonebanking tab of the Team Spreadsheet, you can also report dial efficiency.

20. 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!

1-3 Days After

21. If you’re participating in the Metrics Dashboard Program, you can sum up the total dials from individual phonebanks in your Team Spreadsheet and report your team’s total dials for the week on Mondays. (If you have questions, reach out to Lala!)

22. Email attendees a quick recap thanking them for participating, and letting them know how many calls were made, and (optional) celebrate dial efficiency. Give shout-outs and reference particular victories such as finding undecided voters, persuading undecided voters, or recruiting volunteers. Don’t forget to share the registration link for the next event and ask them to bring a friend!

Sample Reminder Content

Day Before

Hello, phonebankers!

Very happy we’ll make calls together tomorrow. We start dialing at 11am, but if you want training and help logging in, please join at 10:45am.

In advance:

  1. We’ll be making calls for Dr. Frances Jackson’s campaign. I recommend reviewing Dr. Jackson’s dossier and suggest you print it out if you can for easy access while you’re on the phone.
  2. To save time tomorrow, please follow the steps log into the phonebank system and set up your Action ID in advance. Instructions are in the Phonebank Training Guide.
  3. You’ll use your phone to make calls and your computer to use Zoom and navigate the phonebank system. If you haven’t used Zoom before, you will want to download the Zoom Client for Meetings to your computer before the call. You can join a test meeting to test your video and audio set up.

Joining the call tomorrow:

  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. Have your phone charged up, and a charger on hand. Earbuds or headphones are highly recommended for hands-free dialing.
  3. Have a piece of scratch paper to keep track of your dials. I suggest printing out the candidate’s dossier and using hashmarks in the margin!
    Join the call at 11am if you don’t need training, or 10:45 if you do. Simply click the Zoom video link that was sent to you after you registered for the call. Feel free to log in a few minutes early to make sure you’ve got all the tech set up. We’ll kick things off with a training, and there will be opportunities to ask questions throughout.

Day After

Hello all,

Thanks so much for phonebanking yesterday – I appreciate your good humor and your feedback!

We made 244 calls in all — that’s 44 calls per person on average, about 1.8 minutes per dial per person, which is really good (between 1 and 2mins per dial is where we want to be). We identified at least 5 undecided voters and Christine struck gold, recruiting a volunteer!

I hope you’ll join again next week, and please invite your friends. We’ll publicize through our email and social media channels, but a personal connection is the best way to bring in new volunteers. Here’s the registration link again if you want to share: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0udeyhpjwuH9L90PgUlHHFGVCaAY9cduLP

Stay well, and see you next Sunday 🙂