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. For postcard parties, you’ll want to make sure to give people at least a couple weeks of lead time when possible, as they will need to have time to pick up postcards and addresses from the host.

2. Estimate how many postcards your group will be able to write, then procure your addresses. The method for this will depend on what activities are available; e.g., you may need to request postcards via an SDAN or SDP form.

3. Determine how writers will attain their materials. This could include a postcard packet (instructions and script), voter addresses (further instructions below), postcards, stamps. Different methods are available for different types of materials:

  1. Porch pick-up: You can procure or print materials, and bundle them for individual writers to pick up without interaction. This option is available for postcard packets (not recommended because of extensive printing), addresses, postcards, and stamps. Please only do this if it is safe and permitted.
  2. Email: You can email materials to writers. This option is available for postcard packets and addresses.
  3. Self-procurement: Writers can procure their own materials. This option is available for postcards and stamps.
  4. Mail: You can mail materials to writers. This option is available for postcard packets, addresses, postcards, and stamps. However, it is not recommended because of the substantial logistical burdens and cost. (If you do decide to do mail and prefer not to go to the post office, it may be possible to have USPS pick up packages from your home.

4. Distribute voter addresses to your writers. When you receive addresses from your Field Manager or from SDAN, divide the CSV up into the number of writers you anticipate.

  1. If you are using email, create separate CSV files for each small batch of addresses. Then email the small batches of addresses to writers individually so that each writer only receives the addresses for which they are responsible.  In the email, instruct volunteers to delete the email with voter addresses when they are done writing the postcards.
  2. If you are using porch pick-up, print out the CSV and grab some scissors to cut the pages into small batch strips to add to your bundles for writers.

4-6 Weeks Before Event

1. Choose a date and time for the event. For postcard parties, you’ll want to make sure to give people at least a couple weeks of lead time when possible, as they will need to have time to pick up postcards and addresses from the host.

2. Estimate how many postcards your group will be able to write, then procure your addresses. The method for this will depend on what activities are available; e.g., you may need to request postcards via an SDAN or SDP form.

3. Determine how writers will attain their materials. This could include a postcard packet (instructions and script), voter addresses (further instructions below), postcards, stamps. Different methods are available for different types of materials:

  1. Porch pick-up: You can procure or print materials, and bundle them for individual writers to pick up without interaction. This option is available for postcard packets (not recommended because of extensive printing), addresses, postcards, and stamps. Please only do this if it is safe and permitted.
  2. Email: You can email materials to writers. This option is available for postcard packets and addresses.
  3. Self-procurement: Writers can procure their own materials. This option is available for postcards and stamps.
  4. Mail: You can mail materials to writers. This option is available for postcard packets, addresses, postcards, and stamps. However, it is not recommended because of the substantial logistical burdens and cost. (If you do decide to do mail and prefer not to go to the post office, it may be possible to have USPS pick up packages from your home.

4. Distribute voter addresses to your writers. When you receive addresses from your Field Manager or from SDAN, divide the CSV up into the number of writers you anticipate.

  1. If you are using email, create separate CSV files for each small batch of addresses. Then email the small batches of addresses to writers individually so that each writer only receives the addresses for which they are responsible.  In the email, instruct volunteers to delete the email with voter addresses when they are done writing the postcards.
  2. If you are using porch pick-up, print out the CSV and grab some scissors to cut the pages into small batch strips to add to your bundles for writers.

Important!

Do NOT share CSVs or spreadsheets of voter names and addresses through Google Spreadsheets or other shared platforms. This is because of our need to ensure that voter information remains confidential.

Important!

Do NOT share CSVs or spreadsheets of voter names and addresses through Google Spreadsheets or other shared platforms. We must ensure that voter information remains confidential.

5. As you work out these logistics, set up a Zoom meeting. If you have a free account, keep in mind that you can only meet with more than 2 people for 45 minutes max. If you are a Sister District team or affiliate that needs access to Zoom, let us know by filling out the Zoom Request Form.

6. Designate a host who is to serve as the trainer and coordinator on the day of. You’ll likely want to take advantage of the ability to designate multiple co-hosts so that several people have the ability to control the mute all and record functions.

7. If you are not familiar with Zoom, feel free to request another Zoom link for a test.

8. Prepare your invitation for distribution by email and social. Don’t forget that individual outreach is key—don’t rely just on email blasts!

3 Weeks Out 

Continue promoting your event through personal one-on-one outreach and social media.

5. As you work out these logistics, set up a Zoom meeting. If you have a free account, keep in mind that you can only meet with more than 2 people for 45 minutes max. If you are a Sister District team or affiliate that needs access to Zoom, let us know by filling out the Zoom Request Form.

6. Designate a host who is to serve as the trainer and coordinator on the day of. You’ll likely want to take advantage of the ability to designate multiple co-hosts so that several people have the ability to control the mute all and record functions.

7. If you are not familiar with Zoom, feel free to request another Zoom link for a test.

8. Prepare your invitation for distribution by email and social. Don’t forget that individual outreach is key—don’t rely just on email blasts!

3 Weeks Out 

Continue promoting your event through personal one-on-one outreach and social media.

1 Week Out

10. Send a reminder one week before the event. Emails are good, but calls and texts are 50%  to 177% better. (Check out the sample text below.) Include the postcard packet PDF you received from Sister District in the reminders, and invite participants to look through it prior to the event. Include any reminders about postcards, addresses, and stamps.

Pro Tip!
Make sure that guests understand what they need to have ready to participate in this postcard party. Have they already picked up or ordered postcards and/or stamps? Have they picked up or received addresses via email?

1 Week Out

10. Send a reminder one week before the event. Emails are good, but calls and texts are 50%  to 177% better. (Check out the sample text below.) Include the postcard packet PDF you received from Sister District in the reminders, and invite participants to look through it prior to the event. Include any reminders about postcards, addresses, and stamps.

1 Day Out

11. Send a reminder the day before the event.

PRO TIP!

Make sure that guests understand what they need to have ready to participate in this postcard party. Have they already picked up or ordered postcards and/or stamps? Have they picked up or received addresses via email?

1 Day Out

11. Send a reminder the day before the event.

12. Throw your event! Give folks time to get settled in with Zoom, but make sure the event generally starts and ends on time.

13. Kick the call off by providing instructions and any other training or tips.

14. Have everyone keep their sound on, so that folks can socialize as they write. Alternatively, have everyone go on mute, and send everyone a shared playlist to listen to while they write.

15. If folks have questions, they can drop them in the chat or raise them by saying something out loud. If anyone needs more help and doesn’t want to distract the group, you can use the breakout room to have a 1:1 conversation.

16. Regroup at the end and confirm that everyone finished their postcards. If any are remaining, make sure that someone is responsible for finishing them.

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

18. Inform people of the next step. There are a few options here depending on the requirements of the postcard drive. In some cases, the writers may be able to drop the postcards directly in the mail to voters. In other cases, they may need to send them back to the host, or to bring them back to the host, then the host will mail them in bulk to the campaign. This information will be on the Postcard Packet, and you can always check with your Field Manager or with SDAN.

1-3 Days After

19. After the event, send all attendees a quick recap. Thank them for participating, and let them know how many postcards were written. Invite them to the next event on the calendar, and ask them to bring a friend!

Sample Reminder Content

Before the virtual postcard party:

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.

Make sure you have everything you need! Here’s the checklist:

    1. Postcard packet with instructions and script [LINK]
    2. Addresses – [sent via email OR available for porch pick-up]
    3. Postcards – [available for porch pick-up OR you are responsible for your own postcards]
    4. Stamps [available for porch pick-up OR you are responsible for your own postcards]

On the day of the party:

Find a comfortable spot in your home where you’ll have enough room to view your screen and also write postcards.

At [START TIME], join the video call on your computer by using the Zoom link [LINK]. 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!

12. Throw your event! Give folks time to get settled in with Zoom, but make sure the event generally starts and ends on time.

13. Kick the call off by providing instructions and any other training or tips.

14. Have everyone keep their sound on, so that folks can socialize as they write. Alternatively, have everyone go on mute, and send everyone a shared playlist to listen to while they write.

15. If folks have questions, they can drop them in the chat or raise them by saying something out loud. If anyone needs more help and doesn’t want to distract the group, you can use the breakout room to have a 1:1 conversation.

16. Regroup at the end and confirm that everyone finished their postcards. If any are remaining, make sure that someone is responsible for finishing them.

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

18. Inform people of the next step. There are a few options here depending on the requirements of the postcard drive. In some cases, the writers may be able to drop the postcards directly in the mail to voters. In other cases, they may need to send them back to the host, or to bring them back to the host, then the host will mail them in bulk to the campaign. This information will be on the Postcard Packet, and you can always check with your Field Manager or with SDAN.

1-3 Days After

19. After the event, send all attendees a quick recap. Thank them for participating, and let them know how many postcards were written. Invite them to the next event on the calendar, and ask them to bring a friend!

Sample Reminder Content

Before the virtual postcard party:

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.

Make sure you have everything you need! Here’s the checklist:

    1. Postcard packet with instructions and script [LINK]
    2. Addresses – [sent via email OR available for porch pick-up]
    3. Postcards – [available for porch pick-up OR you are responsible for your own postcards]
    4. Stamps [available for porch pick-up OR you are responsible for your own postcards]

On the day of the party:

Find a comfortable spot in your home where you’ll have enough room to view your screen and also write postcards.

At [START TIME], join the video call on your computer by using the Zoom link [LINK]. 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!