Here is a step-by-step planning guide for running a successful phone bank to reach voters.
2 Weeks Ahead
- Step 1: Visit the campaign for a list of phone banks you can join, and check the info about hosting a phone bank, including dates and times.
- Step 2: Choose a date and time for the event.
- Step 3: Set up a Zoom meeting. We recommend requiring registration and using the registration form as your single RSVP form.
- Step 4: Prepare your invitation for distribution by email and social media. The more personal your invitation and the stronger interpersonal connections, the more likely they are to come. Use your group’s social media to contact them.
- Step 5: Individual outreach is key— don’t just rely on email blasts! Make a recruitment plan with your organizers.
- Step 6: Confirm roles. A virtual phone bank of <10 people can be run by one leader who trains, troubleshoots, encourages and supports attendees. But we recommend always having a second person on the call who can help.
- Step 7: Prepare to run your phonebank. See the Sister District Phone Bank Training Guide for ways to run a quick training.
- Step 8: Continue promoting your event through personal 1:1 outreach and social media.
1 Week Ahead
- Step 9: Finalize any preparation for Zoom, phone bank training, troubleshooting and run-of-show planning.
- Step 10: Send another invitation email and continue social media and personal recruitment.
1 Day Ahead
- Step 11: Run a test yourself by accessing the script and dialer. Read the script. Make sure you know who to contact for support.
- Step 12: Email your RSVPs. The goals are:
Remind people of the call and how to join.
Share a one-page description of the candidate (found on their webpage) and encourage phone bankers to review and print it out in advance, for easy access while dialing.
Ask people to log in and create their Action ID in advance.
Export a list of registrants through Zoom.
- Step 13: Morning: ( If using Zoom you can email all your registrants from the Zoom registrant access the morning of the event as this will include the Zoom link they will use to join your meeting.) Send reminder texts. (Sample below). Recall that calls and texts are up to 77% more effective than just sending emails!
- Step 14: At least 10 minutes before your phone bank, log in to the system. If there are any issues, pivot to make calls for a different candidate if needed. Copy the URL for your candidate’s phone bank system so you have it ready to share with leaders. For example: https://indivisible-ma.org.
Phone Bank Event
- Step 15: Start the call with a training, and explain the flow.
- Step 16: Remind everyone to keep a tally of their calls, then put everyone on mute and start calling!
- Step 17: At the half-hour or one-hour mark you might take a break, and have everyone who isn’t on a call unmute to share stories.
- Step 18: Have folks place their questions in the chat. The hosts can address questions there so everyone can benefit. If the question requires a conversation or screen-sharing, use a Zoom breakout room to have a 1:1 private conversation. (The Host controls breakout rooms.)
- Step 19: Regroup at the end of the event and ask everyone to post their dial totals in the chat. Record your good work for future reference. Report and celebrate dial totals!
- Step 20: Remember to take a screenshot, or selfie with your screen, using Zoom Gallery View so you can see everyone. Then share it with as many as possible to amplify your work!
1-3 Days After
- Step 21: Email attendees a quick recap thanking them for participating, noting how many calls were made, and celebrating dial efficiency. Give shout-outs and reference particular victories such as finding undecided voters, persuading undecided voters, or recruiting volunteers. Then share the registration link for the next event, and ask them to bring a friend!