Like most other organizing activities, having a successful phone bank takes some forethought and planning. Follow these steps to set your event up for success:
Set a date and location
Pick a time (or times) that would work well for your group members and would be convenient for new folks to get involved. Generally, weekends and weeknights are the best time to make calls — you’ll have the best rate of folks that are home. Consider planning recurring events that happen weekly or biweekly!
Pick a platform for your event
If you’re new to setting up virtual events, check in with your Indivisible Organizer or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for help. We’ve developed some resources to support groups with hosting virtual events. You can see our Hosting Virtual Events resource for some creative ideas and best practices. Additionally, we have a few guides for new hosts or attendees on Google Hangouts and Zoom that you can see below:
- Google Hangout Guide for Hosts
- Google Hangout Guide for Attendees
- Zoom Guide for Hosts
- Zoom Quick Guide for Attendees
Register your event
Add your event to the Indivisible events map and we’ll help push your event out.
Publicize the event
Update your group and get commitments. Use this activity as an opportunity to bring in new folks too. Make calls to your neighbors, post in various Facebook groups, ask every group member to bring a friend. Don’t forget to register your event with us so we can help promote the event to people in your area.
Confirm your phone bankers
The night before the event, give everyone who signed up a call to let them know you’re counting on them to be there (virtually) — and ask them to invite a friend (or three!). Ask if they have any questions about the event and make sure they’re familiar with the virtual platform. Remind them to have the following:
- Fully charged phone
- Phone charger
- A laptop
Prepare your materials.
Spend time the day before making sure all materials are ready — even though you won’t be together physically, you want to make sure to have everything ready.
- Have a plan to sign folks in when they join the virtual event. Some video platforms will keep track of this automatically, but others may not.
- Prepare an agenda and training. You can use our quick Hubdialer training here, but you may want to customize.
- Think about any other fun features you want to add like phonebank bingo, a tally of how many supporters you identify, prizes, etc.
This is where things get really fun. The day of the event arrives and everyone joins the event. Here’s a sample agenda:
- Welcome and introduction: Thank everyone for joining and let them know what to expect over the course of the phonebank. You can also add in an icebreaker here depending on the size of the crowd and if folks know each other.
- Phonebank Strategy: Go through why phonebanking matters and how important this is. You can see some great information here.
- Hubdialer Overview: If you’re making calls through Hubdialer, spend some time reviewing how the system works and getting folks comfortable with it.
- Getting Started: Review the script and how to start making calls. It’s also a good idea here to do a role-play if you have a lot of new phonebankers and if possible to pair folks off to practice.
- Phonebank: Everyone can put themselves off mute and start phonebanking! You can add in breaks or have folks communicate any highlights in the chatbox.
- Debrief/Thank Yous: It’s important that folks come back together once the calls have ended to share highlights of calls that went well and some calls that didn’t go so well. This helps build your community and make folks feel better about their efforts. Don’t forget to say THANK YOU as many time as possible! And then make sure everyone gets committed to their next phone banking shift.
Share your success
Don’t forget to take pictures, post on social media and celebrate the great work your group is doing. Tag @indivisibleteam on Twitter so we can help amplify your work — you can use #Windivisible.
Make thank you calls
Make sure to follow up with your phonebankers to thank them for coming out — consider sharing how many calls your volunteers made total, how many supporters you identified and why their work was so impactful. Don’t forget to get them signed up for their next event.