Digital Volunteers: What They’re Good For

The world has changed drastically in the last ten years, and if your vision of how to best use campaign volunteers hasn’t changed, you won’t be winning many elections.

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Campaigns rightly think of engaging voters as a game of numbers. The most successful strategies and tactics contact the most voters, turn those voters into volunteers, and leverage those volunteers into even more voter-contacts. The goal is to reach as many constituents as possible. Data has proven that the best way to maximize outreach is to connect with voters where they are; today, that means we need to reach them on their cell phones and on social media.

Campaigns that want to expand their voting base and turnout need to think about their digital volunteering infrastructure. Campaigns that don’t have this sort of infrastructure need to build one (we can help with that), and those that do have this sort of infrastructure should work to improve and scale it (we can help with that, too).

Data-driven campaigns know that even on a good day, a canvasser might make contact with a dozen voters. A digital canvasser using the Team App can easily and simply text ten times that number of voters in a tenth of the time. Not only are these digital contacts orders of magnitude more efficient, but they are also more effective. The Analyst Institute has found in a number of studies that GOTV messages sent by text increases turnout more than any other mode of contact. And this is especially true among underrepresented Democratic voting blocs like young and minority voters and when the messages are sent by friends.

The math is straightforward. The successful contact rate of text messaging is far higher than any other mode of contact, and the efficacy of those contacts has been proven. Combined with the convenience for volunteers (more on this in a later post) and the speed of contact, introducing even the simplest form of digital volunteering into your campaign can substantially boost your GOTV effort.

We like to think that our company is built on a common sense proposition: More contacts, with a higher successful contact-rate, and a proven positive effect off those contacts. It is that simple.

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