Building Team, we uncovered a major source of pain for organizations and their supporters. Supporters get pumped about a candidate or cause at an event, through a debate, or from social media. They go to the organization’s website, type in their email and phone number, and they wait. And wait, and wait, and wait. Usually, it takes weeks (or even months!) for organizations to make a first contact attempt through a phone bank. Contact rates at that point average as low as 20%. And when contact is made, enthusiasm has waned.
Team offers the most battle-tested answer to this problem: bring the relationship between organizers and supporters online. Last year, we added Chat to Team, turning our app into an instant messaging platform for organizers and supporters. Supporters who were greeted by an organizer were 4x as likely to complete a relational organizing task than those who weren’t, resulting in significantly more than 4x as many messages sent.
This proved to us that relational organizing starts with the relationship between an organizer and their supporters. Great relational organizing teams know supporters have to understand why they’re being asked to talk to their community, and how exactly to do it. They also have to feel motivated enough to put their reputation and relationships on the line by talking about politics with friends and loved ones. In Team, that starts with building a relationship between an organizer and a supporter in our chat platform.
When a volunteer meets an organizer in real life, best practices dictate that the organizer introduce the volunteer to other supporters. That’s because supporters come for the candidate, but they stay for their community. And that’s why we’ve expanded Chat, to allow supporters to communicate with one another in chat groups led by organizers.
These groups lets an organizer introduce a volunteer to the organizer community, creating a space for shared conversation, experiences, and awesome memes. Groups provides the digital space for building and deepening community relationships in a way that lines up with how field programs are run unlike other tools, like Facebook Groups. Organizers can use their Group chat to strengthen cohesion, share events, appeal for contributions, and offer support.
Bringing relationships online lets organizers meet their supporters, prospective members, and voters where they are– on their mobile phones. If your organization, or an organization you know, wants to delight and empower their supporters, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.