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This is a Follow Up to the Virtual Seminar on Campaigning in the Age of Coronavirus -- Held on March 23rd.

Thanks to all who participated and presented.

This package of information includes follow up material from the groups and individuals who had tips on that call. For the record, the call discussed tips on techniques and tips, it did not involve any discussion of strategic coordination or any information that is not public.

Below you will find information on:

  • The Turnout2020 virtual dialing and text program , available at no cost to organizations wishing to engage their members in doing GOTV calls to low propensity Democratic voters in swing states. Contact: Terra Engler, [email protected].
  • The Empower Dialer program , available to C-3 organizations and others wishing to engage their members in doing GOTV calls to demographic groups. Contact Jonah Minkoff-Zern, [email protected]
  • When We All Vote , Report on When We All Vote Virtual Couch Party to mobilize supporters to get their family and friends to register to vote . Contact Hannigan, [email protected],org.
  • Information from Campaign Industries, an affiliate of Democracy Partners, regarding Voter Registration in the Coronavirus Age. Contact Mac D'Alessandro, [email protected] .
  • Best practices from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee , contact Alex Edelman, National Field Director, [email protected]
  • Community Service activity during the outbreak. Contact Ben Head, Political Director, Schakowsky for Congress, [email protected] .
  • A variety of material from Dem Labs, an affiliate of Democracy Partners Contact Deepak Puri, [email protected].
  • Information from TargetSmart on targeted voter data. Contact, [email protected]
  • Recruiting candidate to run for state and local office -- and resources for candidates who run - from Run for Somethin g. Contact Manny Espitia, [email protected] .
  • Telephone Town Hall Meetings , Contact, Linda Saucedo, Partner in Democracy Partners, [email protected] .
  • Tips on using organic Facebook reach to target voters, Contact Omar Rivero, at Occupy Democrats, [email protected].
  • Recommendations for Election Day, Chuy Garcia for Congress , Contact Patty Garcia, [email protected].
  • Virtual Organizer Training Opportunities - The Midwest Academy , Contact Jackie Kendall, Democracy Partners, [email protected], Jay Travis, [email protected], or Eric Zachary, [email protected] , or go to .
  • Swing Left's Virtual Organizing Hub .Swing Left has launched our new hub where you can find tools to help transform our government while practicing social distancing. Learn to host virtual fundraisers, house parties, phone banks and letter writing parties. Contact, [email protected].
  • Tips on using texting from Rapid Res ist, an affiliate of Democracy Partners. Contact Yoni Landau, [email protected].
  • Tips on Relational and Mutual Aide organizing from the Townhall Project . Contact Jimmy Dahman, [email protected]


Full Descriptions of Information from Call


Progressive Turnout Project is providing $2.9 million to create and operate a phone program for this year's election that allows anyone who signs up to make commit to vote and GOTV calls to progressive, low-propensity voters in swing states/districts from anywhere in the country with a predictive dialer tool.

We will train, and activate volunteers using this program at no cost to participate organizations. Organizations will have a chance to actively work with their members throughout the process or to simply enlist their members in the program and receive reports on their participation.


  • Volunteers will sign up to make calls from their homes, host or attend call parties, and to coordinate or make calls from volunteer Call Centers they establish throughout the country
  • This program will especially focus on activists in non-swing states and give them the opportunity to play an active role in the 2020 election
  • We are rolling out the program in March beginning by calling voters for key special elections, such as the Wisconsin Supreme Court race
  • The program will be a way for us to provide a collective resource free of charge to organizations to engage volunteers in making a significant number of calls
  • Voters we contact will also receive follow up texts from Rapid Resist to engage them in voting, and support from VoterRiders to ensure that they have appropriate ID. They also will be offered opportunities to volunteer.
  • We have an amazing and growing list of organizations participating, including Ben & Jerry's, Contest Every Race, Daily Kos, Democracy for America, Democracy Matters, DoTheMostGood, HAZMAT America, Indivisible Chicago, Lexington Democratic Club, March for Truth, Newtown Action Alliance, Progressive Democrats Of America, Rapid Resist Resistance Labs, The Democratic Coalition, The Wednesday Group, Upper East Side for Change, and the Women's March

Watch List:

  • 4 Top Tier Presidential Battlegrounds: Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin
  • 7 Top Tier U.S. Senate Battlegrounds: AZ, CO, GA, IA, ME, MI, and NC
  • 13 key Congressional districts are in these states that are in play in the election.
  • Phone program allows us to be nimble as opportunities arise


  • March 2020: First wave of calls roll out in support of Wisconsin's Supreme Court election
  • April-May 2020: Calling for special elections and high propensity voters to recruit volunteers, establish and train volunteer Area Coordinators to open and run Call Hubs
  • June-August 2020: Commit to vote calls to low-propensity voters through remote calls, call parties and Call Hubs operating nationwide
  • September-Mid-October: Reminder and relational calls to low-propensity voters
  • October: Chasing of Vote-By-Mail ballots and early voters
  • October 23--Election Day 2020: GOTV call mission

For More Information Contact Terra Engler, [email protected]

Paid for by Progressive Turnout Project ( ) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

The Empower Virtual Phone/Text Program - for GOTV to Demographic Groups for C3 Organizations

Thank you for your interest in the Empower Virtual Phone-bank system, supported by follow-up texts to voters and volunteer recruitment via text and organizational engagement.

The system is designed to allow individuals anywhere in the country to help increase turnout in the 2020 election through systematic voter contact with low propensity voters - and to accomplish other critical campaign missions.

The system can be used to increase voter turnout among specific demographic groups, or partisan voters. And it can be used to do voter ID and voter registration as well, depending upon your organization or campaign mission.

How does the program work?

  1. We set up an online call system that can be used to contact voters - using a combination of a dialer, a sign-up form and a scheduling platform.
  2. Organizations commit to participating by recruiting their members to make calls.
  3. We work with you to determine a schedule of call times for volunteers including key weekly call nights - i.e. "We the People Wednesdays" or "Turnout Tuesdays".
  4. These weekly events are supported by webinars that we help you organize that inspire people to make calls and teach them how to use the system.
  5. We work with you to create outreach materials - sample email blasts, texts, social media for your organization and partners to recruit members to make phone calls.
  6. We work with you to distribute training materials to help people log in and make calls.
  7. If you desire, we also recruit callers via texting -using your lists or other lists that we have.
  8. Call nights begin with individuals making calls.
  9. If you desire, materials are developed to support callers becoming local virtual leaders.
  10. Callers are then encouraged and supported in recruiting friends and building virtual networks in their areas to recruit callers for larger call days.
  11. Should you desire, individuals who receive calls who say "yes" will receive follow up texts from Rapid Resist texting; those with Voter ID questions can receive calls from VoteRiders.

Resources Required:

  1. Volunteer management system, including email capability and event sign-up tool.
  2. Data to call.
  3. Communications support in developing webpage and outreach materials.
  4. Intern / staff support for volunteers needing help logging in and supporting top activists and for staffing daily call system.
  5. Zoom conferencing for webinars for callers.


  1. The Empower Dialer system costs $.077 per minute of usage.
  2. In addition, there is $.049 per text charge for any texts generated and some additional charges for list processing.
  3. Monthly charges for support with recruitment and volunteer engagement will be tailored to the needs of specific organizations. Cost estimates per project available on request based on script length and data universe size.
  4. More information contact Jonah Minkoff-Zern, [email protected]


Virtual Organizing

Report on When We All Vote Virtual Couch Party to mobilize supporters to get their family and friends to register to vote. Contact Hannigan, [email protected],org.

When We All Vote, a non-profit, non-partisan organization held its first #couchparty on Wednesday, March 25th which designed to mobilize volunteers and supporters to reach their family and friends to remind them to get registered to vote.

We partnered with DJ D-Nice to host this party who gained major attention from the media and people across the country with his Club Quarantine Instagram Live sets in the previous days.

We launched our #couchparty with a welcome video via Zoom and Facebook Live and which featured staff and celebrities including Tracee Ellis Ross and Lin Manuel Miranda.

We trained volunteers on a relational organizing tool, OutVote, where they could do a few things including 1) syncing their contacts and texting their unregistered friends and 2) texting likely unregistered voters through a peer-to-peer texting bank in OutVote. During their texting, DJ D-Nice played music on Instagram and promoted to all his listeners to get registered to vote through a unique portal to track the work.

Other influencers and celebrities joined the IG set which helped to gain more attention to the work.

Ultimately, we had over 9,000 volunteers sign up for the event, texted over 400,000 voters and 13,000 voters started or completed the registration process. What we saw was that there was a strong appetite for online engagement and the positivity and engaging content from DJ D-Nice combined together for a successful event in engaging new voters.


Best Practices for Campaigning in the Coronavirus Age from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Alex Edelman, National Field Director, [email protected]

  • We have to refocus our message and how we talk to voters
    • Every conversation should begin with "How are you?" and "Are you safe?"
    • We must be a resource for good, science and fact-based information. We must fight disinformation with facts.

o We are using our staff in the field to collect useful local facts (where food or beds might be available for those in need, how to properly get diagnosed if feeling ill, what is the most recent guidance from the CDC and WHO?)

  • Best practices we've learned
    • Texting:
      • Make sure you're paying attention to your inbox, regardless of what platform you use. The general rule of thumb is you have a one-hour window from when someone texts back. It's best to engage in that moment similar to how you have conversations on the phone and
      • Start with relational texting, before pulling lists of people to contact. Because of the sensitive nature of the conversation, it's best to start with people and volunteers you have existing relationships with
      • Use the canned message feature, especially if you're including links to direct people where they can go for help or resources. Keep it simple, but informative
    • Phone Calls
      • Virtual Phonebanks on VAN - again keep in mind who your calling, and adjust the tone/script
    • Social Platforms
      • Facebook groups: You can make these public or private depending on the type of community you're trying to build. If you have an official campaign/org page you may be able to link a group directly to that existing page.
      • Facebook Messenger: One of many options to continue talking to volunteers and managing volunteer teams
      • Facebook Live: This is great way to directly interact with large online communities. Similar to how you build and plan logistics for in-person events think through the following:
        • When are you hosting the event to get the highest number of participants?
        • How are you building for the event?
        • What is the flow/agenda?
        • Prepare to do at least one dry-run to practice not just presenting the content, but getting comfortable with the technical side
      • Twitter Lists: Add followers to a specific list to quickly see what talkers/influencers are saying
      • Twitter Messenger: You can create a group message with members of
      • your team to share content


Tips for Doing Voter Registration in the Age of Coronavirus

Offline Voter Registration in the Age of COVID-19

Disclaimer: Before engaging in any field-based activity, monitor federal, state, and local guidelines and restrictions regarding movement in a particular jurisdiction.

Strategy: To stay civically engaged while we remain socially distant.


1. Lit-drop and opt-in

a. Under the current circumstances, it is not advisable to knock on the doors of potential applicants.

b. Instead, have canvassers drop a piece of lit (self-adhesive, not door hung to limit touching of door knobs and handles) that contains some useful public health information on one side and a VR message on the other which allows potential applicants to opt-in by visiting a website/ sending an email/ calling a number to request that a VR application be delivered.

c. The opt-in is essential in this time because engagement without being asked will be seen as unnecessarily risky or, worse, downright menacing/ dangerous.

d. The analogy we're drawing here that if a pizza can be delivered, upon request, so can a voter registration application.

2. If possible, link your VR canvass to an essential community service

a. VR target communities are likely to overlap with those experiencing food insecurity

b. VR canvass could partner with local food pantries by offering to deliver non-perishable food items (at not cost to the food pantries themselves) while delivering VR applications.

3. With new program launch dates uncertain, be prepared

a. (For paid or stipend-based programs) Stress-test HRM and payroll systems.

b. Use the down period to commence online recruitment, vetting, on-boarding, and training until launch is green lit.

c. Online trainings (if possible, offer a small stipend for folks to attend) 1 per week (role plays, life cycle of a VR application from completion to submission, QC methods and protocols, etc.). Develop enough content and offer at a weekly tempo that allows 10-12 weeks to be covered. If green-light comes earlier, training tempo can be increased (several times per week) so that earlier launch is possible.

d. Go big! Programs are going to have far less time to meet their goals. As such, building a larger program is the only way to make up lost ground. The good news is that recruitment should be much easier with so many folks looking for income as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are loosened.

If you would like to learn more about how Campaign Industries LLC can help design and execute field-based programs for civic engagement, express advocacy, and candidate campaigns, contact Mac D'Alessandro at (617) 774-8098 or [email protected] , or

visit us at


Digital Targeting Tools

Material from Dem Labs, Deepak Puri, an affiliate of Democracy Partners

[email protected] , 415-606-4416

Recruiting Candidates to Run for State and Local Office

Run for Something is putting together resources for candidates. Contact Manny Espitia, [email protected].

They also have a hub that can be accessed at our website This has webinars, how-to's, and stories from other candidates.

Community Service Programs
Schakowsky for Congress

Wellness Check Program Summary , Contact Ben Head, Political Director, Schakowsky for Congress, [email protected].

Schakowsky for Congress is working with local Democratic party organizations, Democratic campaigns, and local grassroots organizations to facilitate wellness checks on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis for individuals at high risk of COVID-19. The goal is to put at-risk individuals in touch with resources they need to get food, prescription drugs, medical care, and relief from isolation.

We do this through a distributed organizing model based around Virtual Phone Banks, wherein volunteers can make calls from their home. We provide volunteers with a list of available resources, training documents, a volunteer help hotline, a Slack forum for volunteers to ask questions and build community, and a link to a virtual phone bank for their area.

They are promoted using our campaign email/social media and through local organizations' networks. We work in tandem with local organizations to increase their organizing capacity and list-building, as well as provide guidelines and a social media toolkit to help them promote.

When we reach someone in the district who wants us to continue to check in on them, one of our high school or college interns will "adopt" them specifically, so folks hear from the same person 1-2 times per week for the duration of the program.

Other congressional campaigns including Rep. Schneider, Rep. Kelly, & Marie Newman have committed to creating similar programs in their own districts using this model and resources. A coalition of Indivisible chapters and other grassroots organizations have proven key in promoting phone bank activity.


TargetSmart Data and Lists

Information on TargetSmart that provides progressive campaigns and organizations with the data they need to better understand their base and use their resources more effectively, Farhad Choksy, [email protected] ,

Our data enables our clients to make better decisions, talk to the right people in the places they care about, test their messages, and measure public opinion more accurately.

TargetSmart's Digital Voter File gives you the ability to use TargetSmart data to create targeted audiences for your digital and media programs. Executing against these custom audiences will allow you to focus your ads precisely using voter file and TargetSmart data.

Take advantage of TargetSmart's advanced matching through our digital and media partners to achieve the best results and leverage online and offline communications to build a holistic outreach program.

Please feel free to reach us at [email protected] , or [email protected]

Tips for Relational Organizing and Mutual Aid Networks

Townhall Project, Jimmy Dahman, [email protected] , 330-718-3309.

  • Relational voter contact and volunteer recruitment can still occur remotely and at scale.
  • Trusted messengers are going to be even more important in the age of Coronavirus.
  • Electoral campaigns at all levels can run a relational centered organizing program. I am happy to talk through some of the things we learned doing this in the early states and beyond.

Mutual Aid Networks

  • is live and listing more than 500 local mutual aid networks.
  • Great opportunity for organizers and volunteers to plug into community relief efforts while voter contact is reduced or paused.



Tips and Information from Resistance Labs, an Affiliate of Democracy Partners, Specialists in Texting, Yoni Landau, [email protected]

  • Resistance Labs is seeing cold text jump about 200% in effectiveness when focused on COVID. This is a good time to reach out to new folks and introduce your org.
  • We are providing pro-bono work of up to 10k texts for partners to try new tactics and rolling out a 100k text COVID SMS response grant program.
  • We echo the DCCC in recommending people send "how are you doing?" or "do you need anything?" texts right now. We are available to manage texting programs from start to finish, including recruiting volunteer texters, a/b testing, managing RCTs.

Virtual Organizing Hub-Swing Left

Swing Left's Virtual Organizing Hub Swing Left has launched our new hub where you can find tools to help transform our government while practicing social distancing. Learn to host virtual fundraisers, house parties, phone banks and letter writing parties. Contact, [email protected].

Upcoming Events

Telephone Town Halls

Tips on executing tele-townhalls . Contact Linda Saucedo, Partner in Democracy Partners, [email protected] .

Telephone Town Halls are great ways for elected officials and membership-based organizations to convey information and answer questions that many of their constituents and members have about the current environment. We've obviously seen an uptick in these kinds of events and scheduling them on short notice is difficult right now.

Some tips if you want to do a telephone town hall.

  1. Have a few realistic dates/time in mind and rank order your preferences so you don't have to go back and forth to find a date/time that works for your vendor. And keep in mind that many vendors will charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your event up to 48 hours or less out.
  2. Let you vendor know the approximate size of the outbound list you want to dial and whether or not you have prior authorization to contact cell phones on your list. And if you have never worked with the vendor before, be ready to provide proof of how you collected your phones (like a copy of a union card or a copy of your sign-up form.)
  3. Be prepared to have staff who can fulfill the roles of a moderator/host and screeners. This saves you money and provides greater flexibility in terms of scheduling events because many vendors who do provide professional moderators and screeners both charge extra and need additional lead time to line up the appropriate staff. Most platforms are intuitive and easy to pick up. Be sure to do a training no more than 24 - 48 hours before your event so the information is fresh.
  4. Understand how the pricing works for the vendor you use to conduct your telephone town hall and how you can control costs and what features are automatically available to you and which ones comes with an additional cost.
  5. Meet your vendor's deadlines for data, audio and other feature submissions (like poll questions/responses) so that issues that come up can be dealt with before they become a crisis.

Organic Reach on Facebook

Tips on using organic Facebook reach to target voters, Contact Omar Rivero, at Occupy Democrats, [email protected].

As paid Facebook reach is getting more and more expensive, a little-known secret is that boosted posts becomes exponentially cheaper after they have already received an organic boost from a large Facebook page.

Occupy Democrats has by far the largest organic reach on Facebook, and better yet, all of our followers are diehard Democrats. With Coronavirus making in person contacts difficult, social media is now one of the only affordable ways to reach voters.

Any organization/campaign looking to get a message out to the masses should consider joining forces with large FB pages to reach folks with organic targeting (as we successfully did recently for the CWA) or with a combination of organic and paid FB boosts.

Recommendations for Election Day, Chuy Garcia for Congress , Contact Patty Garcia, [email protected].

Before Election Day:

  • Transitioned volunteer based to online voter engagement to text and follow-up
  • Promoted volunteer opportunities via phone banks from home - provided lists and scripts
  • Coordinated series of robo-calls to advertise for Tele-town hall across the district; one of the target groups seniors, who may not have digital or online access to information and changes
  • FB Live providing updates and answering questions
  • Resonated consistent and clear message across social media posts, robocalls, tele -townhall, and volunteer recruitment that voting is safe & necessary, be a part of history!

During Election Day:

  • As polling locations changed or were cancelled on day, coordinated robocalls targeting voters assigned to that location to provide them with updated info (used Hustle)
  • Update polling location updates on social media

After Election Day

  • Recorded video and posted on social media from all coalition members thanking volunteers and voters - tagged all accounts and boosted posts

Virtual Organizer Training

Virtual Organizer Training Opportunities - The Midwest Academy , Contact Jackie Kendall, Democracy Partners, [email protected], Jay Travis, [email protected], or Eric Zachary, [email protected] , or go to .

In response to COVID-19, we are offering online versions of our foundational trainings. They are both shorter and more intimate - capped at 24 participants, we're ensuring the spirit of our in-person trainings carries over to the online essentials trainings.

Organizing for Justice: Essential Skills (3 days online) - see the agenda here
Supervising Organizers: Essential Skills (2 days online) - see the agenda here

Register by clicking on the dates below

Organizing for Justice: Essential Skills

April 14-16
April 21-23
May 5-7
May 19-21

Supervising Organizers: Essential Skills
April 29-30
May 27-28

Training days are 10:30 am - 4:00 pm Central time, including a 1-hour lunch break.

Trainings will still have lots of interaction - we are using Zoom meetings to facilitate each training and will have ample time for discussion in the large group as well as breakouts.

Registration pages explain cost and other details! We are pricing these on a sliding scale based on your organization's budget.

For our history and more on our in-person trainings, keep reading (but know they're on hold until we can safely host them again!)

From its founding in 1973, Midwest Academy has been the go-to training school for organizers across the progressive movement. Its trainers have distilled decades of experience in social justice organizing into practical lessons for social justice organizers. Organizers in labor, women's rights, the environment, racial justice, immigrant rights, corporate accountability, and many more issues have found value in Midwest Academy's skills-based approach to organizing.

We offer three different courses:

Organizing for Justice : (formerly "Organizing for Social Change") Hone concrete skills that enable you to win issue campaigns and build a strong, lasting organizations.

Advanced Strategy Retreat : Develop or refine your organizations current issue campaign strategy through a combination of presentations and individualized work time.

Supervising Organizers Workshop : Evaluate and sharpen your supervisory skills to develop effective strategic and relational organizers.

Lessons from trainees:

"It meant so much to be in the company of so many positive organizers in such a tense and dangerous time in America's history. So many smart, experienced people made me sharper."

Cost & Scholarships:

The cost of tuition is $1200 (for 5 days) and $1050 (for 3 days). If your organization truly needs help to access this training, use this form to tell us about yourself and your organization.

IMPORTANT: our trainings consistently hit capacity and often move to a waitlist. Because of that, we ask that ALL participants commit to the entirety of the training they register for.
If your schedule changes, please reach out immediately to transfer to a future training. We can offer your spot to someone else if we have enough lead time.
If you do not notify us with enough time for an alternate to take your space (typically 2 weeks prior to start) OR you do not show up to the training, we are forced to collect a fee of $250 + site costs (which vary by location).


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