Phone banks

Phone banks

How can I help survey supporters, recruit volunteers, find voters and raise funds on the telephone?

A:

What persuades people to vote for Green Party candidates, to spend time campaigning or donate funds? It is conversations with a Green Party supporter. We can talk to voters on the doorstep, but often the most practical way to engage people is on the telephone.

Take the example of getting new supporters to join in. We can arrange events for them, and publicise them online. But what gets someone to come is a telephone call, as shown in this event organisers' cheat sheet:

Or coming up to election, it is hard to speak to voters who live in blocks of flats. But we can telephone them. And if we want to learn what has got new members to join and what they would like to do we need to ask them.

Phone banks

I am not talking about a call centre, but of a small group of volunteers going round to someone's house in the early evening, to spend a few hours telephoning people. You can get help from the others, swap stories, take tea breaks, and make it a social occasion.

Everyone brings a mobile phone, one person has a list of telephone numbers. You call someone from the list, and start a conversation, using a telephone script. You might start by asking how they are, and what they are interested in, before asking them to help. Make notes during the call.

After you hang up, pass on your notes to the person who is making records of the call. By the end of the sesssion, you should know how many more people have promised to come to an action day or pledged money or votes. You will also have a much better idea of what interests or concerns the people you have talked to.

What you can do

If you have a comfortable room, invite people round for a phone banking session. You could make this a regular event, taking turns to host it.

If you like talking to people, come along to a phone banking session. Take a look at the script, and practice on each other. Then start making calls.


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