Hello all! I have completed my first day at Engage Miami. For this first week, I will be receiving a lot of training in order to complete my organizing duties. Today, we covered volunteer organizing through phone calling. This is also known as phone banking. Basically, we call people who have expressed interest in our organization and inform them of upcoming volunteer events, confirming whether or not they can join us. Many political organizations use this tool. It is fairly straightforward, and it provides an opportunity to connect one-on-one with the prospective volunteers and allows organizers to compile a strong volunteer base on which they can rely consistently.
Ideally, the prospective voter list should be pretty large; only around one in every 5-10 people actually pick up and it can be hard to mobilize people to volunteer. I, for example, made around 80 calls today and had only two strong confirmations for our event and around six ‘maybes.’ All others either said no or did not answer. Although this sounds like a lot of work for a little pay off, every volunteer counts for political organizations. One person can register 20 voters. One table assistant can help write 50 letters to elected officials. One person can affect real change, especially at a local level, and this is what Engage Miami is all about!
Another secret to phone banking is to have more than one opportunity available. People lead busy lives. More often than not, they want to help, but have previous engagements. Having more than one event on offer increases the likelihood of a volunteer confirmation.
As for our upcoming event, I will be attending the International Women’s Strike this Wednesday and will be uploading pictures then.