How to set up a phone bank

Setting up a phone bank run by volunteers and staffers can be a vital tool for getting your community to take action. Whether it’s a follow-up to direct mail, a fundraising drive, or a GOTV operation, a phone bank can help you connect to your community using genuine 1-on-1 conversations.


Set your goal

The first step in setting up a phone bank is determining your goal: who do you want to call, and what do you want them to do? Are you calling the recent recipients of an important fundraising email to remind them to give? Are you calling warm prospects from a voter file as part of a GOTV operation? No matter your goal, make sure you have a clear ask, and are targeting the right people for that ask. Determining this will allow you to create lists of people whom you want to target with your phone bank.


Use tags to organize volunteers

Now that your goal is set, you need to determine who will staff the phones. You can filter your database for volunteers who have been at your recent events to find people who would be likely to be a phone banker. Then, you can contact these people directly to make the ask.

If you don’t have enough volunteers, you can set up a new action page to recruit new volunteers for the phone bank. Set a volunteer role to “phone banker,” and then send out an email or social media update to ask your community to volunteer.


Splitting lists between phone bankers

Once you’ve created a list of people you want to call, you can split your call list into the number of phone bank volunteers you have. Then, give each phone banker control panel access (make sure to give them appropriate permission settings so they cannot alter other parts of your nation). Once this is done, navigate to the list you wish to assign by clicking the edit button on the list drop down menu. Then, click on Settings. Here, you can specify who to share the list with, how to describe the list, and whether or not somebody can change the list. Even if you do not select “let people you share this list with change it,” the control panel user will still be able to log contacts.

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Once you complete this process for each volunteer, your phone bankers can sign in to the control panel and pull up the list assigned to them. Be careful not to share the same list with more than one volunteer, or an entire permission set, to avoid multiple calls to the same people.


Using call view and data entry view

Phone bankers can call people straight from the control panel by going to People > Lists > and clicking on Edit icon next to the list they want to open. Open call view at "[number] people" > Call view. 

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As phone bankers make calls, they can enter the data directly into each person’s profile. After each call, the callee will automatically be removed from the list and the volunteer will be taken to the next person on their list.

If your phone bankers don’t have access to a computer, you can print a call sheet from any list. They can record call information directly on paper. Once the phone bank is over, a control panel user with access to the list can enter the data using data entry mode

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If you’re unclear on how this feature works, please ask a question. If you would like to see changes to this feature, please submit a suggestion.