General Virtual Phone Bank (OpenVPB)
The Covid -19 pandemic has drastically curtailed door to door canvassing, our single best technique for communicating with our voters. Phone banking is the virtual form of canvassing.
In these Covid-19 days phone banking is the BEST way for personal connection with voters. Phone banking is the best way to:
- Reach Democrat and likely Democrat voters in Swing States to talk one on one about the importance of voting and the 2020 election
- Gather data on voters so that Democrats can better target their audience for November
- Let voters know about Vote by Mail and Absentee Ballot options
- Get in-state volunteers to help reach out to Democratic voters
Virtual Phone Bank (VPB) lets volunteers call from the safety of their homes. All you need is a computer, or tablet, and a phone. The system provides the phone number to be called, the script to be followed and the process for recording the data. It is simple and effective.
Watch this video to get really convinced of the need to PhoneBank.
Set Up and Get Ready
1. Learn About Virtual Phone Bank (VPB)
Watch the following short videos:
2. Get Set with Equipment
What you’ll need is:
- Phone – you can use either your home or cell phone to make calls
- Tablet or computer with WiFi to record responses
- Possibly earbuds/headphones or a quiet place to make calls
- You can block your caller id by dialing *67
- You can set up a Google Voice number; learn how to set up Google Number here
3. Set Up Your Action ID
If it is your very first time, you will need to set up your Action ID with NGP VAN. This ID can then be used for other Open VPBs as they are used by many campaigns. To learn how to set up your Action ID:
Watch this short OpenVPB video
Or read this document.
4. Select a VPB that Needs Your Help
Together-For-2020 has various opportunities for phone-banking. You can find opportunities as well as training sessions in the Take Action Action Kits here, or the Phone Bank Calendar here.
Sign up to your favorite phone bank campaign for a shift that fits your time. If the shift is too long for you, you do not have to stay for the whole time, or you can take a break.
5. Learn More about the Script
If you attended a training or signed up, you will receive information about training and the script. You will also have a guide regarding coding people’s responses. Here are some tips:
- Review the script
- Read it out-loud, while smiling (yes, even if no one sees you it affects the way you sound)
- Make the script “your own” so you are comfortable.
It's Time to Call!
1. Make Calls and Have Fun
Prior to your shift you will get a link (URL) to the VPB. Click on the link and you will be prompted to log in with your Action ID. Once you do you will be directed to a screen where you will see the scripts and the first person to call.
Again, review the script, make yourself comfortable, and remember that you are calling voters just like you!
About 5-10% of the calls go through, but remember that every vote counts and every call makes a difference!
Resources For Hosts and Participants
1. Additional Information and Tips
For Hosts of Phone banks, see:
- SL Host Guide
- NGP VAN’s: How to Host a Phone Bank,
For more information on setting up and tips on calling see:
- Swing Left’s Phone Bank FAQs.
- NGP’s short video on how to improve phone bank skills
- Resistance School’s Why Phone Banking is Effective
- Resistance School’s How to Make a Persuasive Phone Call
Please send action kit feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org