About Phone Banking
Want to attend or host a phone bank? That’s great! Phone banking is the next best thing to canvassing.
Phone bank parties can be a fun way to volunteer, especially for people who are new to Swing Left. By hosting a group in your home, you’ll be encouraging active participation in one of the most important forms of voter contact!
Your phone bank event can be whatever you’d like it to be, but we recommend keeping the actual phone banking portion to 30-60 minutes so you do not overwhelm your guests. The rest of your time together can focus on enjoying each other’s company.
Be sure to get a commitment to phone bank again before everyone leaves!
Phone bank events have clear advantages over postcard and letter writing.
Like canvassing—which is the gold standard of voter outreach—a phone call represents a personal connection with a potential voter.
Phone calls are more effective than letters or postcards.
What to Expect
A script and training will be provided. You can alter it to fit your conversational style—but remember, the campaign needs to gather some basic information. Be sure to cover the important points and questions.
Depending on the dialer, you will average about 30 calls per hour, with about 5-10 conversations per hour. Every contact is valuable, no matter what the outcome.
Please bring a fully charged cell phone, fully charged device (computer, laptop, or tablet), and earbuds or headphones.
Some campaigns use Virtual Phone Bank (VPB), a self-dialer, or Hub Dialer or Call Hub, which are Predictive Dialer. PD means once you are signed in, you do not need to dial any numbers yourself—the dialer calls for you and skips all those people who don’t answer.
Some volunteers get discouraged with phone banking. Things to consider:
Acknowledge that having calls go unanswered, or people being rude, can be unpleasant. However, we are all in this to do our part, and calling is often our best approach.
Point out that sending postcards to voters may feel easier than calling, in part because we don’t learn about bad addresses and mailings that are ignored. Not so with phone calls. The disconnected numbers and hangups are right in your face when we make a call. It might help volunteers to hear that, and to know that disconnected numbers help clean up the lists.
If a volunteer’s prior calling experience has been elsewhere, and they’re now working with us in Maine, it might be helpful for them to know that Mainers tend to be polite and pleasant. Maine has the oldest population in the country, so people there are more likely than elsewhere to answer their phones.
Calling can feel harder to people for the very reason that it’s more effective—they’re talking to an actual person.
Things to Know about HubDialer
- HubDialer automatically calls for you
- Remember, every call is live call
- We recommend: fully charged cell phone, fully charged device (computer, laptop, or tablet), and headphones or earbuds. The latter are not necessary, but very helpful. It is easier to read the script if you have a phone and device, as it is easier to see the whole screen
- Say hello right away, as soon as you connect, otherwise folks might hang up
How Do I Find Phone Banks?
Check out our phone bank calendar.
Host a Phone Bank
Click here to post a phone bank event on MobilizeAmerica.
Training and Resources
- Swing Left Academy Phone Banking 101 for training videos and tips
- NGP VAN’s Organizing 101: How to Host a Phone Bank, and short video on how to improve phone bank skills.
- Resistance Labs Why Phone Banking is Effective
- Resistance Labs How to Make a Persuasive Phone Call
- Indivisible MA has a great page of phone banking resources.