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Tips, Guides, and Tools for Remote Organizing

The San Diego County Democratic Party has compiled this list of tips, guides, and tools to help campaigns organize remotely. It is not necessarily an endorsement of any business or product listed. Please email info@sddemocrats.org with any suggested additions to improve this list. 
 

TIPS AND GUIDES

Organizing

Communicating

Event Planning

Fundraising


CAMPAIGN TOOLS

Online Meetings

  • Zoom: Video conferencing and webinar platform
    • Pricing: Basic plans are free. Paid plans start at $15 per month
    • Notable Features: Premium audio, webinar functionality, group collaboration tools, screen sharing on desktop and mobile devices. Free Plans allows for up to 100 participants per meeting. Free plans limit meetings to 40 minutes
  • Google Hangouts: Multi-media instant messaging, voice, and video calling platform.
    • Pricing: Free to use. $5 for 30GB of data storage. $10 for unlimited data storage
    • Notable Features: Integrated with Google+, Gmail, Youtube, and more. Easy to use interface. Mobile and web app available on virtually all devices and platforms.
  • Skype: Web and app-based messaging, voice and video calling, and video-conferencing. 
    • Pricing: Free to use. Advanced features included in plans starting at $5 per month.
    • Notable Features: Paid plans allow for calling to landline and cell phone numbers. Strong integrated with Microsoft Office 365. 
       

Texting

  • Hustle: Hustle is a peer to peer SMS platform that allows users to quickly send out and receive text messages.
    • Pricing: Varied. Based on usage and organizational needs -- but primarily based on the number of individual contacts uploaded into the system. Plans tend to range from 10-15 cents per contact uploaded. 
    • Pros: Robust VAN integration; Large support team; Each uploaded contact can be texted an unlimited number of times.
    • Cons: Pricing can be restrictive for small campaigns; Metric reports are limited in information provided. 
  • ThruText: ThruText is a peer-to-peer texting tool that allows campaigns and organizations to text their contacts at scale. 
    • Pricing: 8 cents per sent message, with a $100 starting fee. Discounts available for higher messaging volumes.  
    • Pros: Full VAN integration; Detailed analytics and reporting metrics; Highly customizable and can be scaled for large and small campaigns. 
    • Cons: Can be price restrictive for many campaigns due to charge-per-message pricing model. Static numbers cannot be assigned to users -- new user phone numbers for every texting session. 
  • Call Hub: Call Hub is a phone and text platform that supports predictive dialing, peer to peer SMS, blast SMS, patch through calls, and more.
    • Pricing: Varies according to needs -- peer-to-peer texting typically costs 1.6 cents per sent message and 1.2 cents per received message. Prepaid plans and bulk message discounts are available.
    • Pros: Most affordable peer-to-peer SMS platform; VAN integration; Can serve as a one-stop service for peer-to-peer SMS, blast SMS, and predictive dialing.
    • Cons: Newer platform, has not been tested thoroughly on state-wide campaigns. VAN integration is not as robust as competing platforms.
       

Phone

  • NGPVan Predictive Dialer: VAN predictive dialer allows a volunteer to call through landline numbers without having to dial.
    • Pricing: 1.9 cents per minute
    • Pros: Built into NGP VAN, allowing for unparalleled VAN integration
    • Cons: Limited online controls compared to other predictive dialing platforms
  • ThruTalk: ThruTalk is a dialer that can legally call all phones (including cell phones) at predictive dialer speeds. 
    • Pricing: 5.5 cents per dial, with an initial $100 starting fee. Bulk usage and prepaid plans available.
    • Pros: VAN Integration. Can legally call cell phones, unlike standard predictive dialer platforms. With a large number of users, calls can be made through a universe much faster than predictive or manual dialers.
    • Cons: Callers must be organized to login and use ThruTalk at the same time -- otherwise the speed and efficiency of the platform is greatly reduced.
  • Call Hub: Call Hub is a phone and text platform that supports predictive dialing, peer to peer SMS, blast SMS, patch through calls, and more.
    • Pricing: Pay as you go -- 1.6 cents per call. First 5000 calls are free.
    • Pros: Affordable pricing; VAN integrated; Can serve as a one-stop service for peer-to-peer SMS, blast SMS, and predictive dialing.
    • Cons: Newer platform, has not been tested thoroughly on state-wide campaigns. VAN integration is not as robust as competing platforms.
  • TTHM - Telephone Town Hall Meeting​: TTHM is a platform that enables candidates or elected officials to reach voters/constituents via telephone in public telephone town halls.
    • Pricing: Varies. Based on the number of connections made.
    • Pros: Allows for candidates to speak directly to voters and take questions. 
    • Cons: No VAN integration. Can only call landlines unless cell phone users opt-in to receive calls. Pricing may be restrictive for smaller campaigns.
  • Call Fire: CallFire is a voice broadcasting tool that gives you the capability to send RoboCalls to a targeted list of phone numbers. People who answer the calls can then interact with the call via a series of prompts.
    • Pricing: Varies. Depends on minutes of call time purchased.
    • Pros: Candidates can directly quickly reach a large number of potential voters and volunteers. Call recipients can interact with the call through keypad prompts.
    • Cons: No VAN integration. Pricing may be restrictive for smaller campaigns.
  • Victory Guide: Victory Guide is a canvassing and phone banking app that also provides analytics and weekly reports for small campaigns.
    • Pricing: $99 per month
    • Pros: Affordable for low-budget campaigns
    • Cons: No VAN integration. Analytics and reporting are limited compared to more expensive platforms.
       

Email

  • MailChimp: MailChimp is a mass email platform that allows you to manage lists and track open rates, click rates, and more.
    • Pricing: Plans range from free to $200/month
    • Pros: Powerful functionality that allows for tracking open rates, click rates, and more
    • Cons: No VAN integration; limits on number of messages sent; not as intuitive as other email platforms.
  • ActionKit: ActionKit is an online fundraising and volunteer email program manager and CRM.
    • Pricing: Varies depending on number of emails in the system. Plans start at $995 for 50,000 email addresses
    • Pros: Can be used to build a large-scale digital program.
    • Cons: No VAN integration
  • Action Network: Action Network is an online fundraising and volunteer email program manager and CRM.
    • Pricing: Free for smaller organizations and activists who send less than 10,000 emails per month. Paid plans start at $10 per month and scale up depending on the number of emails sent per month.
    • Pros: Affordable and free options available for smaller campaigns. Robust functionality available for paid plans VAN integration available for events.
    • Cons: Limited VAN integration.
       

Misc. Organizing Tools

  • MobilizeAmerica: MobilizeAmerica is the go-to events management and volunteer recruitment platform that connects mission-driven organizations and Democratic campaigns, and their supporters. 
    • Pricing: Starts at $100 per month, scales up according to needs.
    • Pros: Robust VAN integration; Easy-to-use front and back end interface; Allows for multi-shift signups; large existing volunteer-base on the platform; Events can easily be promoted by other organizations and campaigns.
  • Outvote: Outvote scales your organizing strategy by allowing anyone anywhere to become a digital volunteer for your campaign by texting, mobilizing friends, street canvassing and sharing on social media.
    • Pricing: Free plans available for up to 5000 voters. Paid plans start at $100 per month for up to 400,000 voters. 
    • Pros: Robust VAN integration; Easy-to-use interface; Allows volunteers to organically text their own contacts and see their voter registration status and history.
    • Cons: Platform is currently mobile-only. Requires app installation for volunteers.
  • Handraiser: Handraiser is a call and canvass platform with an emphasis on relational organizing.
    • Pricing: Varies depending on voter file size. 
    • Pros: Allows for voter tracking across multiple channels and mediums. Integrates relational organizing tools with traditional call and canvassing capabilities.
    • Cons: No VAN integration. 
  • VoteWithMe​: VoteWithMe is a native mobile app that downloads your contacts, tells you who is eligible to vote in an upcoming election, and allows you to text them to remind them to vote.
    • Pricing: Free
    • Pros: Easy to use interface, accurate contact-to-voter file matching
    • Cons: No VAN integration